Julie Bowersett


Blog Writing Course Alumni

From Guide to Art Schools


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Accordion-Fold Photo Albums

Today I am sharing a tutorial (over in my Tutorials section) detailing how to make a small, accordion-fold photo album.  These are really fun to make and the creative possibilities are endless.  I think these make great gifts for just about anyone.   I am going to share some photos of albums I have made as gifts and show you several possibilities for the cover designs.

This is the cover I created for the tutorial album.  The inspiration for this piece came from an article in Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine, November/December 2007 by Angela R. McIntyre.  Angela created a stunning photo album cover using pieced fabric, embellished with free motion quilting, couched fibers, beads and silk flowers.  Angela has a pattern for this lovely album cover and you can purchase it from her if you want detailed instructions about making your own.  Or use this as inspiration and come up with your own unique, mini-quilt with your own style.

Here are two pictures of albums I made one year as Christmas gifts for family and special friends.  Earlier that year my little family had had a photo shoot done, and I filled these albums with pictures I had printed from that event.  Since I needed multiple covers for this project I created a large quilted and embellished piece and then cut it into the 6” x 8” rectangles I needed.  I waited to add the silk flowers and beads until after the cutting was complete.   These were a big hit (I included a note that said that once the recipient was tired of looking at our pictures they should remove and save them and use the book to house their own pictures).

Another popular gift idea is to make one of these albums for an expectant (or new) mom or grandmother.  These make great little brag books.  They hold about 10 photos and are small enough to carry in most purses. 

In these examples I used a machine embroidery design by Evy Hawkins of A Bit of Stitch and a built-in font to create a baby photo album.  You could easily add the baby’s name or use any number of embroidery designs that would suit the recipient of this gift.

This is an album I made for my husband a number of years ago.  I used rubber stamps to emboss acetate/rayon velvet and used that fabric to cover the front and back covers.  You can find details about embossing velvet, along with all of the supplies, at Hot Potatoes.  The sheer ribbon goes well with the embossed velvet.  My husband fills this album with pictures of our kids and me and takes it with him when he travels.  He can set it up in his hotel room as a little reminder of home.  Do you know someone who travels a lot?   They would probably appreciate an easily-packed gift like this.

Lastly, you don’t have to do anything fancy at all to make a lovely album.  This one is simply a piece of 100% cotton quilting fabric that I used to cover the front (I used a solid black for the back cover).  With the variety of fabrics available you can customize your albums for any possible situation.  Wouldn’t this make a great gift for a graduate or for dad on Father’s Day?  The possibilities are endless.

I hope you will hop on over to my tutorial and take a look.  I think you will have a lot of fun making one or more of these albums for yourself.

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