Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Album in a Jiffy Tutorial

If you are like me, you take loads of pictures during the Holiday Season. To keep this large group of photos “tamed” to a reasonable project I’ve been doing a Christmas 8x8 album for the past 4 years. In each album are pictures from a Family Party, Celebrating at Home, at My Mom’s and at My In-Laws. I like to bring these albums out at Christmas Time to reflect on years past.

Today I’m going to share how to do an album in one day. Do I recommend doing it in one day - NO! But I broke mine up and got it done it two days. It is a very simple design but can easily be jazzed up to suit your style. Working in Mass Production Mode helps speed things along.

1. Purchase your album and measure the size of the protector. I say this because first I purchase a “Recollections” album (Michaels Brand) and it fit a page slightly less than 8”. Unfortunately I didn’t do this first and then ended up buying an American Crafts after I had all my pages done. It fit’s a true 8x8 page.

2. Select a group of papers to work with. I chose Dasher from Basicgrey and since it is an older pattern I got the collection for $6. (Score)

3. Chose your background papers. My choice was white cardstock and I trimmed 60 sheets to 8x8 saving the extra pieces. The ½ inch piece makes great journaling spots. Once you have an idea of how many pages you’ll end up with you will know how many papers to trim.

4. Cut your 12x12 inch papers into 2”x8” pieces. Using the picture as a guide you should get 8 pieces out of each sheet. You will need one 2”x8” strip per page. I also used edge punches on some of my pages.

5. Ink all your edges. If you’re not an inker, disregard.

6. Now for the pictures. Separate them by event, for me, that means four piles.

7. Time to trim your pics! If you are working with 4x6 prints most of these will need to be trimmed. Your best pictures can stand on their own for a page while most pages will have 2 pics. Some pages, maybe even 3 if you really crop them. Remember you will need to leave room for embellishments and journaling.

8. Organize your trimmed pics into the order you want them scrapped.

9. Embellishments - Choose wisely! I stick with a few edge punches, ink, die cuts and maybe a bit of bling. For me, and these albums, my style is simple and clean.

If you have access to a die cut machine: choose a few dies and cut a bunch in complementary cardstock and remaining pattern papers. Then ink them up!


If you don’t have access to a die cutting machine, then consider prepackaged coordinating stickers/chipboard.

10. Time to assemble! Start with your cover page, whatever floats your boat. Then take your blank background 8x8 papers, two at a time, select 2 2x8 strips and arrange strips at either outside edges or top or bottom. You will be looking at a two page spread at a time. Chose pics from your first event in your chosen order and start laying them out. Proceed laying out two page spreads until you have them all laid out. If you are happy with the order then it’s time to glue REMEMBERING that you still have journaling and embellishments to add.

Yes, that's my oldest daughter, in all her splendor!  lol
11. Add your die cuts. I’ve tried different adhesives and for die cuts I like using Scotch glue. Again remembering that you still have journaling to add.

12. The Hard Part, at least for me. Journaling! I take those leftover ½” by 11” strips (from the 8 ½ x 11 cardstock) and write my journaling on them. A quick outline and then paste them down.  Spellbinders makes some wonderful nesting scalloped ovals that are perfect for journaling.

13. Slip your completed pages into your album.

Here are a few examples


  1. Awesome tutorial! Makes me want to try one of these!

  2. nice job! This would be great for a gift album. Thanks for sharing. Melissa (northernmemories) SB>com AGC challenge

  3. awesome tutorial bev! very clear and easy to follow! Love the idea for a one holiday smaller album!


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