Making a Mini

Whenever I get the itch to create and really don't have a project assignment or an idea in mind, I always gravitate towards a mini album.  I'm not sure why it's the first thing I think of, but it's kind of like my comfort zone in some since.  A layout would probably be much easier and much faster, but there's just something about a tiny little album that holds all of our memories.

  I know a lot of people say they just don't know where to start, or how to finish one!  But making a mini album CAN be easy and fun!!  Today, I thought I would share some ways I keep my mini making process simple and achievable!

1. Start with a color scheme or some piece for inspiration

The colors for my album were all inspired by the banner you see my daughter holding!!  Putting together your own inspiration board, or even collecting papers/colors that speak to you can be very inspiring!  You really don't need anything special to put together an inspiration banner either....just some twine, your favorite papers/cards and clothespins!  Easy peasy and you are all ready to go! 

2. Use your scraps

I put together this little album after preparing a layout for the Crate Paper blog.  I often find that making a mini comes so easily after the papers are already trimmed and scattered all over the place.  I swear that making the first cut is sometimes the most difficult, so if my papers are already trimmed, all I have to do is layer away!  I think it's a big plus if you already have a coordinating collection or papers that work well together too!  It kind of takes out the guess work for layers!

3. Pick a size and stick with it

This mini album is 6x6 inches and I used just one piece of 12x12 white card stock for the album base (along with my photos, which I printed out at 6x6 inches).  I alternated between a decorative page and a photo page.  Finding and sticking with a "system" definitely makes mini albums more achievable.  Don't feel like you HAVE to stick to this system!  Deviating and adding your own creative ideas is always so much fun!  Sometimes it's just good to start with a plan and then go forward from there!

4. Print your photos first

Printing is always the hardest for me.  It's just that extra step that takes time and effort when all I really want to do is create, not stop and print photos.   Printing out your photos first will be a lifesaver and will make the process that much easier!  And since you know your size, you are all set to go!  (But don't feel like your photos have to be the size of your album!  There are no rules here!  Since you know the size of your base pages, give yourself some wiggle room and print out photos that will work with your 4x4 or 2x2.)

5. Add depth and dimension to your pages through layers

The photos are always my favorite part of my mini albums, but layering and embellishments come in at a pretty close second!  Having these little pops of color and texture sprinkled throughout the pages really makes the album feel more personal and handmade.  As you can see, I usually use my scraps  and layer pretty papers onto pretty papers.  

6. Create interactive elements with papers and tags

I think the interactive elements of a mini book are my children's favorite!  They love finding cards and tags and photos that slip out or flap open in our albums.  I know one day they will read little stories about our life and hopefully it will bring a smile to their faces!!  Creating interactive pages is so easy to achieve too!  You really only need washi tape to hold the sides and bottom of a piece of paper in place to create a pocket (I love to use my sewing machine!).  I think these little bits really add a personal feel to mini albums!

So what are your thoughts on minis??  Do you love them or hate them??  If you've been sitting on the fence about creating one, I hope you will jump off and give it a try!  I promise it is super easy and the end result will be a treasured item!!