My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds.
If not, please visit
and update your bookmarks.

23 posts categorized "Mini Books"

Friday, November 16, 2012

Mini in Minutes with Kesi'art

<Mini in Minutes Tutorial

I know, I know, summer is over. But I can't dive into my December Daily project without first putting my thoughts down about our wonderful summer in France. Since time is a factor for me so I chose to go simple. I thought I'd share how I put together this simple mini book in a few easy steps. (Ce tuto est dispo en français sur le blog Kesiart.)

Mini in Minutes Tutorial 

I used the Kesi'art Mini Classeur in kraft. I decided on the spot that some pages would be whole photos and others would have paper.
This is probably the most time consuming step. My first selection turned out 80 photos! That was too many so I narrowed my selection down to eight. I could have added more photos, but looking at my final selection I knew the themes I wanted to write about were represented. Also, some summer photos have already been documented in layouts. Before printing, I added a title in Photoshop to the one above (no. 2).
This step is pretty straightforward. I wanted rainbow and bright (it's a thing with me lately). So I picked a few patterned papers and trimmed them down to 17 cm x 12.5 cm.
For the design, I was inspired by this Pugly Pixel post with the label in the center. I stamped some Stickies (label stickers) with phrases from the the 12-in-1 stamps and printed the others using this technique from Catherine at Design Editor.
I created a 17 cm x 12.5 cm document on my laptop and added my page titles. Next, I ran the trimmed paper through my printer. Et voila.
Make sure to check and double-check the direction before gluing it down!

Mini in Minutes Tutorial

Now it's time to work on the structure. I used washi tape to make a striped pattern on the cover.
And a foam brush to paint the cover white.
Love the nautical look of the white stripes! I used a straight brush to fix a few jagged edges.
The packaging from the album is sublime with the perfect chevron pattern and nice turquoise color. I liked it so much, I used it to cover the inside of the album. The bonus? The width fits just right.
These are the finishing touches. I aimed for full center positioning.
This is what this project was about for me. I had memories and thoughts about our summer that I didn't want to forget. Having a place to store these was important to me. It is very simple, but it is done. And that's what counts. Right?
Here is a look at the inner pages :

Mini in Minutes Tutorial

Have a great weekend! Now that this is done, I'm ready for my December project. How about you?

Friday, July 08, 2011

Mini Book : Famille

Hello. Here's a mini book I made and taught as a Distress workshop in 2009. It's another example of how I like to construct my books using the same layout throughout the entire book. Let's start with the cover.


The cover is the last thing I complete when making a mini book. Even when I have a vision of what I'd like to see on the cover, it doesn't come together until I've put created the inside pages. The cover is also where I switch it up, meaning I don't apply the same techniques as the inner layouts. I do something different. In this case, it's:

1. A belted closure with lace ribbon stapled along one side.

2. Two stars cut from a piece of Grunge Board stamped and inked with two colors (Firebrick Red & Worn Lipstick) of Distress Ink. The pink star has a coat of Distress Stickles to give it a little shimmer.


The inner layouts each contain the same three techniques (numbered in the photo above). That's how I keep things consistent. I love repetition. Having a few rules allows you to work without getting stuck in the creative process. Can you see what the three techniques are?

3. Distressed tag : A manila tag stamped and colored with different Distress inks using a variety of techniques. My favorite is to apply ink using a piece cut-n-dry foam working my way into the tag from the outer edges. I also used Tim Holtz masks to create some of the two-toned motifs on the tags.

4. Rub-ons : For mini books, using a whole pack of rub-ons is practical. It helps carry your theme throughout the project.

5. Heat embossed motif : I used dark gray embossing powder to add another texture to each layout.

As you can see above and in the photos that follow, I switch up the color combos to keep things visually interesting.

Another technique to help keep things interesting is to add one element that is different from the rest to one of the layouts. It's like a little surprise. In this case it is the gray tag in the layout above. And oops! Guess what? On the above layout I forgot to add a rub-on. This wasn't intentional. Just a reminder that a human made this ;-).

