Friday, April 13, 2018

Sew Lovely Mini Album - Flexible Spine Tutorial

If you are looking for the Really Reasonable Ribbon April Blog Hop, click HERE.

Hello Mini Album Makers! It is my turn on the Mini Album Makers Challenge Blog to create an EXTRA project! I have 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 a perfect gift for a quilter who photographs her (or his) work. 
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 are a bit of a pain to make. 

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. 

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 added MORE double-sided adhesive and 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 hinge piece is a bit smaller than the cover height. Make sure you have about 1/8" of the cover showing at the top AND bottom of the hinge/spine piece!

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-up!
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!

I hope you enjoyed the "show-off" video of all the pages!
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 load of paper flowers with a few sewing embellishments tucked around the fun title block!

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!

I am also giving away a prize pack! I am giving away a box of goodies from some of the Mini Album Makers Challenge Blog Sponsors: Graphic 45, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts, and StencilGirl Products
The prize contains various Graphic 45 papers, including a full set of Raining Cats and Dogs paper and ephemera cards! I have also included a set of cats and dogs chipboard embellishments from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts! I sneaked in a few of the G45 metal staples, including one RETIRED item! The prize pack also includes a few StencilGirl stencils, perfect for creating mixed media projects! To go with all of this goodness there is a whack of GSL Cuts chipboard shapes to play with! And...if that is not enough...I am adding TWO of my project kits, complete with step-by-step directions! 
To have a chance at winning all this yummy-ness, just leave a comment here on the blog. I will do a random draw and announce the winner on May 1st!

Thanks for joining me today!

Cardstock: American Crafts Coffee, WorldWin Natural
Paper: Authentique Stitches, Dame (print One and Four only)
Stickers: Authentique Stitches Details
Chipboard: Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Dressforms Miniatures 1 and 2, Fashionistas: 1930s, Sew Doily Box, Vintage Seamstress Shape Set; Maya Road Still Sew Cute Set, Still Sew Cute Mini Set; Grafix chipboard sheets
Wood embellishments: Maya Road Wood Mini Spools and Rulers
Metal tag: unknown
Scissor charm: Funkie Junkie Boutique
Flowers: Wild Orchid Crafts, Petaloo
Trims: Really Reasonable Ribbon lace, Cotton Candy Baker's Twine; Creative Impressions Antique Ruler Twill 
Button: from my stash
Magnets: Basic Grey magnetic discs
Ink: Delicata Silvery Shimmer, Colorbox Archival Mudslide
Ink sprays: various
Dies: Spellbinders Standard Circles Large; My Favorite Things Stitched Circle Stax, Postage Stamp Stax
Tools: Kadomaru Pro corner rounder, Martha Stewart lace border punch, Stampin' Up 3/4" and 1 1/4" circle punches
Adhesive: ATG double-sided tape, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L foam squares, Scor-tape, Blick Essentials glue


  1. Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial, I can't wait to try it!

  2. You always seem to inspire me! Thank you for sharing this really "neat" album and tutorial ...

  3. As always, another awesome album. Like the spine attached on the "inside" look and your video to show all the inside details. tfs

  4. Iv never made an album like this before,,,but here I go....just watching you inch by inch....thankyou sooooo much....I hope mine turns out as beautiful as yours....

  5. Love the album and the papers. Just beautiful. Great tutorial-you always have the best tutorials and I love following along and making my own albums. You are a great inspiration and I appreciate your sharing so we too can make the beautiful albums.

  6. Spectacular album and tutorial, Gloria! You always make it looks so easy. I love the clean, fresh look of the papers, especially the front cover. So beautiful!! Anyone would love this for their photo collection!

  7. You still write the best tutorial in the block! Loved seeing how to create the curved spine! Thank you!

  8. This album is a work of art ! I cant wait to try this but I need to find some Tyvek first !! Thank you, awesome album and tutorial !

  9. This is so beautiful! Great tutorial and I love the papers that you used!

  10. Lovely,lovely album! I am headed to the craft studio to try the cover and spine. You have easy to follow instructions and photos.

  11. What a great album and well-written tutorial, Gloria! My best friend used to love to sew and hopes to start up again one day, so I'm going to have to get my hands on some of these great papers!! :)

  12. Thank you so much for the detailed trying my hand at making albums these days...for m embellishing and finishing is a big challenge,loved your album and thank you for a chance !!

  13. Love your tutorials! This is another great one!

  14. You have such a creative gift...I am acquainted with a lady who owns a quilt shop; this would be perfect for her!

  15. I just had to come over from MAM to say how much I loved your exquisite album, it must have been a real labour of love but it was worth every second of creation. I can only dream of making such a beautiful album - I enjoyed seeing how you made the spine and watching your video of the finished album. An absolute delight! Anne xx

  16. wow what an inspirational book! I love all the flaps and tucks. breathtaking!

  17. Wow, what a fabulous album! I love the retro wibe to it, and the sewing theme! Great tutorial and video with lots of tips on pockets and more! So inspiring! Thanks a lot for the chance to win!

  18. Gloria, I love this album! Everything is just perfect (as usual) with all the inter-active pages. Your work is always gorgeous.

  19. Love your work Gloria it is amazing. You always have the most beautiful albums.

  20. Love your tutorials!It is amazing!

  21. Thank you for the tutorials - they seem easy to follow. I can't wait to try them.

  22. I love how detailed your tutorials are! You have a signature style that is all your own. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Oh my...I love your tutorials. I will be trying one on a baby album for my new granddaughter. Edra

  24. Another amazing creation! I love seeing what you make and how you make them. Thank you for sharing!!