Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A book of memories

    Hello everyone! So glad you are here...

   Today I would like to show you some of the gifts that I made for my wonderful Mother-in-law Gil - who celebrated her birthday on Sunday.....I was going to tell you about all three things but it would take forever to read!!! So after writing about it all, I decided to delete part and I will come back to it another day ( if anyone wants to read about it!)


                                                  Gil's birthday card and gifts

           This weeks challenge at Simon Says  is  "What are you known for?"....

I am very sure that if you were to ask my family this question they will say "Handmade photo albums". I made the first one for Gil in 2004...a very small accordion book that was about my daughter. I had seen a demonstraion on how to make one in a craft magazine - I wrote to them to tell them about it and suddenly it was featured as Star letter!!! I was so proud ;o)

    I enjoyed making this gift so much that I carried on making my own mini photo albums for my family and friends, as well as doing 12 x 12 and 8 x 8 scrapbook pages in bought albums.  Some of my handmade albums have been accordion books, but I have experimented with different hinges and structures. I always try to vary the style, theme, size, and I have tried to find fun containers! I think my most ambitious 'container' ever was putting a small handmade album inside an altered book...I did half the book as decorated pages and then glued the other half of the book pages together. Then I cut away a central aperture and made hinged doors to conceal the tiny little photo album.

I do always try to come up with something different each time - but the subject is still usually the children!

     This year I saw a blog about making an altered tin. I thought it would be the perfect home for a handmade album, and always eager to find a different approach to presenting the album, I jumped at the chance to make this. So after buying an Altoids tin, I got to work covering it in paper. I got some pale sage paper and Mod Podge glue and I followed the instructions in the blog.

     I will admit covering the tin was a huge struggle. I am hopeless at measuring and cutting accurately - and the perfectionist streak was there in full force!!! If I felt any part was not cut perfectly then I would start again....I ripped off the paper three times as I hadn't measured it properly!

     Eventually the tin was covered in the vintage green paper and had a layer of Mod Podge over the top to seal it. I did two coats of Mod Podge and lightly sanded the paper coating in between layers of the glue which helped add to the vintage look.....

     It couldn't be left as it was though - it needed decoration and 'shabbying' a little....

     Silly really, I fuss over the paper being a millimetre too small or large and then I cover it all with ink anyway!!! I began to make it look vintage with DI's. I used archival black ink to stamp the sentiment on white card and then blended Pumice Stone DI.over it. I tore around the words and glued this to more white card that had been inked with Pumice Stone DI and edged with Black Soot DI. I then attached it to the lid and began to smudge a few tiny streaks of Pumice Stone DI around the entire tin and the base. The inside of the tin was left free of ink.

       I stamped the scrolls around the edge of the tin with Archival black ink before dabbing the edges with Pumice Stone DI. I did try to stamp some similar images with Bundled Sage DI but it was too faint to see properly so I continued with the Pumice stone DI instead

I used a cream paper rose, that had been dabbed with Antique Linen DI, and a silver heart shaped pendant to decorate the top of the box....
now it was ready for the album...

       Here is the album presented in the tin

To make the album I got a large sheet of card ( I measured the box to ensure it would fit) and began to fold it forwards and backwards to form the pages. 

I selected some vintage style papers and then cut these paper sheets to size and rounded the corners. I stuck the papers to the long sheet of folded card, sticking a different coloured piece of paper on each segment. 

After the glue had dried, I began to cut all the corners of the album using the rounded edge of the papers as a guide.....

I stamped two sets of words on card that had been inked in Antique Linen DI. The words 'Memories' and 'Family Photos' were stamped in Walnut Stain DI and edged in the same ink. 

After inking the edges of all the pages with Gathered Twigs DI, making sure there were no harsh white cut edges of card, the album was ready to decorate with B&W photos of the kids! 

I attached all the photos. Then I cut out various flowers and heart shapes out of blue, pink and green paper (some of which had been used to decorate the tin and some pages from the album) with a craft punch, edged these shapes in Gathered Twigs DI then stuck them on the pages. I also did some journaling on cream card. These words were then cut to size and had Gathered Twigs DI blended around the edges.

