Projects so far

Saturday, 21 May 2011

20th project completed! A photo album for a friend

Well here we are again and already at number 20! I just can't believe how quickly this year is flying by. A friend from work was 21 the other day, she was 17 when I started there! We all went to celebrate this milestone last night, and I thought I would make a small gift to take with me.

So this week I have used the retrieved items to make a photo album - Kelly is very into her photography and she took the picture that I have used on the front herself. With all the photo's taken last night I am sure she will need more than one album but it's a start!


Materials needed:

  • Old washing powder box
  • Glue
  • Newspaper
  • An empty Tomato Puree tube
  • Craft knife
  • Black Sugar paper
  • A left over piece of wrapping paper / handmade paper


1. Start with the empty tomato puree tube. Cut off the top and bottom and slit open the tube to make a flat sheet.

2. Rub the sheet gently but firmly with the back of a spoon to 'iron' out any creases.

3. Now cut a frame from the sheet using scissors and a small tab. From the wrong side emboss a pattern into the frame whilst it is placed on a towel or some newspaper, just as I did in the frame project (project 7) back in February. Also, emboss a name / age into the tab (don't forget this needs to be reversed as you are working from the back!)

4. Now print out a picture to fit the frame. This can be on paper or fabric (using freezer paper as in project 18). Cut out and set aside.

5. To cut the pages, fold 6 pieces of A2 paper into quarters you can trim to size if needed later. Using a blunt knife cut the bottom edge. You can make as many page sets as you like I chose 6 as that was all I had stashed in the loft! Stack these neatly and follow the instructions below to sew them together.

Sewing the pages together

1. Take your stack of pages and using a chalk pencil, make 6 evenly spaced lines across the stack. These marks will be the stitching holes so take care to ensure they line up correctly.

2. Take your first set of 4 pages, open them out onto a cutting mat. Using a needle, punch holes through the chalk marks. Repeat with all the other sets.

3. Now sew as follows:

  1. Take the 1st set, using a Strong thread, make a running stitch in and out of the holes you have made. Leave a tail of thread to connect to the second set.
  2. Take the 2nd set and line it up with the 1st set. Sew into the top hole and out of the 2nd, then in through the 2nd hole in the 1st set and out of the 3rd hole (in the 1st set). Now sew in through the 3rd hole of the 2nd set, this sews the 2 sets together.
  3. Sew out of the 4th hole of the 2nd set of pages into the 4th hole of the 1st set. Then out of the 5th hole in the 1st set and into the 5th hole in the 2nd set, finally sew out of the 6th hole in the 2nd set.
  4. To secure the ends, loop the thread through the thread on the 1st set using a kettle stitch
  5. Continue adding all the sets in the same way. Tie off using a couple of half-hitch knots at the top and leave a 3" tail at the end. This will all be hidden in the spine later.


6. Now for the washing powder box; Cut off the front and back of the box to form the front and back of your album and cut a strip for the spine. The cover boards need to be 1/4" longer and 1/8" wider than the pages. The strip should be the width of your stack of pages once stitched together.

7. Now take your cover paper, on the reverse side draw a line 1" from the bottom of the paper. Use this line to place the boards in the following order: FRONT  SPINE  BACK leaving a 1/8" gap in between each and mark. You need to be quite precise with the gaps or your cover will not fold properly!

8. Remove the boards, apply a thin layer of glue and stick the to the cover paper at the marks. Fold in and glue each side of excess paper and glue into place, mitering the corners. Roll with a rolling pin to make sure everything is really stuck well and set the cover to one side to dry. You can then decorate the front with your picture, frame and tab.

9. Now attach the pages to the cover by gluing the 1st and last pages to the inside of the cover making sure to hide the loose ends as you go. 

And there we have it a lovely gift for a friend all made from recycled materials and some bits and pieces from the loft! By the way you can also use this cover technique to recover notebooks etc. that you don't like the cover of. Just cut the middles out, make a new cover and stick the 1st and last of the remaining sheets to the new cover.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow, this is amazing!
Thank you, just looking for ideas to use (emboss) a tomato puree tube, this looks great!