I also like to repeat elements and embellishments throughout my projects. Again, repetition is your friend. It takes a lot of the guess work out of putting mini books together. Can you see which other elements are the same throughout this project?

6. Large photos vs small photos : I love the contrast of two photo sizes. Also, a photo that goes off the edge of the paper means one less page design to figure out.

7. Titles : Surprise! I like to use the same alphabet throughout a project too. Two reasons for this. First, you guessed it!, continuity. And second, stash control. By using the same alpha I increase my chances of using up the whole pack and I don't have to store a half-used pack that doesn't have any more E's or A's or N's !


How do you create mini book? Do you start by creating the cover? Do you love repetition or do you prefer starting from scratch on each layout? I'd love to hear your take.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mini Book :: Favorite Photos


Looking through my mini books, I came across one from 2008 which houses a collection of some of my favorite photos. I like the definition on the 7gypsies sticker (above). A visual record of a moment in time. I spent some time looking at each photo and thinking about why it is a favorite. 


The opening page. Top: a candid photo from our wedding celebration. Our friends had just finished singing us a song - they changed the lyrics to fit our story. Bottom: Thierry reads a book to Andrea. Andrea looks into the camera.

Andrea looking at the images while listening to the Peter & The Wolf record in Biarritz. This photo is special for so many reasons. I love that he is interested in listening to stories and I love that this is the same record and story book Thierry listened to as a young boy.

Some photos I've tricked out in Photoshop. Some photos I staged, some are candid. Some photos are blurry or poorly composed. But what they all have in common is that they take me back to a moment in time. That's what makes them favorites.

What makes a photo your favorite? I'd love to know.

You can see the rest of my favorite photos in this mini book here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mini Book :: Devenir Maman

Devenir Maman 1

This past weekend I was invited to teach a half day workshop at Scrap en Oc. Thank you, ladies! It was important to them to complete the project during class time, so I proposed a simple 5" x 7" mini album using Claudine Hellmouth's foam stamps and some elements from Basic Grey's Curio collection (I seriously love the colors!).

Devenir Maman 2
Process : Like for most of my workshops, I created a few printable elements for class participants to use. For this project I made the tag on the cover and the journaling spots with frames to accomodate the Curio Element Stickers (seen in the above photo).

Repeat. Repaet. Repeat. Repetition is my go-to time saver. Every layout is exactly the same with only the colors and embellishments changing. Another reason I like to repeat the layout is because it gives my mini book unity. I like it looking all the same.

Devenir Maman 3

Theme : I love looking back at photos of me and my boys at their birth. I like relfecting on the tenderness and fragility of that time in our lives. The newness, the possibility, the fears. The HORMONES. I like the idea of having these photos and thoughts gathered in one little book.

Devenir Maman 4

What's your method for making mini books? Do you change up each layout or keep them all the same? 


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

December Daily : Cover & What I learned


I will definitely create one of these month-at-a-glance projects again. For me, the key was to keep it as simple as possible in order make it to the 25th. Here are the things I learned along the way:

1. Having the layout decided and the foundation built ahead of time worked in my favor.

2. When in doubt, improvise. When I sat down to finish my album, there were two days (15 and 21) for which I hadn't printed a photo. I decided I needed to wrap up this project right away or suffer the consequence of never finishing :


Instead I painted in the designated space with watercolors. I like the result of finding something unexpected in the album:


3. I learned this time around that the Notes app on my iPhone is where most of my journaling takes place. Handwriting that text took time and added an unnecessary step.

Next time

These are a few things I will do differently next time :

1. I like Ali's idea of including a note for each child in the album.

2. I will set up a foundation where I can simply import my text digitally. And add handwritten thoughts directly onto my photos (something I am tempted to do on this album if I decide to go back to it).

That is about it for me. I must admit I feel proud to have seen this project through to the end.


  • I am Denise Laborde and this is my blog. On here I write about my life as an expat, wife, mother and creative type. Occasionally I post about people, places or things that inspire me. Want to know more? Go here. Thanks for visiting.

Let's connect Let's connect