5 Step Mini-book Prep — Using Memorabilia

Hi, again!

I love really detailed three-dimensional mini-albums. I have a few that are long-term projects that I complete just one page at a time when I get the urge. I’ve also done a few very simple mini-books that I whipped through in one or two sit-downs.

I tend to feel less satisfaction with those faster ones, though. So mostly I make (or start!) a lot of mini-books that are somewhere in-between. In other words, I expect to complete them in a reasonable amount of time, but I also begin by loading them with lots of details. They end up taking me longer than I expect, and before I’m done I find another album or project I want to begin. Does this sound like you?

A Faster Approach

Well, I’ve come up with a new approach for these mini-books — the books for which I have high-expectations of stellar awesomeness, but that also need to get done within a reasonable amount of time. My new method has been great so far, for both a digi-heavy mini (sneak-peek above), and for my traditional tactile books (sneak-peek below). The method helps with mini-book completion in two ways:

  • It makes the process faster.
  • It allows you to simplify your final design — midway through the process — if your dreams of the “best mini ever” begin to feel overboard. But you’ll be able to switch gears without ending up with an intricate first half and a “clean and simple” second half.

The other cool thing is that this method came as a result of good design technique, so you won’t be compromising on design. In fact, it will help give you a great foundation in design for each mini-book page.

Interested? It’s the topic for the next Paperclipping Video Tutorial. I’ll show you how this method helped me with a digi-heavy book, as well as a purely paper one. You’ll need a membership to watch the episode and learn the method. So if this is an area you struggle with, but don’t have a membership yet, you can see how to get one by clicking here.

I had hoped to release this on Monday as the first of our August tutorials. It’s much heavier in content than usual, though, and it won’t be ready in time for Monday. We will release it as soon as we can. For now, I’ll share 5 steps for prepping a mini-book that uses multiple items of memorabilia…

5-Step Mini-Book Prep


  1. Memorabilia – Fish through your memorabilia to find two or more pieces that are related. For example, in the book above, I found four different pieces that demonstrate how organized my daughter likes to be. Some other ideas: concert tickets, items from favorite places around town, school work, etc.
  2. Photos – Find two or more photos that will help tell the story of your memorabilia.
  3. Colors – Lay the photos and memorabilia on your table. Do they contain a hodge-podge of different colors? Congratulations! You now have your color palette! This is how I chose the color scheme for my paper album above: I had an orange piece of memorabilia, a pink piece, and two photos with green.
  4. Patterned Paper – Find patterned paper to go with the color palette of your photos and memorabilia.
  5. Book – Choose a mini-book size that will accommodate your memorabilia. Digi scrapbookers: When adding one piece of tactile memorabilia (un-scanned) to a small-sized digi-page, I have had the best visual results if the piece stretches from edge to edge, whether up-and-down or side-to-side.

If you start on these steps now, you’ll be ready to assemble your book when the new tutorial releases!

Weekly Roundup

Heads Up!

  • The Paperclipping Roundtable – We won’t be releasing this episode until Friday so that Nancy Nally can give us a full CHA trade show report!
  • Paperclipping Live! – This live scrapbooking show is every Tuesday at 6:30pm PST. Are you free?
  • The Paperclipping July Challenge – You have about two days to enter this! Come on, you know you want to…

That’s it for this week’s newsletter. I’m excited to share my two mini-books with you in the next week or so!

Best Regards,

Host, Paperclipping

  • Carol

    Noell, It's like you are in my brain. I have so many mini's barely started. I need to have specific photos in mind and narrow down the colours, embellishments and get them done. Stretching the tactile item across the page is a super good hint. The design principles are becoming clearer to me and I love learning about them from you.

  • I suppose I could be inside your brain without realizing it. More likely,
    though, this is just a common scenario! ;)

  • I suppose I could be inside your brain without realizing it. More likely,
    though, this is just a common scenario! ;)

  • Kae

    Hi Noell – I just watched the recorded Paperclipping Live. You were looking for a way to use the manilla tag but keep the brown reinforced area – my suggestion is to cut around brown area on one tag and use the manilla portion as a template to cut future papers to cover other tags. (I hope I'm making sense in describing this). Love the orange and pink together – I never would have tried it but now I will!

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  • Thanks, Kae. I've been worried about not getting a nice cut, but maybe I'll
    try something like this with my exacto knife and see what happens!