Jun 4 2013

Guest Post: Heather Smith

Disney Mini Album by Heather Smith

Hi everyone, Heather here and I’m happy to bring you a guest blog post for this week.  I love the process of making my mini albums and this one is no different.  I always look at how I can get maximum space for pictures and be able to have the book as its own little event.  I think it is this reason why I am not a page maker; I always want to put so much on them.

Lets get started…quite a few years ago I took a class with Carol Wingert and just loved this simple ‘vessel’ for my memories and have used the idea many times over.  We start with a report folder and it is the folding that changes this from the simple folder to my album.


Open the folder and fold outside edges into the middle.  The final folded album should resemble a ‘W’.  By doing this it will create a pocket on each side.  You can choose to sew in between these pockets at this point but I did not because with it folded the things later will stay put.

The next step is to cover the folder with selected papers of your choice.  For mine I chose to use Ideology’s Lost and Found and Destinations paper packs from Tim Holtz.  Do not spend too much time in picking the ‘perfect’ paper because as you will see, much of it can or will be covered or hidden.  There are three sizes required to do the basic covering: 2 pieces(11 1/4″x4 1/2) which are cover pieces, 4 pieces for the pockets(4 1/2×4 3/4), and the pocket backgrounds are 4 pieces(4 1/2×8). The length of the last pieces allow for them to slide down inside the pockets so this measurement does not have to be exact.  Please note this is what worked for my folder but before starting your own make sure you check to see that these will also work for yours because report folders can sometimes vary in size.

Before attaching my patterned paper I distressed the edges with my distressing tool and distress inks.  When I was ready I attached my pieces with ranger’s collage glue stick in order to get full coverage.

So, the bones of the project are complete and where you take it next is only limited by your imagination!  I will walk you through my book so you are able to get some ideas to use in yours but the sky is the limit to what you can do.

I wanted to add some additional texture to my paper so by using a stencil and embossing paste I was able to get the random look I was going for.  After the paste dried I applied distress ink using my blending tool in order to tint the stark white.  I did this step first so it would dry and also so I could build upon it.

Starting with my cover I layered a photo with doubled grunge paper that I had painted the edges with black distress paint.  This enabled me to have something thicker that I could put my book tie under.  Just using the photo without the grunge would have possibly caused it to tear with wear.  The book tie is made by sticking a strip of tissue tape to itself creating a ribbon like appearance which is also durable. The only place the tie is attached to the book is under this picture or whatever you choose to use so measure accordingly and make sure you make it long enough to go around everything once your book is complete (it will certainly be a lot thicker when you are finished).

My title was made using grunge letters that I painted with again black distress paint.  Once dried, they were sanded with a sanding grip and inked using walnut stain distress ink.

Once achieving the desired colour, I rubbed multi medium over top to seal the ink and give it that finished leather look.

After opening the cover, you will see your first two ‘pages’.  In the first pocket I created three tags of patterned paper. These measured 7 3/4″, 9 1/4″, and 10 3/4″ long and each 4 1/8″ wide.

I always am trying to think of ways I can include as many photos as possible in my books without the bulk so many of my photos throughout are doubled simply together without the bulk of additional paper.  I have used various tissue tapes along with double sided tape to create hinges and seams and no side goes without attention.

On tag two, I attached glassine envelopes again with tissue tape to create pages as well as pockets.  Photos were placed on both sides and the inserted photos are also double sided with tissue tape tabs placed between the photos.

The back side of this tag allowed for even more photo space…yep, also visited!

Tag three had layers without a lot of bulk.


The second pocket in my book houses my park books that I wanted to hold on to for possibly future reference(here’s hoping)!

Flipping the page takes you to your final two pages and again, have fun with it.




The final pocket holds a folded blank canvas.  This was created by using two pieces of kraft coordinations cardstock with one being cut 9×12 and the other cut 9×11 1/4.  Each piece is scored with 3 1/2″ panels that are folded into peaks and valleys .  One piece will have a 3/4″ tab that will be used for gluing the two pieces together.  I love the look of cutting some of my pictures out to create different dimension without thickness and also splitting photos across folds. I only completed one side but who says you can’t do both…double the real estate!

Attaching a kraft envelope behind the fold out creates a little spot where you are able to place things you might not always want seen or kept safe.

And you guessed the back cover is another blank canvas.

A look at the folder completely open.

And the other side!  The blank panels are what are folded together which I have left blank but can also be used for photos.

A few of the fine details up close…

I attached signmaker alpha parts throughout my book.  Some I painted various colours with distress paints but all I added glossy accents to in order to catch your eye and make them stand out.

Items used: report folder, patterned paper, rangers collage glue stick, double sided tape, distress inks and paints, alpha parts, remnant rubs, journaling tickets, chit chat, glassine envelopes, tissue tape, alphabet cards from 7 gypsies, mini numerals, alphabet grunge letters, grunge paper, tiny attacher, large paperclip, kraft envelope from maya road, embellishements, paper distresser, sanding grip

As you look closer at the photos you will see a lot of different items and techniques were used…backgrounds stamps, remnant rubs and stencils were not mentioned but why discriminate when you craft! They all want their time in the spotlight! 😉

I truly hope you take some time to create your very own mini album and allow yourself to be creative by adding your own touches. Thanks for stopping by and visiting this week!. h

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