Hi everyone! It’s Sue Plumb here to share my latest design team project with you and it’s one that is pretty special to me.

Today is World Prematurity Day – a globally recognised day that is aimed at increasing awareness of preterm births, as well as highlighting some of the challenges that are often faced by these babies and their families. Each year approximately 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely, including all three of my children. My post today is for all those babies born too soon.

For my project I decided to create the first in a series of mini albums for my children to document the time following their births. (It has taken me over 7 years to get around to tackling the photos of my boys and all the memories that come with them, so please bear with me for the long post today.)

I began my mini album with the fabulous ‘Boys Rule’ collection and a small 6 ring planner that I purchased from Kmart. (These make perfect mini album covers once everything is removed from the inside.) After choosing the patterned papers I was going to work with, I cut them into a variety of sizes to form the pages of my album.

I used an adjustable 6 hole punch (purchased via eBay) to punch holes on each of the pages, and then used white hole reinforcement stickers (from my local newsagency) to help protect the holes from becoming damaged through handling.

On some of the pages I added extra interest by using border punches to create decorative edges. This, combined with the variety of different page sizes, placements and patterns throughout, is what gives the album so much character.

 If you are planning on giving something like this a go, be sure to mix things up as much as you can! Don’t feel like all your pages have to run vertically – a horizontal page thrown in here and there not only adds extra interest but makes the album more interactive as it is turned to be read.

Depending on the theme of your album, you will find that some pages require no more than a photo and some simple embellishments; whilst others may have lots of journaling and very little room for embellishments.

For the sake of continuity across my album, I printed most of my photos in black and white with a few colour feature shots added in. I printed them in a variety of sizes and orientations as well.

Don’t be afraid to add embellishments such as stickers or journaling directly over part of your photos, or to include pages that have no photo at all and are simply decorative. You can even punch directly through photos and use them as a page in your album.

Throughout my album I used a combination of items from the Die Cut Ephemera; Accessory Stickers; Clear Stickers and die cuts from the Miscellany pack to embellish my pages.

One of the other benefits of making your pages different sizes is being able to get a “sneak peek” at what is coming on the next page. This adds to to the anticipation as you leaf through the album.

To further enhance the cohesion across the album, I typed all my journaling on my computer. When putting each page together I began with photo/s and journaling placement first before deciding on embellishments.

For an extra bit of fun, add some interactive elements such as tip-ins, pockets, or pull out tags. You can see how I used one of the small cards from the Die Cut Ephemera pack with a couple of pieces of washi tape to form a tip-in (fold out flap) to include my journaling underneath.

One of my tips for putting together each page in an album is that whilst I approach each page individually, I am also mindful of what is on the facing page. You can see how I carried across the same colours in the spread below. (Working with the same collection throughout the album helps enormously.)

The only other embellishment I included in my album were a few stickers from the ‘Love Always’ Accessory Sticker sheet, as it had a few more love-filled and generic phrases that suited some of my photos.

Another way to mix things up with your photos is to create a collage or include a series of shots taken close together. (And let’s face it, who doesn’t take 20 shots when you are trying to get the perfect one?!)

I know I have included a LOT of photos in this post, but sometimes the best way to explain things is to show them, right?

My final tip if you are going to create something similar in a planner cover or album, is to not forget about the extra pockets that are built into the cover. I made some small tags to tuck into the front of my album and added some extra photos, and in the larger pocket I included a letter to my son with some of the details about his birth story.

If you are interested in seeing a few more details of my album I have filmed a flip through of the entire thing so you can see how it all looks together:

Thanks so much for sticking with me through my long post today. I do hope I have inspired you to try creating something like this yourself. It could make an ideal Christmas gift for a loved one, or just something for yourself to treasure.

Until next time, happy scrapping!

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