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[Video Tutorial] By the Sea Mini Album - Donna Kauffman 2019-2020 Introduction

Posted by Graphic 45 06/11/2019 43 Comment(s) Mini Albums,Tutorials,Videos,


Hello, G45ers!

 We have a special treat for you today!  In this post, we are thrilled to introduce the Master of All Things Mini, Donna Kauffman!  For Donna's #G45Selfie - June Challenge project she has been so kind to create a breathtaking By the Sea Mini Album with fun fold-out folios complete with a full-length video tutorial.  You are going to learn so many great paper crafting tips and techniques that will be great for all of your cards, scrapbooks, and more!  So grab your paper and scissors and let's make a memory album!  


Down by the Sea Mini Album

By Donna Kauffman


“Hello, G45er’s!

I’m so excited to be with you today, sharing my very first Graphic 45 Brand Ambassador project! I’m still stunned that I am getting the wonderful opportunity to join with amazing papercrafting artists from all over the world and work with my favorite paper company, Graphic 45.


Donna Kauffman - USA
Brand Ambassador 2019-2020


I grew up working in my mom’s craft shop and began teaching classes by the time I was twelve. For the past twenty-six years, my main occupation has been (and still is) as a published author, but when my sons got older, I began teaching craft classes again for fun. I was born and raised in the DC metropolitan area and continued teaching papercrafting as my “fun job”  for the next fourteen years. My sons are grown now, and I moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains a few years ago. As the last of the local shops closed, I took things online to keep connecting with the students I’d worked with for so long, and that has taken off and now I get to work with students all over the world! I’m thrilled that I now reach a global community via my MiniBooksRMe blog and YouTube channel. It’s been so inspiring!


I wanted this to be a super special brand ambassador launch, so I am sharing a full minibook video tutorial today, teaching you how to make a complete 6.5” x 6.5” File Folder Mini foundation. I decorated mine using G45’s beautiful By the Sea Deluxe Collector’s Edition collection!



For this introductory project, Graphic 45 asked us to create something that showcases our design style. A “selfie” project. I love it!


If you’ve been to my MiniBooksRMe website or YouTube channel, you know I’ve created a lot of projects using file folders. I love their durability and flexibility. I’ve made everything from folios to mini albums, to travelers notebooks.


Today we’re making a 6.5” x 6.5” mini album with three interactive pages. This will be the first file folder mini I’ve done in this particular size, so BONUS!


In the video below, we start off with a walk-through of the finished By the Sea sample. Then we get to work!  This is a fun mini that anyone can make. I will walk you through a full, step-by-step assembly tutorial showing how to make this mini album foundation.



I give you the mat sizes and scoring info in the video, but see the end of this blog post for a list of the folder mats needed, along with a list of tools, and the products I used to decorate. At the end of the video, I also go over all of the supplies used. I’ve included a few fun tips on techniques I love to use, too! (See more on those below!)

I hope you will enjoy making this project! As I mentioned in the video, change up the theme by using any of Graphic 45’s gorgeous collections with this versatile mini album foundation.


Fun tip!
Use the chipboard pieces as “charms” for a fun spine dangle. Cover the backs of the chipboard pieces with leftover scraps from your project.




Fun  Tip #2!

Did you know that the “regular” size Graphic 45 tag die fits perfectly on their 4” x 6” cut apart cards? What a fun way to cover your tags! Check out the large tags in these photos. They are decorated with tag mats cut from the 4x6 cards. The die fits perfectly on top of the card.I show you how in the video!


Fun Tip #3

You can also use the die as a “frame” to select the part of the paper design you want to showcase for your tag as I did with the ATC size tag in the above photo.

Technique Favorite!

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I love to put those little notches in my pockets. In the video, I show you how to use an Envelope Punch Board to do just that!


Video Tutorial:



[Tutorial] Down by the Sea Mini Album for Graphic 45 by Donna Kauffman



10-12 Letter Size, Three Tab File Folders. You will need:

  • 3 Top Tab
  • 2 Middle Tab
  • 1 Bottom Tab
  • 4-6 additional folders, any tab

Four Pairs of Small Magnets (8 total pieces)



  • 12” Paper Trimmer
  • 12” Scoreboard
  • Bone Folder
  • ⅜” Scor-tape (wider also if you have it for attaching the hinge mat)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Envelope Punch Board (optional)
  • Corner Rounder (optional)


(all cut from letter size file folders.)

Mini Album Cover: Cut 1 top tab letter size file folder to  a 6 ½” height x width of open folder.

  • Cut with the folder closed, cutting off the bottom portion of the closed folder, so the remaining piece is 6 ½” from top edge to bottom edge.

