Practicing Creativity

How to alter an inexpensive plastic photo album into a one of a kind mini you'll be proud to give as a gift


I like decorative mini-albums with pretty papers and plenty of embellishments as much as the next crafter, but sometimes I want to give an album as a gift, quickly made, easily and inexpensively mailed, where larger photos take pride of place. This mini-album I've made as a gift for my cousin is the perfect example.

To do this, I use inexpensive plastic photo albums purchased on sale (I never pay more than €1 for them). To make the type of mini I have here, it's important that the album 'covers' front and back can be removed.


1) Prepare the covers with digital image processing software—I used Craft Artist 2 Professional software and assorted digital papers and images to come up with my cover (you can see where I used the focal image in a 'traditional' mini here). In designing my covers I sized them to the same dimensions as the covers that came with the album. You need four 'covers'—one for the front, one for the inside front, one for the inside back and one for the back. Cut your paper to the same size as the original album covers and print. You could also do this 'traditionally' with pretty paper and a stamped image.

2) Prepare the ribbon closure—take a cutting knife and carefully make a small slit in the center outside seam edge of the covers, front and back, just a little wider than the ribbon you want to use to keep your album closed. Cut two pieces of ribbon to your desired length.

3) Assemble the front cover sandwich—outside and inside— just as if you were going to insert it into the album cover. It's important that you know what you're doing here and that the images are facing in the right direction; it's easy to get confused. Undo the sandwich and adhere an inch (3cms) of  the end of your ribbon in the center of the back of  the front cover on what will be the right edge when done, then glue the front and inside front covers together with the ribbon hanging free between them. Repeat for the back cover, except this time the ribbon end will be glued to what will be the left edge of the back cover. Insert the covers—front and back—ribbons first and pull them through the tiny slits you made in step 2.

4) Digitally prepare a title page—I like to create a title page that says what the album is about and gives the dates. I print this on the back side of a 4 x 6 photo paper (10 x 15cms).

5) Prepare and print your photos and insert in the pockets provided. I like to 'write' on the front of the photo where it was taken and the date. Here's a inside look at a few of the inner pages. In the first photo you can see the inside of the front cover and my title page and in the last the back inside cover.

And there you go! A quick, easy, inexpensive album that looks nothing whatsoever like it's before photo below.

Supply List
Inexpensive plastic photo album, digital image processing software, digital images and papers, paper for printing covers and photos, ribbon.

I'm linking up with: TTCRD challenge week March 24—Anything Goes, All Crafts Challenge Feb/March—Anything But a Card and Not Just Cards challenge #15.


  1. What a fabulous idea. The instructions are very clear and helpful. Thanks so much! Clare x

  2. I've never even seen little albums like this before. They would be so handy! Turned out nicely.


  3. Very interesting idea and useful instructions. Thank you for joining the challenge at Not just cards.
    Kat, DT

  4. Gorgeous Mini album! I love the details on the front. Thank you for sharing your work with TTCRD this week and please come and join us again tomorrow with our new Anything goes Challenge. Visit me at

  5. Beautiful transformation!

  6. Très mignon ce mini-album!! J'adore l'image!!
    Bisous Shani et bon week-end!


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