Life as Lou

Christmas Mini Album: Photo Placement & It’s All In The Details

  • December 31, 2008 7:47 pm

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Here it is all together! I bound mine with a Bind-it-All and a 3/4th inch brown o-wire. Then I tied a few yards of ribbon, twine and embroidery floss around the rings to give it some flair. When I put my pages onto the wire I layered them as I thought they would look good. Some pages that clearly ran together because of certain design elements I kept on the same level. I staggered things where I thought it would look good and tried to keep a balance between up and down. Just play with it and see what works with your pictures best.

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I just tied them on at random, trying to mix and match colors and textures.

Here is how it all turned out.








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When completing the album I added three things: photos, journaling/titles & photo mats.

Adding in photos is pretty simple. Find the shot you like that fits and go with it. If you are having trouble with colors being off, you can always convert to black and white or sepia. You will noticed that when I chose my photos I sometimes put two vertical wallet sized photos where you would expect one horizontal 4×6- it turns out I took a lot of vertical shots this year, and I could include more this way.

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Other pages I off set the photo and opted not to fill the entire mat, this just happened to work with my photos and how they were cropped. You can mix and match and make the space work with your photos.

Journaling was important to me, as I enjoy that part of the process and like to tell the story. I used several photo mats as journaling spaces, writing in the little memories and adding details of who did what. You could use different photo mats, or you could put photos where I put writing. No biggie. Whatever works best with your memories.


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You can also squeeze a little extra verbiage in by writing around the photo, along side of a photo, or even by making a pull out tag or flap behind a photo.

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You may also want to add a few small, stamped titles overlapping your photos.

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I did this on several pages. When you add in these stamped titles remember to add the little details to them. For example:

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There it is just stamped and tossed on the page. It works.

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And then there it is with inked edges- better. The next shot it has the faux stitching added- even better!

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Here it is all gussied up- AND adhered with a dimensional adhesive to really let it pop. The process takes a little longer, but I think it is worth it. Another bonus?


It ties in with the tiny photo mat on the opposite page of the spread. Same faux stitching, same color cardstock, etc. A little more detail and a little more balance, and the spread looks good.

Photo Mats:

Most of the pages have rather obvious spots for photos, but your photos may not fit these spaces perfectly. They may also look too busy against a playful background, or the photo itself may be a bit dark and look better with a lighter mat helping it to pop. I matted many of my shots, mostly using a light green or cream.

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I don’t have an exact measurement for these. I think most of my little mats ended up being about 2 millimeters, just big enough to be seen and inked. On some, I made them big enough to add a little faux stitching as well.

I also used a dimensional adhesive when adding many of my photos. It helps them draw attention and not get lost in the business of the album.


Before you print your photos, try cropping them to size on your computer first. This will save you a few dollars in photo processing and make the cropping process very quick when you go to add them in.

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I am excited to pack this book away with Christmas decorations and discover it again next year!

I hope you enjoyed creating along with me and seeing a little bit of my process. Merry Christmas, everybody, and have a very Happy New Year!

P.S. We’re down to the last day or two to enter the Cosmo Cricket contest! I’m very excited to find out who the winner is with so many, many entries! ]]>


  1. Josie says:

    Great class! Thank you so much!

  2. Julie Kelley says:

    Oh Leah, this came out just beautiful!! Thanks so much for sharing it!!! And, Happy New Year!

  3. Beth W says:

    Truly exquisite-thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Zarah says:

    It’s beautiful, hun!!

  5. Louisa-May says:

    Gosh !!! THis is amazing amazing amazing !! Love your colour scheme, the irregular pages – ALLL of it ! I’m a stumbler today but not for long, as u’re gonna see me peek in here lots more now ! And guess what, your blog name could very well be mine, as all my friends call me ‘Lou’ too !!

  6. Melanie says:

    It looks beautiful but then again, all your stuff does:)

  7. Tracey says:

    Awesome album!!! You are the best Lou.

  8. Alison says:

    Fabulous! Very creative & love EVRYTHING! Pcitures are just perfect also. Thanks for sharing. Will you selling Kits for this project??

  9. CharlotteL says:

    A great class and beautiful album! So many design ideas I can use on all my projects to make them better. Thank you!

  10. I turned out beautifullY

  11. amie says:

    Wow woman, it’s amazing. Truly a treasure. Everything came together very well. what was the paper line again?

  12. Mandy Youngblood says:

    Your book came out beautifully! It has inspired me to drag out my BIA machine and figure out how to line up the holes properly and use it!

