I started by selecting a range of matching papers, cardstock and embellishments from my stash. I didn't worry too much about using particular brands or paper ranges but I did make sure everything worked well together so I could mix and match without any problem.
The cover is created from three pieces of firm chipboard, one piece measuring 6" x 11/2" for the spine and two pieces measuring 6" high and 61/2" long. They are adhered to a piece of patterned paper measuring 71/2" high and 15" long. (To create the extra long piece of patterned paper I simply joined two pieces together.)
Make sure you centre each piece of cardstock carefully so that you don't end up with a crooked cover! I used a ruler to make sure it was straight and centred.
To ensure enough movement in your cover you MUST leave at least the width of two pieces of chipboard between each piece. As you can see from the photo below, I simply glued two pieces of chipboard together to make a simple shim. If you don't leave a space your patterned paper will tear when you close your book.
Use a bone folder or stylus to score around the edges of the chipboard, this will make folding a lot easier.
Take some time to fold and crease all the edges of the patterned paper, this will create a much neater finish.
I always apply a couple of coats of matte varnish along the spine of my albums where most of the movement and stress will occur as the book is opened and closed. I find this strengthens the paper and helps to prevent it tearing.
Now add your adhesive... and lots of it! I prefer using extra strong double-sided tape for this step as there is no drying time and it gives a nice smooth finish.
Fold all your paper in, starting with the corners, and press firmly in place.
I wanted a nice contrasting spine on my album so I chose a piece of matching patterned paper, embossed it and added a little bit of black ink to help bring out the pattern. Use plenty of adhesive and centre the extra paper over the spine of the album.
At this point, I apply varnish to the entire front of the album, concentrating on the spine and corners where damage is likely to occur.
Now secure a long piece of patterned paper measuring 51/2" x 141/2" to the inside of the book, covering the bare chipboard. You will have to join two pieces so it's long enough to cover the whole area. I like the join to be in the centre of the paper so that it's hidden under the spine.
Now to create the piece that will hold the pages in your book. For want of a better word, I'm going to call this the binding. Start with one sheet of 12" x 12" cardstock, cut in half.
Concertina each piece by scoring at 1/2", 11/2", 21/2", 31/2", 41/2", 51/2", 61/2", 71/2", 81/2", 91/2", 101/2" and 111/2" and folding along each score line, alternating between valley and mountain folds.
Join the two pieces together with double sided tape at one of the 1/2" ends. The join will become the centre of the binding.
Flip your binding over and apply double sided tape between each fold. You are going to secure each of the folds together so that the cardstock doesn't spring apart.
Apply double sided tape and strong glue to the binding and secure it to the centre of the spine. Leave it to dry completely before starting to add your pages.
Tomorrow we'll decorate the front and inside of the cover.
Decorating the Cover