Handmade albums and mini books are so much fun to make. They
can be delightfully inexpensive as well as oh-so-cute. Their smaller size and
decorative covers make them perfect scrapbooks to display in your home and to give
as gifts. Take a look at the following binding techniques, and then give one a
try on your next handmade scrapbook.
"Sisters mini album" by
Stacy Cohen, as seen in Scrapbooking
Tips & Tricks: Tools & Techniques
Hand-Stitch a Mini
Album. Hand-stitch the binding of a folded mini album to hold the pages
tightly in place and to emphasize the handcrafted nature of your project.
This type of binding is perfect for small albums that you
want to dress up with ribbon, leather cording, metallic cording, or another
specialty fiber. The binding style is also a good option for mini albums that
include more pages than will comfortably go through your sewing machine. Vary
the size of the holes to fit the ribbon by using hole-punching tools or a paper
How to Hand-Stitch an
1. Cut cardstock and transparency sheets to 6" x
12"; fold in half to create a 6" x 6" album.
Hint: Spritz the
cardstock behind the transparency with spray ink to add extra color to your
mini album cover.
2. Punch holes approximately 1/2" apart through the middle
Hint: When binding
your album, make sure your pages are perfectly lined up before punching the
holes for the ribbon; otherwise, your bound pages will be uneven.
3. Thread a long piece of ribbon through the holes. Tie a
tight bow. Trim ends.
Hint: Tie the
ribbon tightly so the pages don't shift.
Customize Your Cover
Consider other materials you can use for your cover and
binding. Try thin chipboard, corrugated cardboard (colored with gesso or
paint), canvas, or heavy, stiffened fabric for your cover. Choose from ribbon,
twine, embroidery floss, metallic cord, leather cording, and more for your
"Eight Is Great! mini album"
by Suzy Plantamura, as seen in
Scrapbooking Tips & Tricks: Tools & Techniques
Machine-Stitch a Mini
Album. If your mini album is comprised of fewer pages or uses lightweight
papers that may not be sturdy enough for hand stitching, consider machine
stitching. It's perfect for small albums that require a more delicate binding.
You can stitch pages together, pre-binding to give them extra weight. Leave
openings in the top or sides of the stitched pages to create pockets. An
additional benefit for this type of mini album is that the stitching will help
the book lie relatively flat.
How to Machine-Stitch
an Album Binding
1. Trim six pieces of patterned paper to 12" x 8";
fold in half widthwise to create 6" x 8" album spreads.
2. To create your album cover, place two of the paper pieces
together with the decorative sides facing out. Stitch along the top and bottom
edges. Hint: Form side pockets when
stitching your album cover by leaving the sides of these pages unstitched. Use
them to hold extra photos, journaling cards, and memorabilia.
3. Stack remaining pages, and stitch them together down the
center, fold line.
Hint: Give your
album a finished look by stitching a thick piece of ribbon or trim over the
binding on the outside of the book.
Step It up.
Try this technique with double-sided patterned paper. Before
step 2, use a border punch along one side edge of each piece of paper. Layer a
decorative punched edge over a straight edge so the pattern of one shows
through the other.
For additional album-binding ideas, see "Easy Bindings for
Handmade Scrapbooks" article in Creating
Keepsakes' Scrapbooking Tips &
Tricks: Tools & Techniques special issue.
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--Lori Fairbanks, Creating