PRT082 – Making Unique Minibooks

This week we’re talking about how to use found items to make unique minibooks. Come listen!

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  • If anyone would like a visual, I posted pictures of the types of minis we’re talking about on my blog:

    -Megan Anderson

  • Cara

    Great show, it’s nice to hear some new voices. Just a shout out to Nancy, you aren’t the only grinch! Well, I guess we aren’t grinches, but, I’m not so much a glitter girl either and it’s rare that’ll I’ll make a mini and even more rare that it’ll get finished! We all have our own tastes, I scored the same as you and Ali on the personality test, so maybe that’s why ;). Or it could be because I have 4 boys and a tomboy. I do like glitter, it’s just I’d rather use grungy masculine stamps and Tim Holtz-y type things even on pages about myself. I prefer pirates over princesses so I guess we disagree there ;).

    For my vacation this summer, I did make a cool fold up travel journal book with photo sleeves, notebook paper and envelopes and stuff sewn in, but it’s still not finished. My kids are between 1 and 10 so I’m busy and I guess my stage in life makes a difference on how much time I can spend. I’m doing Lain’s motherLOAD right now and I can do a page in an hour and call it done, where as with a mini, I keep adding and fussing and I can easily spend 3 hours on one 6×6 page LOL!

    All that said, I’m pretty motivated to go and finish my vacation book now :). Thanks ladies

  • Love your comment! Really surprises me though — when you said you can make a page an hour for MotherLoad, I would think you could make a 6×6 mini-page per half-hour and be done within a week or less. Especially if you’re already used to getting all Tim-Holtzie on your pages! Do you think it’s just that you’re not used to the change of format/size?

  • Oh, I’m glad you linked to your stuff! It’s always better when there are visuals!

    Maybe if I get some time I’ll throw a post together, myself!

  • HeatherC

    Stampin Up is pricy, but has great Kraft cardstock — especially if you are a cardmaker as it is pretty stiff.  Archiver’s has a good one that mimics a paperbag — I think it is called “natural”

  • HeatherC

    Tip for materials to repurpose into mini albums — your kid’s old board books.  The picture usually peels off pretty easy or just cover with paper — great for little gifts too.

  • Anonymous

    When the conversation came up I also thought of SU. That’s what I buy. Their paper pack has half the pack textured and the other half smooth and they sell it both in 12×12 and 8.5×11

  • Tami

    Hi, I wanted to add a little “geek speak” to your discussion regarding “Kraft”.  I am a chemical engineer and used to work in the paper industry.  “Kraft” refers to the chemical process used to create the paper.  Unbleached kraft paper is the brown paper you are referring to in the show discussion.  Kraft paper can also be bleached white.  The paper mill I used to work for made many varieties of coated bleached white Kraft paper – which was used for many different products, such as food can labels to the uber glossy paper you find in high end magazines (think National Geographic, etc).  Hope that helps clear things up – Love the show!!

  • I love using old board books! They make great brag books – the perfect Mother’s Day gift for grandma!

  • Cara

    Yeah, I’m totally not used to a smaller size. I like lots of layers and clusters with white space so it’s hard for me to get it he way I like it. It’s a scale thing ;)

  • So glad to hear Izzy promoting the membership here- it’s so worthwhile (even though I’m digi I LOVE it!).

  • KikiK

    Love using those old board books. My most favorite is one I made a while ago with snapshots of my daughter’s first year. You can see if you want the basic construction here
    part 1
    part 2

  • AshleyM

    For Megan- do you have a source for binder mechanisms?  I have done a good bit of searching and can only find them in bulk- bundles of 300!  Eek!  Thanks in advance!

  • Susan

    Noell, Really enjoyed the show this week.  Did I hear you right that Roundtable listeners received a 15% discount on Boot Camp 2011.  When I used the link provided I added the class to my cart but didn’t show a discount.  Did I do something wrong? Thanks!  Susan

  • Yes, Susan, the coupon code is on the page where the link is:

    Thanks for supporting us by using our link to get over there! I hope you love it!

  • sandi keene

    I have enjoyed every episode of the round table and always look forward to them. Great job to all. As a big fan of mini albums this weeks topic was especially inspiring. Really enjoyed Elise and would love to hear more from her. I have been reading her blog for several years and am always inspired. I appreciated Megan as well as I would have never thought of book rings thru a book binding. Great topic and great show. Thanks for all that you do.

  • jersey Girl Anne

    Are you going to post the link to Nancy’s pick? It was the buttons from prima. i love their stuff but as nancy said, it is pretty pricey so I am hoping to be able to find those buttons! Thanks for another great round table.

  • It sounds like Izzy wasn’t able to find them either. Maybe someone who knows who sells them will jump in!

  • found these buttons

    These really aren’t what I was picturing at all for buttons, but are very cool!

  • Great episode – love the new voices.  Another way to bind mini-books is to use the spiral binding services at FedEx Kinkos.  I just bound one there for $4 – 6″ by 6″ pages and all paper.  I got some crazy looks from the people working there, but it is such a great solution!  Will have to post my album to my blog soon.

  • WOW! They look amazing!

  • Staples print and copy centers usually do a great job too! They have a ton of binding that you can choose from! 

  • Katie Scott

    I’ve been making tons of mini books lately – especially for travel while I’m traveling – here’s a picture of my mini in progress on the go.

