Using chipboard albums to create an extra special card

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I have been making a lot of chipboard and mdf albums into special birthday and occasion cards. I started with two sets of mdf congratulations to make as memento for two close friends weddings where they requested no gifts then 10 60th birthday albums and now a baby one.  Once you get started you will be hooked!

There are a few tips floating around when working with these albums but here are mine:

  • Do choose a theme then pull out from your stash everything you have that relates.
  • Do buy a good quality spray adhesive to attach the paper to the base. It will attach firmly within five minutes and be smooth. I used 3M Super 77 Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive and would definately buy it again.
  • Layout your chosen papers numbering the back of each paper and the corresponding base. After you have taken the time you do not want to attach the wrong ones.
  • Use a scalpel to cut around the edge once you have stuck it down, one side at a time.
  • If you cut too much or tear the paper do not worry use a sanding block it will create a tear line and smooth your paper into the colour you painted around the edge.
  • If you nick the edge use coloured pens to blend, they are much easier to manage than paint.
  • When choosing your embellishments work out where to place then make sure to lay each piece on top of each other before attaching, ideally you want the finished pages to sit evenly not sit up on one side.
  • Use a scalpel to push through the paper and expose the hole, do not worry about being too neat the ring will cover these.
  • Do not forget to leave a space to write on the card or at least add a small open envelope that you can insert a personal message or if you are doing a word, make a note card to go in the box.
  • Paper or bakers twine is best to hold garlands together or metal hinged rings for album cards but that does not mean you cannot add a ribbon.
  • Buy or make a small box to put your creation in. Nestle it in some tissue paper because it is your gift to the recipient.

Here are photos of the rest of the album to give you a few ideas.

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How to keep track of card making ideas

I keep a notebook for all of my card idea’s, layouts, messages, thoughts on techniques basically anything I think I will need to remember later on. I find it is kind of like a diary – you see where you have been, what you have learnt and remember all the cards you have made for special people.

I generally make a quick sketch of the layout first then add notes, e.g. type of paper, how to attach etc. Below is the first page from my notebook showing two different theme birthday ideas one with candles (using variety of papers for the base and glitter glue for the flame) and the other with an envelope filled with balloons (mini water balloons) and mini streamers (from the exploding streamers you have from birthday’s). These are designs I come back to again and again.

So, if you don’t have your own idea’s notebook – please think about starting one.