How to make chipboard mini album pages.

About two years ago I read a comment on a YouTube video, don’t remember which one it was though.   The viewer asked if there was anywhere to find out how to make a mini album from start to finish.  At first the question seemed strange.  Then I remembered how I felt when I first heard about mini albums and watched one video after another of finished products.  The same question banged about in my head.  How does one go about starting the whole process?

That viewer is probably now making some of those fantastic mini albums after having gone through the learning curve all by themselves.  I am going to create a series of blog posts all about creating a mini album.  From start to finish.  Since I am making one for my granddaughter’s birthday I figure now would be a good time to document the process.

There are many phases to creating a mini album.  There are many types of mini albums as well.  Paper bag minis which make use of the brown paper lunch bag.  Card stock mini albums that are made entirely of card stock and patterned papers.  The sizes range from 3 inches to 9 inches.  The “standard” seem to be having 6 to 8 pages in the album with a ton of pockets.  I deal with that feature in a later post.  Right now I want to just focus on how to begin.

This mini album will be for an 8 inch by 9 inch, three ring binder.  It will also feature chipboard as the page bases throughout.

STEP ONE:  You have to decide on the size of your mini album.  Then you have to decide what you will use as the base pages for the actual function of the mini album.

STEP TWO:  You  have to think about the “Sections” of your mini album. Are they all going to be the same?  A wedding theme?  A new baby?  A birthday?  A family reunion?  This type of mini album will not need to have dividers, or sections.

My granddaughter’s mini album will feature sections for friends, family, sports, and her precious self.  I want to take a “moment”, if you will, of her life and hold it for safe keeping for her.  Over the coming years she can look back and remember the fun she had with her friends, the soccer (football) games she played in, her quirky little brother, and what her life was like as a 15 year old young woman.

STEP THREE:  Choose the photos you want to use in the mini album.  You can check out my previous post about how I chose the photos.

STEP FOUR:  Gather your supplies.  I purchased some of the components for this mini album from a local scrapbook store.  Not from one of the major chains of crafting stores.

My supplies

My supplies

This mini album will be a notebook type.  I purchased a Bo Bunny 8 inch by 9 inch chipboard bound three ring binder that was empty.  Had no papers or plastic holders inside.  There was an assortment of books available that included the papers, plastic photo sleeves, and other decorative items.  I did not like what I saw for the paper choices and chose to make my own.

 

Bo Bunny 8 x 9 binder

Bo Bunny 8 x 9 binder

Now the process begins.  Get a scrap piece of paper that is long enough to fit the length of the binder you have chosen.

Scrap paper to make the ring  holes

Scrap paper to make the ring holes

As even as you can possibly get it, place the scrap piece of paper between the ring jaws and close them on the paper.  You will make an indentation on the scrap paper where the rings close.

Close the rings on the scrap paper

Close the rings on the scrap paper

Measure and draw a pencil line 1/2 inch from the edge of the scrap paper.  Find the ring binder indentations on the paper and mark their placement on this scrap.

Draw a line 1/2 inch from the paper edge

Draw a line 1/2 inch from the paper edge

Make a circle on the line where the binding closed

Make a circle on the line where the binding closed

Check to make sure these marked areas line up with the binder jaws.

Make sure the circles match the rings

Make sure the circles match the rings

Make any adjustments now.  It is necessary if you want the pages to fit properly.  When everything lines up punch the holes in the scrap paper guide.  Test your “guide” for fit and make any adjustments now.

Punch holes in the scrap paper guide

Punch holes in the scrap paper guide

For the chipboard pages of this album I will be using four (4) sheets of 8-1/2 by 11.  You can use cereal boxes cut to the size you need.  Have some lined paper pads?  Take the backer board from the paper pad and use it.

8-1/2 x 11 chipboard sheet

8-1/2 x 11 chipboard sheet

I am cutting the chipboard at 7-1/2 inches along the 11 inch length.

 

Measure 7-1/2 inches

Measure 7-1/2 inches

Using a craft knife cut the chipboard

Using a craft knife cut the chipboard

I will be using the “off cuts” in this mini album as pages, too.  I won’t be discarding the short pieces.

I want to have tabbed dividers in this album.  If you would like to as well, find something with a tab on it.  Notebook plastic tabbed dividers, chipboard dividers, recipe card dividers.  Whatever you wish to use as a template.

Find a template

Find a template

Line up your template to the starting tab placement you want to establish as the start.  Trace around your template with a pencil.  Take the next page and move the template over for the placement of the next tab.  Continue drawing and marking your template piece on your base pieces until you have completed this step.

Align the template to the first sheet

Align the template to the first sheet

Draw around the template

Draw around the template

Line up the second sheet and mark the placement

Line up the second sheet and mark the placemen

Do the same for the third

Do the same for the third

Continue until you have them all marked

Continue until you have them all marked

Using the craft knife and a metal edged ruler cut along your pencil marks on each of the tabbed divider sheets.

Using a craft knife cut along the pencil line

Using a craft knife cut along the pencil line

At the tabbed area cut on an angle

At the tabbed area cut on an angle

Your first tab is created

Your first tab is created

Continue the process until you have finished

Continue the process until you have finished

Using your “hole guide” line up the scrap piece with the bottom edge of your chipboard where you will make the holes.  Make sure the template is even along the bottom and one of the outer edges.  Mark the hole alignment with a pencil.  Cut out the holes and then test fit these pages in your binder.

