The challenges of a large scrapbook can be daunting if you are new to the craft. There sits that large album, filled with blank pages. You will need a theme for the album and a theme for each page. You will need to add background paper, photos, frames, journaling, and embellishments. You don’t know where to begin!
Even if you aren’t new to scrapbooking, there are times when a mini scrapbook is just more appropriate than a large one.
Start Small and KISS
A mini scrapbook allows you to start small and “keep-it-simple-sweetie” (KISS). You needn’t spend as much time on a mini scrapbook, since a small page will hold much less. The KISS point is that, being small, a mini scrapbook will look cluttered if you get too many items on a page.
An album as small as 6” x 6” can be used for a mini scrapbook. The pages are large enough to hold a photo up to the standard 4” x 6”. The extra 2” can be used for a note or caption.
DIY Cardstock Album
You need not use a purchased album for your mini scrapbook. Simply cut regular letter-size cardstock sheets in half, creating pages that measure five and a half inches by eight and a half inches. Or purchase blank cards in that size at an office supply store. When you are ready to bind your mini scrapbook, purchase cover stock in colors, and have it spiral bound.
Another good way to make a cardstock mini scrapbook follows.
1. First, create your mini scrapbook pages, allowing a one half inch border at one end of each page. This is where your scrapbook will be bound, so the border should alternate from page to page.
2. Create a cover for your mini scrapbook, leaving the same border for binding.
3. At an office supply store, printer, or copy service store, have each page copied in color – double-sided – on your chosen size of cardstock. Have the cover copied on cover stock.
4. Ask to have your mini scrapbook spiral bound after it is copied. You will have a choice of spiral binding or comb binding. They come in colors, so you can coordinate the cover stock and plastic binding.
Long-lived Mini Scrapbooks
Keep your mini scrapbooks clean and strong, especially those that will be handled by young children. Instead of having your pages copied double-sided, choose single-sided copies. Then laminate pages together in pairs, back to back. Laminate your cover, and bind the mini scrapbook.
Keeping it simple, here are a few themes you may want to consider for your mini scrapbook.
1. YOUNG CHILD: If it’s for a young child, your mini scrapbook theme will be that child’s life. Page themes might include: birth, first step, first tooth, and other firsts. Include pages showing the child with his or her family. Show “my house”, “my room”, “my favorite toys”, “the books I love”, etc. You might include the child’s favorite foods, favorite games, and favorite places to visit, like the park. Remember the family pet, too.
2. WEDDING: A mini scrapbook of your wedding would make a lovely thank you gift for family members and the wedding party. You would want to plan it out before the wedding, so it was ready for adding photos soon after your honeymoon. Elegance and simplicity make the job easier and more beautiful. You could make one scrapbook, and then have pages color copied on cardstock. These could readily be cut, collated, and spiral-bound at an office supply store.
3. VACATION: Adult and children alike can make their own mini scrapbooks of a vacation trip. Our two children did this at age 5 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Again, the small size of the pages allows them to maintain interest, and complete a book without becoming discouraged. Our children’s books included such things as: tickets to amusement parks; photos clipped from the hotel’s free brochures; photos of our son riding a mini car; of our daughter riding a 2-humped camel; and little comments (journaling) in the children’s own writing.
Digital Mini Scrapbook Pages
Yes, you can produce your mini scrapbook on a computer. Design each page, leaving a one half each border at the top. Print to cardstock, punch holes in the top border, and insert rings for a cute flipbook. Or size your mini scrapbook pages to fit a flip desk frame.
Great Uses for Mini Scrapbooks
1. A small child will enjoy a mini scrapbook more than a large one, since each page will be simple and easy to enjoy. A small child can handle mini scrapbooks better, too. Laminated pages will remain clean, and the book can be enjoyed everyday – even carried in the car.
2. Mini scrapbooks make great “yearbooks” for parting high school or college friends. Work together on the original, and then have copies made and bound for each member of the group.
3. Grandma’s “Brag Book” goes to the office as a mini scrapbook mounted on a desk frame. Flip a page each day to have a gallery of photos, each on a cleverly themed page.
4. Mini scrapbooks are a great alternative to an annual letter sharing the past year with family and friends. Pages would include high points of your year: a birth, graduation, new job, new home, etc.
A few minutes alone with your imagination, and you will think of many more uses, many more ideas. Mini scrapbooking is an economical, quick way to gather a few memories for posterity.