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Create a Mini Album from Scratch

Posted by Graphic 45 01/24/2020 25 Comment(s) Mini Albums,Tutorials,


Hello, G45ers!

  In celebration of our Winter 2020 Release, we are thrilled to share this Ocean Blue Mini Album Tutorial by Gloria Stengel.  Gloria has been so kind as to show us how she created this mini album using our Chipboard Sheets and our soon to be released paper collection, Ocean Blue (available February 2020).  We encourage you to pull out your papers and create along with us, and when you are finished be sure to share your project with us on Instagram using the #Graphic45 hashtag.  


Ocean Blue Mini Album Tutorial

By Gloria Stengel

"I live near the Pacific Ocean and love anytime I can find beach and ocean themed paper! The stunning blue and soft tan of the Ocean Blue Collection are perfect for any beach vacation photos. This 6 ¼” x 6 ¼” x 2 ½” hand made mini album has six (6) pages of pockets, tuck spots, and flips! There is also a waterfall feature inside the front cover!


Welcome to a FULL tutorial for this beautiful, Ocean Blue mini album!

We will make a 6 ¼” x 6 ¼” x 2 ½” mini album to hold photos, journaling, and ephemera. It is easy to customize this album to fit your needs.


I will show you how to make a waterfall element inside the front cover of the album, plus we will add lots of flips, flaps, tuck spots, and pockets!


Let’s get started!


You need three pieces of heavy to medium weight chipboard to create the album base. Cut two pieces for the covers to 6 ¼” x 6 ¼”. Cut the spine piece to 6 ¼” x 2 ½”. 


Splice together tan cardstock to make a piece that measures 8 ¼” tall and 17 ½” wide. Place your chipboard pieces onto the cardstock, with a one-inch border all the way around. Make sure to space your spine chipboard piece approximately ¼” from the cover pieces to allow the album to open and close without cracking the cardstock.


Cut the corners of the cardstock an an angle, as shown. Add double-sided adhesive to the tabs. 


Then wrap your cardstock around the chipboard to give a finished edge. Gently score the gaps to open and close the covers. Be careful so that you don’t tear or crack the cardstock. 


The mini album will have six pages (12 sides). To make the hinges, cut six pieces of tan cardstock to 6 ⅛” x 1". Score each in half, fold and burnish. Place double-sided adhesive on one side of each score line, as shown. 


Cut two pieces of tan cardstock to 6 ⅛” x 1 ½”. Score both pieces at ½” and add double-sided adhesive to the ½” tab. Set these two pieces aside for now.


To add your first hinge, line up the fold of the hinge piece with the very edge of the spine chipboard piece, with the fold on the LEFT. The ½” hinge will stick up, and the ½” gutter will be to the right of the fold.


For the second hinge, place the fold to the RIGHT and overlap the gutter from hinge number one. The gutter for hinge number two will be up against hinge one. 


For hinges three through six, make sure the fold is to the RIGHT. The gutter for each hinge should be placed up against each previous hinge, as shown. There should be a ½” gutter between each hinge. For hinge number six, line up the fold of the hinge piece with the very edge of the spine chipboard piece, with the fold on the RIGHT. 


This is what your project should look like so far. The six hinges will cover the spine piece. Each hinge is 1/2" high and there is a 1/2" gutter between each hinge.


Locate the two pieces of tan cardstock you cut to 6 1/8" x 1 1/2". Place the 1/2" section on top of the first hinge to secure it in place (this will make the first hinge a double thickness). Once the piece is attached to the hinge, glue the 1" section to the inside front cover. Burnish and gently score the spine gap. 


Repeat with the last hinge and back inside cover. (This piece simply reinforces the spine.


Cut five strips of Ocean Blue Antigua paper to 6" x 3/8" and sponge the edges with brown or tan ink. Attach one paper strip to each hinge gutter, as shown. Gently fold the hinges back and forth to make them more flexible. 


