December Daily 2012 finished album

Dec-daily-bannerI am so happy to say that December Daily 2012 is complete! I do wish that this had been finished in December but circumstances didn’t allow for that. January is still pretty good considering everything, plus the first time I did December Daily in 2010 I didn’t get the album finished until September 2011!

I originally planned to use an American Crafts 6×6 album this year. I present exhibit A:

DD12_original-cover-1The irony is that if I hadn’t decided to simplify this year, this album would have been perfect! I find when I avoid doing something it’s often because it’s not quite the right solution. In this case, I avoided decorating the cover of this album and there was a very good reason:

DD12_original-cover-2That is my COMPLETE December Daily 2012. Barely fitting into a quarter of the album! So, it was back to the drawing board and I’ve put the American Craft’s album aside for another mini-book idea that I’ve had kicking around for awhile. I also need to get my hands on more American Crafts 6×6 page protectors but they are proving rather elusive!

I digress.

My 2011 album cover used fabric over heavy cardboard and I still have quite a few pieces of cardboard cut out (the idea of making some albums to sell is also still kicking around), as well as a range of different Christmas fabrics. I decided to go down this path again, although I did need to get a plainer fabric to tie in with the muted colours of the Kaiser Craft ‘Twig & Berry’ paper.

I’ve put together a tutorial of how I use fabric to cover albums. It is a bit long but I hope it is helpful next time you are making a mini album and want a lovely handmade cover.

DD12_step-1

Because I wanted to keep my pages in the page protectors, my covers needed to be larger than 6×6. I had pre-cut boards at 6×8 and by turning them landscape they were the perfect size.
DD12_step-2I folded my fabric in half and laid it under one of my boards. I trimmed the fabric to allow about 5cm (2in) around all sides before cutting it in half. I also iron the fabric at this point to get rid of those ugly folds!

DD12_step-3To start the process of bonding it all together, I use double sided roller glue on one side. I make sure I get close to the edges and across the centre a couple of times. I than drape the fabric over the board and smooth it out to make sure there are no wrinkles! This becomes the front of the cover.

DD12_step-4Flipping the board over, I use Helmer Quick Dry glue to start folding the corners down. This makes the bond much stronger and allows you to glue the fabric to itself. I glue all four corners down first, making sure the flap is at right angles to the board. You need to make sure it is as straight as possible to get a crisp fold in step 5.

DD12_step-5Once all four corners have been glued down, fold the longer flaps down. I make sure that I put a lot of glue along the edge of the cardboard to get a sharp edge. Smooth the flap over the edge and pull tightly when you are folding it over. When the two sides meet, there is an overlap and I add a bit more glue to bring these together and press down for a few seconds to make sure it is adhered properly. This technique gives you a crisp corner edge without fraying or exposed cardboard. At this stage, you don’t need to worry if the fabric edges are frayed too badly or if it’s not straight.

DD12_step-6

I chose a piece of Kaiser Craft ‘Twig & Berry’ paper to use for the end papers. This one was my second choice as I cut my first choice too short! The album size is 8×6 and the end papers are cut to 7.5×5.5in to expose a bit of the green fabric and the corner folds. I use double sided glue on the back of the paper, again paying close attention to the edges and across the centre. To make sure it adheres strongly I use a printing brayer to press it down.

DD12_step-7

To line up the holes correctly, I overlay a page protector onto the inside of the back cover and using a Sharpie, mark where the holes will be. I didn’t think this one through too well and now there are blue circles on my back cover. A pencil would be a much wiser choice! I use a Big Bite to punch through the layers of fabric, cardboard and paper. Here’s where I made another mistake. I turned the front cover the wrong way when I marked out the holes and now the front end paper is upside down! Whoops! When I’ve tried to punch card this thick for books before I almost broke my hand using smaller hand punches. This little beast has been well worth it!

DD12_step-8How well does the fabric fare with the punch? It’s okay but I trim the stray threads and than add some Helmer’s Quick Dry glue to make sure they don’t continue to fray.

DD12_step-9In the past I’ve used ribbons on the fabric covers and last year I added a star to the hard plastic cover as an embellishment. I really liked the Sodalicious stars I’d used in this album and I knew I had other wooden star embellishments that I could use (Kaiser Craft). I decided to add these direct to the fabric this time around. I didn’t add the year to the front because the ‘2012’ on the first page is a strong design and I wanted a clean look to the cover.

DD12_step-10I cut down a larger sheet of heavy plastic to size and used my covers as a template for the holes. I only marked one sheet as the Big Bite is strong enough to go through both pieces of plastic. The one with the guide marks is the back cover.

DD12_step-11Almost there! I thread the plastic, cover, page protectors, front cover and front plastic through the jump rings before closing it all up.

DD12_finishedI mentioned that I turned the front cover the wrong way …

DD12_spreadAh, well. It’s handmade and unique!

I was doing my blog hop on Saturday morning, sitting on the Red Couch of Awesome and sipping coffee, when I came across Jamacia Makes’ December Daily album. I love, love, love the simplicity of this album, but still bringing in some other elements. It’s a good balance between my 2011 and 2012 albums. I think I’ll be aiming for this balance with my 2013 December Daily!

Ugh. Way too early to be thinking about next Christmas.

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