Monday, August 15, 2011

use your scraps week | diy smash-style books

Hello, and welcome to the first post in a week-long feature I'll be running here on the blog all about using your paper scraps!! If you're anything like me, you have oodles of paper scraps left over from various projects. After 13 years of scrapbooking (and not using many of the leftovers after a page is complete), I've amassed quite the collection of paper bits (though some of them are not so bitty). Let's take a peek at just a few of the goodies before we get started, shall we?

I keep my scraps organized by color in Sterilite 12x12 drawers. Each color drawer is a veritable treasure trove of "oldie but goodie" patterned papers, like this small sampling of pink pieces (some are older than others).

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I spy some lovely Basic Grey and Sassafrass in the orange drawer.

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The yellow drawer has some K and Company and Crate Paper goodness hidden in its depths.

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The purple drawer is just sigh-worthy.

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And I also have a few drawers of neutrals- white/cream, black/grey, and brown/kraft.

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You may have noticed that all of those pictures are of larger scraps, and there's a reason for that! Today we're going to dive into our scrap stashes and grab those bigger pieces to make some blank mini albums/journals! Francine Clouden has two wonderful tutorials (here and here) on her blog, Callalou Soup, for making Smash-style mini books, and I'm using those as my inspiration for today's scrap-diving adventure.

Following Francine's instructions, I gathered my scrap papers and carried them over to my trimmer where I cut them down to 5 1/2" x 8". If the pieces were a bit smaller than those dimensions I just went with it and stuck them in, as well- I like mixed up page sizes. :)

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Once I was finished trimming all the pieces, I arranged them in piles by color. You can arrange yours any way you like, I just tend to think and organize everything by color, making this a natural system for me to use.

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I then selected enough papers to make four books (yes, there were enough scraps to make four whole books in my stash!), creating a stack for each book and setting it aside.

I bound my first two books using Francine's spiral-bound mini book tutorial, found here. The covers are also made of cardstock scraps, so bonus points for that, right? :)

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I used my Zutter Bind-It-All for the bindings (as Francine did), but you could easily do this with a We R Memory Keepers Cinch or the 7 Gypsies Binderie, if you have one of those machines instead. If you don't have any binding machines, don't despair!! I'll cover that in a bit.

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Here are just a couple of shots of the inside pages.

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The pages of my second cardstock covered book actually stuck out past the cover a bit since I used larger o-wires (I ran out of the smaller ones), so I just "extended" the cover by adding a pretty patterned paper strip (also a scrap- double bonus points!) to the edges on both the front and back.

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I was feeling brave at this point (and a little giddy that I'd finally been able to learn to do something right with my Bind-It-All), so I decided to try Francine's Smash-style journal tutorial next, complete with a handmade bound cover! (You should have seen the expression on Darren's face when I asked him to pick up black duct tape for me the next time he was at Home Depot.)

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I think I made the spine of this one a bit too wide, but that just means it'll have plenty of room to grow and get fat as I add stuff to it, right?

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When I was digging through my mini album supplies looking for new o-wires, I came across this book cover that I'd long ago torn the pages out of and added a binder mechanism to, following Janet Hopkins' amazing tutorial. After a bit of measuring I determined that the 5.5" x 8" papers I'd already cut and piled up would fit perfectly!!

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Oh, and it was a Star Wars book in a previous life. :)

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This was super easy to assemble. All I had to do was punch holes (I used a Crop-A-Dile to do several sheets at once) and insert the pages. Done!

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I also had several book covers that I'd emptied of their contents but never done anything else with, so I decided to experiment and make a hybrid of both Francine's and Janet's projects using the book cover but adding a set of spiral-bound pages inside.

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This was a Star Wars book, too. :)

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Here you can see the finished book with the spiral bound pages and some pretty patterned paper added to the inside of the front and back covers. This is my absolute favorite of all the books I made for this experiment, and when I make more books in the future they're going to be done just like this. The cover is nice and sturdy, and the binding on the inside pages is secure.

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If you don't have a book binding system at all, you can totally still do this project! You can use binder rings that are readily available at almost any office supply store (and even Wal-Mart or Target), and if you get the really big ones they can even be used in conjunction with an old book cover (see my Bahamas cruise mini album for an example). You can also change up the size of the book to meet whatever need (or size of scraps) you have. Scrap diving is the perfect way to find papers to make something like my 4x6 summer mini album, which was actually made with scraps left over from a Sweet Peach kit.

While digging through my scrap drawers I discovered that I had approximately eighteen and a half billion little pieces of white scrap paper in a variety of small-ish sizes.

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I took that pile and cut it down to this. What is it, you ask? It's a pile of 2 1/8" x 3 3/8" pieces of white paper...also known paper the exact size of a Fuji Instax print! Yup, I cut myself a whole pile of Instax film from my scraps. I love, love, love the look of all those little Instax prints, but I've been put off by the cost of film and questionable longevity of the prints so I've never purchased the camera. Thanks to this tutorial at Elle's Studio I learned how to make my own from paper and small photo prints! I can easily print several Instax-sized photos on a single 4x6 canvas, cut them apart, and then add them to one of these white blanks for a faux Instax- the perfect addition for both the journals I made for this post (since I plan to use them mostly as travel journals) or any other mini album project!

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One parting thought on making mini albums from scraps...while going through my stash, I discovered a huge pile of Christmas and a (slightly smaller pile) of Halloween and fall papers. I'm already thinking that a book like this would be awesome for documenting a season (December Daily, anyone?).

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If you make any minis from your scraps, be sure to link them up so we can all admire them! And I'll be back tomorrow with another installment of scrap-using goodness!