Vintage French Toile Mini Album

VFT Title PicStarting to make one of a kind Mini-Albums with all the various papers we have from our crafting endeavors.  This was the first “Hidden Spine” album I have made and I gotta say I’m absolutely happy with the end result.  The hardest part about making this album was deciding which paper to use lol.


First I’d like to give a very special shout out to Anne from  www.annespapercreations.com for providing such amazing video tutorials on album construction and Kathy Orta from www.paperphenomenon.com whose inspiring paper craft-work and designs allow me to think outside the box in my own designs.  Both provided essential design elements to the production of this mini-album.


The first paper I chose was the French Toile replica B&W card stock.  It was part of a single sheet collection that included the stripes, polka-dot, vine and damask papers as well.  I used the Ranger Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Ink Pad to add the vintage (aged) look to all the b&w pattern paper that I used.

VFT Front Cover

Front Cover

VFT Back Cover

Back Cover


As this was the first mini-album I was making I wanted to keep the over-all page elements minimal.  I decided to do a simple pocket on both the front and back inner covers as well as using expanding flaps to provide more areas to use as photo mats.

VFT PG 1 w/ closed Inside Front cover

Front Inner Cover closed

VFT Expanded front cover

Front Inner Cover expanded

VFT PG 10 w/ closed Inside Back cover

Back Inner Cover closed

VFT Expanded Back CoverBack Inner Cover expanded


I used Kathy Orta’s “Hidden Spine” technique to make the tabs for the inner pages.  The spine is 3″ wide with 11 tabs.  I only used 10 of those tabs allowing the middle one to be used for the charm attachment section.  I attached envelopes to the tabs to make the inner pages and covered them on one side with the b&w patterned card stock and a metallic card stock on the other alternating between both the pattern paper and the metallic paper. VFT PG 3

Copper Metallic & Polka Dots

VFT PG 4

Antique Gold & Damask

VFT PG 5

Copper Metallic & Vine Work


The middle pages I wanted to use a “Waterfall” display for smaller photos.  There are 5 photo mats with dedicated journal areas on  both sides.  The paper I used for these were from an 8 x 8 Oriental paper pack that had a lot of distressed and overlapping colors that I felt worked well with the plain b&w pattern paper and metallic’s.

VFT Charms 2

Middle Waterfalls

VFT Waterfalls 2

Journal area for Waterfall photo mats.

VFT Charms 1

The middle spine arm provides enough space

for the charms to be stored inside without bulking the album to much.


The remaining pages of the mini album.

VFT PG 6Vine Work & Copper Metallic
VFT PG 7Damask & Antique Gold

VFT PG 8

Polka Dots & Copper Metallic’s

VFT PG 9

Damask & Bronze Metallic


Because I used envelopes for the page base I decided to leave them unsealed with the openings facing towards the front.  I attempted to use some magnetic tape to make flaps with the envelopes but they were to weak to use through the card stock.  =(  Looking into another type of magnet that will hopefully work.  As a result I decided to make full page photo mats for all 10 pages.  The stamp work turned out really well considering it was stamped three times with different inks to get a 3D effect.VFT Middle Waterfalls w/ Mats exposed

Photo mats slightly pulled outVFT Mat inserts

Photo mats completely removed from sleeves.VFT Mats Frontside

Front Photo Mat

VFT Mats backside

Back Photo Mat


For the finally embellishments I add chipboard pieces to the pattern paper and the charm piece to the spine which can dangle on both the outside or the inside of the album.  Also added some distressed metal embellishments to the front and back cover to added a little bling to the album.

Over all I’m really pleased with the with the way this album came together and I’ve already started working on a second album that I plan to finish by the end of the week.  The measurements of the album are:

  • Cover = 5½ x 7¼
  • Inside Pages = 5 x 7¼
  • Photo Mat Inserts = 4¾ x 7
  • Waterfall Photo Mats = 3¼ x 3½

Graphic 45’s “February Challenge: Storage” Submission

Let me just start by saying how much I love, Love, LOVE Graphic 45 paper.  The colors!  The designs! Its so easy to be creative with the inspiration these papers invoke. So with the encouragement of family and my absolute LOVE of their designs and paper I decided to enter a piece of altered art in the Graphic 45 February 2015 “Storage” challenge.  I took an old book box that I had purchased several years ago from Micheals and decided to turn it into a Writers/Journalist traveling station using the “Artisan Style” Graphic 45 12×12 pad.


Here is the original book box cover.  I had bought a whole set of these in various sizes and this one was one of the larger ones measuring 14″ x 12″.  I figured that would give me plenty of storage and writing area.

Original Book Box

Original Book Box


First I measured and drew guidelines inside for the compartment bins to hold various art supplies.

Original Book Box Inside

Original Book Box Inside


After constructing the compartments and adding the writing table I used gesso to bind and strengthen the chipboard.  I split the writing table into two parts because i thought it would be easier to access the “pen” compartment without having to lift the entire writing area.

Completed chipboard construction of writing table and compartments.

Completed chipboard construction of writing table and compartments.


Next I added the file folder pockets for the paper storage to the inside of the lid.  I also used a complimenting washi tape around the edges of the writing area and pen lid.

Interior lid with pockets for holding paper.

Interior lid with pockets for holding paper.


Because the pattern paper I used was so busy on the pockets I wanted something on the writing area that complimented but did not over power all the colors and graphic elements. Great thing about Graphic 45 is that they always have two sides for each print that work together.

Writing table and pin bin lids.

Writing table and pin bin lids.


I painted the interior compartments a matte black and then added a collection of paper from the “Artisan Style” series in the bottom of each compartment.  After that I applied three coats of a high gloss varnish.  If anything spills it will be easy to cleanup without marring this beautiful paper.

Internal storage compartments.

Internal storage compartments.


I also painted the underside of the writing area with the matte black, added a simple embellishment and again added three coats of the high gloss varnish.

Completed Storage compartment.

Completed Storage compartment.


Final touches on the interior was adding ribbon pulleys to the writing area and pen lid as well as adding a postcard embellishments to the lid.

Completed writing/journal desk top

Completed writing/journal desk top


Definitely enough room to store several sheets of paper and the writing area is large enough to hold a standard size sheet.

Paper display

Paper display


The front cover gave me some pause when I initially thought about how I would revamp it.  There were certain elements that I wanted to keep and the paper wouldn’t look right if I just cut out the parts i would need to in order to keep the original elements showing.  Simply solution…Fussy Cut!

Front Cover

Front Cover


This is the original piece of paper and although it is beautiful the way it is I didn’t find it appealing in my overall design.  I fussy cut the peacocks, left boarder, and the door frame out.  Then I layered them so that the pieces fit into the area .  The plain black background helps to make the colors pop which is exactly what I love and wanted to happen.


I wanted to keep the back cover simple but still carry over the elements that I kept on the front so I went with a full black background and added a simple note card embellishment.  I have given thought to adding some pedestal feet to the box but another option would be to add a clasp and handle so its more of a “briefcase” system.  Will update with pictures if either is added.

Back Cover

Back Cover


Overall I’m very pleased with the end results and surprised with just how much I can actually store inside.DSCF0100