Exterior Spine Support Mat: 1 ⅞” x 6 ⅜”

Hinge Mat: 8” x 6 ¼”

Inside Front Cover Pocket Strips: 2 ½” x 1” and 1 ½” x 1”

Inside Front Cover Folder: 11” x 6” (11 ½” with the tab)

  • Cut from Top Tab folder and include the tab (11 ½” with tab)

Pages: (3) 6 ¼” x 6 ¼” mats, and (3) 7 ¼ x 6 ¼” mats. (Cut from any tab folder)

Page Pockets: (3) 7 ¼” x 3”

  • If notching these pockets, line up the top left corner at 3 ⅛” on your Envelope Punch Board.

Page Folders: (3) 11” x 6” (11 ½” with the tab)

  • Cut 1 w/ a Top Tab, 1 Center Tab, and 1 Bottom Tab

  • For Center Tab: Cut 2 ¾” from the top and bottom of the closed folder, so tab is centered in the final mat. Then cut to 11” width. (11 ½” with the tab.0

Inside Back Cover Pocket: 7 ⅜” x 6 ¼”

  • If notching this pocket, line up the top left corner between 3 ⅝” and 3 ¾” on your Punch Board.

  • PLEASE NOTE: I give the incorrect measurement for this in the video. The correct measurement is edited on screen in the video. The correct measurement is also listed here.

Inside Back Cover Folder: 6 ¼” x 10” (10 ½” including the tab)

  • Cut from a closed center tab folder. Cut 2 ⅝” from the top and bottom edge to get a mat with the tab centered.


Lots of fun folders and tags, with page pockets roomy enough for more!



Graphic 45 Supply List:

By the Sea - Deluxe Collector's Edition

Regular Tags—Ivory

Artist Trading Tags–Ivory

Matte Pearl Gems

Regular Tag & Gears Dies

Large Tag, ATC Tag and Flower Dies





  • Assorted ribbon
  • 6” jewelry chain (cut to various lengths for spine dangles)
  • 1 Tim Holtz Ring Fastener
  • Hemp Rope & Fish Net Scrap (for cover decor)


Thanks so much for joining me as I embark on this exciting year with Graphic 45! I hope I’ve inspired you to give this fun mini album a try. I look forward to sharing more fun projects with you in the months to come!” ~Donna


Oh my goodness!  What a way to start off the year!  Be sure to join us in welcoming Donna in the comments below.  We are absolutely thrilled to introduce you to our 2019-2020 Brand Ambassadors this month.  Thank you kindly for stopping by.  Have a fabulous day and have fun creating your file folder mini albums!


Happy Papercrafting!

43 Comment(s)

Anne Schilling:
06/11/2019, 11:48:02 AM

Well let me be one of the first to welcome you!!!!! So thrilled you made the design team. I have loved your work for a few years now and can’t wait to make this! Thank you for the always very detailed instructions and your wonderful inspiration!

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 03:42:39 PM

Anne, thank you so much! You do such beautiful work. I love that you're enjoying my projects and tutorials!

Deborah Cox:
06/11/2019, 11:51:56 AM

I am a big fan of Donna's and so excited to see her here! Thanks for sharing this tutorial, love it!

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 03:43:24 PM

Deb, thank you so much! I'm so glad you're enjoying it. :)

Jan M:
06/11/2019, 11:56:03 AM

This is fascinating. I am already assembling my components. Thanks for this project in one of my favorite paper collections.

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 03:44:03 PM

Jan, yay! I hope you have a blast making this project! :)

Kim Russell:
06/11/2019, 12:07:52 PM

Well done Donna! What a lovely project.

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 03:44:32 PM

Thank you, Kim! :)

Sherry Hawa:
06/11/2019, 12:17:13 PM

I am definitely one of Donna's biggest fans. She never fails to amaze me with her projects, and this project doesn't disappoint! I love this paper and the mini book and will certainly be making this project. Donna, so happy to see you as an ambassador and look forward to additional projects! Thanks so much!

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 03:45:24 PM

Thank you so much, Sherry! That is so sweet of you to say. I hope you have a blast with this!

Michelle Stanley:
06/11/2019, 12:29:11 PM

Welcome Donna and thank you so much for sharing your wonderful mini album. Well done!

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 03:46:05 PM

Thank you for the warm welcome, Michelle! So glad you enjoyed the project.

Sue D:
06/11/2019, 12:31:59 PM

Fabulous--I love lighthouses.