  13. Deb Wisker says:

    Totally awesome! Hope you archive it so I can refer back to it for inspiration!!Thanks for all of the hard work you did to show it to us!!

  14. Jeja says:

    It is absolutely stunning, Leah! I love the different shapes and sizes of the pages, and the layering effect when you put them all together. Gorgeous!

  15. Mardi says:

    What a beautiful keepsake!

  16. Erika M says:

    This album is totally awesome! I loved watching the progress of the album – fabulous job!

  17. Darcel says:

    Beautiful! I wish I was that crafty.

  18. Sherri Funk says:

    Lovely album Leah! Thanks again for the inspiration. Your jump start really allowed me to find my own creative bent. I love my album, and enjoyed every minute of making it. I’d wake up thinking about when I could work on it, and I’d go to sleep thinking about possible layout ideas :) It’s my favorite scrapping project to date (that includes all one of them, lol). Looking forward to more learning with your leading. Happy New Year you amazing lady!

  19. AbbieTorroll says:

    Love it Leah! You really did an awesome job with this class!

  20. staceymichu says:

    I love how you used all different sizes and shapes for the pages! Very inspiring!

  21. Megan says:

    I’m not surprised – it’s gorgeous Leah!!

  22. Helena says:

    < ![CDATA[OOOH WOW, This album is truly scrumptious!!! Love the colours the richness of it, wow!!! And what adorable children you have!

  23. Claire says:

    One word – stunning!! You have inspired me to create a book for my hubby’s birthday, thank you xx

  24. Tina Q. says:

    Just amazing! I’m speechless.

  25. Denine says:

    That is one gorgeous album…so full of memories and goodies! I simply love it!

  26. Cindy says:

    Love how it all came together!

  27. < ![CDATA[That is absolutely gorgeous and I'm sure will be very special to your husband when he sees it.
    Great job!]]>

  28. Callie says:

    This is soooo beautiful! I love everything you did with it!

  29. < ![CDATA[Your scrap booking designs are beyond words, thank you for sharing on your gorgeous blog.

    Suzanne in CT]]>

  30. Cristina says:

    You are so talented! I love how this turned out!!!!!

  31. Sharon in FL says:

    Thank you for the full-on shots…it’s beautiful and it all makes sense to me now! Thanks for sharing your time and talent with us.

  32. Michele in MD says:

    WOW, your Christmas book is beautiful! I hope you got some well deserved rest over the holidays. I enjoy reading your blog!

  33. Peggy says:

    Absolutely stunning! I love your work. Do you have any books or DVDs out?

  34. Fanny says:

    I am sooo impressed with your x-mas mini book. I decided to make one of my own – it’ll be finished tomorrow, hopefully. I’ll upload it at the Nook – had to make use of all those gorgeous x-mas papers before opening the new kit. :-D

  35. Teresa says:

    I found your blog on Inspirational..and you are definately an inspiration to us all! Wow! The Christmas album is absolutely stunning, I can’t wait to see you other creations! ~Teresa

  36. Marilyn says:

    Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing all the details of this fabulous Christmas album! I’ve bought some of the Cosmo Cricket papers and embellishments and hope to make a similar album for myself. This is so beautiful!

  37. Barb says:

    < ![CDATA[Thank you for sharing the step by steps and the tricks to make this project 'pop' - The details are appreciated!
    I'm on page 6 right now... I intended this to be a gift for my brother... but I may have to keep it and make another for him!]]>

  38. Irene Dunne says:

    I tried to write something a little different but everything has already been said. You have been blessed with a kind and generous heart and I hope that it comes back to you 10 fold.

  39. This turned out gorgeous!

  40. gina (gg loves Matthew) says:

    < ![CDATA[wowie! wowie! wowie! The whole album came out so amazingly!

    Thanks for sharing the steps with us! I am sure gonna do it this next Christmas (by then I hope to be moved and unpacked! lol!)]]>

  41. Eli says:

    < ![CDATA[I love this album, it so nice, the colouring, paper, style, oh everything. This is so my style.


  42. bea says:

    I love this album!!! It’s the best Christmas album I ever seen!!!! Everything is total beauty!!! Ideal!!!

  43. It is absolutely incredible. I never did get around to making mine last year but I have some paper left from that kit so perhaps this year. One can surely dream, right?

  44. magaly says:

    Waouh, it’s so beautiful.

  45. よろしくおãEがいします。good good nice

  46. McneilLESSIE says:

    I will recommend not to hold off until you earn enough amount of money to buy different goods! You should take the credit loans or just small business loan and feel fine