Tutorial Tuesday | Digital Mini Albums (Part 1)

 

If you have ever looked at the beautiful mini-albums that our hybrid creative team members make for gifts or holidays, and thought, “I want to do that!” …but then your brain kicks in and reminds you that you live in a teeny, tiny apartment with 5 other people and not enough room for a dining room table (No? That’s just me then? OK, well)…

…I would like to propose a solution: a fully digital mini album! It’s perfect for those of us who love the idea of creating a cute little mini-album, but who are lacking in space, tools, supplies, or even simply the “courage to tackle hybrid or paper scrapping”!

If you search for “mini album” here on The Digital Press blog, you will be rewarded with a bunch of articles that are all full of fantastic ideas and inspiration. Here are just a few examples of the gorgeous mini-albums I found…

Mini-albums are handy for all sorts of things:

  • Creating a separate album for a family vacation
  • Creating a special gift for someone
  • Documenting a special holiday
  • Documenting a specific family tradition
  • Capturing a sports season or extra-curricular event
  • Documenting major life events such as adoption, graduation, birthday, wedding, birth, or death

You could create a mini album for just about anything you want to… but they are especially helpful when you want to highlight a certain event, or create a gift using your crazy awesome scrapbooking skills. 🙂

Technically, you could simply throw together a bunch of pages and call it a mini-album… but if you look at most of the examples in the link I posted, above, you’ll likely notice that mini-albums usually have a consistent flow. That sort of cohesion does not just come together on its own… but instead, it takes a little bit of thought and planning.

After thinking about my own album creation process, I broke it down into the following steps:

  1. Planning
  2. Organizing
  3. Filling & Finishing
  4. Printing

These are not hard and fast rules, mind you… but I have found that they help me to get through the process quicker and end up with a final product that I love!

Over the course of several tutorial posts here on the blog throughout the coming weeks, I will walk you through each of the above steps for creating a digital mini-album. Today, we are looking specifically at the first step — planning.


Step 1: Planning

I have found planning to be the most important step in the process of creating a mini-album. It sets the stage for everything that comes later, gives you a definite direction, and makes the actual production of the album go like clockwork. For me, this is key to actually completing the project — something which, I admit, I often struggle with otherwise.

Planning allows you to decide ahead of time what you want the finished album to look like, and ensure that there is consistency and cohesion throughout the pages.  I encourage you to pull out some paper, or make a document on your phone or computer, to jot down your planning notes.  That way you can look back at it later, or make adjustments if needed.

CHOOSE YOUR SUBJECT

Decide what your album is going to feature before you even start.

Back in the days when I paper scrapped on a regular basis, I always made mini-albums of our vacations. This was mostly because the kids (including the kid in me) loved to look back on those short moments in time that seemed so perfect. Other times I have made special “I LOVE YOU” books for a relative, or special teacher. And when we adopted our middle child I made a special album just for her that walked through the entire process.  She loves it and thumbs through it regularly.

Your subject matter can be anything you like. For myself, and for the purposes of this blog series, though… I am going to be making a very specific kind of mini-album. Last fall, my youngest sister lost her baby girl in a still birth. It was heart-wrenching and difficult, but she very much wanted to take pictures and remember everything she could about her little angel. So one sister took pictures, and over the last few months my youngest sister has curated the ones she wants and asked me to make them into a book: a mini-album that celebrates the short life of her youngest daughter. How could I say no?

CHOOSE A SIZE/ORIENTATION FOR YOUR ALBUM

Depending on your chosen topic, decide which type of album would be best.

You can print your pages at home, at a local print shop, or have them printed as a complete book using an online print service. There really are a multitude of choices here. One thing to note, though… a mini-album is just that — mini (in size) — so it should be smaller in size than a “Year in the Life”-type book, etc. (both in dimension, and in number of pages).

Things to consider when choosing your album size and style:

  1. How do you plan on printing it? If using a print shop, or online book print service, what are the requirements?
  2. What size restrictions do you have? For instance, do you have the ability to print “9 inches wide” (etc.)?
  3. What is the orientation of most of your photos? Are they mixed, or are they primarily landscape/portrait?
  4. Do you have a lot of journaling to include? The smaller the page size, the more difficult it may be to read lengthy journaling.
  5. Will you use digital templates to help you achieve a layout style you like?
  6. If this is a gift album, what are the storage capabilities of the recipient? (i.e. do they have room to store your gift?)
  7. What do you LIKE?

