Monday, 25 June 2012

Mini Album (photo heavy!)

We have close friends who are expecting their first baby and I wanted to make them something special.  There is a French book binding technique that I have been wanting to play around with for years and this seemed the perfect opportunity to experiment :-)  I read about it in a fabric journal book and it had been adapted from paper binding, so I combined the two!  I think I would change the spines of each signature a bit next time but I still loved it.  The only thing I bought for the whole album was the mouse tail (thin cord ribbon - the next size smaller than rats tail) to lace it with.

It has taken me weeks to complete it and we gave it to them on Sunday when we had them over for dinner.  They almost cried :-) Sorry about the quality of the photos but it is winter and I photographed it just before I wrapped it so there wasn't time to check the photos for quality!

Here is the beautiful binding (and no, I am not blowing my own trumpet LOL! I love the cross-overs).  I used four chipboard signatures (folded pages) but had to keep fabric along the fold (next time I would make this part a bit thicker - perhaps a piece of felt in the gap??) I just made it up as I went along and didn't start with any plan other than how to assemble each signature.

So I painted and decorated each chipboard page using HOTP Retro 8x8 papers so that it would suit either a boy or a girl.  I attached a sheet of double sided adhesive to a piece of fabric and cut it into strips.  I only had a fat quarter that matched so I had to use two strips for each page centre.  Below you can see two chipboard rectangles with the first piece of fabric attached.

This is a completed signature with both sides of adhesive fabric attached.  There is a 1cm section in the centre that is only fabric.  But both sides are stuck together so it is quite strong.

Here are the four signatures stacked and ready for the next stage.  I really wanted this book to be durable so when it came to making the holes I set each one with an eyelet.  I hadn't intended to do that but I am glad I did as it looked great.

Next came the decorating as I wanted to allow enough room in the album for the embellishments so I bound it last.  This was more difficult than expected as I had to be very careful to not damage anything!  So here is the completed book ...
Front cover
The first page - the right side opens up ...
To list pregnancy milestones that they can add dates to.
Then there is a fold out accordion album on the left for ultrasound pictures.  There is even a tag behind for journaling.  The words say "Who will I look like?"

A page for their own writing.
A spot for journaling and photos.  The right side will hold 6x4 photos and  has a few  photo mats in it.
This is all about preparing the nursery.  Note the ManU shirt hanging on the line.  This baby has a ManU dad and a ManCity mum!!!!  This is one argument the dad will win :-)
The left side is a hidden 'top secret' pocket for writing potential names.
It slides up to reveal the names and a poem about choosing the perfect name,
And a page all about the baby shower with flaps on the right to hold 6x4 photos.
My good ol' Cricut got a workout cutting bits and pieces and I used HEAPS of stuff I already owned!  It was a labour of love and I am very happy that the recipients appreciated it.  They aren't crafters (but there is still time to bring them over to our side :D) but they noticed so many details that I know they were actually looking at it and not just being polite.

I think I shall make another mini with this binding ... I might start researching how it is done with paper as it could make some nice books and there are some beautiful papers out there :-)

Have a great week,


  1. No wonder they loved've made a fab job of it!
    Alison xx

  2. That binding is amazing - I've never seen one like it before and I just love the way it looks. A gift to treasure.

  3. I too love the binding. And the book is just adorable - you've put lots of thoughtful touches inside - like the hidden name compartment. Fabulous!

  4. Super inspiring and so very thoughtful too. Tfs,


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