Just in time for back to school! I am going to show you how I cover an album with my child’s school work to create a completely custom and interesting school album. If you have kids in school you know there is no way you could keep every scrap of paper they bring home from school. I have a system where I save some, scan others, and toss the rest. By creating the album cover with school work it allows me to save just a little more of those precious drawings, quizzes, and writing samples.
- American Crafts Modern Album (I use 12×12 but 8.5×11 would work well too)
- Therm O Web PeelnStick adhesive sheets
- Gel Medium
- 2 sheets of cardstock or patterned paper
- Corner Rounding Punch
- Therm O Web Sticky Strip Runner
- 1 yd ribbon
- Therm O Web Super Tape 1/4″ or 1/2″ depending on ribbon width
Step 1: Piece the PeelnStick adhesive sheets so that it covers the entire surface of the outer front chipboard covers. You will have to cut the PeelnStick to fit onto the smaller spaces. Be sure to cut before you peel off the adhesive linings. Put the pieces together like a puzzle to cover the entire surface.
Step 2: Peel off one of the PeelnStick adhesive linings and adhere to the album cover keeping in mind where each piece should go. Adhere all the PeelnStick sheets until all are attached.
Step 3: Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for the back album cover. Trim rounded corners with fine tip scissors.
Step 4: Another puzzle! Trim sections from your child’s schoolwork and piece them together to cover the entire album cover. Plan both the front and back covers.
As far as the content goes, you may find you don’t need the entire quiz, just a question or two. Or just the subject of a larger drawing. Choose what defines your child. My album is for grades PreK – 1st Grade so I have samples of work from all those years. My child also loves unicorns so I made sure unicorns were on there. In 1st Grade she really got into math, so there are several math samples. Use the album cover to tell the viewer what’s inside.
Step 5: Peel off the remaining layer of adhesive backing and place the school work down keeping in mind the puzzle you planned. Watch out! This PeelnStick is super sticky, once down it’s down! We are counting on it’s sticky strength once we get to the next step. Adhere school work to both the front and the back covers. Press down with the palms of your hands to all the paper is adhered completely.
Step 6: Again trim the rounded corners with fine tip scissors.
Step 7: Apply a thin even layer of gel medium over the top of the school work on both the front and the back covers.
Gel medium will protect the album cover from dirt and general wear and tear. Let dry completely. This is where PeelnStick shines. If you were to use a weaker adhesive you could end up with bubbles once the gel medium is applied. The PeelnStick keeps the paper secure to the album cover so the bubbles don’t appear.
Now for the inside front and back covers. You could, at this point, decide to ignore what I did and redo all the prior steps for the inside covers as well. That would look great! I decided to use two monotone 12×12 patterned papers to decorate the inside covers. 12×12 is slightly smaller than the album cover, you will end up with a border of chipboard.
Step 8: Using a corner rounding punch, round two corners on the same side on each of your 12×12 papers.
Step 9: Adhere the patterned paper to the inside covers with Therm O Web Sticky Strip Runner or Therm O Web Super Tape. Line up the rounded corners with the rounded corners of the album cover. The opposite straight side should be up against the linen album binding. The chipboard border should be equal on all three sides.
Step 10: Adhere the ribbon the cover the seam between the linen binding and the rest of the album cover with Therm O Web Super Tape.