Sunday 10 August 2014

Finally I can show you! (52 Reasons Mini Album)

Okay, if you can read this post then that means it's FINALLY my partner and I's 10th anniversary of being together!  This means I've been able to give her the Mini album a made for her, so can show it to you guys!  It has been finished for a few weeks now and I've been impatiently counting down the days!

This post is VERY picture heavy, but I hope you find it well worth the read and as much fun as this project was for me to make!

This is the first mini album I've made, and there are a small number of lessons learnt for the next one, should I be so brave! I'll list these at the end of this post.

The album is constructed from a sandwich of brown corrugated box card and cereal box card.  This has given it wonderful structure and was easy (and free!) to source.  I worked out the dimensions by noting the diameter of the book rings that I used to bind the album together as well as the playing cards that form the pages.

The Papers used to cover the album are 12" square papers from my stash. The wording on the front cover was cut on a Silhouette Cameo (not mine, boo hoo!), out of black cardstock, and stuck on with Anita's PVA glue.

I sandwiched two pieces of white organza ribbon in between the paper covering the outside of the album and the lining paper, thus creating a ribbon tie closure.

I went ribbon crazy, decorating and disguising the 3" book rings on the outside of the album, using lots of widths and types of ribbons and lace in reds, creams, oranges and blacks, with the odd silver one thrown in! 

I melted each end of all the ribbon pieces using a lighter, to prevent fraying.

I created two bead strings, threading different beads on to a very strong embroidery thread and securing though a couple of the ribbons on the top book ring.

So, on to the inside of the album. As already mentioned, a deck of playing cards made up the pages, and this is the deck I used, before any alterations were made!  This is one deck out of a two deck set from WH Smiths, that Claire and I bought at an airport on our very first (and only!) holiday abroad together, many years ago!

Firstly I distressed the back sides of every card with Distress Ink in "Worn Lipstick".

I wrote all my "52 Reasons" on to individual rectangles of copier paper, half in black and half in red.  I distressed the edges of these rectangles with "Gathered Twigs" Distress Ink and stamped the little hearts using the same ink pad.

Then I layered each reason onto the same colour card stock and after choosing my final order, stuck these to the cards, matching the ink colour to the colour of the card's suit.  (and no, I am NOT showing you all my mushy reasons ;-) )

The numbers 1 to 52 were then glued to the back of each card.  These numbers were also cut by a Cameo.

I fancied up the first "page" and the last 2 "pages" in the album to give a bit more detail, and to disguise the reverse of those pages.  I used acrylic paint in white as a primer and whilst still wet stuck pieces of bakers twice to create a textured surface. 

Once dry I applied a few coats of red, coarsely painted over, adding white highlights to the raised areas created by the bakers twine.  I finished the front "page" off with a die cut heart stuck on with Pinflair glue gel holding a string of black sequins in place.  The sequin string is finished off with tiny "made with love" charms".

The second to last and front side of the back pages were painted with the red acrylic paint, and then had paper and black card layered onto them.  Onto these I have added photos of Claire and I (which I'm keeping private!).

The last page was painted with the red acrylic and finished off with the bakers twine, the match the first page.

And finally, the inside covers of the album itself are lined with matching papers, and I added a few more personal touches.  The inside front cover has a pocket with two tags one which I added more photos of Claire and I.  The little hearts are attached with Pinflair glue gel to add a bit of dimension.

The inside back cover has a "final thought" from me, hidden under a folding back "Don't forget..." banner.  The hearts are die cut, as is the intricate background to the final thought. I've added some faux stitching details in black fine liner to the inside of both the front and back covers.


And, that is it!  I do hope you have enjoyed this blog post, I'll leave you with one final photo of the inside of the album.


1... Be sure to leave enough of a gap between the cover and spine pieces otherwise the paper can split very easily (hence the separate paper section over the spine area, which actually made it look much better, but wasn't intended!).
2... Invest in a Crop-O-Dile!  I had to drill, yes DRILL the holes in the spine of the cover for the book rings to go through.
3... The more ribbons tied to the outside parts of the book rings the better!  These stop the book rings from shifting round, making for a nice sturdy fit.
I would please like to enter this project into the following challenges:


  1. this is a really lovely thing to do and very well done. thank you for sharing

  2. This is a beautiful work of art, thank you for sharing how you made it. Im sure she will treasure it forever. Congratulations to you both xx

  3. Beautiful work of art, such a lovely idea. I'm sure she will treasure it forever. It must have taken you hours to make and keeping it hidden must have been difficult. Congratulations to you both and hope you have many more happy years together. xx

  4. Gorgeous Design just perfect for our challenge over at Suzy Bee's....Thank you for sharing with us,
    we look forward to you joining in with the fun again next time...
    Suzy B ( Owner )

  5. This is so lovely. Thank you for sharing it. Isn't love a wonderful thing?

  6. WOW you sure have put a lot of work into this as well as love. It is fabulous and a brilliant idea.
    Linda xxx

  7. Bloody hell! This is absolutely amazing! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I'm so jealous! Truly outstanding. Wow! Erin xx

  8. Wow Sam stunning piece of work hun - a really thoughtful and beautiful gift hugs Judith x

  9. She will absolutely adore this work of art Sam, it is truly amazing.
    Janet xxx

  10. Such a sweet idea, thanks for joining us at Treasured Times,

    DT Deni

  11. This is a fabulous project and so much work! Thankyou for sharing this with the Allsorts Challenge Blog. Jo x

  12. Gorgeous album So much fabulous work... I adore it all... Thank you for joining us at Altered Eclectics... Hugs May x x

  13. What a wonderful album. Thanks for sharing your super creation for Suzy Bee's Bloomin' challenge 41 - hope to see you again soon, Hazel, DT (Sorry I'm so late with my comment, but I was away for the week with limited internet access) x

  14. What an incredibly beautiful personal gift which will be treasured I'm sure love all the elements and details and beautiful final thought --thanks for joining us at Crafting at the Weekend
    Carol DT x

  15. oops forgot to say congratulations to you both on your 10th anniversary
    Carol x

  16. This is beautiful work - TFS with us over at Altered Eclectics this month. Hugz xxx

  17. Sam this is AMAZING I have no words it's just stunning. I cannot even imagine how long this took a true labor of Love. Good Luck in the TTRS Challenge.

  18. Gorgeous project. Thanks for joining in our 'Anything Goes' challenge at Crafty Calendar this month.
    Bev x

  19. thats beautiful - i have tears in my eyes - such a stunning and thoughtful piece of art xx

  20. that is fantastic, really lovely gift, wonderful x


I really appreciate the time taken to read my posts and leave a message. It means a lot to me.

Thank you,