Oh, how I love school supplies! There is nothing like a new box of crayons, no matter your age!
It is coming–whether I am ready for it or not!
I wanted to make an album to house all of the “greatest hits” from the school year last year. “Greatest hits” for me include any awards, report cards, notes from teachers, 100 percent on a test, etc. Plus, I wanted to include photos I took from their first day of school, and generally document the school year.
I gathered all of the items I wanted to include, and started to plan the album.
I used recycled materials- school supply packaging, tags, and flash cards. Then I bound the materials together with my Cinch Binding Tool.
- The Cinch Version 2-Book Binding Tool-Teal
- Cinch Binding Wires- 1″, silver
- Cinch Wire Clippers Pliers
- Various school supply packaging
- Star Paper Punch
- Core’dinations Glitter Silk Cardstock
- Large tags
- Black Photo Corners
- Composition Notebook
- School-themed flash cards
- Clasp envelopes
Now, before you go thinking that you need all of those supplies to make your own album, relax. Use what you have! Make your album unique to you. If you do not have a binding machine, you can always use a hole punch, and rings, or some other method of binding your album.
I took a “SMASH” book approach to this album. There is no wrong way to do it.
Begin by tearing down the packaging you wish to use. I found it easiest to cut down the sides of the boxes:
Then I used my scissors to trim the perimeter of the box into a front “page” and a back “page” for my album. I saved the cute colored dot strip and used it as an embellishment in the album. I am thrifty like that.
For the front and back cover of my album, I used a composition notebook.
Open the notebook, and you should find that the paper has been machine stitched into the cover. It is very simple to remove the paper.
Take a craft knife, and slice though the strings:
The paper will drop right out!
Now, start filling the inside of your album.
Layer your packaging, tags, flash cards, etc., how you would like them to sit in your album.
You may find it helpful to use some temporary adhesive.
I found it easiest to work with the cover upright, so the materials would stay down towards the spine.
Make sure your items are against the spine, and punch holes for your binding.
Now, before I show you that part, I want to state for the record that I have never used a binding machine. Ever. (Before this project) I was a little nervous. I have difficulty making Jello.
I followed the manufacturer directions that came in the CINCH binding machine box, and it was, well….a cinch.
Make sure the items you want to punch slide into the machine, all the way to the back:
Now you can see that the punching area is smaller than my book. This is okay, the Cinch can be used for all sizes of materials, and I will show you how easy it is to line up your project to punch more holes for longer binding.
(Here is a close-up of the album spine going all the way to the back of the machine.)
To line up your punched project, so you can punch additional holes, you simply insert this guide into the second to last hole of your project (as per manufacturer directions) and punch again.
Honestly, you guys. It was easy.
After you punch the holes in the project, pick your Cinch Binding wire:
They come in several sizes and colors.
There is a handy area on the side of the Cinch that “holds” your wire, so you can get your pages strung onto the wires easily.
When the pages are on the wire how you want them, follow the directions, and bind the album!
Remember, the Cinch does both the punching, and the binding. Same machine.
You can see in this next photo that my wire was too long for the book:
No worries. Just trim the wire down to your desired size.
Now that your album is all bound into a neat book, you can begin embellishing the inside.
Add your photos, extra flash cards, tags, stickers, journaling…whatever you would like.
Would you like to see some of my ideas?
Here is the first page of the album, so you can get a feel for the “SMASH” quality of the album:
I used alphabet flash cards corresponding to my children’s initials.
I used mini-folders to add journaling, and additional photos.
I loved using photo corners too. I think it added to the “old school” scrapbook feel. Did you notice the little marker packaging colored dot strip? Thrifty!
The best things I added to this album were these clasp envelopes. They are perfect for stuffing in folded report cards, and class schedules. Along with any other memorabilia that is too small or too large to bind. And it is handy to have to add things later that you forgot about when you made the album. I have one for each of my children, and their school photo is mounted on the outside.
See how cute the marker packaging looks with the ribbon tied onto it?
Here is a shot of how I used flashcards. I used alphabet and “sight word” flash cards.
To the sight word cards, I added journaling strips.
One more. I know this is a photo-heavy post!
Here is where I added a strip of lined paper for each of the kids to write their name, in “their best handwriting.”
You can also see that on the back of one of the flash cards, I had the kids fill out a “Favorites” list for the year. Favorite friends, Teachers, Subject and memory. It helped to personalize it, and it was quite entertaining to read.
That is it!
I made the whole album start to finish in one afternoon, and most of that time was spent trying to remember where I had stashed all the kids’ stuff.
Let me know what you add to yours! I can use your fresh ideas.
I have several more years of this to go…