Friday, March 30, 2012

Coaster Board Mini Album

Hi and Happy Friday!
Today I want to share a fantastic mini album I made using some $1 coasters I bought at Michael's, Echo Park papers and my Zutter tools! Warning: this post has a TON of photos in it, so please be patient if it takes a little while to load up!

Everytime I go into Michael's, I ALWAYS check the dollar bins (I'm a bit frugal sometimes).  There was a 6 pack of coasters for $1 and I snatched them right away.  The coasters were OK, but my plan was to cover them anyway, so I didn't care how ugly they were.  To be honest, the uglier, the better.  Then I don't feel bad for covering them.  Making a mini album using coasters is SO easy.  Check it out:

These are the coasters.  I grabbed two of them to use for the front and back covers.

I chose papers from Echo Park's Splash (by Bella Road Collection).  I trimmed them to to correct size (4 x 4) and used a Scotch Adhesive Gun (ATG) to adhere the papers to the front of the coaster.

I used Fiskars Finger Trimmers to trim down the corners and then I sanded the edges down.  By sanding the paper, it just blends into the coaster (or chipboard if you're using plain chipboard) better.  It just looks cleaner.

Once the fronts were covered, I repeated the process for the backs.  This might seem like a lot of work, but it really isn't.  And trust me, it feels SO good to make an album from scratch instead of buying one!!!

Next, I chose my papers for the inside pages.  You could use more coasters or chipboard if you wanted.  I decided to go with 2-sided scrapbook papers.  The stock was heavy enough for the inside of a book.  Some stocks are really flimsy, so they don't work very well.  For those type of papers, you can adhere them to something thicker or adhere two sheets (front and back) together.  Otherwise, they can bend or rip too easily.  HINT: Make sure you trim your inside papers smaller than your covers.  Trust me on this one - I work at a print shop and full service bindery for my 'day job.'  It looks so much better when the inside pages aren't sticking out past the covers!
Since my covers are 4 x 4, my inside pages are 3.75 x 3.75.


Since my covers have round corners, I wanted my inner pages to be rounded as well.  I pulled out my Zutter corner rounder and went to work.  It's so awesome - it punches through just about everything.  I've never ever had it not punch something I was working on!!!

See how the inner pages are slightly smaller? That is the way you want it to look!!! Now, I like to punch my pages before I add anything else to the pages.  I am famous for putting things too close to the edge and having to move them or redo them later, so I always punch before I do anything else so I have a guide.  I also recommend not adding larger embellishments until after you've bound your album.  Otherwise, they can get smushed and cause your binding not to bind properly. 

When you punch, choose the right setting.  This book is nice and small, so I don't need to choose 'Open' or 'Continuous.'  I chose 'Cover' for the cover pages and 'Inner Pages' for the inner pages.  Pretty self-explanatory.  I also make sure I have my Zutter book handy - it has all of the measurements and tips to make a book.  I keep it right with my Zutter supplies so it's always at arm's reach.  No matter how many times I've used it (and I've used it a TON), I still catch myself using it.

Simply place a page or two in at a time (if they are thick, just put one page in), center and pull the lever to punch the pages.  Repeat as many times as you need to punch the pages.

Seriously. Easy as pie.  Look - I was doing this AND drinking some Starbucks at the same time.  I am the multi-tasking Queen!  ;-)

Check it out - all pages are punched! Let me mention that I did this all in about 15 minutes while my daughter was watching the Muppets.  She didn't even realize I was in the next room - that's how quickly you can create something!!!

If you want, you can go ahead and bind right now, but I decided to wait.  Mainly because I knew I was going to use to spray mists and those can get messy.  I wanted them to stay on their specific pages, not carry through to the facing page.

I have no idea why I love these things so much.  I just do.  I can't explain it.  Maybe because I was never allowed to spray paint when I was a child? I have no idea, but I can't stop spraying paper with these things.  This particular one is Studio Calico's Mister Huey.  Oh, I also have an obsession with white.  White ink, white paint.  Again, don't ask because I don't know why....