Trim two pieces of Fiji paper to 6 1/8" x 6 1/8" and attach to the inside covers. (Sponge all papers for this project with ink, such as Decades Dark Cashmere, if desired.)


Tip: To keep from damaging your outside covers, decorate them last. Make sure to set aside enough paper and one ephemera card for your covers to make sure you have enough.


Let's add the pages to the mini album. Trim six pieces of tan cardstock to 6 1/8" x 6 1/8". Round the corners on one side of each page. Place adhesive on the left side of each hinge. 



Tip: I like to add my pages first, and then decorate them. I have fewer mishaps if I do it this way!


Attach a page to each hinge. Don’t worry that your hinges are showing on one side. Once we add the decorative paper, the hinge will be hidden.


Trim decorative paper for each page. Each decorative panel should measure 6" x 6". You will need twelve (12) pieces. Round the outside corners. Once you have paper on all the panels, you can decorate as desired. (See photos below.)


Tip: Cut the various printed papers to size, and then decide how you want them to be arranged before attaching paper to the pages. Once you are happy with the arrangement, glue everything down.


Let’s make the waterfall element before we decorate any of the pages.


To create the waterfall section inside the front cover, cut five panels from tan cardstock to 4 5/8" tall by 3 1/8" wide. Score on the short side at 1/2". Round the corners opposite your score lines. 


Fold on the score lines, making sure to fold the 1/2" tab to the back of the panel. Place double-sided adhesive onto the resulting 1/2" tabs. Start at the top edge of the cover and add your panels. Line up the first panel with the top edge of the cover, in the center of the cover. 


Continue to attach the panels, lining up the folded edge of each panel to the bottom edge of the tab of each previous panel. 


Place a magnet onto the top waterfall panel as shown above. Cut a strip of tan cardstock to 4" x 1" and wrap it from the bottom of the cover up to the top waterfall panel. (You need to add this panel BEFORE adding your decorative paper to the FRONT of your mini album.)


Add a magnet to the strip. The magnet will line up with the magnet you placed on the first waterfall panel. Cut two pieces of decorative paper to 3 ⅜” x ⅞” and cover both sides of the cardstock strip. Round the corners if desired.


This closure will also help your waterfall to stay neat and tidy. 


Cut five pieces of dark blue cardstock to 4” x 3” and use to mat five (5) ephemera cut-aparts from Cozumel paper (trim the cut-aparts to 3 ⅞”x 2 ⅞”). Round the corners, as shown. 


Tip: If you have the Ocean Blue Ephemera and Journaling cards, you may use them instead of the cut-aparts.


Add one of the matted ephemera cut-aparts to the top of each waterfall panel.


Trim five (5) pieces of decorative paper to 3" x 4" and add to the back of the waterfall panels. Round the corners as shown. 


Cut five (5) decorative paper strips to ⅜” x 3” and add to the tabs of each waterfall panel.


Add an embellishment to the top of the closure strip, if desired. I added a sea turtle charm.


Let’s decorate the pages of our album!


Create a little notebook for Page One. 


Cut dark blue cardstock to 8 ¼” x 4 ⅛”, score at 4 ⅛” and burnish. Round the corners. Cut two (2) pieces of tan cardstock to 8” x 4” and score at 4”. Round the corners. Cut one yard of blue twine. 


 Fold the cardstock together and secure with twine to make a fun little notebook for some journaling.


Add decorative paper to the blue cardstock panels. Cut the paper to 4” x 4” and round the corners as shown. 


Glue the little booklet to the center of Page One.


Decorate the front of the booklet with a border stip and a cut apart image.


Pages Two and Three.


We will create a pocket and two photo mats for Page Two.


Cut tan cardstock to 7 ⅛” x 3 ½” and score on three sides at 1/2" to make the pocket tabs. Place double-sided adhesive on the tabs, fold and burnish, making sure the adhesive side is toward the page. You want to glue the pocket to the page, not to itself!


