Mini Albums Class Project of the Month: Mini Albums

by Sara Naumann

Class Description: Theme albums are hot! Want to get hands-on experience with the latest papers and embellishments designed just for mini albums? Then join us! Let us teach you the principles of working in an 8x8 format, from layout to embellishments. Youll take home one finished 8x8 birthday-themed page plus loads of ideas.

Teaching Techniques:
What are mini albums? They range in size, from 6x6 to 8x8. While the 6 size is fun, weve found that an 8 page gives you room for a photo (or two) plus journaling and embellishments. This format is great when you have extra photos, small photos (like heritage pictures), or simply dont have a lot of time and want to complete your albums quickly. They also make great gifts!

What are theme albums? Theyre smaller, more manageable albums that focus on a specific theme rather than attempting to contain the familys complete album. Think baby, wedding and heritage, for example. Theme albums are those where all the pages in the album are about a specific person, place, event or occasion. Theres often a thread of continuity in terms of design: The papers match the album, for example. However, this doesnt mean every page in the album must use the same background paper or exact same layout!

What kind of theme books can I make? Baby, Wedding, Heritageall of these are wonderful kinds of themed mini albums. But what about a Birthday bookone that contains family birthday celebrations throughout the year, or contains a childs birthdays, year by year? Maybe a Vacation book, with photos from your last trip, or a Christmas album that features your familys traditions.

Basic layout. Because 8x8 albums are smaller, it makes completing a layout much faster and easier than a 12 page. There isnt the feeling that you need to add lots of embellishments to fill the page. On the other hand, you wont be able to fit lots and lots of photos on the page. One large picture or several small photos (maybe punched with a 1 1/2 square punch) will look great on the page. As for journaling, you can place it on the page with the photo, or dedicate the facing page in your double-page spread to the journaling.

Embellishing. A 4 tag that looks great on a 12 layout will overwhelm a mini album page. Instead, Opt for embellishments that are sized for a smaller layout. We like the Paper Pizazz Paper Packs because they contain patterned papers and themed art thats perfectly sized for 8 pages. (Teachers: Flip through one of the Paper Packs to show students the art sheet as an example.)

Papers. Yes, you can cut your 12 papers down to an 8 size but I think youll find its just easier to buy 8 paper! Not all paper patterns look good as an 8 sizeand theres nothing worse than discovering that after you cut down a 12 sheet. Also, papers like the Paper Pizazz Paper Packs often have a shaded edge, which makes it look as though its been inked.

Designed by Susan Cobb

Project Tips
Love using color?
On this page, weve used blue and yellow star paper on a yellow background, then added bits of lime, purple, teal, orange and pink for matting and embellishments. How does it all work? Heres the trick: Use colors from the patterned paper to accent the rest of your layout. For example, this blue patterned sheet has yellow stars with green, teal and purple confetti. The confetti is pretty subtle, so I could easily accent the page with colored embellishments.

Create balance. Notice how this layout is balanced: The patterned paper is on one side of the layout, while the embellishments create a border on the opposite sideseparated by a yellow happy birthday border. Both stand out from the yellow background paper without competing. We cut out the embellishments, leaving the printed border around the tags and art pieces, then used foam mounting tape to layer the word fragments and tags.

Photo tip. For this 8x8 page, we chose to enlarge one great photograph of Katie, rather than squeezing in multiple photos. Of course, by matting the photo, we made sure it would stand out from the patterned paper.



  1. Cut a 5 3/4 x 7 7/8 piece of star paper and glue centered even, with the right side of the yellow sponged paper. Mat your photo on lime, then purple papers leaving a 1/8 border on each. Glue the photo to the star paper, about 3/8 from the right side of the page.
  2. Cut out the Happy birthday to you! border, glue it to the purple ribbon border and cut out Glue as a border between the star paper and the yellow paper.
  3. Cut out the paper art and apply foam tape to the backs of all, except for the tags. Add star brads to the top of the tags. Arrange the embellishments along the left side of the page on the yellow paper, overlapping each other. Journal on lime paper with the black pen, then trim and mat on purple. Add to the lower left corner with a star brad. Personalize the tags with name and date as desired.
  4. Add the remaining tag to the lower right corner of the photo. Cut out the appropriate number and mat on lime paper. Attach with foam tape, overlapping the tag.

Class prep tips: Teachers, since all the papers and embellishments needed are included in the Birthday Papers pack, we recommend you build the $8.99 cost of the book into the cost of your class. Remember, you pay wholesale when you buy 3 copies or more. (Wholesale is 50% of the retail.) Be sure to let students know theyll get the rest of the pack to take home.

Class sales tips: As a teacher, your job is to instructand to sell students on additional materials. Be sure to point out the different themes available in the Paper Pizazz Mini Album line, especially the Birthday Album and Birthday Cardstock. Make sure all the Mini Albums are merchandised together in the store, at least for that evening. It makes shopping easier for the student and guarantees theyll buy more.

Working with the retailer: Of course, youll want to make sure the retailer has plenty of product in stock because students will want to buy additional supplies. Show different themes in class while students are cutting and assembling.

Love the Paper Pizazz Mini Album line? Then be sure to check out all the available themes!