|A similar blank album.|
First, I start with a blank chipboard book like this one. Most minis come with 4-6 sheets of chipboard which gives me 8-12 pages to decorate. I take the binding rings off and choose how to decorate my backgrounds. Usually, I will scan the shaped pages into my computer. Then I use my die cutting software to trace the shapes and cut them out of paper. My die cutter makes things much easier, but it still usually takes me 20 minutes to two hours to do the tracing step. This varies so widely depending on the album. Some have every page cut in a different shape and some have all the same shaped pages. On this particular album, I didn't need to do that step. I chose instead to paint the "love" cover. Since the remaining pages are rectangles with curves only on the corners, it was fairly simple to cut the paper myself. Before I covered it with paper, I painted the love cover with several different types of paints to get my sparkly pretty pink/red color. Then I painted the edges of each of the rest of the pages- pink is much better than cardboard brown!
|See the variations in color on the cover and the pink edging?|
|Edges after both sanding & inking.|
Finally, I can begin to decorate the pages themselves. (We're a good 6 or more hours in already, and we've barely begun!) One by one, I start adding photos mats and embellishments. Minis generally have room for 20 photos at the absolute max. They also have many embellishments, especially more dimensional types like the fabric flowers I used on this one. This is because you don't have to worry about the weight of a full 12x12 album sitting on one and crushing it, or worse, ruining other pages around it.
Total, this album took me somewhere in the vicinity of 15 hours to do! Once we add in the materials costs, you'll see why the cost of a mini can vary so widely. I am sure to be careful to price according to both my materials costs and my time. If you ever have questions on the pricing of a particular mini, please feel free to ask me about it!
2 packages ribbons/flowers- $12
1 package frames- $5
1 package metal embellishments- $5
1 package clear acrylic embellishments- $2
Misc. acetate and paper embellishments- $3
Now add in a few extras that I used from my stash (such as the wire words, bling and felt heart), adhesives, paints, and inks. We're over $40 for the materials alone. Throw in the labor and we're close to a regular 12x12 album! Every mini is worth every second- They are completely one of a kind! Nowhere will you find a mini that duplicates any other. That is why I love giving them away! They're small enough to easily sit on a coffee table and show off those special photos. I can be sure that no one else has gifted one like it, too!
Have a happy Monday- I'll be back next week with more minis!