White satin ribbon was dyed with Gathered Twigs DI and was wrapped around the finished album then tied into a bow. I left the ribbon long so that Gil could easily tie it up again if she wanted to - how annoying is it to tie a ribbon securely and neatly when there is only a few inches of it? I didn't want the long strands of ribbon to be seen when opening the box, so I tucked the long ends behind the book


   And here is some of the album for you to have a peek at....

I apologise if there are too many of the pages shown here....I am so very proud of my wonderful children and I can't resist any chance to show everyone how amazing they are!

It means so much to me that these albums are gifts that are treasured. The memories are kept safe, and the words and images will bring someone a smile......


I do hope you like these gifts that I made. Please leave a message for me if you have arrived here to take a look. Why not join my blog and come back and see more things in the future?

Take care!

I am entering this in the following challenge -

Simon says stamp and show  - What are you known for?
Frilly and Funkie - Follow your muse (Handmade photo albums and altered art)

I am entering the altered tin in the following challenge -

Eclectic paperie - Altered Boxes


  1. Nothing makes me happier than a mini album tucked inside a darling altered tin. Truly a delightful creation! Love it! Thank you so much for participating in the eclectic Paperie eTeam Picks challenge!!

  2. This mini in the tin box is beyond adorable ... ♥ Oh how I wish I could do such a piece of art. Your mother in law must be a very wonderful woman. What a trasure this album-in-the-box is ... *sighs*
    Suzanne x

  3. That tin box booklet really IS a treasure and so adorable! Love that old and worn look, that tells about these things being truly loved!


    Claudia x

  4. What a fabulous project! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

  5. Laura....your sweet little book and altered tin are true treasures. Love the vintage/shabby look of the tin. It just makes you want to open it and see what's inside. Then...that sweet little book with pictures of your adorable children. Love it! Thanks for sharing your art with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy

  6. These really are things to be treasured! Gorgeous make! Trace x

  7. Your little tin and album are gorgeous and will be greatly appreciated as a keepsake with those fabulous pics of the children. I love altering the little mint tins and I've started using washi tape for the edges as its so much easier for me than either paper or paint.

  8. This is soooooo lovely, a real little treasure beautifully made x

  9. Hurrah!! Another perfectionist (oh, I can seriously relate to that!) But it is so worth it when you produce a gem like this. The tin is wonderful and so carefully lined. And your memories book is so very special. I bet your MIL was thrilled with her gifts and card. Hugs, Jenny x
    Thanks for joining in at Frilly and Funkie too.

  10. It really is an absolute delight...
    Alison xx

  11. Absolutely a delicious to watch,,,,,,,Laura,,,,Love the memory book,,,it looks great with your vintage card,,,,,,,,,,,What a gorgeus gifts, Laura very well done my friend,,,,,,,,horayyy for Laura.

  12. What beautiful projects and gifts. The tin is absolutely wonderful and that tiny memories album tucked inside, well, it's simply gorgeous. What a treasure!

  13. Laura, I can tell you put a lot of time into creating this tin and accordion book. I know what you mean about being a perfectionist. It sometimes keeps me from attempting new things. But you did a fabulous job and when I got to the pictures of the inside of the book it made me smile! I love it! Thanks for sharing it with us at Frilly & Funkie!

  14. How fabulous, Laura! Love the mini album (super sweet photos in there too) and how you decorated the tin. Thanks so much for joining us with this at eclectic Paperie's Altered Boxes challenge.

  15. Gorgeous tin and I adore the addition of the mini book...beautiful keepsake to treasure !!
    Thank you for joining us over at eclectic paperie.
    Tracy xox

  16. This is a gorgeous wee tin, the memories in those adorable photos tied up inside that ribbon are a lovely keepsake for Gil. The black & white photos are gorgeous. Her birthday card looks great too.

  17. Well, I initially came over to see what Micki got you to do, but decided to take a peek at what else you created. Oh, My! This memory book is gorgeous!!! So, I do have a life and must get back to it, but I believe I am going to bookmark your "place" and come back when I have more time to gawk & drool! Thanks so much for sharing. nise

  18. So lovely! The hand made album is just amazing. A wonderful project!


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