Friday, August 23, 2013

DIY Photo Album

Before Pinterest, I didn't know there were so many talented people in the world.  Pinterest is loaded with good ideas to do just about everything, and although I have yet to make it an everyday obsession like red licorice or plucking white hairs from my scalp, it inspires me to try anything!

My husband is a photoholic, which is cheaper than being an alcoholic, I can tell you that.  In other words, the man lives to take photographs, save them to his computer, crop them, and print them out in stacks to put into albums.

I am not a photoholic, which means that this job is usually solely his.  I washed my hands of this thankless task long ago, when I realized that no one is interested in looking at our family photos, including me.  Also, I hate taking pictures.  Why take pictures at all? I once asked.  You can relive the memory over and over in your head.  He cocked his head at me like a dog when you ask it if it wants to go outside for a walk or go to the vet for neutering, and replied with an exasperated sigh, his go-to reaction to everything I say.

Because of his need to save and file photos away in dusty bins that never see the light of day, we seem to buy a lot of photo albums, which I find annoying, because photo albums are expensive yet never seem to fit our pictures perfectly, and they are bulky.  And ugly.  And we never have enough of them.

Today, I had on hand a stack of photo album sleeves that came from who-knows-where, the deepest pit of hell perhaps.  And then a Pinterest-worthy idea hit me, about the time I was cruising the aisles at Target looking for the perfect object to fill the gaping void in my life:

I am going to make my own photo albums.

This idea gave me a rush of adrenalin; I knew it was Pin-worthy right away.  In my giddiness, I have decided to share my process with you.  It can be tricky, so steel yourself and don’t give up!  Practice makes perfect photo albums.  Here I come, Pinterest!  

Allow adequate time to complete the task from start to finish.  With no planning you could spend up to ten minutes doing this project, but if you put a little care and thought into it, you will be stylishly filing your photos in record time!  You will need:

  • A stack of 2- or 3-holed photo album sleeves that will not fit into any three-ring binder you have in your home
2 and 3-holed sleeves?  No way!  No problem!

  • A plastic binder that looks like it might fit those holes

I found this little beauty thrown into an end-cap in the small appliances department. 
 Look for one in your local Target or office-supply store.  
Be sure to check the floor; someone might have kicked it under the shelving.

  • Hole punch, in case you have some 3-hole and 2-hole sleeves like we do.  This is where the art of the project really comes into play.  Use some artistic license here.  Stay confident, and you will be a success. 
Use a three-hole punch if you possess confidence 
in your ability to punch accurately.  
Or if you don’t possess a one-holer.

  • Pictures, in chronological order.  Or not, if you’re a total rebel.  Punk rock!
Memories! Good times! 
Get those suckers into a book and off of the desk!  
OMG they’ve been there for three months

  • Piece of paper and something to write with.  I prefer dried-out Sharpies for projects like this.

Gathered all your materials?  Good!  You’re ready to go!

Step 1: Sort all your like-holed sleeves into separate piles.  Threes with threes and twos with twos is a good start.  Over-thinking may cause panic; try to stay calm.

Step 2: Place the sleeves that fit in your binder into the binder.  We had a 3-ring binder with some 3-holed sleeves, so we put them in first so we wouldn’t get confused.

Step 3: If you have a 3-ring binder with some 2-holed sleeves, the middle binder ring won’t accommodate the 2-holed sleeves and you must punch holes in the middle of each 2-hole sleeve.  Measure carefully so the middle ring fits the middle hole in your sleeve.  Or just eyeball it.  Great art is always subjective.

If you have a 2-ring binder and 2-holed and 3-holed sleeves, you may proceed to Step 6. 
Please tell me where you found a 2-ring binder.

Step 4: Punch. The. Holes. 



It’s okay if you make a mistake.  Even pros do sometimes.

Step 5: Fit the newly punched sleeves into the binder with the others, and click it shut.

Click!

Step 6: Put the pictures in the albums.  Take your time.  You’ve come this far.  Don’t get frustrated because the photo sleeve openings are a millimeter smaller than the photos - you'll bend your photos and ruin all your hard work.  Try not to notice that the sleeves are bigger than the binder itself.  Remember: Art!



Step 7: Stop and admire all the most wonderful memories of that vacation you took where your hair looked amazing every single day.  This is probably the last time you look at these photos.

