Saturday, April 14, 2018

Flexible Spine Mini Album by Gloria Stengel

Hello Mini Album Makers! It's Gloria with you today, from Scraps of Life Blog. It is my turn here on the Mini Album Makers Challenge Blog to share an extra tutorial for April. This is a special style of spine that I want to share, so let's get started! 

This is the mini I created, with a sewing theme, using the new Authentique Stitches paper collection. I do NOT sew, but my mother did, as did many of my aunts. I have a few friends who also sew. And while I do not sew or quilt myself, I love sewing odds and ends, and I also love pretty fabric! 

This mini is a LARGE size, measuring 8" x 8" x 2". The inside has four "stacked" pages! There are lots of pockets and flips and pull-outs! This is the perfect gift for someone who quilts and takes photos of their projects! 

Such a large mini requires a lot of cardstock and decorative paper! I had one 25-pack of dark brown cardstock and one 25-pack of natural cardstock on the desk. I used most of it! I also had FOUR, count 'em, FOUR sets of the 12" x 12" paper collection and used almost every scrap! If you want to make such a large mini, you do need lots of paper!

Here is a view of the flexible spine. What I mean by a flexible spine is that the spine is NOT made of chipboard, which would make a rigid spine. Instead, the spine curves and allows some "give" or "flex" in the opening and closing of the album. I love the look of these curved spines, but they can be a bit of a pain to make. Getting things measured and lined up can be a chore!

Let's get started! With this type of album, I always make the spine piece first.  

I cut the brown cardstock to 7 3/4" x 9 1/8". Since the covers are 8" tall, I need to make my spine just a tiny bit shorter, so I cut the cardstock at 7 3/4" tall. I do not want my pages to be the same height as the covers because it can cause the mini to look a bit messy. 

To make the hinges, score on the 9 1/8" side at: 2", 2 1/2", 3", 3 3/8", 3 7/8", 4 3/8", 4 3/4", 5 1/4", 5 3/4", 6 1/8", 6 5/8", 7 1/8".  Place double-sided adhesive on the 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th scored sections.

Use the double-sided tape to attach the 1/2" hinge sections together. Your hinge mechanism will have a 2" binding section at the beginning and end of the hinge.

Each of the four hinges will be 1/2" tall with a 3/8" gutter between each hinge. (I hear some folks call this gutter space a "gusset" but to me a gusset is something totally different! I have always called the space between pages a "gutter," so I will use that term.)

Flip the hinge mechanism over to the back. Now, we need to make sure that this piece is very STRONG or it will rip when we add our pages. This is especially true of a book this large. I used wide, double-sided tape to attach a piece of Tyvek to the back of my hinge. Tyvek is quite difficult to rip!  

Note: Tyvek is a a paper product that is thin, but very durable. In fact, they use it to wrap houses before they put on siding or stucco! My piece of Tyvek is a mailing envelope that I cut up! Anytime I get one of these in the mail, I hoard it for book-making!  

I covered the Tyvek with a piece of decorative paper cut to 7 3/4" x 5 1/4". Now, set your spine and hinge piece aside while we make the front and back covers.

For the covers, cut two pieces of chipboard to 8" x 8". Trim decorative paper to 10" x 10" and attach the chipboard to the center. Angle the corners and then wrap the chipboard with the paper. (You can use cardstock instead, but the decorative paper I used is pretty thick and wrapped nicely with ZERO cracking!

This is what the front of the covers and the spine/hinge look like. 

Flip the covers over so that the inside is facing up. Place double-sided adhesive on the inside edges of each piece. Make sure your covers are oriented the correct way if you have a directional pattern! 

Place your covers 2" apart. You may need to attach them to the table with some repositionable tape to hold the covers in place and to keep things lined up properly. I have a grid mat on my table, which helps me keep things straight.

REMEMBER! Your hinges are slightly shorter than your covers. Make sure you attach the hinge with about 1/8" of the cover showing at the top and the bottom of the hinge.

Attach the spine/hinge piece to the inside of the covers. Use the strongest adhesive you have!

Place some decorative paper onto the inside of the covers. I also added a pocket made from cardstock to my covers.

Here is what the front of the mini looks like, with the front cover on the right.

When you close the covers, gently curve the spine. Once your pages are attached, it will hold its shape.

You are now ready to add your pages. I did not do a tutorial for the pages, because you may make any style of page you wish! My pages are all 7 3/4" x 7 3/4". I attached the pages to the hinges, making 4 pages, 8 sides. Each page may have a pocket, flip up, or pull out portion.  (See below.) 

The inside front cover contains a large pocket. Page 1 has a side pull-out mat. Plus, the page has a band holding two small photo cards. (To view the interactive pages, check out the video attached below!)

Page 2 has a side flip-out. Page 3 has a top flip-up with a large pocket hidden underneath. I used tons of pretty paper, photo mats, and some great chipboard elements from our sponsor this month, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts!

Page 4 has a side side pull-out mat, plus a divided page flip-out. Each of the flip-outs has a pocket. Page 5 has one photo mat flip-up and a side side pull-out mat

Page 6 has a side  has a side flip-out containing a pocket. Plus, the page has a band holding two small photo cards. Page 7 has a top flip-up and a bottom flip-down (is that a word?!)!

Page 8 contains a side side pull-out mat and a fun waterfall element, with a hidden pocket! The inside back cover contains a large pocket.

Check out all the interactive elements by watching this video!

This was a fun project to make, and I would love to give it to someone who will add photos to each page!

The last thing I do when I make a mini album is decorate the cover! I save the cover until the end because I don't want to mess it up while I work on the inside of the book!

This cover is pretty simple...just a ton of paper flowers with a few sewing embellishments tucked around the fun title block!

Visit my blog for my full supply list and see my prize give away!!!

We hope you get a chance to play along this month. You could be a Mini Album Makers Challenge Winner and have a chance to win a Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Prize Pack!

Thanks for joining me today!