Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hello, Fall: Mixed Paper and Fabric Mini Album

 I decided to make an art journal/mini album to hold and document all of our Fall activities :) This journal is similar to the Jotter Journal, only with a fabric cover to make it more permanent and relate to the season :) I made mine 5.5"x8" so that the insides could hold (approximately) 5"x7" items/pictures. I like the messy-ness of the journal - the organic feel. Threads poking out here and there, the stitches not entirely straight - it doesn't have to be perfect! :)

+ 2 pieces of fabric for the cover (one piece for the outside, one for the inside) each 8"x11"-- I also ironed medium-weight fusible interfacing onto both pieces of fabric to make it sturdier.
+ Multiple types of paper (or you could use all lined paper or blank paper!) - I used fall-themed papers, flashcards, tags, envelopes, a transparency, some vintage papers and new papers.
+ Decorative Button
+ 6" of decorative ribbon
+ Rotary cutter, metal ruler and cutting mat
+ Sewing machine & thread

Start by getting the cover ready. I added an extra scrap piece of fall-themed fabric to the front of my front cover by simply stitching it on.

Sew the button onto the front cover piece approximately 2.5" from the side and in the middle of the top and bottom.
With both right sides facing out, pin the two pieces together and sew around the perimeter with a zig-zag stitch. Be sure to put the ribbon in between the two pieces and secure with a pin. As you sew around, the ribbon will become attached (Attach the ribbon to the opposite side from the button - see picture below).
The finished cover.
Next, make a template for the inside pages. I cut down a piece of cardstock to 7"x10" and then folded it in half and stitched a straight stitch through it.
Now, stack all of your different papers together, flush against the bottom right (see picture below). Attach 2 binder clips or paper clips to hold them all in place.
Place the template you just made so it is flush in the bottom right as well. On your stack of paper, make a mark with pencil where the fold on the template is- at the top and bottom of the template.
Feel free to draw a straight line connecting the two marks you just made. Now sew a straight stitch on that line (depending on how many sheets you have, it might be a little difficult to sew-- I had 16 sheets and had to hand crank the sewing machine... I was praying that it wouldn't break my needle ;)).
Trim off the excess with your template as a guide.
Now it's time to attach it to the cover. Place the paper booklet so that it is in the middle of the cover piece and sew another straight stitch. This extra stitch (instead of sewing it straight into the cover) also helps reinforce how the pages are bound together.
Voilà! The finished album! A perfect way to record all of your fun Fall festivities :)


  1. Whenever I see one of your mini albums, I need to make one myself right away. They are beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. This is gorgeous! What a neat way to do a mini album.

  3. i did it today! thanks for this great idea!

  4. thank you for the tutorial. I am making journals for gifts and this was right on time.