Good times.  Great hair.

Step 8: Write the dates or subjects of the photos on a piece of paper.  Slide it into the clear pocket on the front of your new photo album.  If the binder you used doesn’t have a clear pocket, then I don’t know - use markers or something.  Or don't bother to label them at all, if that works for you, crazy.




You are finished!  Flip through your photos in style, knowing that you have created a unique work of art.  You are a gifted artist now; sit back and enjoy the admiration that this project is sure to bring.



Happy Photo-Albuming, and be sure to Pin this idea to your Art Boards!

See you on Pinterest!

32 comments:

  1. You certainly set the bar high ;-)

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    1. I've always been sort of an over-achiever. :)

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  2. You could totally color code your binders by season! Or what was kicked under the racks. Whichever :)

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    1. Color-coding - what a great idea! Who knows what other treasures I will find with my eyes to the floor? It's multi-tasking, really, because I'm always looking for money that's lying on the ground.

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  3. We simply put our photos in a box. And then the girls decoupage the dining rooms with the photos and the box!! But, your idea is fancier! LOVE IT

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    1. Decoupage sounds fancy to me. With the right combination of my album and your decoupage techniques, we can corner the market on photo organization.

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    2. Decoupage is fancy glue. It is amazing. And it is the perfect reason to dig out the sand paper and the chisel!

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  4. Now this is a Pinterest project I could actually get into. That is about the amount of thought and care I would put into a photo album!

    So many of my friends are all into scrap booking. I tried spending an evening with them, but they were so serious about it. You had to use the right kind of adhesive and crop things with their special cutters, and they were all into symmetry. Like you, I knew I was never going to be looking at these again, so it seemed like a lot of effort for nothing!

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    1. Scrap booking just sounds like an excuse to get together with girlfriends. You bring the stickers and special adhesives; I'll bring the wine.

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  5. I do projects in much the same way. "I messed up a little? oh well!" Great idea, my friend, glad you will have all your photos so well organized. And tell your husband I totally get his obsession with taking photos! ;)

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    1. This is why we do not do any home maintenance. Oh, the faucet is leaking? It's not THAT bad.

      I am in the minority about the picture-taking. But he does such a good job and it really frees me up to do more important things, like smile for the camera.

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  6. You made me laugh so hard, Andrea.
    You Pinworthy person, you.
    (also, yes, great hair!)

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    1. Thanks! So happy to make others happy. The hair - it was great for a few days, anyway. I'm so glad I have those two pictures.

      In a few months I will OWN Pinterest. Figuratively speaking, of course.

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  7. YOU are about to become ... a TWO PIN WONDER !!!!

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    1. I can't wait, and I am practicing my acceptance speech for the award I'm sure to receive.

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  8. You are totally my kind of art-project woman. :)

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  9. Fancy. Does this mean I have to start printing photos again?

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  10. Love this. I could totally see me doing this way more than other Pinterest projects I have seen. I have pretty much stopped printing photos, which is sad. I think I must make more of an effort; seeing them on the screen is just not the same.

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    1. Printing them is the only way we keep them organized. Then again, they sit in books that no one looks at, so who cares if they're organized?

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  11. excellent guide - this is right up my alley!!

    i make an annual "scrapbook" every year, but it looks nothing like the ones you see in craft stores or on pinterest...it's just a place to put all the photos and other "memory crap" (concert tickets and the like) that you don't want to actually put on display but can't bring yourself to throw away.

    you might surprise yourself - now that the photos are in the binder, maybe you will get the urge to look through them every once in a while! maybe.

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    1. That is a great idea about the memory scrapbooks! I love the idea of having one place to store everything from each year. The only thing that would hold me back is the sheer number of things we collect over a year. I would have *maybe* two of them at the end of my life.

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  12. HAHAHA! I'm dying. This is hilarious. Also? That is great hair in that photo!

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  13. I have photos that need to be in albums that go back like 20 years...I am lame. I need to do a project like this.

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    1. Photo projects are so overwhelming and I am so not up to the task.

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  14. This is exactly my style. I'm queen of the "whoops! Oh well..." approach to crafting.

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    1. Yes. It's mainly why I don't do a lot of crafting. Good intentions...

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