Attach the pocket to the right edge of the page as shown above. Trim decorative paper to cover the pocket to 6” x 2 ⅞”. 


Decorate the pocket with cheesecloth, a seahorse charm, a small shell, a small piece of sea glass, and a fussy cut postage stamp image.


To create photo mats, cut tan cardstock to 5 ⅞” x 4” and round the corners.


Tip: To create interest on photo mats and journaling spots, draw a design around the edges with a dark blue journaling pen or marker.


Cut a large photo mat for Page Three. Trim tan cardstock to 5” x 5”, round the corners, and attach the cardstock to the center of Page Three. Add a small, glass bottle of glitter and beads to the corner of the photo mat. I used a rolled “message” as the bottle stopper. I also added a fussy cut postage stamp image. 


Tip: Be careful when attaching embellishments to photo mats. You want to make sure that you can slip your photos under the embellishments.


Pages Four and Five. To create the band on page four, cut a border strip from the decorative paper, and attach on either edge with foam adhesive. You can now tuck photos, journaling pages, or ephemera under the band.


The angled pocket on Page Five is easy to make. Cut a square of tan cardstock to 6" x 6" and cut it in half diagonally. Set one of the resulting triangles aside. Score the triangle on the two 90 degree edges at ½” to make the pocket tabs. Attach the pocket to the lower left corner of Page Five. Trim decorative paper to 4 ⅞” x 4 ⅞” and cut in half diagonally. Use one of the resulting triangles to decorate the pocket. Set the other triangle aside.


To make the card, trim tan cardstock to 11” x 4 ¼” and score at 5 ½” on the long side to make an A2 size card. Round the bottom corners. Trim two pieces of decorative paper to 5 ⅜” x 4 ⅛” and attach one to the front and one to the back of the card. Trim an ephemera card from the decorative paper and attach to the card front. 


The inside of the card is perfect for journaling. Tuck the card into the pocket.


Pages Six and Seven. Trim out an ephemera card and attach it to the top of Page Six to make a tuck spot.


To make the flip card for Page Seven, trim tan cardstock to 11” x 4 ¼” and score at 5 ½” on the long side to make an A2 size card. Round the bottom corners. 


Glue the flip card to the center of Page Seven. Trim a piece of decorative paper to 5 ⅜” x 4 ⅛” and attach it to the front of the card. 


Trim two more  pieces of decorative paper to 5 ⅜” x 4 ⅛” and attach them to the inside of the card, rounding the corners as shown. 


Pages Eight and Nine. Trim border strips (and a sticker strip) to create tuck spots on both pages.


Pages Ten and Eleven. Follow the directions for Page Two to create a pocket and two photo mats for Page Ten. Decorate the pocket with a cut apart.


Follow the directions for Page Five to create a diagonal pocket and card for Page Eleven.



Decorate the pocket with sea glass, stones, and a fussy cut postage stamp image. Tuck the card into the pocket.


Page Twelve and the inside back cover. Trim a border strip to create a tuck spot for Page Twelve.


For the inside back cover, create a large pocket, as shown. Trim tan cardstock to 7 ¼” x 4 ½”. Score on three sides at ½” from the edges. Fold the tabs, then add adhesive to the tabs and attach the pocket to the left side of the inside back cover as shown.


Trim decorative cardstock to 6" x 3 ⅞” and attach to the pocket. Add an ephemera card to the pocket, as shown.


Create a 5 ¾” x 5 ¾” top-fold card from tan cardstock. Trim decorative paper to 5 ⅝” x 5 ⅝”, rounding the corners as shown. Attach the paper to the front of the card. Add an ephemera card tuck spot to the front of the card.


Trim two more pieces of decorative paper to 5 ⅝” x 5 ⅝”, rounding the corners as shown. Attach the paper to the inside panels of the card. Add a fussy cut image as shown.


Trim decorative paper to 5 ⅝” x 5 ⅝”, rounding the corners as shown. Attach the paper to the back of the card. Place the card into the pocket.