Time to go to town! I chose some pictures of our Labor Day trip up to Michigan last year.  We had so much fun in the lake and on the beach.  It went perfectly with the Echo Park papers I've been hoarding since Christmas.  The set came with matching stickers.  Oh, how I love to put stickers on my pictures.  And I love to sew on my pictures, too!!!

It may seem scary at first, but it's not.  Take it from someone that can barely thread a bobbin without sweating and swearing.  It's worth it.  Sewing in albums (and cards too) rocks.

I also pulled out my McGill flower punch and punched a few mini flowers.  I like to have one element in my mini albums that carries through on almost all of the pages.  These flowers are nice and small, so they were perfect.

I took my stylus and 'cupped' them a little bit.  Not too much - remember what I said about not adding thick embellishments until your album is bound? I wasn't pulling one of those, "Do as I say, not as I do" things.  I was serious.  :-)

I also die cut some Papertrey Ink tabs, added more stickers, stamps, etc.  I'll show you the finished album at the end of this post.  Right now, it's time to bind this baby!!!

Count how many holes you've punched (this one has 6) and use your wire trimmers to cut the right amount of wire. 

These are the trimmers I have!

Now, take the back cover and rotate it onto the top of the front cover.  Yes, this seems odd, but it's right!

This is the INSIDE BACK COVER of my album.  Do me a favor and remember to do this step.  Write it on a post-it, staple it to your bulletin board, do whatever necessary steps it takes.  This is uber-important!!!

Time to put the O-Wire into the holes! You want the album's binding to be in the inside back cover, so make sure the small prongs are near the front.  The picture above is the LAST PAGE in my album. See how the large prongs are showing? These need to be IN THE BACK.  It will still bind if you have it wrong, but the binding will show.  We want to hide this, OK?

This is how the last page of your album should look!

Now, let's bind!

Use the measuring card that comes with your Zutter to adjust it to the right size.  Since I always use the same O-wire size, I haven't had to change mine at all.

Now, place your album in the Zutter, spine side down and pull the lever!!! EEEEE!!!

Awesome, huh??? Whenever I have the chance, I try to make my own albums and bind them instead of buying pre-made ones.  It just makes it even more of my own creation that way.  Below are some shots of the final project I took outside in this gorgeous Spring weather we're having in Chicago!

Thanks for stopping by today! I'd love to not only hear your comments, if you've made any mini albums using the Zutter, post the links below so I can check them out!!!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Coasters: Michael's
Stock/Stickers: Echo Park's Splash Collection (Bella Road Line)
Stamps: Hero Arts (sun, banner), American Crafts Amy Tan (Camera), Technique Tuesday Ali Edwards (sentiments) Papertrey Ink (Tab copy and art)
Ribbon: Ki
Punch: McGill
Bling: Martha Stewart
Twine: Divine Twine
Other: Copic Markers, Glossy Accents (Ranger), Singer Sewing Machine, Cuttlebug, Scotch ATG, Stampin Up Dimensionals, Zutter Corner Rounder, Fiskars trimmers
Binding Equipment: Zutter Products (Bind it all 2.0, Wire Cutters, Silver o-wire)


  1. What a sensation mini album, I am so happy you linked up with us at Paper Issues!!
    hugs, Leah

  2. This is so fabulous!!! I love projects for my Bind it all! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Paper Issues! We featured you today! =)

  3. Beautiful!!! I saw this over at Paper Issues just had to come over and see all the finished pages. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Darling...such a transformation!!!!

  5. This is adorable! Thanks for sharing it with me : )

  6. How awesome is this?! I love everything about it. Especially the step by step instructions for using the Zutter! And congrats on being featured on Paper Issues!

  7. How awesome is this?! I love everything about it. Especially the step by step instructions for using the Zutter! And congrats on being featured on Paper Issues!

  8. Nice blog. Thanks for sharing useful infomation.
    Mini round coaster


Thank you so much for commenting!!! :)