Have you ever found yourself wandering the aisles of your favorite store and wondering what would make the perfect gift for that upcoming birthday, holiday, wedding, birth, or anniversary? Unfortunately for me (or should I say luckily for my wallet's sake) I don't really have that opportunity! I live in a tiny town in Wyoming which only has a grocery store and a couple hardware stores. Needless to say, that has posed quite the challenge for me with shopping for that perfect gift!
I have had to resort to Internet shopping or having my mom buy it and attach my name to it (THANKS MOM!). Overall, I haven't really been feeling like I have been putting my heart into the gifts I have been giving. So when my beautiful new niece was born I decided to go shopping in my own home (and no I am not talking about re-gifting).
What I found jump-started my creativity and made me feel as if the gift I was giving was genuinely coming from the heart; something that she and her parents could cherish for a long time to come. A handmade mini-album was my perfect solution! Check out all my fun pages below. (Photos to be added when baby arrives.)Steps:
First, I found a completely gender-neutral paper pad and dug in my scraps for something to 'girl it up'.
Next, I looked through my albums (I keep a few on hand-I buy them on sales for just in case moments such as this) and found one I could incorporate with the colors of the paper pad.
Third, I pulled all embellishments that would help me tie it all together, including: buttons, ribbon, stickers, rub-ons, flowers, and some bling (because every girl needs a little even if they are only a few days old!). I don't always use all of these, but I like to have them on hand to keep the creativity flowing.
Fourth, I chose a layout scheme that I could follow in a pattern, but could be moved from one side to the next or switched from top to bottom to make it look a little different. (It is best to stick with the basics here if you want to keep your project moving quickly.)
Lastly, I started cutting out paper, organizing my pages, and putting it all together. (I like to put my cardstock sheets in each page section to organize my color pattern and establish what accent paper I will use.)
patterned paper (SEI paper pack/stash/Making Memories/Heidi Grace) + cardstock(from stash and paper packs) +
bling embellishments bling (unknown) + brads (Making Memories) ribbon, buttons (stash) + stickers and rub-ons (Making Memories) animals cut out from paper pack
Even if you don't have photos you can leave places for them or make a scrapbook out of quotes/letter/drawings (grandparents love these!).
When you don't have photos and you are giving it to someone who does not scrapbook it is best to keep the pages simple and the photo placement obvious so they will know how to use it with no confusion.
Keep the ideas simple and layer where you can to add visual interest. I feel that chalking or inking with crumpled/torn layers creates awesome levels for the eye to look at without adding much bulk.
If you are working with scraps and odds and ends don't be afraid to make your own embellishments as I did, especially if your budget is tight-you don't have to sacrifice style! You can always add glitter, bling, or glossy accents to make them stand out, and put them on a pop-dot to really make an impact.
Don't be afraid to try new things, if you hate it you can always make a new page.
You can mix your styles up, but keeping the design simple and consistent will help the process faster.
If you want it to be easy try going with pre-coordinated items or kits.
Gift albums or mini-albums are a great way to use up your extras, and are easy to throw into a Ziploc for travel scrapping!
Remember, mini-albums are just that, a smaller album! You can do any theme or size in a mini-album, they were created to play with and have fun on a smaller scale! They can also be a great way to introduce someone into scrapbooking!
I hope you all take time to make a mini-album, even if you don't give it away! They make some of the cutest decorations and are great for the wee ones little hands!
(To hear more from me, visit my personal blog
or my photography blog
(PS) If you make a mini-album, we'd love to see it! Send it to us at ella
with mini-album in the subject line. I handle the submissions around here and I would LOVE to be inspired by your work!!