Although there are many lovely scrapbooks available for purchase, the covers of these albums don't necessarily reflect the creative nature of the pages within. For a truly custom album, you can make your own beautiful cover. All you need are a few supplies and an hour or two of free time.
Hand-Bound Scrapbook Album Cover
Book-binding is a fun art, perfect for making scrapbook covers as well as handmade journals. The advantage of making your own scrapbook cover using this method is that you can create an album of any shape or size. The design is entirely up to you.
Things You'll Need
- Archival-quality cardboard, available from book-binding suppliers like Hollander's
- Archival-quality blank paper, as many sheets as you want album pages
- Decorative scrapbook paper
- Craft knife
- Acid-free spray adhesive
- Awl and needle
- Hole punch
- Acid-free twine
- Mod Podge
- Foam brush
- Charms, buttons, tassels, or other decorations
What to Do
- Determine the desired size of your album and then cut your blank paper to fit that size. Punch a row of holes along the spine of the sheets for binding. Stack the sheets together.
- Measure the length and width of the sheets, as well as the thickness of the stack of paper. Note these measurements.
- Add 1/4 inch to the dimensions you found in step 2. This will make the cover slightly larger than the pages, allowing it to protect them from bumps when your scrapbook is assembled. Use a ruler to mark your binder's board according to the measurements you made. Mark the spine on one side and trim around the other sides to create the cover boards.
- Use the craft knife to cut out the album cover according to your measurements.
- Place the ruler in the spot where you want the spine to bend. Holding the ruler tightly in place, crease the binder's board in this location. You may need to score the board lightly with a craft knife.
- Apply spray adhesive to the board and use your decorative paper to cover.
- To hide the raw edges of the paper and board, you can wrap the excess paper around the board and secure with adhesive. Another option is to trim the paper along the sides of the board and then go over the raw edges with gold or silver paint. Or, you can use washi tape in a matching color or design to finish the edges as shown below.
- Stack the front and back covers, facing out. Place one of the paper pages on top of the cover in the position you want them to be inside. Mark each hole with an X.
- Use an awl to make the holes through the front and back covers, making sure to keep them aligned as you do so. After you've made holes, reinforce the outside of the covers with two coats of Mod Podge. Allow the Mod Podge to dry completely before continuing.
- Put your scrapbook together by placing the paper inside the covers and lining everything up so it's straight. Securely tie the twine at the top of your album, leaving a couple of inches of overhang, and hand sew the spine of the book tightly closed. After you've gone over it once, go back again to make it even sturdier. Finish your sewing back at the top of the book and tie it off, leaving a bit of extra twine at the end.
- Use the twine "ends" to secure your charms, buttons, tassels, or other decorations to finish off your scrapbook. Trim any loose ends.
Judge Your Book by Its Cover
Taking the time to make your own scrapbook cover adds an even more personal touch. Your scrapbook will feature more than just personalized layouts and fine papers; it will have a beautiful cover that offers a clue to its contents.