Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday School Tutorial: 3-Ring Binder Mini Album

Good morning CraftyStealers!

I gave you all a sneak peek of my American Crafts Confetti Birthday mini on Thursday, and as promised, I will show you how I did it.  I chose this design because I need a mini-album that I don't think my kids will rip apart.  Having two small children, I've always been a little bit wary of putting time and effort into an album that may or may not stand up to little fingers.  Then, I came across this tutorial on YouTube, from FollowThePaperTrail, and thought it was the BEST idea! (By the way, she is a mini-album genius, and has many more tutorials and patterns).  It's basically a do-it-yourself 3-ring binder.  It was SO easy, and I'm crossing my fingers that it will be able to endure my kids thrashing it for years to come.

Here's what you will need:

  • Plain chipboard cut into three pieces: 2 pieces that are 4.5"x5", 1 piece cut to 4.5"x1.75" (I used a sheet of plain 12"x12" chipboard)
  • 1 - 6"x12"piece of patterned paper
  • 1 - 10.5"x4.75" piece of coordinating patterned paper (you can just use a piece of double sided patterned paper to make both)
  •  3 - 1" binder rings
  • Heavy duty hole punch with a long reach (I used a WRMK Crop-A-Dile Big Bite)
  • REALLY good adhesive
  • 4"x4" pieces of double-sided patterned paper (for album pages, so as many as you'd like)
Apply adhesive to one side of each of the 3 pieces of chipboard.  Place them adhesive side down onto your 6"x12" piece of patterned paper as shown below, making sure to put the side of your patterned paper with what you would like to be your cover pattern, facing down. 

Snip off the corners of excess paper at a diagonal - but don't cut too close to the corner of chipboard.
Now put adhesive along the edges of paper and chipboard.  Fold the short edges of the paper onto the chipboard to "wrap" the chipboard.  Do the same with the longer edges.  Make sure the paper is firmly adhered to the chipboard.
Now you take your coordinating 4.75"x10.5" paper and put adhesive along the outer edges of the "wrong" side.  This will be the inside of the cover. Centering this piece, place it on top to cover the remaining naked chipboard.
Now bend the cover at the seams.
Time for the ring part of this three ring binder.  The vertical placement of your rings is up to you.  I spaced my evenly along the spine.  So I put dots at 1", 2.5" and 4" along the lenth of my 5" spine.  Then I made another identical set of dots 1" to the right.
Punch out the holes, making sure the hole will be big enough to accomodate the width of your ring. 
Wiggle the rings into the holes so that the clasps are on the inside and the joint is along the outside of the spine.
Outside cover is finished! All that is left is to fill it up with pages.  I made my pages fairly simple - all but one are 4"x4" sqaures.  The last page is 4"x7" and folds out.  I did this because I made these minis to showcase pictures I took each month of my child's first year - and wanted to make the 1st birthday page a little bit more special.  I added journaling to each month's page, citing a few special things (walking, words, favorites) at that point in their new little life.  Here is the finished product!
And of course since it would be unfair to make one for my son and not for my daughter, here is the girlie version.  I let my kids pick out the cupcake stickers for the covers.  The strips at the top are patterned bar code strips - such a great idea from American Crafts so that nothing goes to waste!
If you missed this AC Confetti Birthday steal, there are a few left and Stephanie has added them to our Past Steals page! I hope you get to steal some time and have fun playing with your papers today.  Don't forget to take a few minutes to create something awesome to enter in our Birthday Sketch Challenge.  It closes tomorrow evening and our winner will get some fun CraftySteals goodies...

Have a great Sunday!


  1. This is a really awesome Idea!!!!!! I am gonna have to give this one as try.....I have 7 grandchildren and these would be a cool easy book to make up for each of them!!!!!! Thanks for sharing the idea!


  2. Wow this is amazing...I love this album...great job.

  3. This is so Cute! and a great idea, thanks for the step by step.