Bring your hole template to the pages

Bring your hole template to the pages

Line the template along the bottom and one side

Line the template along the bottom and one side

Mark the hole placement

Mark the hole placement

Punch the holes

Punch the holes

Test fit the pages in your binder

Test fit the pages in your binder

That’s enough for today.  Tomorrow we will tackle the project of covering your chipboard with papers.

The easy part has just been finished.  I hope you will stick with me as I go along this journey into enlightenment 😀

 

Leslie

 

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23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jack Flacco
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 10:52:38

    You never cease to amaze me with your creativity. This has to be one of the most interesting projects you’ve tackled–at least since I’ve been reading your blog. It’s more involved than it looks since there are so many components to work with. But I gotta tell ya, that hole-punch is a great tools that I wouldn’t mind getting myself!

    Again, great project!

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      Jan 21, 2014 @ 21:45:46

      Thank you, Jack. The hole punch is a “Cropadile” made by We R Memory Makers (or Keepers – I never remember which) and can be purchased at big box craft and hobby stores. One of my online friends lives in Canada – somewhere in the snow – and she has a Michaels near her. If you are really interested in the tool I would think there is a Michaels in Toronto. Does all kinds of things. More than just punch holes, too.

      Hmmmm, wonder if I could use that on the zombies? Wait, I’m safe tomorrow. It is “Women Who Wow” and I’m looking forward to your next post.

      Leslie

      Reply

  2. Maureen Mathis
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 11:04:20

    And why THE HECK didn’t you use your new paper cutter to cut that chipboard! That think looks awesome! It will be fun to watch the mini album come together!

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      Jan 21, 2014 @ 21:50:08

      Using the new paper cutter or not to use the new paper cutter. That was a question I went back and forth on for a little while. Decided not everyone has access to that heavy monster BUT they do have a ruler and a utility knife, box cutter, craft knife.

      How was your trip to Archivers? Did you get some smokin hot deals? Did you have to have the neighborhood boys help bring in your booty? I hope you had a very enjoyable time at the store and you found good things….stuff that had not already been pawed through and only the dregs left behind :/ That would be sad 😦

      Love you – Leslie

      Reply

  3. gardenpinks
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 18:37:37

    This is going to be a great ‘how-to’ for all those people who want to make an album Leslie. Well done on being able to marshal your thoughts to do a good tutorial – I would be floundering about realising I had forgotten something or other 🙂
    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      Jan 21, 2014 @ 21:56:25

      Thank you, Lynn. I am having a total blast! I have been getting a couple pages done per day…depending on the techniques and the time involved. I hope that this will help someone that is just getting started out. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

      Love you – Leslie

      Reply

  4. aspot2stamp
    Jan 22, 2014 @ 00:09:39

    Way cool tutorial Leslie 🙂
    I haven’t tackled album making but will have to store this in my noggin for later use. Your hole punch guide would have helped me in my planner pages, so that will be put to use as I tweak my binder. It’s so good to see you sharing your creative projects you have so many wonderful things to teach us.
    Hope you are well
    Love and hugs,
    Shelly

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      Jan 22, 2014 @ 19:37:27

      Ahhhh, I’m sorry Shelly that you could have used the hole punch tip sooner 😦 Thank you for your very special and kind words to me. I appreciate you my friend.

      Stay warm. There seems to be another cold front moving in. Yikes!

      Love you – Leslie

      Reply

      • aspot2stamp
        Jan 23, 2014 @ 13:20:34

        All is good my Friend I have the idea now thanks to you 🙂 Indeed the cold is upon us again…. the kids have only had school 1 day this week and will be out again tomorrow…… Cabin fever is setting in YIKES !! I…. must…. get.. to… my… craft corner or I may go mad lol 🙂 All silliness aside we are all well and getting set to have a paint session after we go feed my Dads doggies. I have tried to post several times on my blog and lost my post when I hit proofread so from now on I will publish it then edit it if needed. Maybe it is operator malfunction tee hee .
        Love the way your mini album is coming along it is going to be a work of art when it’s completed.
        Love you my Friend
        Shelly

      • Message In A Fold
        Jan 23, 2014 @ 16:45:58

        When you get to your blog’s dashboard, there will be a section called “Drafts”. Check there for your lost post. Mine sits just about my statistics. The program auto saves what you put in a new post. When you find it, and it seems to be all intact, look to the top right area. Not the way, way top right, but up above the “Publish” button is one called “Preview”. That button will open a page with what you have written and you will see what your post will look like to everyone else who comes to read it.

        Stay warm and make the kid who starts a paint fight wear glitter on his/her forehead for the rest of the day 😀 Brian might just look cute with glitter on his forehead 😀

        Love you – Leslie

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    • Message In A Fold
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      Thank you for your very kind words. I appreciate you reading my blog and liking it enough to tell your friends. I don’t do this for money. Mainly because there are people looking to learn something and I don’t mind sharing my knowledge to help someone else.

      Leslie

      Reply

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    • Message In A Fold
      Jan 27, 2014 @ 10:24:54

      Choosing a blog site is an individual choice. Some people like more bells and whistles. As for help for aspiring writers, before you commit to WordPress, check out the section on “Writing” on WordPress. There are many users that have tips and hints for better writing and how to write novels or short stories. As to the “Paid or Free” platforms, again another personal choice. There are more options for a PAID site on WordPress than for the FREE option. Hope this helps.
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      Reply

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