Monday, April 30, 2018

Mini Album Makers May Challenge

The Mini Album Makers Challenge will feature a monthly challenge, with each Design Team Member posting a link to a mini album tutorial, tip, or trick on the 1st of each month.  Then, one team member will post a full tutorial on the 14th of each month! In addition, there will be guest makers each month! The team will pick our FAVORITE project to be the next GUEST MAKER!

Before we get into the May Challenge I have some good news and some bad news. Let's do the GOOD NEWS first and pick a winner for.....this box of goodies!!!
I offered this box of goodies to one lucky Reader last roll....

I have been following you for years and am always amazed at your creative talent! Your G45 projects were always my favorite : ) Thank you for the wondeful Tutorial.

Erin, use the Contact Form on the right to contact me so that I can mail out your prize! Congratulations!!! 

Now, for the BAD NEWS...This will be my LAST post as part of the Mini Album Makers team. I am going to step down and give my spot to some other lucky maker! Autumn will be replacing me soon, so watch for an announcement about that! I will still play along when I make a mini, but I need to free up some time for some family things this spring and summer, so I need to step away. I want to thank Autumn for everything! This has been a WONDERFUL team of EXCELLENT makers! Thank you also, to YOU, my faithful Readers! I will still be making, just on my own schedule. {grin}

Click HERE for the May Challenge! You will have all month to make a NEW project and enter the challenge for a chance to win a prize. (See prize details at the end of the post.) Wi
nners will be posted on the 7th of each month on the Mini Album Makers Blog.

For my project this month, I created something that I have been planning to make for the last few years! Yes, I know...that's how things go with me!
I have been wanting to create an envelope and tag mini from the Graphic 45 Policy Envelopes ever since they first came out! See, back "in the day," G45 had a policy envelope mini album that I loved, but they retired it! I still have a few of them in my hoard, and I wanted to try to make something that also included the newer policy envelopes! And this is the mini that was born! 
This mini is approximately 4 1/4" x 9 1/2" x 1 1/2". I combined the old policy envelope album with the newer policy envelopes and a few other number 10 envelopes.
I used up some of my G45 French Country papers and elements. I still have a lot of this collection left over from when I was on the team. They also came out with this collection as a Deluxe Collector's Edition a year or so ago, so you can find it online. 
I created the spine using Graphic 45 Washi Tape! Ok, so, I am NOT a washi tape fan. Not in the least bit. However, I have loads of it, naturally! {I mean, all the cool kids were buying it...} That said, the G45 washi is the BEST of the bunch, in my opinion! I use it for binding stuff and holding stuff together when I need some flexible tape. It works great! And I cannot seem to use it all up! I think it multiplies when I am not looking!

Let's get started on the tutorial.
I had some pieces of one of the old G45 policy envelope albums (the black envelopes on the left), plus one complete album still in the bag. Lots of pages to use! I used the envelope with the large flap and two of the other envelope pages for my mini. I used six of the G45 printed large policy envelops in red and black. I added two kraft envelops with the string tie closures. That is ELEVEN envelopes! 
Set the policy album page with the larger flap and attached string closure aside for now. This envelope will actually be the LAST PAGE of the mini.

You will notice that that other black envelopes are a little bit longer than the standard number 10 or policy envelopes. We need to trim off the binding strip area, making the envelopes 9" long. (Do NOT trim the envelope with the larger flap!) 
Once you trim your two black envelopes, glue the bottoms closed. 
Decide which order you wish to place your envelopes. I have mine stacked in the order I used them in the mini. Remember, the envelope with the large flap will be the LAST PAGE. You can remove the string closure and set it aside for another project.  
To bind your envelopes together, you need ten (10) pieces of cardstock cut to 4" x 1 1/8" scored at 1/2" and 5/8" on the long side. These pieces will become our hinges. 
Attach a policy envelope to each side of the hinge, making sure that you have a 1/8" space between each envelope. I started with a black envelope, and then added one of the printed red envelopes to the right-hand side of the hinge.  
Flip the second envelop over (the red envelope shown above). Add another hinge to the back of the envelope. Attach the black polka dot envelope next. Flip the black polka dot envelope over and add another hinge. Continue to attach each envelope and hinge until you have all of the envelopes attached. 
Add the black policy envelop with the large flap. This is your last page and the back cover. You can see the binding strip here. Don't worry, we will be covering that with washi tape.  
This is the front of the album. The large flap from the LAST envelope folds around to act as a closure! You may discard the string that is attached. We won't be needing it. We will use hook and loop tape (or strong magnets) as our closure. If you plan to use magnets, add them now. 
Your spine will show a stack of envelopes and hinges. Each hinge gives a 1/8" gutter between the envelope pages. But, it looks messy!  
Here you can see what the album looks like with the spine all "colorful: and messy. 
I trimmed a piece of coordinating paper to 4 1/8" x 3 1/2" and glued it over the spine to cover the hinges. I did not really like it all that much, which is when I decided to go for the washi tape! 
I used the widest of the G45 washi tapes. 
I simply covered that messy spine with a few layers of washi. It looks nice and gives the spine a bit more stability. Win-win! I covered the washi tape with a layer of matte gel medium and allowed it to dry.
I decided to decorate the envelopes with G45 French Country papers. You need to cut the paper to approximately 4" x 8 7/8". I say "approximately" because envelopes have a tiny bit of variation in size and they are not always straight! I edged all the paper with black ink.

