How to Make Mini Photo Album

by Alayne Kerbert

Today Paper House Creative Team member, Amber, shows us how to create a clever mini photo album that folds down to 4”x4” and opens up to 12x12”.

Watch how it unfolds in this quick video sequence. 

What is a mini photo album?

Mini photo albums are a wonderful, portable, and fun way to create a cherished keepsake of a memorable occasion or a special person. Much like a standard scrapbook or photo album, examples of events you might include in a mini album are as follows:

  • Special occasions (i.e., weddings, anniversaries, family reunions, birthdays, etc.)
  • Time lapse (i.e., baby’s first year, restoration projects, etc.)
  • Highlights from a trips or vacation
  • Other adventures (i.e, day trips, date night, girls’ night out, etc.)

How are mini photo albums different from standard scrapbooks?

  1. The mini photo album Amber created is one-ninth the size of a standard 12”x12’ scrapbook when folded and closed.
  2. Because they are much smaller, mini photo albums require fewer supplies than a standard 12x12 photo album.
  3. Their small scale makes them faster to make than a full-sized scrapbook.
  4. Mini photo albums are easy to carry and will fit in most purses. This makes them great for sharing when visiting with friends. (We recommend storing mini albums in a ziplock bag to protect them when traveling.)
  5. Mini photo albums usually focus on one event or person, whereas a traditional scrapbook may include a variety of events that occurred during a specific timeframe.

How to create a mini photo album

Step 1 – Gather your supplies

  • 2 sheets of coordinating 12”x12” scrapbook paper. (At least one sheet should be double-sided.) Amber used the following scrapbook papers: Wizard of Oz Borders and Wizard of Oz Tags
    Wizard of Oz Borders scrapbook paper is multi-colored on side A and bright red with Wizard of Oz quotes printed in white letters Wizard of Oz tags scrapbook paper
  • 12”x12” paper cutter with scoring blade
  • Round corner punch (optional)
  • Ribbon (approximately 2” long
  • Photo-safe adhesive
  • Embellishments (i.e., stickers, gems) (optional)
  • Photos

Step 2 – Create your album base

  1. Select the double-sided paper that will be the base of your mini photo album and score it at 4” and 8” along the length.
  2. Rotate the paper 90 degrees and score along the width at 4” and 8”.
  3. Determine the top edge of your base. Cut the 4” score line downwards from the top to meet the first horizontal score line.
  4. Rotate the paper clockwise 90 degrees. Then cut the 4” score line downwards from the top to meet the first horizontal score line.
  5. Repeat 2 more times, until you have 4 cuts.
  6. Fold the paper inward on the remaining score lines. This creates 9 cells on each side of the base in which to add photos and journal snippets.  
    Mini photo album cutting and folding diagram
  1. We recommend cutting a thin sliver of paper from each cut so that the paper will be able to fold inward easily after additional layers are added. Each cut will then be approximately 1/8” wide.
  2. Optional: use a corner rounder punch on each corner of your base. (There will be 12 corners, including the 4 original corners of the paper.)

Step 3 – Add decorative layers

  1. Cut 9 squares, each measuring 3.75” x 3.75”, from your other piece of scrapbook paper. (Round their corners, if you wish.)
  2. Decide which cell will be your cover. (The outside center cell will be the back of your album.)
    mini photo album show folded and tied closed with a ribbonback panel of mini photo album showing Dorothy and Glinda the Good Witch of the North
  3. With this in mind, glue the squares into 9 cells on both sides of the album base to break up their respective patterns. Add more squares if desired. This will require additional paper.

Step 4 – Add photos and embellishments

  1. Add photos to your album, considering the order in which your album will unfold.
  2. Continue decorating the cells of your album as you wish

Step 4 – Fold and finish

  1. Fold your album.
  2. Attach a ribbon to the back, then cover it with a square of coordinating scrapbook paper for a finished look. (See above.)
  3. Tie your album closed and take it with you to share with others!

Thank you, Amber, for this wonderful project and tutorial!

Explore more