make your own: accordion photo album.

November 17, 2022

This post includes affiliate links from Artifact Uprising which means Reading My Tea Leaves might earn a small commission on the goods purchased through those links

It’s getting to be that time of year when my email inbox becomes inundated daily with messages telling me that I’m already behind, that deals are slipping away, that somewhere someone is going to get something I won’t because I didn’t make shopping a priority and DON’T I KNOW THIS IS THE GIFT WITH A 10,000 PERSON WAITLIST??? It’s a tough season for a sensitive minimalist and I’m sorry in advance if this post sets anyone to worrying about holiday present planning. Still, in the spirit of creative gift giving and allowing time enough to gather supplies, I’m joining the fray with a few gift giving ideas of my own. Today, that’s a photo album made from repurposed chipboard, wax paper, and whatever other cloth or paper additions you might have.

If you have a faraway relative or someone else you love who likes to pour over photos and appreciates handmade gifts of the sentimental variety, a tiny accordion photo album might be something to make this holiday season (or whenever the mood strikes).

To make this album, I worked with Artifact Uprising to print a series of my photos in the tiniest dimensions they offer—the Everyday Print Set in the 3.25 inch x 3.25 inch size. (You could always size up if you’re someone who is less fond of tiny things, though be warned that the pages might get floppy if you try to go too big.)

The process for making this wee book is the same as for the petal press that Rose shared last winter, except this time around, the translucent pages are filled up with photos and drawings in addition to bits of botanical ephemera. The possibilities for customizing this project to fit your personal taste or stash of supplies is practically endless.

I decided to use classic white waxed paper from the grocery store this time around, which is a bit more translucent than the unbleached parchment paper I typically keep in the house–but waxed paper or parchment paper, bleached or unbleached, all work here.

For the covers, I used some chipboard I saved from the back of a pad of watercolor paper and some kraft packing paper that came in a recent parcel. In the past I’ve also had terrific luck with thin fabric and patterned paper. I made one of these for my cousin’s 100th birthday this summer—sized to fit Instax film photos that the kids took—and wrapped it in the Liberty print fabric scraps I saved from a favorite old jumpsuit of Faye’s. For my mom’s birthday last week, I covered the chipboard covers with a painting that Calder brought home from daycare.

Ever a sucker for a bit wintry flair on brown paper, I taped a sprig to the front. You could also paste a photograph or stamp out a message. Follow your fancy is the name of this game.

To keep everything pressed together, I used a length of recycled cotton elastic I found recently at Brooklyn General Store. Elastic works especially well here for keeping things snug, but if you’re averse or otherwise without, you could certainly do without or tie up your album with a bit of ribbon or string instead.

If you’re so inclined, here are the full instructions for making the way I did—just measure and cut your covers and pages to size according to whatever size photos you’re hoping to use!

And if you’d like to order prints from Artifact Uprising, use the code READTEA15 to get 15% off sitewide, including Holiday Cards. (There’s no expiration date, so you can enjoy the discount whenever you have a project in mind—just keep in mind the AU recommended shipping dates for any holiday-related projects.)

This post includes affiliate links which means Reading My Tea Leaves might earn a small commission on the goods purchased through those links

You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply Christine November 21, 2022 at 11:54 am

    A very sweet spin on a photo book gift, and I do love the way the AU prints feel in hand. I might give this a go for a year-end tiny scrapbook 🙂

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Comments are moderated.