Aged to Perfection: Save Your Memories With a Mini Album

Posted by Roxanne O'Brien
Some occasions just need to be preserved! Learn how to make a mini album so you can share all your favorite memories.

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My husband's grandmother had a milestone birthday last year - the big 9-0! There was a party for her with all her family and close friends. I offered to take some photos during the party and we did these HUGE group photos outside on the driveway. It was where we could all fit! You'll see when you take a look through my mini album and see our big fat Greek family! And yes, there are a lot of us and we are loud. All the time. And we love it.


  • SEI Crafts, 6x6 Expandable Project Album
  • Heidi Swapp Notes
  • American Crafts Project Life Value Kit, Cathy Zielske
  • Embossalicious Blooming Wonderful Vintage Embossing Folder
  • MFT, Journal-It Calendar Basics Stamp
  • Studio Calico Stamps, Storytime Numbers
  • Hero Arts, Stencil Flower Stamp
  • Technique Tuesday Die, Say It Happy
  • Die'Sire Classiques Collection Dies, Traditional Bunting
  • Fancy Pants, 12x12 Collection Kit, Summer Sun
  • Studio Calico Letter Stickers
  • Cosmo Cricket, Tiny Type Letter Stickers (Navy)
  • Memento Ink, Tangelo
  • Memento Luxe Ink, Wedding Dress
  • Lawn Fawn Stamps, Dream
  • Spectrum Aqua Markers, Primary
  • Spectrum Aqua Markers, Floral
  • Versamark Watermark Ink Pad
  • Clear Embossing Powder
  • Strathmore Watercolor Paper Pad 11x15
  • DCWV Sweater Weather 6x6 Paper Pack
  • Craft Paper 6x6 Paper Pack, The Pier
  • Prima Mtg., Stamp
  • Memento Ink, Nautical Blue

I'm back with another mini album! This one is special because I'm going to give it to my husband's grandmother for her birthday this year. I know she will appreciate it and be thankful to look through all the family that came to celebrate her special day last year. And really, what is better than the gift of memories for someone, especially someone in their 90's?

I gathered up all my supplies, and of course added some in here and there once I got going. I had fun with different elements in this one.

The first order of business was to decorate the front and back covers. I do try to keep the front simple, but fun and the back plain but definitely coordinated. For these covers, I chose a dark blue cardstock and I used white ink with a gorgeous large floral stamp to create my own custom patterned paper. This helps when you need something more custom than grabbing a piece of cardstock. I couldn't find just the right one, and I decided to make my own. I love how it came out! The pop of white on the blue is so pretty. I used some of the elements from the Project Life Kit linked above along with some letter stickers and a simple stamped cutout for the number 90. The blast of orange with the wood veneer is so pretty!

This album came with 6x6 clear page protectors, so making my pages was fairly simple. I started off by trimming all my photos down to 2x3 and chose coordinating papers to the photos and theme of the book adding in splashes of wood veneer, rub-ons, letter stickers, and journaling here and there. I let the photos speak for themselves for the most part. This is a quick way to get an entire album completed in just one day! You just create your pages, insert into the protectors, and you're done!

I decided on a wood type patterned paper for the inside front and back cover (which you'll see that later on). I used simple elements on the inside of that front cover. An embossed card rubbed with two different ink colors and an awesome wood veneer piece rubbed with some ink. To make it stand out on the embossed card I inked up, I simply used a piece of patterned paper behind it to make it pop off the card.

The first page started off with a large rub on and the focus was definitely on the wording of this as well as the "life is good" text that is running on the diagonal. I really love the message here and I hope she knows how much we all love her!

The card on the left was in the Project Life Kit as well and it's perfect for noting all the important details for the event. The photo of her son is hilarious because I was setting up the camera on the tripod taking some test shots for lighting, and he walked by and waved. Perfect for this page!

I told you there were a LOT of us! So this is our family here - from the birthday girl to her children and their children and their children. Do you follow? :) We all get together on a regular basis for birthdays, holidays, and just because days.

Here is more of the extended family and close friends (some are missing as they had to leave the party a bit earlier). This includes our guest of honor's brother's wife, her children and their children with their child! So yes, there are even more of us!

I wanted to show you a fun technique for creating another patterned paper of your own using a simple stamp, Versamark ink with clear embossing powder and Spectrum Aqua Markers (or any other watercolors you wish/have on hand), and a water brush.

I started out by stamping in a random manner all over my 6x6 watercolor cardstock page with Versamark ink. I then heat embossed it with clear embossing powder. Once that was dry, I colored swatches of various colors from my markers onto an acrylic block. I then picked up the color with my water brush pen and started coloring on top of the paper. The cool thing with embossed images is that they resist the watercolor, so you're left with a stunning look! Take a look at the process...

Okay, back to the pages!

A big happy birthday to her this year!! Couldn't have a better Yiayia/G.G. (grandmother in Greek/Great Grandma) than you!