Tonawanda News

May 19, 2013

PINSPIRED: Mini albums seem too simple to be true

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — It was one of the first things I ever “pinned,” but in reality, I didn’t have many hopes for this Pinterest-inspired project. 

It looked too easy. Too inexpensive. Too cool-looking to ever turn out that way.

I was wrong, but I’m not sure how much of that comes from simply having a background of this sort of thing (and a stash of supplies to match).

The mini accordion photo album looked like a great Mother’s Day gift/product, so when I was deciding on this week’s column (the week before Mother’s Day), it seemed the perfect fit. As a scrapbooker, I already had all the items required. 

For one album, you need one 12-by-12-inch piece of colored cardstock paper, white cardstock (I used two 12-by-12 pieces cut out), a bit of patterned paper, any way of forming letters you wish (stickers, stamps, etc.), adhesive, a bit of ribbon and any decorations. There’s a lot of wiggle room here. Use whatever matches your album theme. 

And, of course, photos: seven of them, cropped to 3.5-by-3.5 inches. I used pictures from our recent Disney trip, which allowed me to plunder my supply of vacation-related scrapbooking supplies.

First, cut the colored 12-by-12 paper into three strips that are 12 inches long and four inches wide. Score and fold each piece every four inches. (A scoring tool would help here. I just used a ruler and my hands, which made it difficult to get extremely crisp and precise folds.)

Using glue, adhesive or whatever you have, adhere the last fold on one strip of paper to the first fold on another. Adhere the last fold of that piece to the first fold of the third piece of paper. You should wind up with one continuous, accordion-folded piece of paper with seven sections or “pages.” (Bear in mind your album will open from the right to the left.)

Cut eight 3.75-by-3.7.5-inch pieces of white cardstock. Adhere one in the center of each “page” of one side of the accordion. (Plus your cover, which will be on the opposite side on the “front” of the book.)

Cut a piece of patterned paper that’s also 3.75 inches wide and as tall as you wish. Adhere the patterned paper to the white paper on the cover. Attach or stamp your title above it in the white space. (I used letter stickers.)

Adhere your photos to each page of the album.

Using a piece of ribbon long enough to wrap around the album and tie, attach it to the front of the album using a sturdy adhesive (leaving enough on the right side to tie with), wrap around the back and tie the album closed. If you wish, you can punch paper flowers or other shapes to attach to the front of the ribbon for decoration. (I used a Mickey head to go with the theme and because I had the punch handy.)


These turned out better than I ever expected. They’re not elaborate and they’re probably not sturdy, but they’re kind of cute and I think they’ll make a nice little “extra” for my mom and mother-in-law for Mother’s Day. 

Also, those who aren’t crazy scrapbookers like myself and might not have the tools on hand might find it costs more than it’s worth to collect the materials necessary. Cardstock is inexpensive ... but I already had that, punches, ribbons, adhesive, patterned paper, stickers and even a paper-cutter at hand. If you have to go buy all that, it’s going to add up.

Jill Keppeler is a writer for the Tonawanda News. Find us on by searching “Greater Niagara Newspapers.”

• WHAT: Mini photo albums • DIFFICULTY: Easy • TIME: Varies • RESULT: Pin it!

Jill Keppeler is a writer for the Tonawanda News. Find us on by searching "Greater Niagara Newspapers."