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Since I'm working on trying to compile majority of our wedding scrapbook for the holiday season, I figured I needed to get my butt in gear and start to finish up.  I currently did not have an album and I was afraid one album would not be large enough for what my project was rapidly turning in to. 

I have been a Creative Memory junkie for a long time, mostly due to my mom who created a scrapbook for me when I lead a retreat in my youth group.  Since then, Ive been soley using Creative Memory products.  Well, now that I have such a large project on my hands and we are in this "can we be thrifty" attitude, I felt I was in a pickle.  To get the amount of supplies I wanted to complete this book, it was going to be around or over $175 upfront. Now, that is definitely MONEY WELL SPENT because Creative Memories is absolutely AMAZING, but right now, we felt we could do ourself something different. 

This began the search online to even see if I could find something that would even justify this switch and calm my nerves about storing our precious memories in.  Needless to say, I was bitting my fingernails while we were searching online for products.  So we have found true 12x12 three-hole page protectors, but an album was not suiting my desires.  These albums were rather pricey and did not seem to be large enough ring size for what I believed we needed.  (Insert frusrtated face here).

Josh suggested I see if I could create my own scrapbook album, that way I could ensure it was what I wanted.  So I went to the office store, and realized they probably do not sell regular 12x12 three-ring binders.  (Insert frustrated face here, again).  So now what?  And as you can see, the pages of 12x12 will most definitely stick out of a normal sized three-ring binder.
Several options ran through my mind:
- make one solely out of cardboard using a prior album as a template (not bad idea)
- take a typical 9x11 three-ring binder and turn it into a 12x12 album

In the end, I chose option number 2. 

I started with a scrapbook I had already.  I do not mind this scrapbook, but it was DEFINITELY not the size I needed for this project, and I did not care for the fact that the pages did not lie flat once turned.  Because I had this scrapbook already, all I had to purchase at the office store was a 3 inch D ring binder.  I did not pick anything fancy, because nothing about the binder was going to show.  I just had to make sure the binder rings were durable.
So once I had my main supply list, I then had to go on a hunt for the items to wrap the book: fabric and batting for extra padding (each piece a yard and half), hot glue gun,and supply of glue sticks. 
I now have my items I need, but again, something has come in the way.  If I just cover the three-ring binder with the tradiational scrapbook cover, then the spine of the binder is completely exposed (and also, is shorter than the front and back cover).  So, to fix this, I had to cut out a piece of cardboard the size of the spine I desired. 
Now, I have all the pieces I need to build onto the regular three-ring binder.  So my first attempt at hot gluing the binder onto the scrapbook back did not fair so well.  I realized with the slick and shinny vinyl covering on the binder, the glue was going to have a hard time sticking (more likely because I have a low temp hot glue gun).  This required one more task: Removing the plastic vinyl coating from the binder front and back. I completed this by poking a hole into the vinyl, and used my scissors to trim the backing off to expose the cardboard of the binder.
So now that I had an exposed binder front and back, it was now time for me to get gluing!!  So I started gluing the back of the binder onto the back page of the prior scrapbook.  Then, I glued the front of the binder onto the front page of the prior scrapbook.
So after I glued the front and back, I then needed to glue the new cardboard spine onto the prior binder spine.  Now, I had a template to work with in order to decorate!! Yay now!
Well, just when you thought I was about to decorate the new scrapbook...I have one more secret for you.  I was not entirely happy with the inside of the binder book.  There was a gap between the more narrow three-ring binder and the now glued scrapbook front and backing.  Therefore, I had to trim out more cardboard that was the size of the gap and hot glue that on.
This extra cardboard provided a more solid backing.  Now with this in place (no irony intended as the brand of the binder above is "in place").

I placed my new three-ring scrapbook on top of the fabric batting and aligned it so that I could overlap the back of the book in the batting.  I trimmed and pieced together the batting so that it covered the entire back and part of the front inside piece.
Now with the batting in place and glued on, it was now time to begin the "beautifying" process.  So I placed the batting covered three-ring scrapbook on top of the fabric and essentially pieced it together very similar to the batting placement. 
I was also extra picky with the edges of my fabric, and made sure that I always glued up the trim so that there was no exposed edges (essentially making them hidden edges).  With the pieces overlaid, I had to decide how I was going to do the corners of the book while I completed the wrapping of the three-ring book. 
As you can see in the above picture, I overlapped the edges so that they were unexposed and for the corners, I created a triangle to fold in the extra fabric when I went to glue up the extra fabric onto the binder.  (almost as if I am wrapping the binder up as a present!).

So when I do all of the glueing......THIS is my result!!
And since I wanted to add a bit of extra flair, I used some green ribbon to add the color. I placed it around the entire book and  now it is COMPLETE!!
So now, all i have to do is wait for my page protectors to come in the mail and fill them with my already completed (well, sort-of completed) pages!!

At first, I thought this was going to be a stressful project because it was different than what I was familiar with; but now, I am actually wanting to make more! I actually did have fun. 

Hope this inspired you to want to do some work on a scrapbook album! If you do, make sure to share pictures!!
Until next time,
4/17/2013 13:07:46

I have been googling for 6 inch deep scrapbook binders for months now. I had my son just over a year ago and made the mistake of doing his 1st year album "on the go" instead of after the 1st year was over. I have two binders for this one child's 1st year. I have plenty of 6 inch regular binders that now I know how to transform them, I just needed that spark of "OMG, it's that simple". Thank you so much.

10/21/2015 08:56:43

Absolutely glad you were inspired, Christine! I am right there with you regarding a child's 1st year album. Hope you were able to make the binders work well!


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