I love to create one-off creations each year and am always thinking up new ideas for gifting my family – especially my parents in law who already ‘have everything’! (Do you have people like this on your gift-giving list?!!)
I always make a point of printing off family photos from the year that has been, and adding them to the pressies. I think these photo albums, abundant with memories, are more special to my children’s grandparents than any other present they receive.
So I would like to share this tutorial with you for making a bespoke Christmassy photo-album cover to house your wonderful memories of 2010!
This is what I used…
- One small plastic photo album that holds 6X4 prints
- One Fat Quarter of Linen or hessian (front cover)
- One Fat Eighth bauble print fabric* (appliqué)
- One Fat Quarter coordinating fabric (lining)
- One Fat Quarter fusible batting
- Four Mini red eyelets
- 1 yard (1m) length of jute
- 1 skein each of DMC embroidery floss 3768 (blue) and 347 (red)
- Double-sided fusible web
- Paper printout of 2010 numerics (file attached)
- Rotary cutter, ruler and mat
- Embroidery scissors and needle
- Permanent fine-liner pen
- Eyelet setter
- Iron and Ironing mat
- Lightbox (optional)
* I used ’12 days of Christmas’ fabric by Kate Spain for Moda; however if you can not find bauble-themed fabric you could create your own appliqué bauble shapes using colourful fabric scraps.
To obtain your cutting measurements:
Open the photo album and lay it flat on your cutting mat. My album measured 14 X 5 inches (36 X 13cm).
To that measurement I added 8 inches (20cm) to the length - and 1½ inches (4cm) to the width.
My final measurement, therefore, was 22 X 6½ inches (56 X 17cm).
Cut one 22 X 6½ inches (56 X 17cm) rectangle each: from the linen fabric, lining fabric and fusible batting.
Adhere the rectangle of fusible batting to the wrong side of the linen rectangle.
As pictured above, lay the photo album opened-out on top of the batting side of the fused linen rectangle and fold over the left and right edges (these will now be referred to as the sleeves).
Find the centre point of the rectangle and place a pin in the fabric top and bottom to mark the spot. Ensure the album sleeves are equal in length; pin them and remove album.
Place the ‘2010’ printout on your lightbox or up against a well-lit window. Position the bauble themed fabric right-side-up, on top, and trace the relevant number centrally on to your four selected bauble shapes, using the permanent fine-liner pen.
Nb. When auditioning the fabric, ensure that the baubles will in fact fit on to the front of your album cover.
Place the Double-sided fusible web product on top of the baubles you have selected and trace roughly ½ inch outside of each shape with a pencil.
Cut out the fusible web shapes (as pictured above left) and then fuse in place (centre pic) to the WRONG side of the bauble fabric using a hot dry iron.
Finally, cut out each bauble shape using sharp embroidery scissors (pictured right).
Score the fusible paper with a sharp pin, and then remove.
Audition the baubles on top of the folded album cover, then once you are happy with their positioning, fuse in place using a hot iron.
Using two strands of blue embroidery floss, chain stitch each number on the four baubles.
Place the linen rectangle and lining fabric rectangle right sides together and stitch all the way round leaving a gap of 1½ inches for turning.
Clip the corners and turn right side out. Use a chopstick to push out the corners and then slip stitch the opening closed. Give the fabric rectangle a gentle press.
Machine appliqué around each bauble shape using a neutral coloured thread. (I didn’t find it necessary to lower the feed dogs on my machine to do this, but you may prefer to.)
Insert the eyelets on the ‘hangers’ of each bauble shape using the eyelet setter and mini red eyelets. The pictures above show you the process of piercing the hole – inserting the eyelet – and then securing it on the reverse side of the fabric rectangle.
Thread lengths of jute through each eyelet and knot at the top, ensuring that the jute is neither too tight nor too slack. Trim the top threads once knotted.
Secure the jute on the reverse of the album cover by either using fabric glue or a stitching it to lay flat against the fabric. This will ensure that when you slip the photo album in its cover, it won’t get caught in the jute!
Fold the album to ensure that the sleeves are of equal length.
Using two strands of red embroidery floss, run a cross stitch along the top and bottom of each sleeve, to secure in place. I stitched through the LINING FABRIC ONLY to give a nice neat finish.
Slip the album in to its cover, insert the photos in to the album and you are done!
Seasons Greetings, everyone!!!! Vikki