This Christmas album is a nice project for older children that need a little direction during holiday break. It takes some time and attention, but I think they will enjoy filling it up with photos of their friends and family.
It might even be a project that they could attempt to make as a gift for a grandparent or distant relative. This design gives you the ability to mount a photo and then add a card of explanation inside the envelope.
It is a unique way to send Christmas wishes and would be appreciated by anyone who receives it.
- Chipboard or heavy cardboard for journal cover
- Two 12” x 12” pieces of coordinating patterned cardstock
- One 12” x 12” piece of solid cardstock in a coordinating color
- Glue and Scissors
- Craft knife
- Bone folder
- 8 coin envelopes
- 8 tags to fit coin envelopes
- 1 small tag for the cover
- Brown stamp pad
- Stippling or stenciling brush
- 2 clothespins
- Four eyelets
- Ribbon, yarn, or cord
1. To determine the dimensions of the cover of your journal measure your coin envelopes and add ¼” to both length and width. My coin envelopes measured 6 ¼” by 3 ¼”, so my journal cover was 6 ½” by 3 ½”.
2. Using these measurements cut two pieces of chipboard with your craft knife. Then, cut two pieces of patterned cardstock to cover the chipboard. Make the car stock 2” larger than the chip board in both the length and the width.
3. Apply glue to the back of the chipboard cover, center the chipboard over the cut cardstock, and adhere the two together. Next, fold the corners of the cardstock towards the center of the chipboard. Finally, fold the edges of the cardstock onto the chipboard, and press firmly with a bone folder. Repeat the process for the back cover.
4. To create the accordion spine for your journal, cut a strip of the solid cardstock measuring the width of your journal by 12”. Accordion fold the strip every ¾”. Use your bone folder to create sharp folds. Turn the strip so that you have 8 valleys, and adhere the front and back covers to the ends of the strip.
5. Using the second patterned cardstock cut two pieces measuring slightly smaller than your chipboard cover. To hide the unfinished edges, glue these pieces to the underside of the journal cover.
6. Cut the flap off each envelope. To soften the look of the envelopes and tags, you can gently rub a stamp pad across the edges. You can also use a stipple brush to apply the ink for an aged look.
7. To assemble your book, insert and center one coin envelope into each valley of the accordion spine. When finished, you should have eight envelopes in place.
8. The next step is to drill through all the layers of the journal. It is helpful to have a partner for this step, although I’ve found that two clip clothespins can be helpful in holding the covers and envelopes in place.
Measure approximately ¾” in from the top and bottom edges and 3/8” from the end of the cover. Using a 1/8” drill bit, drill through the covers, spine, and envelopes. Remove the clothes pins and set eyelets in the front and back covers. Secure the eyelets with a hammer.
9. Thread ribbon, yarn, or cord up from the back of the cover, over the front, and down through the other side. Tie a knot in the cording on the back of the journal.
10. Thread ribbon or bits of fabric through the holes in the tags and insert them into the envelopes and your album/journal will be ready to record your favorite holiday memories.
Make sure to grab extra materials when you are starting this project because you can be sure that one album won’t be enough!