Sunday, September 23, 2007

Three Albums for Under $15

Remember my Writers Retreat Weekend?

Well, Judy and Donna liked the scrapbook page I made, but I could tell they were both disappointed that they didn't also have a way to preserve our memories. Unfortunately, I just don't have time to create a page for both of them, and one page wouldn't do all our photos justice. So I had to think about the situation... And I came up with an idea.
Ordering the Photos

First I loaded all my photos from that weekend onto my computer. Then I went through and sent the ones I really liked to SnapFish. By asking SnapFish to mail me the pictures, I spent a total of $8.99 for 3 sets of 14 photos. I ordered the photos in 4 x 6 inch sizes, but I also ordered a small white border that I will trim from each picture, so the final shots will be probably more like 3 3/4" by 5 3/4". Just right for fitting inside a 6" x 6" paper--and allowing for both landscape and portrait images.

Planning the Project
Next, I went to the store and bought two large pieces of Canson paper--$2.49 each--a paper that's been used by artists for years and which is relatively color-fast and stable. It's a nice weight. I drew a small schematic using graph paper. I marked the large paper and cut (which I'm never very good at--but I simply don't have a paper cutter that can handle a piece of paper 20" x 30"). After I did my cutting, I stacked my strips--6" wide and 24" long--one on top of each other and scored the paper at 6" intervals.

Assembling the Books

I sandwiched together my two sheets and sewed them down the center of squares 2 and 3. I folded the outside squares in to make a small book.
Creating the Cover

My new challenge was decorating the cover. It's pretty easy to do ONE cover, but I wanted all three to look alike. Here's the design I came up with:

I now have my three identical albums. The photos will arrive on Tuesday. I'll trim the narrow white edge away and adhere them to the pages. Since there are 14 photos and 16 pages, I'm fine with my decorated cover and a plain back cover.

The total cost for three small albums, including the photos, will be $14. That's less than $5 an album. Of course that doesn't cover the cost of thread, brads, ink or the decorative papers on the cover (which were scraps), but still, I think that's really reasonable.
What about you? Do you look for ways to economize when doing your hobbies? Have you avoided scrapbooking because you've heard it's too expensive? Well...if so, give this little project a try.


Camille Minichino said...

You make it sound easy Joanna!

I tried this with small strips to practice.
It ends up the cover is actually the second square from the left on the back of the bottom strip.
Or did you use a separate cover and back?

I've been wanting to do a small portfolio for my miniature scenes and I think this is going to work very well. How timely!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...


Yes, you've got it. The cover does wind up being the back side of the bottom strip, second from left. You can fold the outside strips so that the edges meet at the stitched center--which I think works better than possibly folding all the squares "around" each other.

Anonymous said...

That's very pretty! I don't know if I'll copy it, but it IS pretty. Very clever solution and memorable because it's unusual.

I'm a frugal scrapper - unfortunately not helping my scrapbook store survive - but it does help my budget.

Now though, I want one of those fancy cutting machines . . . guarenteed to KILL the budget! Now there's a murder for you . . .