Each envelope holds a G45 Large Tag, however you have to cut 1/2" off the bottom edge. I trimmed my tags, and the rounded the corners. I used kraft, ivory, and black tags. G45 now also has the tag dies

The solid paper I used to cover my tags is from the Safari Adventure 12x12 Patterns and Solids Pad. I know right?! Who would think that it would match!? But, the solids of the Safari paper match perfectly with French Country prints! Cut the paper to 3 3/4" x 7 3/8" and round the four corners. I cut 22 pieces of paper for my tags. 
I also went back and added the thin, gold and black washi tape to the hinges because I did not care for the look of the black hinges. I am not sure I love the washi any better, but what is done is done!

If you wish to see all the inside pages and the tags, please see the "show off" video below.

You can decorate your book with more layers and embellishments than I did. But, by keeping the tags simple, there is plenty of space for photos and journaling.
I used some hook and loop tape to keep the cover flap closed. The decor for the cover is some fussy cut images from the French Country paper, plus a few items from the chipboard and banners. 

I love that you can used pre-made items, but change them up and make them work for you! 

Below is a full list of the Design Team, with links to their blogs! Make sure to visit them and give them some bloggy love!

Our Prize Sponsor this month is....

One lucky maker will receive....


Our challenge follows a few simple rules:
Any Handmade Book Goes.  Enter any form of handmade mini albums, scrapbooks, journals, and book arts. Our focus is on completed works, so no layouts or journal spreads that are not part of a complete handmade book project. You do not have to provide a tutorial, but we wish you would. Feel free to use one of the DT tutorials to make your project and give proper credit where due. No back links allowed (this means your project must be first seen on social media between May 1st and May 31st, 2018).  Combine with any other challenges as applicable. No limit on entries. Share the love by visiting and commenting on other entries. Please become a follower. That's it - have fun! Click HERE to enter your project!

Graphic 45 products used:
French Country 12x12 paper, 8x8 paper, stickers, chipboard, banners
Safari Adventure 12x12 Patterns and Solids pad
Large Red Policy Envelopes
Large Black Policy Envelopes
Black Large Tag
Ivory Large Tag
Kraft Large Tag
Washi Tape Set
Red ATC Alpha Banner
Black Policy Envelope Album (retired)

Other supplies:
Cardstock: WorldWin black, natural

Kraft policy envelopes: CutCardStock
Magnets: Basic Grey
Hook and loop tape: Velcro
Ink: Ranger Distress Black Soot, Salty Ocean
Dies: My Favorite Things Stitched Circle Stax; various doilies
Tools: corner punch, score board, bone folder
Adhesive: Scor-tape, ATG tape, white glue, foam adhesive, gel medium


  1. What a fabulous shaped mini album, I have never seen pocket envelopes of that size before how useful they would be. Your album is decorated beautifully.
    Wishing you all the best Gloria, do not be a stranger and enjoy your Family time.
    Creative wishes Tracey xx

  2. Such a smart elegant album, Gloria - I love the pocket pages, and the spine is so clever - I even love the messy version - very funky! We will miss you.
    Alison x

  3. Love your albums-will miss seeing all your wonderful creations for mini album makers challenge. Enjoy your time off. Hope you keep up with your tutorials-love them!

  4. I am so excited about winning this Giveaway! Thank you!
    What a great use of these G45 Policy envelopes and a complete tutorial...we will miss you <3

  5. A fabulous album and such a cool idea! Your tutorials are always amazing! You will bbe missed!!!

  6. Gloria, I am so sorry that you are leaving, it has been a real pleasure working alongside you. I love your work - this album is fantastic and uses some of my favourite G45 papers. As Astrid has already said, your tutorials are always amazing! I hope you have a wonderful summer with your family. Hugs, Anne xx

  7. Such a gorgeous and elegant album Gloria!! Love those G45 papers and I love the style of this book.

  8. Such a beautiful album, have to give it a try. Sorry to hear you are stepping down. Have a wonderful time with family, dear. Hugs.

  9. So fabulous! Bummed you are stepping down as I looked forward to seeing your creations. That said, I also realize life does take priority :)

  10. Another great project, Gloria!! Again, wishing I owned more!!! I wish I had bought these tag albums. Your tutorial is perfect so I will be looking for these!! Love how easy it came together!

  11. Gloria, forgive me for coming so late to the party, but my kiddos have been very sick and I'm just playing catch up. All is well now. I really love how you constructed this album, especially the gutter between the pages. I would never have thought to adhere the connecting pieces on the outside of the envelopes and my book would have popped open. Such a great idea from an experienced crafter. <3 I truly appreciate your time on our team and wish you all the best in every future endeavor. You are wildly talented and I appreciate the great lengths you went to to make your post thorough and inspiring. Big hugs, Autumn