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 03:46:48 PM

Thanks, Sue! So do I. Love this collection. :)

Martie Rollin:
06/11/2019, 12:36:43 PM

As a subscriber to Donna's YouTube channel, I have enjoyed seeing many of her delightful mini albums. LOVE her use of sturdy file folders!! I'm so happy that G45 has added this artist, and teacher, to Brand Ambassador status! I'm setting aside the afternoon to watch this entire video tutorial. Her instructions are always clear and easy to follow. She answers all your questions with her informative narratives. Love this paper collection, one of my personal favorites!

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:17:43 PM

Thank you so much, Martie! I'm so happy to hear you're enjoying the projects. I really appreciate your kind words. :)

Annette Green:

I can’t tell you how delighted I am that Donna is on the team! I love her work and she’s a delightful person as well. (AND, I’ve read some of her books too!) This is a super example of the creations Donna makes and I just know everyone is going to LOVE following her this year. Bravo Donna on another fabulous project and a generous tutorial!

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:19:09 PM

Aw, thank you so much, Annette, for such a lovely endorsement! I so admire and appreciate your work, you are truly inspirational for me. xoxo

Sue MacFall:
06/11/2019, 01:10:17 PM

Great album to start your year. Thank you Donna, I am off to watch the video now.

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:19:43 PM

Thank you so much, Sue! I hope you enjoy the project. :)

Katherine Buchanan:
06/11/2019, 01:12:02 PM

Managed to catch the last of the premier!! Inspiration overload!

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:20:19 PM

I love it! I hope you have a great time with the project. I'd LOVE to see what you come up with!! :)

Sharon Gullikson:
06/11/2019, 01:12:02 PM

WOW, amazing. How great that you used real rope, and real net. The papers you chose look so wonderful on the album. I am in awe of this project. G45 picked the right person to be an ambassador...

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:21:14 PM

Thank you, Sharon, for all the kind words! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I hope you have fun giving it a try! :)

Vanessa LeClear:
06/11/2019, 01:39:13 PM

Welcome, Donna! Love the project! Thanks for sharing the tips and tutorial.

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:21:44 PM

Thank you so much, Vanessa! :)

Sylvia Rivera:
06/11/2019, 01:46:29 PM

Just watched the video of your lovely album and loved it! You explain the process so well that I came away thinking "I could do this". Also enjoyed all the tips and tricks you shared. Thank you for sharing and congrats on becoming a G45 Brand Ambassador, you truly deserve it. I look forward to seeing more of your projects.

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:23:19 PM

Hi Sylvia! You CAN do this! It's a fun project and I'm there with you every step of the way. Grab some file folders and go for it! I know it will be wonderful. :)

Carole Effting Lohr:
06/11/2019, 01:59:04 PM

Thank you, Donna, for all the cute ideas and touches you have given me. Turning the chipboard pieces into charms...who knew?!

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:24:08 PM

I'm so glad you found some inspiration! Happy charm-ing!! :)

Bev Drake:
06/11/2019, 02:19:03 PM

Congratulations Donna on a wonderful project which I really love. Look forward to seeing more of your wonderful work in the future.

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:24:49 PM

Thank you so much, Bev!! I'm looking forward to a fun year. :)

Ellen Haydon:
06/11/2019, 02:21:12 PM

I can't wait to make this great project. I will make more that just one of these with several collections. Thanks for all of the tips and the tutorial. Love your books too.

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:26:00 PM

Hi Ellen! Yay! I'm so glad you're inspired to dive in and play. I'd love to see what you come up with! It's so fun to see these projects with different paper collections. And yay on being one of my book readers, too! Happiness all around. :)

06/11/2019, 03:20:40 PM

Love Donna's work. She is a fantastic mini album maker and so inspiring. I have purchased a few tutorials from her and have enjoyed making them-they came out so beautiful. Can't wait to make this one.

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:26:54 PM

Thank you, Traci! I'm so glad you're enjoying the projects. I hope you have a blast with this one!

Barbara Daws:
06/11/2019, 03:46:59 PM

So glad G45 chose Donna as an Ambassador! She is so inspiring and gives us so many wonderful ideas. Looking forward to making this mini album.

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:27:45 PM

Aw, thank you so much, Barbara! So happy you're finding inspiration. I hope you have fun with this project!

Sheri E:
06/11/2019, 04:39:36 PM

I love this project! I will be making this one for sure. Thank you so much for the tutorial.

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:28:17 PM

You're so very welcome. I had so much fun with it. I hope you'll give it a try!

Paula R:
06/11/2019, 05:22:00 PM

Another great folio project. Have several of your tutorials and have been very happy with them all. You are so thorough and innovative in all your tutorials. So happy G45 now has you an ambassador. Congratulations on your beautiful project!

