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Gift a Baby Mini Album with Cricut!

Whatever the occasion, if something needs to be decorated, gifted, or celebrated, pretty much the first thing I think is “what can I DIY with my Cricut?” My Cricut really is my secret ninja weapon of creativity…whether it is t-shirts for an event, new pillows and wall decor for the living room, holiday decorations, labels for storage containers in the kid’s room, or a last-minute card, my Cricut can whip it out fast, easy, and gorgeous. It’s the little black dress of my craft room – it goes with everything! (Now, if only it could whip me up a perfect little black dress, it really would be the perfect gadget!)

To get an idea of the full potential of what you can make with the Cricut Explore Air 2, I suggest paying a visit to the “Make It Now” section of Cricut Design Space. Even after all my time working with the Cricut Explore machine, the talented designers at Cricut still continue to surprise me with the diverse ideas they come up with for the regularly updates to the project library.

Today’s occasion that has me pulling out my Cricut is the birth of a friend’s new grandchild. A card didn’t seem like enough, so my Cricut to the rescue…a baby mini album that the proud grandma can be fill with pictures is the perfect solution!

Cricut Explore Air 2

Supplies Needed:

I resized the cut file in Cricut Design Space so that the full sized pages in the baby mini album would be the perfect size for putting 4×6 photo prints on without cropping. Use the link above to access the perfectly sized file for your own use!

The cut file had pages in a variety of colors but I wanted the base of my album to be white. I just kept feeding white sheets into my Cricut Explore Air until everything was cut. It maybe wasn’t the most efficient way to cut the album but I used a lot of the scraps that were left from the cutting to create embellishments and some special pieces that I cut later.

Cricut Mini Book Cut Out

When I was done cutting out all of the pieces, I was left with a big pile of white cardstock. How would I know how to put them together? A quick search found me the assembly instructions for the Mini Books cartridge on the Cricut website!

After it was all assembled, I was left with this simple album that can have photos and notes added to it by the new baby’s grandmother! Along the way, while I was assembling the album, I added just a few embellishments.

Cricut Baby Mini Album

A few pieces, like the binding piece for the spine above, I decided that I wanted to create covered in decorative washi tape. Rather than cut a duplicate piece from washi and try to align and adhere it, I decided it would be easier to put a layer of washi down on cardstock and then cut a new copy of the piece from scratch. To avoid wasting washi, I cut pieces very close to the size of the finished piece, and positioned them carefully.

Cutting with Cricut Explore Air 2

For the full sheets pages, there wasn’t room to embellish if a 4×6 photo is going to be placed on them. But rather than just leave them plain, I used the Cuttlebug with an Anna Griffin embossing folder to give the pages a decorative look. Since the pages were slightly larger long wise than the folder, I just made sure that they binding end was the end that hung out of the folder and didn’t get embossed.

Embossed Baby Mini Album Page

This was my first time using a Cuttlebug, and I was highly impressed at how easy it makes embossing. I have another die cut machine and I rarely use it for embossing due to the complexity of set up and tear down, plus its size means it must be stored far away from where I sit to work. This Cuttlebug folds up small enough that I can store it within arm’s reach, and there’s no complicated sandwiches to make for embossing. Just throw your folder between the plates and crank!

Cricut Cuttlebug

The quality of the embossing is stunning as well! The detail in this Anna Griffith pattern was perfectly crisp, even in the fine details. I will definitely be using embossing more often with my new Cuttlebug around!

Cricut Cuttlebug Embossing

For decorating this pocket page, I cut a strip of the washi paper to wrap around the pocket as a decorative border.

Baby Mini Album Pocket Page

Next in the baby mini album comes two sets of four pages that are stair stepped in size. For these, I tried to alternate the backgrounds between textured and flat paper. The first (smallest) pages were cut from washi covered paper, just like the album’s binding.

Baby Mini Album insert pages

The pink border on one of the pages in each set is an embossing border folder from the same set with the Anna Griffin background. I embossed it on pieces of scrap paper, trimmed down the edges close to the design, and brushed a pink ink pad across it to highlight the design.

Baby Mini Album Insert Pages

For the text on the cover, and the flower that embellished the flap of this envelope page, I used another decorative technique. First, I cut the shapes out with my Cricut Explore Air 2 like normal. Then, to create the texture, I put the cut shapes in an embossing folder and ran them through my Cuttlebug.

Baby Mini Album envelope page

The last set of assembly was to thread the ribbon through. I folded mine in half and threaded it from the back through the center hole. Then I took the ends still hanging on the back, and threaded one through each remaining hole to the front. Then I hooked them through the loop that was coming up through the center hole and tied them in a pretty bow to secure the binding. It’s decorative and functional!

Cricut Baby Mini Album

So next time you have to do something decorative…grab your Cricut machine and ask “what can I DIY with my Cricut?” You might be surprised at what you create!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Paperclipping Roundtable #15: The Mini Book Show

Paperclipping Roundtable episode #15 featured Noell, Ana, Stacy and I talking all about the how, when and why of mini-books!

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Show Notes:

Promo code for the Big Picture Scrapbooking class, Colorful You: roundtable

The Panel

Product Picks

Here’s the layouts that I referred to in the show when I was talking about the color scheme I picked this week:

This is the digital layout, for an 8×8 photo book about my 2009 trip to CHA Winter (and Disneyland). This is actually just the left page of a two page layout.

Supply List – Page Template: Designer Digitals Create A Book Classic No. 9 by Katie Pertiet; Digital Elements: Amelie Kit by Sara Carling for ScrapArtist.com (no longer available); Fonts: American Typewriter, Apple Chancery.

This second layout is a 12×12 layout for my regular album:

Supply List – Patterned Paper: Autumn Leaves; Rub-on Alphabet: Making Memories (Beach); Cardstock Alphabet: Cloud 9 Designs; Brads: unknown (red), Marcella by Kay (pearl); Flower Die Cuts: Cricut Cartridge Graphically Speaking; Journaling Cards: October Afternoon Cherry Hill.

We also promised on the show to share mini-books that we’ve made. Some of mine I can’t share for privacy reasons, like the one in progress of my son and the digital one I did of my daughter and her classmates in pre-k. But here are a couple that I have done or in progress that I can share.

At CKU in 2005 we started a 6×6 album as one of the projects. When I got home I finished it up with all my pictures from the event. A mini-album was perfect for the series of disconnected snapshots I had from the event.

Probably my favorite mini-book is the one that I did that I entered in the Simple Scrapbooks Coolest Album Contest (in 2004?). Part of the reason that I love it is because it won the contest, but I also love it because it was a special time for our family – the album was of a family reunion of my mother-in-law’s family.

I don’t have the album, just a color copy of the pages in it, because I gifted it to my mother-in-law. But I can share scans of the book that it was in…

The layout at the top of the page, Main Street USA: California Style is also part of a mini-book that I am currently working on from my trip to CHA Winter 2009. It’s the first time I made it over to Disneyland so I figured it warranted special recognition!

The other book I have in progress right now is this one. I’m waiting to find the perfect set of pictures to go with it.

Supply List – Chipboard Album: BoBunny Press (Beach); Patterned Paper: Autumn Leaves, Daisy D’s, My Mind’s Eye; Paint: unknown (acrylics), Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint (Picket Fence); Stamp: Stamper’s Anonymous by Tim Holtz French Market; Other: Mudd Puddles Sand Paste (Malibu Beach).

Here’s everyone else’s mini-books:

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