Collect, select, and classify your images
Whether you have a few or a lot, start by getting out all your print photos, and then select the ones you want to integrate into your DIY album. As with sorting digital images, first choose a theme, a specific chronology, focus on a family member, a place, etc. This will help you get a better selection. Then, organize your images and arrange them in the desired display order. Number them on the back or via a sticky note so as not to lose track as you create your album. Also remember to select one or more images you like for the cover.
Find the right format for your album
Paper, reused cardboard, an unused notebook, newspapers, colored sheets of paper, etc.: take out everything you have to create the format for your album. This is the perfect time to go through your piles of odds and ends. You can mix the materials any way you want, there are no rules since this is your own custom-made album. The main thing is to adapt it to the material you’re using and your own personal taste.
Bind the pages of your album
If you’re using a notebook, you can skip this step since you don’t need to bind your pages together. For other formats: using a needle and thread, a hole punch, and the markings you carefully made earlier, you can make little holes in your pages, thread your string through it and bind them together. Again, you can use different materials for the binding (thread, cotton, raffia, glue, metal rings, etc.). We have listed links to some videos below to help you visualize how to do it and to inspire you.
Putting your photos on the pages
To display your photos on the pages, you have two options: glue them directly onto the page or put them there in a less permanent way if you want to be able to remove them whenever you feel like it. Photo corners, paper clips, non-permanent adhesives, small envelopes, Parisian fasteners, etc.–– there are many different ways to avoid having to glue your photos if you don’t want to. If you don’t have anything at home, you can easily create photo corners with paper or cardboard. There are tutorials on the internet to help you do them in different ways.
Decorating your album
You can opt for sobriety and just stick your images onto a new format, but it would be a shame to stop there, since this is the most creative part of it all. Decorate your album to give it a more personal touch. You can illustrations, drawings, text, collages of other miscellaneous memories, stamps, ink, stickers, etc.: go crazy and gather up anything that might help you decorate your photos and embellish your album. There is a lot of information about scrapbooking on social media and on the internet from which to draw your inspiration.
Protecting your DIY album
The most creative among you can also make a protective cover for your DIY photo album, out of leather, fabric, a varnished or plastic cover, etc.: there are plenty of ways to protect your DIY photo album so it will last as long as possible. This is also the time to put a nice finishing touch on your album, using the photos you set aside earlier for the cover as an introduction.
Making your own photo album is simply a matter of gathering all the materials you already have on hand and arranging your images any way you like. The format and the approach don’t really matter. The main thing is to spend a creative, inspiring, and fun time embellishing your images and immersing yourself in your memories during this unusual time period. Feel free to get the whole household involved, from the little tots to the older folks, to produce a truly special and unique family photo album.
By Céline Nebor