I’m always looking for simple ways to document family memories, aside from regular scrapbooking pages, and mini-albums or mini-books are great for recording an event or trip. Plus they make great gifts too! I also prefer to make my own books to suit my photos and story, so I came up with a quick and simple way to make a mini-album base using just cardstock, patterned papers and decorative tape.

Make a Mini Paper Album From Scratch

Supplies for Mini Paper Album:

  • 1 12×12 sheet of kraft cardstock
  • scrap pieces of kraft cardstock
  • 12 scrap pieces of patterend paper (at least 4×6 in size)
  • 2″ wide washi or decorative tape
  • Your favourite adhesive
  • Paper trimmer (not shown)

Make a Mini Paper Album Supplies

Step 1

Using the paper trimmer cut the 12×12 sheet into six 4″x6″ pieces, then cut five 4″x1″ strips from scrap cardstock

Cutting Paper to Make a Mini Paper Album

Step 2

Fold the 1″ strips in half lengthwise to make “hinges”

Folding a Mini Paper Album From Scratch

You’ll use these hinges to join the book’s pages together

Step 3

Apply adhesive to the edge of one page

Craft a Mini Paper Album From Scratch

Add the “hinge”

Make a Mini Paper Album From Scratch by Francine Clouden

Now apply adhesive to the top of the hinge

4x6 MiniBook from Scratch

Then add another page on top

4x6 MiniBook

Continue in the way, adding hinges and pages until the book is constructed

4x6 MiniBook from Scratch by Francine Clouden Make a Mini Paper Album for Fun

Step 4

Time to add some color and pattern! Cut 12 pieces of patterned paper measuring 3.75″ x 5.75″

Mini Album From Scratch

Starting at the front of your book, “wallpaper” all the kraft pages with the patterned paper

Cool Mini Paper Album From Scratch

Don’ t mind those fuzzy edges, I’ll be covering them up!

DIY Mini Paper Album From Scratch Make a Mini Paper Album for a Gift

Step 5

Cut a 4″ piece of decorative or washi tape and use it to cover the binding

Paper Album From Scratch

And there you have it! Now you can decorate the cover, and fill it with your photos and journaling. I used one of these books to document part of our 2012 Summer vacation

Make a Mini Paper Album From Scratch for Summer

Other ideas:

  • You can make your book bigger by adding more pages.
  • Instead of using it for photos, you can use it as a mini Smash Book
  • You can use lined or grid paper instead of patterned paper, and make it into a notebook for jotting down lists or ideas
  • I love kraft backgrounds, but you can also make it with white or colored cardstock instead.

What would you use a book like this for?