Making Mini Album Pages

by Sara Naumann

Class photos. Artwork and report cards. Sports pictures and after-school activities. How can you get it all organized? A mini school-themed album is a great way to preserve a year in your childs life without getting overwhelmed!

Not doing school photos? Consider using these layouts and tips for any other thememini albums are great for heritage, baby, family and friendship. (Well cover more mini album themes in the next few weeks, too!)

Whats a Theme Album?

Theme albums come in all sizes, from 8x8 mini albums to 12x12 bookstheyre simply albums dedicated to a specific person, place, event or occasion. Theres usually 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!

Why I Love Theme Albums: Real-Life Scrappers Tell All!

Overwhelmed by the thought of devoting time, money and energy to a chronological album, many scrappers are choosing to scrapbook in bite-sized pieces.

Reason #1 for Theme Albums: For better, easier organization

Keeping photos and memories organized was one key reason scrappers made theme albums. I take most of my photos at events, occasions or trips, say Natalie, a Texas scrapper. It just makes more sense for me to scrapbook my photos the same way I take them.

I love theme albums because I know exactly where the photos are, adds Kim. If I want to show people photos of my vacation, I can pull out a single album dedicated to that trip instead of flipping through a big chronological book.

Janet in Utah says: I have four children and we get their portraits taken at 3,6,9,12 and 18 months, at two years old and then yearly. I have a "Growing Up" book for each child. On one page I journal about the past year or the past months or I have the older kids fill out a questionnaire so I can see their handwriting and tastes change. Janet says this format gives each child his or her own special book and its a great way to organize those yearly photos.

Kids Sports Album


Says Paris: Parkers going to finish the soccer season with lots of professional team photos, like this one, plus all the action shots his mom will take at the games. A themed book all about his soccer season is a great way to keep those photos organized!

Paris matted her photo on blue texture paper, then attached it to the striped background paper. She cut out the border and placed it at the bottom of the page. Alphabet tiles spelling Parkers name are attached with foam tape. She journaled on white paper, leaving room for tape-style fragments attached with foam tape, then accented the journaling block with a star-shaped brad.

Reason #2 for Theme Albums: To make a gift album

Professional scrapbook page designer Paris Dukes is the Queen of Theme Albums. Her specialty? School-themed scrapbooks given as gifts to her daughters teacher at the end of the school year. Fellow designer Shauna Berglund-Immel also creates themed gift scrapbooks for her sons coaches. It doesnt need to be elaborate or have lot of pages, Paris and Shauna say. A few photos, journaling from both you and your child, and embellishments are all you need. Both Paris and Shauna make smaller sized gift albums using 8x8 books.

Theme albums also make great gifts for a co-worker, friend or family member. Carolyn in New York recently made a themed scrapbook as a retirement gift for a colleague. I used photos from office functions, copies of special awards she won and lists of projects she worked on, then snuck around and took photos of her office. Other co-workers wrote messages and special memories, then we gave it to her at her retirement party.


Says Paris: Every year on the first day of school I take a photo of Natalie standing by herself, then posed in front of the school or the school sign. This layout is the first page in her Third Grade Album, which will include additional photos and memorabilia throughout the year.

Paris matted the two photos on yellow texture paper, then placed them on the plaid and gingham background paper. She added the school title with foam tape, then attached two tags and the paper ribbons. She used real brads on the two tags and the paper ribbon that says 3rd, but the two long yellow ribbons across the page have faux brads printed on them.

Reason #3 for Theme Albums: Its a more manageable project

I like the idea of a project with a definite beginning and end, says self-described Realistic Scrapper LeNae Gerig. My family album will never be completeand thats okay, but I really like the idea of creating one album thats focused on a certain theme.

Reason #4 for Theme Albums: I dont have that many photos!

I decided to make a heritage scrapbook for my brother, my sister and myself, says Melissa, an Australian scrapper. Unfortunately, we dont have very many photos, or a lot of memories recorded. It was going to be a very short book! I didnt want to make a 12x12 album, because I felt the photos would look smaller and sparser in that format. I found that putting the photos into a smaller sized album fit the photos better in proportion.

Paris Dukes is a scrapbook page designer for Hot Off The Press and a fan of the new 8x8 Mini Album Collection. She says, I make theme albums for all the reasons listed abovebut theres also something fairly addicting about them. Once you start, you cant stop!