Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas Memory Album - Part 1 by Gloria

Hello everyone! I have three more weeks of my guest designer spot to finish out, so I hope you enjoy Part I of this project, with Part 2 coming next week!

Every few years I make a "December Daily" and then I never use it. {I know, I know}. This year, I decided to make a Christmas mini album rather than tie myself to a daily-type album. {In hopes that I will actually put photos in it this year!}

For the tutorial today, I am going to share how to create a mini album and decorate the covers. Next week, I will share all the pages for inside the album! I chose a traditional color scheme with gold accents. So festive! The album is 7 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 2 1/2".

I used some wonderful chipboard elements from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts, plus some handmade flowers and the beautiful Graphic 45 Christmas papers from my stash!

Let's get to the tutorial. You don't need any fancy tools for this project. As long as you have a hole punch that can punch chipboard, and a hot glue gun, you are ready to rock!

I started out with the Art Journal, which has two covers, four tabbed dividers, two tab top page markers, four chipboard pages, and four corrugated pages. We are going to construct a mini album out of the parts, rather than use the album as intended. I find that when I think outside the box, I tend to use my product rather than hoard it!  

Grab the two covers and set the rest of the pages aside until next week. {grin}

Cut a piece of 0.050 chipboard (the same thickness as the journal covers) to 7 1/2" x 2". This is the spine of the album. You also need a Tim Holtz large ring binder, two brads, and some washi tape. If you don't have washi tape, you can use book binding tape or even masking tape.

Position the two covers and the spine piece you just cut as shown, with a 1/4" gap between each piece. Do NOT worry about the holes in the chipboard covers. We are going to cover those with paper.

Wrap the washi tape over the covers and the spine, making sure to keep that 1/4" gap between the pieces of chipboard. The tape will act as a flexible hinge. Wrap the washi tape all the way around the album, creating a few layers. Burnish it to make sure it sticks well.

Cut a piece of decorative paper to 7 1/2" x 2" and cover the spine. Use an anywhere hole punch (or similar) to punch holes for the ring binder. I measured and marked the location of the holes with a pencil before punching them.

Put a little Glossy Accents onto the back of the ring binder and attach it to the spine, lining up the holes. Once the binder is in place, attach it securely with brads. I used two screw brads I found in my stash.

Crease the washi tape to bend the covers along the "hinges." Note that the inside "spine" measures 7 1/2" x 2", while the outside spine measures 7 1/2" x 2 1/2", taking into account the 1/4" gaps!

Since we are making a Christmas album, dig into your stash and find all your Christmas papers and do-dads! I am using Graphic 45 for my book, but any papers will do. I have some of EVERY Christmas collection they've ever released, so I had some fun digging through it. I wanted to use A Christmas Carol, but I don't have a ton of it, so I also pulled papers from the other collections that had the same color scheme.

Next, we will "colorize" and customize our chipboard for the album covers. I took the snowflakes from the Winter Shape Set and sponged them with white pigment ink. Once the ink had dried (I hurried it along with a heat tool), I painted each snowflake with clear Wink of Stella glitter. 

I wanted to use the wreath from the Scribble Frame Birds, but I did not want the birdie. I hacked him off with a craft knife and then smoothed the area with a sanding block.

I also used the Art Deco Corner Set and the Words and Phrases 1 for the rest of my cover decorations. I colored the snowflakes as described above. I used metallic inks to color the rest of the elements. A sponge dauber came in mighty handy! While the chipboard is drying, we can work on the rest of the cover set.

Let's work on the inside covers first. I always do it this way and save the front cover for last. That way I don't wreck the pretty cover! You only have to drag your cover through your black ink pad ONCE to learn your lesson!

For the covers, trim two pieces of holly paper to 7 1/2" x 5 1/2" and attach. I also covered the space where the washi tape was showing with 7 1/2" x 1/4" strips of the same paper.