In my mind, templates are one of the biggest benefits to doing a digital album, and The Digital Press offers a wide variety of templates from which to choose. Templates that are geared specifically to album-making can be found HERE.

Here are just a few examples of album-based template packs that I have enjoyed working with in the past…

Working with an album template pack is especially helpful in constructing a mini-album because these template bundles usually contain a variety of templates in a similar style… and thus, they already work well together.

The use of templates does not have to completely dictate your page size, however. If you look on the blog HERE you can read a number of articles containing tips for transforming your templates to fit into different-sized pages.

For myself… I plan to print my pages separately at a local print shop and then put them in a SNAP album using plastic pocket pages. This will allow my sister to add additional items to the album as she sees fit. To do this, my pages will need to be sized at 6″ x 8″. I decided to use The Great Escape by Anita Designs to give my album pages some consistency — and also to allow me to quickly pull the pages together…

This set offers a lot of variety… from full photo pages, to full-page journaling spots. I will, however, need to re-format them a bit to work in the binder I chose for the printed album. I will show you how I did that in PART 2 of this tutorial series (the ORGANIZE portion of the series)!

DEFINE YOUR COLOR SCHEME

Color plays a huge role in our lives. It is a well-documented fact that certain colors are linked to specific emotions. While this is somewhat cultural, there are several universal connections as well. For instance, bright colorful patterns are usually connected to playfulness and energy, while blues and greys tend to have a more calming effect.

If you are unsure what color scheme works for you, you can always browse Pinterest or do a Google search to get ideas (for instance, you could search “Winter Colors” or “Ski Vacation Colors” to get ideas for a ski trip mini-album). The Digital Press blog also has some fun information about color, if you want to learn more.

Things to consider when choosing colors:

  1. What is my subject matter? An album about a trip to the beach will look nice with tropical colors (whereas an album about a funeral… not so much).
  2. Do my photos “need” a certain color? For instance, a mini-album documenting a sports team will need to use that team’s colors.
  3. What colors are in my photos? Or will I potentially use black and white photos?
  4. What emotion/feeling am I trying to convey?
  5. Do these colors look nice together? We don’t want clashing pages in an album.
  6. Is there a certain digital kit you really want to use? What color scheme does it employ?

For my album, I need a little bit of flexibility. My sister requested some girly colors, and the first part of the album will have some happy pregnancy photos… so a more upbeat feel to those pages will be great. But I also want to be able to create a more subdued & calm feel to the end of the book (not dark and brooding, even though the subject matter is sad… but rather, somber and thoughtful).

I realized that Anita’s template pack (the one I linked, above) came with some great colored solid papers, and I thought those colors would work pretty well for what I wanted to do. They play nicely together, but also offer the flexibility I need. Using those colors, I searched through the store and found this additional kit, Mood, also by Anita… which uses similar colors and some word art that will work well for this subject. I can use my color scheme to recolor items that need it, and I can always add more paper/elements from other kits if I decide there is something missing.

DETERMINE SPECIFIC ELEMENTS NEEDED

Thinking about the theme of your album… try to decide if there are specific elements you NEED or WANT to use. This does not mean that you have to plan out every embellishment you will use, but just that you decide on some thematic elements that you can use to connect your pages to the event you are documenting.

For example, if you are documenting a Disney Trip — you would want to include some Disney-inspired elements. Or perhaps you’d use some flip flop stickers and a birthday cake for a pool party-themed mini-album. Planning these things out, ahead of the actual construction of the book, will allow you to be proactive and have all your supplies handy when it is time to create.

You can also go ahead and decide which generic element types you might use. For instance, because my book centers around a baby girl — I will be including lots of flowers, ribbons, and buttons. All generic, but easily associated with baby girls. Notice that the kit I chose to work with, above, already has a lot of these types of elements. I can find additional elements, as well, if needed — but these will be my base for my album.

ASSESS ADDITIONAL PLANNING NEEDS

Feel free to brainstorm other areas that might need fleshing out a bit as well. I realized that my sister might want to add things… like cards she received, or her own handwritten thoughts, or even drawings from her older children. I decided to include a few “blank” pages for these types of additions.


