I just finished three accordion-style photo albums for my brothers, inspired by a recent segment on Martha Stewart's craft show on DIY. Mine are similar, with my own take. Want instructions? Okay!
1. I cut two pieces of cardboard for each album, each a generous 6" x 8". Using an archival glue stick, I glued on some batting to cover one side of each piece of cardboard and trimmed to size. Then I laid the cardboard, batting side down, on a piece of dupioni silk fabric, and trimmed to about 1/2" to 3/4" out from each edge. I glue-sticked the edges of fabric, folded down a triangle at each corner over the cardboard, then pressed down all the sides so that it looked smooth and neat. These will be the album covers.
2. Luckily I happened to have some sheets of watercolor paper that were 30" x 22". First I scored lines (Martha used a bone folder but I couldn't find mine, so I used another sharp plastic tool) into the paper, long edge to long edge at 6" intervals. It was easy to do using the same 6"x 18" wide ruler that I use with my rotary cutter on fabric. Then I folded along the scored lines like an accordion. After that, I cut an 8" x 30" strip. It will have five 8" x 6" sections. You can get two strips per sheet, with a 6" strip left over.
3. Are you with me so far? Good. Go get your album covers. Spread glue on the outermost 6" x 8" section with your glue stick, and press one album cover over it firmly. Now spread glue on the other outermost 6" x 8" section, on the other side of the strip, and press the other album cover over it firmly. Look at the photos to see how it should look. Fold album closed, place under some heavy books to dry overnight.
4. I found something called a "Collage Pad" by Provo Craft, available at Michael's, with twenty sheets of 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" handmade papers. I cut them in half and glued one down in each folded section, alternating placing them higher and lower in the spaces.
5. You will need eight 4" x 6" photos per album. I used four photos of my mother on one side, and four of my father on the other side. I chose to trim off any borders. (A paper cutter is a time-saver during steps 4 and 5.) Then I attached the photographs to the album sections, overlapping the handmade papers, using archival photo corners. Look at the photograph to see placement.
6. I rubber stamped a large leaf pattern on the album covers to make them a little more arty. There are all sorts of things that could be done - embroidery, iron-on applique, etc.
I am not a "scrapper." My albums may look minimal compared to what an expert scrapper would do, but I am happy with the results.
My dad had Alzheimer's, and my mother has Alzheimer's. These accordion albums will remind my brothers that our parents used to be vibrant people. My only regret is that I didn't make one for myself. (I will, I swear.)