Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fabric Photo Album Cover - Frugal Gift Giving

You can't beat $1 and some fabric scraps for a frugal gift. I found these little photo albums at WalMart and decided that a fabric cover would make a fun project for one of my swaps.

Hello my name is Rainbowcreek and I am a swapaholic.

I am sure there must be a 12 step program for swapaholics, but that will come after I finish the fabricholic program. Oh, and I must admit I have not made it to step one of that yet.

But, Spring is almost here and that means baby showers and wedding showers and vacations and a whole host of other occasions that you might be able to use a little photo album gift.

I made some from some Moda FQs. And the patchwork one was made with 2 1/2" squares I cut from leftovers of a charm pack I used to make a purse. I just pieced the squares and quilted them to the flannel backing, then cut to size and added the ribbons.

I actually made this from the fabric covered journal pattern, just sized it down and added my own embellishments. So if you want to go there and print out the instructions you can just use my measurements for the photo album and make these up in a snap. But I took a lot of photos so if you are a visual kind of person you might be able to pick this up just from the pictures.

Cut one outside fabric and one lining fabric 10" X 16" each. For the lining I used a piece of white flannel, you can use muslin or whatever you have on hand. It will not show, so you can use almost anything cheap, because it doesn't really need to be washable.

Lay the fabrics together, and center the wide ribbon, pin in place. Stitch the ribbon in place very close to the outside edge of each side.

To make the band from coordinating fabric cut a strip 2 1/2" wide and press under 1/2" on each long edge. I use a piece of cardboard with a 1/2" line marked and fold the edge over to the line. Press the fabric right on the cardboard and you will get a nice straight line.

Be very careful when handling the cardboard, it gets hot! You can probably see that I have used this one a lot for many different projects, it will turn a bit dark from the heat, but really it won't catch on fire!

I was making two albums at the same time, here is the one with the fabric band, I centered it with my ruler to make sure it was straight.
After applying the band zig zag stitch or serge all four sides along the outside edge. I used my serger because I finally figured out how to thread the dang thing and I keep it on a side table set up and ready to go.

Turn under about 3/8" on the two short ends. Stitch.

Turn the two finished edges toward the center about 2 1/4" on each side. The finished width should be 10 inches. Pin in place.
Use a fabric marker or pencil and mark a line 1 1/2" from outside edge on all four corners. Stitch along each line, backstitch at ends to secure the seams.

Clip off the corners and trim the inside flap to reduce the bulk in the corners.

Turn the flaps to the inside and use a closed pair of scissors to square out the corners. Press well.

For the ribbon tie cut a length about 26 - 28 inches long. I like mine to tie off center in the front so I usually wrap it around the album and find where I want it to attach to the center of the cover. Pin in place and stitch, backstitch a couple of times to secure it well. Then stitch the ribbon very close to the edge of the back side of the cover.

Insert the album into the flaps and tie a pretty bow to close.


  1. SUCH a cute idea! My sister in law now wants to make 200 as favors for her wedding. I'll definitely have my work cut out for me with that much, but thank you so much for the idea!

  2. Oh this is just adorable.
    You are soooo creative.
    Hugs, Karen

  3. Oh Cand, that does sound like a lot of work. They go together pretty fast but I hope you sister in law is planning on making it a group project with some helpers. I would love to see what fabric you are using for them, if you post a photo online hope you will leave me a link to see!

    Thanks Karen!


Template: Blog Designs by Sheila