  • Susan

    Hi Megan,  I’m from Kansas City too.  Loved your minibooks.  Was wondering how you remove all the pages from the book and how to do attach the binder ring?  Thanks for the inspiration

  • Great show! Love mini books. There are so many really cute ones available from almost every scrapbook company.
    I’ve some suggestions for folks who’d like to do something different but are not ready to create from scratch and want a different look. 7 Gypsies Photo Carousel makes a delightful ‘mini book’. There are manilla pockets that can fit extra photos, index cards and clear plastic sleeves. I’m slowly working on one that details one of our trips to Paris. If you want folk to explore your pages this one just invites people to touch and twirl. Other ideas are cloth books to which you can paint, mists or just glue paper. Donna Downey for Prima makes cute ones – bird houses and purses and regular book shapes C&T publishing has wonderful canvas books’ve taken old children’s board books and gessoed the pages for a mini book base. Inexpensive!I took a Making memories class once on constructing a several page gatefold mini album with cardstock. It was remarkably sturdy. Unfortunately, I could not locate the exact instructions for this on-line, maybe someone has those instructions. (Though tutorials for all kinds of minis including other gatefold albums do abound on-line.)Paper bag albums seem to be enjoying a resurgence in popularity, though perhaps, they never truly went away.Collect those cardstock drink coasters. Some of those designs are cute and they can be punched additions to a mini album or you can make an album from them alone. See paper or plastic items and start inspecting them for “bindability”.Besides the Big Shot and jump rings, useful tools for assembling assorted items into books are binding machines like the Cinch , the Bind It All or the Unibind Photobook Maker (that will bind more than photos) love the zebra print binder clips. Have used many in the past to attach my ID tags (a la Stacy Julian) to my travel albums.(Though I’ve yet to travel anywhere that zebras are running wild.) I have a few of those fabric pages by Amy Tan but have not yet figured out how to best exploit their tactile quality. Love them though. Any one with ideas? I guess mini book covers. I just hate to cover them with a page protector.As always, a fan of Paperclipping products. Encourage all PRT fans to become members. 

  • Thanks Cara! Maybe we can share a “glitter free zone” crop table sometime. ;-)

  • Angela Lopez

    Boy I am behind on my recordings.  I didn’t make a minibook until I started following Laura Denison on  I was so impressed with her work when you showed her ‘Suite Case’ album during winter CHA.  Laura led me to Katheryn Kreiger on They both make mini-books much different from your guests.  There is so much out there in cyber space for different taste.  Which leads me to the ‘Lone Scrappers’ out there.  I don’t know many scrappers in San Diego (well now I know one more, Elise). When ScrapExpo comes to town, I look at all the scrappers and say were did you’ll come from?! Is there some secret scrap society out there? Scrapbook Masons that hold secret crops in San Diego?  HaHa.  I guess a lot of scrappers use sites like Laura and Katheryn.  You log into Ustream and have your own little crop.  So maybe that is why there are a lot of ‘lone scrappers’.  Finally,  I find it interesting that there are so many talented scrappers that come from different backgrounds.  Laura started out as a quilter, Christine Urias started in fashion, And you started as a DANCER!!!  It is very interesting how you all use your backgrounds in paper scrapping.  Well if you have time (haha) check out Laura. She just did a ‘locker’ mini for back to school. Kathryn is wicked funny. Her story of Omar the horse on May 7th Ustream had me in stitches.  As always great show. P.S. you should have a video about all you need to know about glimmer for members. It will be nice to have it as a reference. Thanks. 

  • Hey, Angela — what kind of glimmer are you interested in exactly? Do you mean Glimmer Mist specifically, or anything glittery?

    BTW, we did try to get Laura on before and she wasn’t available the day we asked her for. We have TONS different people we’re interested in having so I haven’t gotten back around to asking her again. Maybe someday! :)

  • I love minibooks…the whole project based aspect of it. You can start and finish eventually! My issue is how to store it all nicely, since I do have many sizes, shapes and with more dimensional covers. 

    BTW, nice to hear the new voices – yay for new perspectives. 

  • Your minis are super cute and love how they are in the spine of books. Very cool!

  • Angela Lopez

    Sorry I was referring to the previous episode about glitter.  You made a comment about thinking of doing a tutorial then you said maybe not.  I know you have used glitter on some of your projects.  It would be nice to get the 101 on glitter, types, how to adhere it, stamp with it, glues to use.  I can keep the tutorial for reference.  I would include glimmer too.  Thanks for listening. 

  • Shesquire

    Here’s another vote for Nichol Magouirk! I would LOVE to hear my top two most influential and inspiring scrapbookers (Noell and Nichol) on the same show.

  • Ahhh — thank you!! I’ve had no exposure to Nichol but I’ve seen so much enthusiasm toward her that I’m excited to get to know her soon — both on the show and during True Scrap. If I remember right she’ll be teaching at that event with me!

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  • Susan,

    I carefully remove the pages with a craft knife. For most vintage books, the pages aren’t actually connected to the spine. They’re connected at the point where the spine and the covers meet.

    For binder rings, I use a Crop-a-Dile II to punch holes in the covers very close to the spine and thread them through.

    For binder mechanisms, I punch holes directly through the spine and attach the binders with eyelets. 

    Hope this helps!

  • Thanks, Linda!

  • I always buy them on Etsy by searching “binder mechanisms” in the “supply” section. I’ve purchased from this seller a lot:

  • I store mine in several places. Some of my favorites are in a large basket in our family room so that guests can look through them. I also sometimes display favorites or new minis throughout my home. 

    Most of the minis I talked about on this show are on a bookshelf, as they can look nice and neat organized library-style. Baskets, suitcases, and organizer bins have worked the best for me.

    I’ve also seen creative solutions, such as hanging multiple minis bound with jump rings from a curtain rod.