Create an 8″ x 8″ scrapbook album (WITH page protectors!) using a few basic items you probably already have on hand. This album is perfect for quick and easy gift-giving, commemorating a particular event, weekend or sports season, and it even makes a great display or conversation piece for a milestone birthday or retirement party! And it’s EASY to make!
Watch a complete video tutorial HERE:
Supplies you will need:
10 pieces strong but lightweight cardboard cut into 8″ x 8″ squares for the pages (I recommend using empty beverage bottle boxes);
2 pieces strong but lightweight cardboard cut into 9″ x 9″ squares (for the front and back covers);
1 package (or more) clear document page protectors sized 8-1/2″ x 11″ (sealed on 3 sides and open at the top);
1 roll duct tape;
2 pairs scissors (1 large and 1 medium-small);
1 piece strong ribbon (about the length of your entire arm);
4 pieces patterned paper cut to 9″ x 9″ (to decorate the inside and outside covers);
sandpaper or sanding block;
scrapbooking adhesive of your choice.
1. Use a paper trimmer to cut 10 page protectors horizontally at the 8-3/4″ mark (NOTE: you are trimming off the OPEN TOP END ONLY). Set aside all the skinny “scrap” cuts of page protector to use as you go. These scrap cuts will be used later to temporarily lay on top of the sticky side of the duct tape so you can cut it easily with scissors.
2. Before you begin the next step, make sure you have a large space cleared, apart from your craft space (an empty counter-top, couch space, floor space, portable table or TV trays, etc.). On the table in front of you, stretch open a large piece of duct tape at least 10 inches long. Lay the large scissors flat on the table, inside the roll of duct tape to keep it from rolling while you work.
3. Hold one of the 8-3/4″ x 8-1/2″ cut page protectors over the duct tape, making sure the open end is at the top. “Eyeball” the inside edge of the page protector to line up with the edge of the tape (often this inside edge is white and has holes punched to accommodate a 3-ring binder). You don’t want tape to stick to any part of the page protector where your actual scrapbook page will be seen. Starting with the edge closest to you, lightly lay the page protector on the tape. If you mess up, you can pull it up again. Lay one page protector on the right and another on the left. MAKE SURE that the open end is at the top AND that the page protectors line up with EACH OTHER HORIZONTALLY. You will have a sticky space of duct tape exposed in the center of the 2 page protectors.
4. Locate one of the small scrap pieces of page protector. Lay the scrap on top of the duct tape exposed below the 2 page protectors. Use your smaller scissors to cut through BOTH the scrap clear piece and the bottom portion of the duct tape at the same time. Cut “tabs” in the tape that meet with any page protector edge that sticks out into the piece of duct tape (see photos below).
5. Peel off the clear scrap piece and throw away. Then, carefully fold the two outside tape tabs upward and press firmly into the white edge of the page protector. The folded tabs should line up with the horizontal edge of the bottom of the page protectors. You might need to leave a little “lip” as you fold the tab to get it to line up with the page protectors (depending on the brand). Repeat for the left and the right sides. You will be left with the bottom center tape tab exposed.
6. Locate another scrap piece of page protector and lay it across the tape exposed at the top (in between the 2 page protectors and the full roll of duct tape). Remove the large scissors from the middle of the tape roll use them to cut through BOTH the clear scrap piece and the tape (releasing it from the rest of the roll). Then turn the page protectors around, so the clear scrap piece is closest to you, still stuck to the exposed tape. Cut through the clear scrap and the tape simultaneously, creating tabs just as you did on the other side. Remove the clear scraps and throw away. Fold the 2 outside tabs upward, as you did on the opposite side. Remember, you might need to leave a little “lip” on the tape to get it to line up with the bottom edge of the page protectors. Leave the center sticky tab alone for now.
7. Repeat this process until you have all your page protectors taped securely. Don’t forget to make sure the open ends of the page protectors are at the top and the closed ends are at the bottom. I lay out all my sets of 2 taped page protectors with the sticky side up until they are all done. Next, keeping the sticky side UP, carefully lay one set of 2 on top of another, making sure the actual page protectors line up with each other. Repeat until you have a little “stack” of page protector sets. One tape side of the stack should be smooth and the other tape side of the stack should be sticky. Then, set aside this whole stack.
8. Now assemble the front and back cover in the same manner. Locate two 9″ x 9″ pieces of cardboard box. Use a ruler to mark with pencil 1/2″ from the left edge at the top and at the bottom of one 9″ x 9″ cardboard piece. Repeat on the right side of the other 9″ x 9″ piece. Stretch out a piece of duct tape in the same manner as you did for the page protectors. Lay down the cardboard pieces, lining up the 1/2″ mark with the edge of the tape (as you did with the white edge of the clear page protector). Use a scrap clear piece to lay on top of the bottom of the tape, and cut tabs as you did before. Fold the 2 outside tabs flush against the cardboard, and leave the center sticky tab alone for now. Repeat with the top of the cardboard.
9. Leave the newly-assembled cover where it is on the table and locate the stack of page protectors. Lay the sticky middle of the stack of page protectors against the sticky middle of the cover (STICKY AGAINST STICKY). Smooth the tape middle firmly.
10. Trim off the long center tabs. Be careful not to cut any of the clear page protector!
11. Stretch open a piece of duct tape at least 10 inches long (or more). Cut apart the seam of a scrap piece of page protector and lay it against the long length of the tape. Cut the tape and the page protector scrap into thirds (“eyeballing” the size of thirds). Choose the “best” cut of one of the thirds, pull off the scrap page protector, and lay the strip carefully against the INSIDE-middle of the tape. Fold the edges over, and press firmly against the outside tape of the scrapbook album.
12. Lightly sand the glossy surface of the cardboard covers (both front and back). Locate a length of strong ribbon, and cut it to 2 equal lengths. This will serve as a “tie” to tie the album closed, so be sure you have enough to secure the ribbon to the album AND to tie it comfortably. Use duct tape to secure the ribbon to the outside of the front and back covers.
13. Cut patterned paper to 9″ x 9″ and adhere to the front, back and inside covers of the album with your choice of scrapbooking adhesive. I recommend using some kind of tape runner or other non-liquid adhesive for this step. Embellish with washi tape around the edges, if desired, although you may need to secure the washi tape with additional adhesive).
14. The remaining empty box cutouts (measuring 8″ x 8″) will be used in one of two ways (your choice):
- Create your 8×8 scrapbook pages separately on cardstock and then slide them into the page protectors with a cardboard center-piece loose in between two pages, OR
- Create your 8×8 scrapbook pages separately on cardstock and then ADHERE each page to the front and back of a cardboard center-piece (don’t forget to sand or buff the glossy side of the cardboard before you adhere!).
Either way, no one will see the cardboard 8×8 pages, but your album will be nice and sturdy. Plus, the page protectors themselves have plenty of room for bulky embellishments, metal, chipboard, bulky flowers, etc. And because the album was constructed with about a 1/2″ yield in the center (plus a ribbon-tie), you will find this sturdy album actually will strengthen AS it bulks up.
Don’t forget to make decorate your album cover! Get creative! Use paint, make a “shaker” accent, use bling or flowers, and have FUN!
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