Let’s decorate the covers of your mini album! I always decorate my covers LAST. I am pretty rough on the covers while I am decorating the inside, so I like to save the covers until the end.


Tip: When saving your covers for last you MUST plan ahead to insure that you save enough paper to decorate the covers and spine. 


For the front cover, cut a piece of decorative paper that is just slightly smaller than 6 1/4" x 6 1/4".  Attach the paper to the cover. Mat one of the ephemera cards cut from Cozumel paper with dark blue cardstock. Attach the image to a piece of scrap chipboard and then glue it to the center of the cover.


Decorate the cover with cheese cloth, twine, shells, and a tiny bottle of sand. Glue some beads to one corner of a postage stamp image and glue the stamp to the top of the twine as shown.


Cut paper to 6 ¼” x 2 ½” for the spine. Attach a Shabby Chic Keyhole to the spine as shown. Add silver Matte Pearl Gems to the keyhole, then add a fussy cut postage stamp image. Use foam tape to attach the postage image.


Cut decorative paper that is just slightly smaller than 6 1/4" x 6 1/4" and attach it to the back cover.


You are finished! Thanks for joining me today!"


~Gloria - Scraps of Life


Graphic 45 Supplies Used:


Other Supplies Used:

  • Art Glitter Gala Glitz - Blue
  • Sea glass, stones, sand, and shells
  • Small bottles
  • Cheese cloth
  • Twine
  • Beads and charms
  • Blue and tan cardstock
  • Blue marker
  • Magnets
  • Various adhesives



Happy Papercrafting!  



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25 Comment(s)

01/24/2020, 12:15:46 PM

I enjoyed the instruction as I wanted to see how someone did the hinges and waterfall. It is my experience that even with the best scortape over time it dries out. It might not have happened to you but it will. I make albums and the ones that are not quick selling I have to reinforce with wet glue as the tape dries out. Thank you

Gloria Stengel:
01/27/2020, 04:23:06 PM

In all my many years, I have never had a problem with Scor-tape or red line tape. But any wet glue dries out over time. Climate may be a big factor. We all need to use what we find best. Happy crafting!

michelle araujo:
12/07/2020, 06:31:44 PM

Thank you for this tutorial. I love a clearly written tutorial with great pictures! I am a visual learner and it really helps me. I am always wanting to learn new techniques for my albums.

01/24/2020, 12:19:09 PM

Awesome album and tutorial with great Ocean Blue designs! Thanks for sharing!!!

01/24/2020, 12:32:12 PM

Stunning def going to give this a go love the papers

01/24/2020, 12:53:43 PM

What a fantastic project - I cannot wait to try this!! Thank you so much for the awesome tutorial!

Kim Wiechers:
01/24/2020, 01:35:03 PM

Most of the graphics/pictures are missing for the "Mini Album from Scratch" instructions.

01/25/2020, 05:53:21 AM,

What a wonderful album, Gloria! I love any beach-themed paper, too! And you made it even more adorable with your design. Thank you for the inspiration! Kind regards from HirschEngelchen Anka

Ellen Haydon:
01/25/2020, 12:42:28 PM

Boy Oh Boy. I love this project and the great tips and tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful talent.

01/25/2020, 12:43:17 PM

WOW! what a beautiful album Gloria. Hopefully we will get these gorgeous papers here in New Zealand so I can make this album as well. Jeanette, New Zealand.

Rosemary Sokolowski:
01/25/2020, 02:32:11 PM

Gloria, It is so nice of you to make a complete tutorial showing how this beautiful mini is made. I appreciate all the time that this took to do and that you would share it with all your viewers. Many designers will do a video but you don't always get all the sizes, etc. only the look of the finished product.

Gloria Stengel:
01/27/2020, 04:25:34 PM

You are so very welcome! I am glad to find folks who still like step by step tutorials!

Lillis Martin:
01/25/2020, 07:51:27 PM

Gorgeous job!