As you can see, it really does not hurt to spend some time planning out your project — as it will actually save you time, later, when you begin working.

The areas listed above are the things I like to plan-out prior to building my mini-albums. Having concrete plans on these topics help me to have a strong idea of where I am going with my project… and those plans also allow me to concentrate more on the creation of the album when that time comes.

Now that we have begin to get everything all planned out… we are well on our way to creating our digital mini-album this spring! Keep a look out for PART 2 of this series — coming here to the blog really soon!


 

ErinErin is an artsy crafty kind of girl who is currently dabbling in far too many things, but is working hard to enjoy every moment of it, while avoiding the rain, which is difficult due to living in the land of many rains. She is slowly learning to use her smart phone to capture all the fun little bits of life that would otherwise go unremembered in the busy craziness that is raising a family!

 

 

Tutorial: Simple Hybrid Mini-Albums

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Hello everyone. Donna here to share a simple and cute mini-album with step-by-step tutorial.

Since Instagram became famous, I noticed most of my photos were cropped in square, ready for IG posting. So, for today, I want to share with you a couple of mini-albums to use for square pictures.

1. First step is to print and cut your chose digital papers/elements to use. Papers size: 4×4 inches, resized to 8×8/6×6. Elements were resized as well.

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2. Adhere papers to cardstock. Approximately, cardstock is 4.5 x 4.5 inches.

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3. Punch two holes as seen in the image. I used my Crop-a-dile to punch several layers simultaneously. I also used a doily on the first page/cover.

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4. Adhere everything as seen in the image. use foam dots/tapes on some of the embellishments for dimension.

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5. I just added some flowers from my stash to decorate the front page/cover.

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This is how it looks like with a pink sheer ribbon tied to one of the metal rings. I used Danielle Engebretson’s REMINISCENT papers and elements

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I also created another one with fewer pages, using YESTERDAY ONCE MORE papers and elements. I just added some stickers, alpha stickers, flowers, stamps and sheer ribbon from my stash.

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That’s it! I hope you liked my project and tutorial. Thanks for dropping by, happy crafting!

Donna

 

About the author: Donna Espiritu is a mom to a little girl who just turned 10 months and wife to a very supportive husband. She is currently living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with them. When she is not scrapbooking, she likes to read books/e-books (sci-fi/romantic/time-travel) or watching old episodes of some of her favorite TV shows.

Celebrate summer hybrid mini-album

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Donna here to show you how to make a hybrid mini-album for some of your summer photos

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1. Print and cut papers from your chosen digital kit. I used the paper pack from Kim B Designs’ “Simply The Best”. Since I will be adhering my printed papers on cardstock, I used a 120 gsm photo paper. The size of the square pieces were a little less than 4 inches by 4 inches and the strips were approx. 3inches by 8 inches (I cut them in two before taking this photo).

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2. Cut 1 piece of 4.25 inches by 10.5 inches cardstock, 2 pieces of 4 inches by 8 inches cardstock and score in the middle as seen in the image below.

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3. Punch holes in the middle of these scored cardstocks. I use my compass to do this and a piece of paper scored in the middle as guide where to punch the holes.

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This will ensure holes will be aligned when the pages are assembled.

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4. Use some twine (or in my case, a brown paper twine) and tie around the album. Decorate the front cover. I used a doily, some thickers, handwritten sub-title and an enamel dot. The edges were inked with distress stain.

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Hope this mini-album get you inspired to create one. I would use this with Instagram photos, perfect for it’s square size.

Thanks for dropping by!

Happy crafting,

Donna

 

About the author: Donna Espiritu is a mom to a little girl who just turned 8 months and wife to a very supportive husband. She is currently living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with them. When she is not scrapbooking, she likes to read books/e-books (sci-fi/romantic/time-travel) or watching old episodes of some of her favorite TV shows.

Pocket Minibook

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Creating pocket pages with 3×4 cards is definitly not the only way those cute cards can be used. Today I want to show you how I created a minibook using different cards and a few of my favourite photos. One of them is actually the very first picture that was taken of us, so it is very special to me. It’s the top right one. The others are selfies we took during our citytrips in the netherlands and belgium.

