Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Book of Home

Awhile back I had this great vision of creating a little coffee table photo album/scrapbook using the leftover paper strips and cardboard from the dahlia-shaped wall medallion.  Yesterday I finally sat down and assembled it and while I'm not 100% thrilled with it, it's not bad considering it's mostly stuff that would have been tossed in the trash otherwise...  I'm going to explain what I did and offer some suggestions for things I think you'd be wise to do differently if you want to give a home-made scrap album a try.

First, I assembled all my materials together:  Corrugated cardboard cut to size (determined by the size of the leftover paper strips I was using), the leftover paper strips, a sheet of scrapbook paper, a small stick with attractive bark, acid-free glue sticks and a length of ribbon (not pictured) for the binding.

Then I cut the scrapbook paper so that the cardboard could be glued leaving about 1/2-inch all the way around and about 1/4-inch between the two pieces that will make the cover hinged.  Spread glue on one side of cardboard evenly and then affix to back side of paper.  Press out any bubbles or wrinkles.

Spread glue evenly along one edge at a time and wrap paper over.  Trim to make smooth mitered corners.  I also cut just a tiny tab out of the "hinge" or open space between the two pieces of cardboard because it made it easier to open and shut.

Now trim 2 pieces of your filler paper to hide the raw edges from covering the album.  Make both a front and back cover this way.

My next step was to trim the filler paper just slightly and to add some quotes that I wanted to be part of my album.  If you want to borrow them, or just satisfy your curiosity about what I chose, click here for a .PDF document.  I have pretty decent handwriting and I didn't want to spend hours figuring out how to feed scrap paper through my printer so I hand wrote the quotes.  I left lots of blank pages to hold photographs that document the way rooms looked the day I got the key and both what changes I've made over time and how they look today.  I also chose to include pages to briefly record significant events, memories and visitors to my home.

Then I punched holes in the filler pages.  Unfortunately, here's where I made a wrong choice.  I was too lazy to change the spacing on my big 3-hole punch and the covers were too thick to fit in it anyway so I chose to only punch 1 hole in the center. For the covers I used a large yarn needle to perforate the paper and cardboard and wiggled it in a circle to make the hole the right size.  One center hole isn't enough to hold the pages stable; it really needs 2.

Now for assembly... I cut my ribbon into 2 pieces and, holding together, folded them in half and  tied a simple knot in the center that won't slip through the back cover.  With a yarn needle, I fed the tails up through the back cover, then the filler pages and front cover.  It takes a bit of twisting and smoothing to keep the ribbon flat and tight.

Once they were all worked through this way, I tied knots using 2 ribbon ends at a time around the stick.  Make sure it is pressed firmly to the album cover while you are making the knots.  Now I just need to decide on a die-cut initial and add small beads to the ends of my ribbon tails for embellishment and it will be done!  Oh... and get photo paper and figure out how to size and print my pictures, of course.

This would make a fun gift for a couple buying their first home.  The idea could also be adapted for a keepsake recipe book or as a guestbook at a special party.

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