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:29:06 PM

Thank you, Paula! I'm so happy to hear you're enjoying my other projects and tutorials as well. I hope you give this one a try! :)

Barbara G.:
06/11/2019, 06:08:45 PM

I love the mini albums and am looking forward to more of Donna's creations! Love this By the Sea collection.

Donna Kauffman:
06/11/2019, 06:30:01 PM

Thank you so much, Barbara! I love this collection, too. I was so happy to have the chance to play with it again. Perfect for my kick off project! :)

Florence Davis:
06/11/2019, 07:20:40 PM

Super duper project as always, Donna ! Looking forward to seeing more scrapbooking fun in the coming year.

Joyce G.:
06/11/2019, 07:57:40 PM

Welcome to the Graphic 45 team Donna. Love your first project for Graphic 45, can’t wait to get started making one.

Dianne Hart:
06/11/2019, 08:52:55 PM

Fabulous as usual Donna❣️❣️❣️ I love how you used the signature page to decorate the front of the album and the fish net on the back is perfect!

Jeane A:
06/11/2019, 10:41:26 PM

Donna- another WOW project from you! Your work never ceases to amaze me and you make everything appear so easy - your directions are always spot on. Great first G45 project - I know that you will continue to provide us with your wonderful projects using the beautiful Graphic 45 papers!!

Carla Hundley:
06/12/2019, 12:13:09 AM

Fabulous work on this and love the charms. Carla from Utah

Debbie Siddle:
06/12/2019, 12:25:10 AM

LOVE it! Absolutely marvellous projects and tutorial. xxx

Nancy Wethington:
06/12/2019, 04:05:37 AM,

You are such a wonderfully creative asset to this team. So happy for you and can't wait to see you in September! Love everything you create.

Jenny MacRunnel:
06/12/2019, 04:44:17 AM

This is a stunning album, Donna! I can't wait to try it!

Dorothy McCarthy:
06/12/2019, 06:56:19 AM,

Thank you! This is so cool!

06/12/2019, 07:52:03 AM

This is fabulous and I love the fact that you have some fish net scrap in your stash!

RJ Zaczyk:
06/12/2019, 12:35:42 PM

Donna, a wonderful album with tips, thank you for sharing! I love your creations!

Nancy B:
06/12/2019, 02:38:57 PM

Wow!! you did such a nice job breaking it all down for us Love the album papers are so pretty. Love your Tutorials. Congrats on becoming The Brand Ambassador.

06/12/2019, 05:45:32 PM

I love this project & this paper! With all of the clear instructions & great tips I think I could actually accomplish this. Excited to try it with a different collection as well.

Deborah L Wilson:
06/13/2019, 09:06:18 AM

I KNEW you would do something awesome with this paper line and you did! Thank you so much! I am going to Maine in August to spend a week with my sister and we are going to do this album!

Lynn Harrell:
06/13/2019, 10:18:20 PM

Wow, Donna really took it over the top. Love this collection so much. Reminds me of being at the beach with my mom and sisters. Big fan of Donna's mini books.

Athna-May Porter:
06/13/2019, 11:26:16 PM

I Love this Mini-album! Did I miss what you used to apply the paper to the folders? Scor-tap? Glue? Tape runner??? Thank you for letting me know. I am new to mini-books!

Gloria Stengel:
06/15/2019, 11:25:30 AM,

This is a stunning project, beautifully photographed! I love Donna's style and cannot wait to see more! Welcome to the team, Donna! I look forward to getting to know you better!

Debbie Siddle:
06/19/2019, 05:52:46 AM

The seaside is a favourite motif, and, G45 is my favourite craft company, plus I love albums, along with your project design, so this is a definite winner xxxxx

Sondra Kolner:
05/02/2020, 10:08:52 AM

Beautiful album and I appreciate you take your time and explain everything. I do have a question: Would it be easier to decorate your page before attaching the pocket page? I just finished an album and found it annoying to cut the paper after the pocket. It came out fine I just didnt enjoy it.

Edith Huertes Sánchez-Cabezudo:
06/27/2020, 12:25:04 PM

Buenas tardes, le hablo desde España, quisiera saber como hacerme con el material para elaborar el album " the sea side" . le rogaria me informara, precios y forma de envio.un saludo y muchas gracias.

Lynda Wilson:
08/31/2020, 08:43:09 PM

What a great video, you’re already an “old pro” at this as nobody would know it’s your first! Beautiful album & great instructions & tips -Thank You! I’m planning out making one myself with Raining Cats & Dogs. Happy Crafting!

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