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Easy Binding Techniques for Handmade Scrapbooks and Mini Albums

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.

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"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 piercer.

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How to Hand-Stitch an Album Binding

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.

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2. Punch holes approximately 1/2" apart through the middle seam.

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.

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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.

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Customize Your Cover and Binding.

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 binding.

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"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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Learn more!

For additional album-binding ideas, see "Easy Bindings for Handmade Scrapbooks" article in Creating Keepsakes' Scrapbooking Tips & Tricks: Tools & Techniques special issue.

 

Join Club Creating Keepsakes as a premium member today to receive instant access to the e-version of Scrapbooking Tips & Tricks: Tools & Techniques special issue. When you join the club as a premium member, you'll also receive a yearly subscription to Scrapbooking Tips & Tricks magazines delivered directly to your door. You can become a premium member today for only $19.95 a year.

--Lori Fairbanks, Creating Keepsakes editor


Comments

vianneylu1 wrote re: Easy Binding Techniques for Handmade Scrapbooks and Mini Albums
on Monday, 19 July 2010, 2:14 PM

Great bonus article!

Y and P Forever wrote re: Easy Binding Techniques for Handmade Scrapbooks and Mini Albums
on Thursday, 12 May 2011, 6:45 PM

THANKS!

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