Jill McAuley:
01/25/2020, 10:48:53 PM

Thank you Gloria for such a clear and detailed tutorial. This paper is stunning, but of course you can use this album "recipe" with any of the Gr45 collections. Did you use E6000 to glue the bottles and rocks? Would Glossy Accents work?

Gloria Stengel:
01/29/2020, 11:21:15 AM

I actually used Ranger Multi Medium on the glass bottles, but Glossy Accents should work. I use the multi medium as it dries with a matte finish rather than glossy. I don't like the smell of E6000 so I never use it. I don't use hot glue on glass or metal as it tends to turn brittle (the glue) especially if it gets cold. I use hot glue for flowers and "soft" embellishments. I just received a new glue, which I need to try. It is called Better Ultimate Adhesive by Cemedine Co. It is supposed to be low odor. I will report back. ;)

Glenda Buster:
01/26/2020, 07:34:23 PM

Thanks for the wonderful tutorial! Now I’m even more excited for the release of Ocean Blue!

01/28/2020, 10:09:12 AM

Thank you for this Gloria - it really is so good to have all instructions and all measurements. It will be nice to just follow a complete "recipe" without having to try and muddle through or make it up. I think lots of crafters need that from time to time for complete stress free creating....sort of a rest for your mind, whilst still making something fantastic! It looks beautiful. Thank you again. :-)

Gloria Stengel:
01/29/2020, 11:16:55 AM

Thank you, Trudy! It is always nice to know that folks love the step-by-step!

01/28/2020, 11:04:40 PM

Love this! I can’t wait to get my hands on this gorgeous collection! I too love anything beach/sea/ocean themed. Thank you for the very detailed, easy to follow tutorial!

01/29/2020, 10:40:11 AM

Wow, beautiful!

Gloria Stengel:
01/29/2020, 11:22:38 AM,

Thank you for all the lovely comments. Making step-by-step tutorials is a labor of love, for sure! As long as y'all keep loving them, I will keep writing them. Hugs! ;)

Loretta Cortes:
02/19/2020, 02:35:37 PM

I am not all that creative, but I love crafting. Step by step tutorials are a must for me. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into your awesome tutorials. Thanks so much!

Carolyn Hines:
01/31/2020, 02:48:22 PM

I love this album, and your directions are very clear. That Ocean Blue theme is just so rich and beautiful that I feel warmer just looking at it.

02/01/2020, 11:34:31 AM

This is such a beautiful album. Can't wait to make one just like it! Thank you so much for the detailed tutorial.

Ruth Ann:
02/15/2020, 07:32:36 AM

Gorgeous album! I live on the NC Outer Banks and this paper was calling to me. Your tutorial is wonderful. I've been making albums for a few years but still love step by step tutorials so I can learn new tricks and techniques. Your's is very well written and easy to understand. Thank you!

Colleen Queen:
05/29/2020, 12:06:57 PM

Thank you for this amazing step by step tutorial. I would never tackle this project without your detailed instructions. Special thanks for the hints you included along the way as well as tips for glues etc. I have the paper so will be ready to go once I have the card stock & decorative supplies. You're an inspiration!

06/03/2020, 09:24:44 PM

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous- it doesn’t hurt you’re crafting with that beautiful line! Thank u so much for the time & effort to share ur talent with fellow crafters!

Robin Poupard:
06/15/2020, 12:24:00 PM

Beautiful!!!! Is there any way to print out this tutorial?

Robin Poupard:
06/15/2020, 12:24:00 PM

Beautiful!!!! Is there any way to print out this tutorial?

Carol j. Edholm:
11/24/2020, 01:59:17 PM

Love that the instructions are all laid out! This is a great way to learn how to do these types of books. I look forward to making more with a variety of papers.

susan lesley Tyler:
12/29/2020, 02:40:36 PM

I have just found this tutorial and it gorgeous, thank you for sharing it.

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