Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tag Album from scratch.

Here is a quick project with some extra photos leftover after I finished our 2007 summer travel albums. I wanted to make a gift album for my mother. She had not actually come with us so a small album with just a select few photos of the main attractions would be enough.

I wish I was in a country where I could just go out and but a small album, preferably one with chipboard covers that I could personalize. But the reality being what it is, I had no small albums with me and no possibility of buying one that would not take 3 months (surface post to save on costs!) to get here. So I had to make one from scratch. And guess what – I ended up using just three sheets of cardstock for the whole album! How’s that for economy?

I selected a ‘Tag’ design because of its simplicity. And a really heavy cardstock – Club Scrap makes some really nice thick quality cardstock. Add to the fact that I have piles of it right at my finger tips and it was the perfect choice! So go with the best you have. Measure an existing tag and make adjustments in size to get the maximum number of tags from your 12 X 12 cardstock. For example the actual tag size in the photo is 6½” X 3½“ but I cut my tags 6” X 3½” so I got 6 tags from each page. And I had a small strip left from one edge for any finishing touches to the album.

If, like me you have cardstock with some kind of design on one side, arrange the pieces so that printed sides are facing each other. This is what it should look like:

On only one side of the cardstock, lightly pencil a ½“ or 1 cm (I usually work in metric) margin.

This margin is where the hinge will be attached. You need to pencil it in only on one side of the cardstock. No need to flip and pencil on the back side.

I used two tags, glued together, for the front and back covers. Here, if you wish, you can substitute with Buckram and use a laminating glue to stiffen up the covers.

You can use the original tag as a template to pencil in the corners of all your tags. I then used a deco scissor to cut them, just to add interest.

Punch a hole in the centre of one tag. Using this as a template pencil in the place where you will punch holes on all other tags. This way even if you are slightly off centre, all pages will be the same.

Get all your supplies together. I had a small brochure from our trip. I used a lot of the titles, words and designs from this booklet in my album.

While working your pages take care that all pages on the right hand side will have the penciled margin whereas the flip side, or the left hand side, will not need any penciled margin.

If you look at the photo below you will notice that the lower 3 pages have a margin allowance. Sometimes, the photo may go all the way to the edge, but this part of the photo will be of no interest and will be covered up by the hinge.

The pages on the top are worked all the way to the edge because they will be entirely visible.

Once all your pages are ready select a piece of cardstock in contrasting colour for the hinge. The width of this piece should be the same as the width of the tag. The length will be determined by the number of pages in your album – but try to keep to about a maximum of 16 pages in your album so you can work with the standard 12X12 cardstock. I started with a 3 ½ “ X 12” long piece.

Starting with a valley fold, pencil in a dashed line at exactly 1 cm intervals. In between the valley folds, pencil in mountain folds with a straight line. You will get alternating mountain and valley folds at ½ cm intervals. The number of valley folds should be 2 less than your pages. Mountain folds should be 3 less than the number of pages. For example, for 14 pages, I had to mark 12 valley folds and 11 mountain folds.

Using a bone folder, crease & pleat, to make an accordion hinge as shown in the image. Leave one end long. This will be the top part of your hinge. Leave yourself some extra space for creativity!

The back cover, where I glue two tags together, was not glued in its entirety. I left a small opening at the edge between the two cardstocks. I slipped the end of the hinge into this opening, gluing it down. This way the end of the hinge is not visible at the reverse of the album.

Now apply bookbinding glue sparingly to the side of the page where you have penciled in your margin. Attach the page to each successive fold of the accordion and hold down till fixed.

Once all the pages except the top cover are glued, decide on a look that you prefer for your hinge finishing. I just used a decorative edge scissor and then outlined it with a pen.

Here is what your finished album should look like. I really like this sort of album when I go heavy on the embellishments because the accordion hinge can accommodate some really 3D embellies!

To see the pages up close, click here

Enjoy creating!

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