Preserving family pictures and sharing them with others is a long tradition, dating back to the earliest days of photography, which began in the early 1800s, according to the University of Texas. Placing photos in books, or albums, allowed the images to be kept together neatly and categorized, and the books were portable. Photo albums are still a good way to share and store photographs. Here are a few ideas for making photo albums.
Today, the popularity of digital photography creates many options for making photo albums without any physical assembly. In addition to photos taken digitally, today's scanners allow photo prints to be scanned and used online in the same ways, including making photo albums.
Photo storage websites, such as Kodak.com or Shutterfly.com, allow users to arrange images online, and the company will then print them as a photo book. Such sites allow for more embellishment, as options generally include various backgrounds to compliment the photos, as well as precise cropping and photo retouching. A digital album is also a convenient way to make multiple copies of the same album with less work.
Making photo albums can be a fun hands-on craft for children. Use chipboard or sturdy cardboard; plastic sleeves to hold photos or scrapbook paper to adhere the photos to; and string or brads to hold it all together. First cut two pieces of chipboard to be slightly larger than the photo sleeves or scrapbook paper. Decorate the chipboard with markers, crayons, glitter, paint or other embellishments. Adhere your photos to the scrapbook paper using glue or tape that will not damage photos (labeled "photo safe"), or slide the photos into the photo sleeves. Sandwich these between the chipboard cover, and carefully use an awl or hole punch (depending on the thickness of your book) to create holes for binding. Tie everything together with string, or use brads to keep it all in place.
Customizing a premade photo album is also simple to do, and can give the same handmade effect while keeping your photos safe. If you can take apart the photo album, remove the cover and decorate that separately. If the album is a single piece, wait until after you've decorated it to add any photos.
Spray the cover with adhesive and press on quilt batting. Cover that with fabric and adhere with staples at the corners, or use more spray adhesive. Vary the types of fabric used to define what types of photos it will contain, such as holiday-themed fabric for Christmas photos, or pale colors for a new baby's first album.
Alternately, you can cover the outside of the album with paper and decorate with any number of items, such as stickers, beads, glitter, paint or markers. Add a silk ribbon border, or use rubber stamps to add custom designs. Experiment with preprinted paper designs combined with your own embellishments. Any way that paper can be decorated, so can the paper covering a photo album.
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