So let’s get started! First of all I created two rows with five journaling cards each in photoshop. I have a A3 printer, so I was able to print everything at once, but it is totally fine to create it with a A4 / lettersize paper aswell, you will have more rows then with three cards each.

Next step is to print the cards, without the photos and frames, cut the rows and fold them after each card. You can glue them back to back together, but leave the first and second card like they are for now. Your book should now look like the right picture below.

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Now you get some ribbon, I like to use snug hug seam binding ribbon for minibooks, and cut it to one long and one shorter piece. The long one should go 2-3 times around the minibook. Glue both of them between the first and the second card, as you can see in the left picture below. The picture on the right shows you what the finish book will look like.  When the ribbon is in place and looks like you want it, glue card one and two together and you are done with the base for your minibook!

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I printed the frames on the same paper as the cards and used my selphy for printing the photos, so they are printed on photopaper. I also added some wood veneer to my finished book. The next pictures show you what my finish book looks like in detail. I really love how it turned out!

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Thanks for reading and see you next time!


Anika About the Author:  Anika is part of the hybrid team here at thedigitalpress.com. She loves to travel and use the photos her boyfriend takes (thanks for that!) to scrapbook. Digital, paper and hybrid. When she is not scrapping, she is most likely playing a computer game or in a city searching for a geocache.

Best Moments of 2014 Documented Hybrid ABC-Style

 

 

Best Moments of 2014 Documented Hybrid ABC-Style

 

Good morning! Brenda Smith here, sharing with you how I documented the best moments of 2014 in We R Memory Keepers 4×4 album. I documented our entire year with 12×12 pocket pages already, but wanted something more accessible that could be kept out as a coffee table-type album.

The first thing I did was create an A-Z list of moments corresponding with each letter. Some were more of a stretch than others (like Xmas for X), but I eventually filled out my list. Next, I went very basic with the title page. I knew I wanted to use the January Special Edition products for the entire album because the colors were vibrant and happy, so I picked this beautiful floral paper from Sugarplum Paperie.

 

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Next, since this album would obviously require several pages for the entire alphabet, I decided to create a simple yet visually appealing template for each page. I kept one page as a 4×4 protector with layered papers and one big photo and a few different elements and the other side as four 2×2 protectors with two smaller photos and two smaller pieces of paper with labels.

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Obviously to work with the opposite sides of the page protectors used, I have to alternate the sides the 4×4 and 2x2s are on. I used some wooden veneer alphabet to denote the letter. I really enjoyed using papers from several different designers, including Crafty Mess papers from Mommyish.

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I kept a 4×8 template in Photoshop for both layouts and simply clipped different papers, pictures, and word art to each new letter. This really sped up the process for me and I was able to finish this entire album in only two nights’ worth of work (which is really fast for me since I can be a slow scrapper). Also, isn’t that camera paper by Laura Passage so fun??

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One of the things I’ve learned with all the mini albums I’ve made is to vary the placement of dimensional embellishments to make the pages lay evenly. In this album, I altered the placement of the wood veneer letters in order to have the pages stack on top of each other evenly.

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I printed out each separate page as one layer on a 4×6 sheet of Canon Matte Photo Paper. I know there are some who prefer to print up each individual element and then layer on top of each other with glue, but I like to save time by shadowing in Photoshop and printing as a single layer.

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The January Special Edition products were perfect for an album of this type because I had several papers and embellishments to choose from that already coordinated perfectly. Yet another time-saving element for me because it took the guesswork out of making sure everything matched perfectly.

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One of the best things about this album (besides the small amount of time it took me to make) has been that it’s small enough for my kids to look through. They have both picked it up several times and reminisced over all the fun things we did last year. It makes my heart happy to see them remembering things so fondly.

I won’t bombard you with more pictures of this album as I’m sure you get the idea but will be posting them all in the gallery at some point. I hope I’ve encouraged you to try a similar style album and have given you a few ideas of how it can be done quickly.

 

brenda

About the Author: Brenda Smith is a mother of two littles and wife located in Southern California. When she is not scrapbooking, you can find her working full-time, trying to finish up her college degree with online classes, or sleeping because there are never enough hours in the day. Hybrid scrapping satisfies her addiction to technology and her addiction to paper and glue.