Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tutorial - Make your own chip board album

I wanted to make something special for my 2 big sisters this Christmas. My sisters are my world... Having a busy single mama, they were the ones who answered my questions and wiped my tears growing up. They taught me things, gave me advice, and have always been there for me to pick me up when I was down.

It's funny, because both of my sisters HATE to cook. They just have no interest in learning and couldn't be bothered. My mom always says I'm the one with the cooking gene. Regardless, I'm always trying to get them to try it out and encouraging them to make something. Cooking is so FUN! So I decided to make them a book of recipes. Not just any recipes, but our family recipes. The same side dishes that my mama has been making every holiday for as far back as I can remember (the ones I have finally mastered!). Sweet potato casserole, fruit salad, mashed potatoes, stuffing, deviled eggs, and potato salad. One day in the (far, FAR) future when my mom is no longer with us, I want them to be able to make these dishes and think of a time we were all together, sitting around the table and talking about horribly inappropriate things.

I have always loved chipboard albums, but they intimidate me. So much creativity and detail goes into making them and I never thought I could pull one off, much less two of them! Until a few months ago when my best friend made one for her baby girl and I saw the process step by step. I thought, I could do that! And although it was risky, I wanted to try it out for the first time and give them as gifts to my sisters. So here's a step by step tutorial created by me, for you. Don't be intimidated. Make one! They make a great gift for any occasion, or you can keep it for yourself. You can fill them with family photos, romantic keepsakes, or recipes like I did. There's so many options!

Chip board album tutorial. (Excuse the crappy point and shoot photos. As usual.)

You will need:

  • pieces of chip board in your desired size (found at michaels or scrapbooking stores)
  • scissors
  • glue stick (I needed 2)
  • hole punch
  • nail file or emery board
  • scrapbook paper
  • ribbon
  • metal rings that open and close (found at staples or office supply stores)
  • distressing ink (optional)
  • desired embellishments and/or photos

Step 1.

I found large square chip board pieces (looks like card board) at my local scrapbooking shop for about 30 cents each and bought 6 of them. Using scissors I measured and cut them into my desired size. Each piece would be 1 page of the album (and don't forget a front and back page) You can buy pre-made chip board albums ready to decorate, but they tend to be overpriced when it's so easy to make yourself.

Step 2.

Once you have your pieces all cut you will need to choose your scrapbook paper. Because I was giving these as Christmas gifts, I decided to go with holiday themed paper. It's easiest to choose these all ahead of time and arrange them in the order of your pages. This was easily my favorite part. It's like choosing outfits for a fashion show; everything must be cohesive. Make sure to have paper for both the front and back of each piece of chip board.

Step 3.

After your papers have been chosen and arranged you will need to trace the pieces of chipboard on each piece of paper and cut them out. If your paper has a white back (versus double sided paper) I would use that side to trace so you don't have to worry about erasing pencil lines. Try to get as exact as possible. This will make future steps easier.

Step 4.

Once you have your chip board pages and scrapbook paper cut out, it's time to glue! Using a glue stick, cover the entire piece of chip board with glue (use a generous amount), line up the scrapbook paper and stick it on! Rub your hands on the outside of the paper to secure it. Once it's on, you shouldn't be able to move the paper in any direction. Glue pieces of paper on both the front and back of each page.

Step 5.

Let your pages dry for 15-20 minutes. Then get your nail file or emery board and file each side of each page until the paper is completely flesh with the chip board and the sides are smooth. If you notice the paper coming off during this step just add a little more glue to that section and press down until secure. At this point you can choose to distress the edges of your pages or leave them as is. I actually did one of each because I couldn't decide which one I liked better. I don't have photos of the distressed album, but below is a photo of a distressed gift tag from Brown Paper Packages (she's the distressing master!) in case you're not familiar with the process.

Step 6.

So now all your pages are done! Next you're going to punch holes on the left hand side of each page. Make sure to line them up and mark where you want the holes to be so they match up. You can do one hole in the top corner, 2 holes on the top/bottom, or 3 holes going down as I did. It's completely up to you! Then put your metal rings through the holes and tie a little piece of ribbon around each one. Normally I like the busy, cluttered look for this type of thing and would do 3 pieces of ribbon for each ring, but because I knew these were recipe books I only did one piece of ribbon per ring to be practical.

Step 7.

This is your final step! It's time to embellish! There is no right or wrong way to do this... it's all personal preference! As I said before, you can put pictures, keepsakes, or recipes (or anything really) on your pages. Then decorate! I found rhinestones, stickers, scrapbook embellishments, buttons, and ribbons and just went to town on each page! Be creative and try things out! If you get stuck you can always look at other albums for inspiration (try Etsy for photos).

So there you have it! I think it turned out great for my first one! And most importantly, my sisters both loved them. I'm planning on making another one soon with pictures of Cayden. I'm thinking a nautical theme to go with his nursery. Really, the possibilities are endless!

If you end up making one of these (which I hope you do!) please, share pictures! I would love to see what creations you come up with!

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