Each inside cover has a pocket tag for journaling spots and smaller tags. Use a Graphic 45 Regular Ivory Tag for the large pocket. Add the plaid paper to the top of the tag, and then create a pocket for the lower part of the tag from the red print paper. To give the pockets a look that resembles stocking toppers, add a scallop trim to the top edge of the pocket. 

Glue two of the snowflakes to the pocket as shown and decorate the center of the pocket with some embellishments to match the paper.

Create journaling blocks and tags to go into the pocket.

Use a second Graphic 45 Regular Ivory Tag for the large pocket. (The tags come six to a  pack, so you will have some left for the inside of the mini.) Use coordinating paper on this pocket, and add a stacked snowflake to the bottom right corner. 

Again, create some tags and journaling spots for the pocket.

The inside of the album is ready for the pages! Tune in next week to see those!

Turn the album over so that the back and front covers are face up, with the back cover on the left side. Trim striped paper to 7 1/2" x 12" and scoring at 5 1/2" and 8". Fold on the score lines and attach the paper to the cover, starting with the front cover (the right edge shown here) and wrapping over the spine to the back cover. Make sure your score lines match up with the edges of the spine.

Trim coordinating print paper to 7 1/2" x 2 1/2" and attach it to the spine.

Finish off the back cover by trimming another strip of the red text paper to 7 1/2" x 2" and attaching to the "naked" part of the back cover where the striped paper was too short. Cover the seam with a decorative border strip cut to 7 1/2" long.

Glue the Art Deco corners to the four corners of the cover.

Use a Graphic 45 Ephemera card to decorate the front cover. Trim scrap chipboard to fit the back of the decorative panel and glue the panel to the album cover.

Glue the phrase, the wreath, the berries, and the snowflakes to the cover as shown. (The berries are from the Winter Shape Set.)

Create handmade flowers, cut from coordinating paper, and glue them to the wreath. You can substitute pre-made flowers, if you wish. Accent the flowers with small bells and the birds from the Scribble Frame Birds set.

Accent with some small postage images, cut from decorative paper.

Decorate the spine with some of the snowflakes and some dangling keys.

I love the vintage feel of this mini album, with traditional colors and pops of gold and other metals.

The 7 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 2 1/2" size of this mini is such a nice, chunky size for a December Daily or other memory book!

I cannot wait to show you the inside! Come back on December 18th!

Here is a sneaky peek of some of what to expect next week!

~ Gloria: Scraps of Life

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Products:
Art Journal
Winter Shape Set
Scribble Frame Birds
Art Deco Corner Set
Words and Phrases 1

Other Products:
Paper: Graphic 45 A Christmas Carol (Bah Humbug, Scrooge and Marley, Figgy Pudding, Yuletide Greetings, 6x6 pad, ephemera pack), Twelve Days of Christmas (Drummers Drumming, Swans a Swimming), Christmas Emporium (Special Delivery), Christmas Past (Let it Snow)
Tags: stash

Cardstock: WorldWin Natural
Ink: Clearsnap Colorbox Pigment (Sweet Tooth, Burnt Copper, Pheasant Gold, Ruby); Delicata (Silvery Shimmer, Golden Glitz)
Glitter pen: Wink of Stella clear
Washi tape: Tim Holtz Sketchbook Tissue Tape
Binding rings: Tim Holtx Large  Ring Binder
Brads: Eyelet Outlet screw brads, Creative Impressions colored brads
Keys: Graphic 45 Ornate Metal Keys
Twine: Really Reasonable Ribbon red burlap stringiridescent white metallic string
Bells: craft supply
Punches: Crop-a-Dile, Fiskars border punch, Fiskars Anywhere Hole Punch
Dies: Spellbinders Bitty Blossoms, Rose Creations
Adhesive: Scotch 3M ATG tape, Ranger Glossy Accents, hot glue


  1. Great tut' and nice showcasing of the chippies

  2. I’ve tried those squiggly little fasteners before and I can NOT figure them out. They seem impossible to me, but I like the idea of those corner braces! Anyway, it looks great! Jianxin coroplast