Yay! Christmas crafting is officially upon us and I am having so much fun this year! Since I tend to want to do it all when it comes to the holidays, I started early this year and have been slowly checking things off of my list. My kids are 3.5 and 1.5, which makes everything extra special. We are looking forward to seeing family, baking cookies, and driving around looking at lights. This past weekend we put up our Christmas tree – we left our glass ornaments in storage and decided to just decorate with our wooden and plastic ornaments so the kids could help!
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a bunch of great DIY projects that are perfect for gifting, decorating your home and celebrating the holidays. To start things off, I have this fun DIY Accordion Photo Album. I love giving and creating gifts for family members that feature photos. Our kids are growing and changing so quickly it is nice to capture this time. Photo gifts are especially great for grandparents or for family members who don’t live nearby.
This accordion photo album is an easy project that only requires decorative paper, chipboard, tape and, of course, your photos! You can download the free pattern to make this even easier! I was able to whip up a couple of these during nap time and love the way they turned out! I chose to make these holiday-themed and showcase photos from winter and the holidays. You could easily make these work all year round with your choice of papers. I found double-sided paper worked the best for this project, though standard colored cardstock would also work!
Supplies Needed for DIY Accordion Photo Album
- Free printable pattern: Accordion Photo Album pattern
- Decorative paper – 2 sheets preferably with a double-sided pattern
- Tagboard or chipboard
- Scissors or paper cutter
- X-Acto knife/box cutter with cutting matte
- Tape runner
- Optional: Scoring board and stylus
Step One: Cut two pieces of tagboard using the free printable pattern. Use an X-Acto knife or box cutter to do the cutting and use a ruler to keep your lines straight. One of these tagboard pieces is the front of the album, and the other is the back.
On the front album piece, cut out the smaller square, creating a frame.
Step Two: Cut your decorative paper to cover both the front and back album pieces you just cut from tagboard. Once the two pieces are cut, center the tagboard pieces and trace around them onto the back side of the paper. Fold or score along these lines. For the front piece, trace inside the frame and cut the square out with an X-Acto knife.
Using the tape runner, wrap the tagboard covers with the paper.
Step Three: Cut out the lining pieces that will be used to cover the back of the album covers. I used one piece of double-sided decorative paper for both the album covers and the lining.
Step Four: Cut the center of the album out of your second sheet of decorative paper. Mark the fold lines and fold or score them.
Step Five: To assemble the album, glue or tape one of the lining pieces to one end of the inside piece. Center the lining on the backs of the back album cover and glue or tape it down. I used a tape runner for everything and it worked nicely and didn’t cause any bubbling.
Repeat the step above for the front of the album cover, but you will need to leave a spot to slip a photo in. I used one strip of tape from my tape runner along all three sides of the lining, leaving the top open.
Step Six: Add your photos! I had all my photos for this project printed through Shutterfly. Last year, I was making my DIY desktop calendars and had photos printed from several different places. When I was comparing the exact same photo from three different places, the one from Shutterfly was the brightest and clearest. Since then, I have been using Shutterfly for all of my photo projects, especially projects that will be given as gifts!
Once your photos are printed, cut them down to measure 4″x4″ and tape them into your album.
The album is finished!! :)
I love the way these albums turned out! They are such a sweet gift that can be displayed anywhere from at home on the coffee table to at work on your desk. You may have noticed one of our holiday cards peeking out in the photo above. I am so happy with our holiday cards this year! When I ordered the photos for this project from Shutterfly, I also ordered our holiday cards.
I purchased two different cards from Shutterfly, one was printed on their photo paper and the other on their signature cardstock. This was my first year ordering the signature cardstock and I am so pleased with the weight of it! I love the beautiful message on the side, “Simple Moments Bring Great Joy”, it seems to capture exactly how we are feeling about life with our little ones. I rounded up a few of my favorite cards from Shutterfly. It was tough picking from these! We went with Simple Moments and Colorful Merry. You can view their entire holiday card collection here!
Holiday cards are one of my favorite parts of the holidays! It is so fun to send them out and to receive ones from family and friends. I save all of my cards from year to year and I even enjoy looking at the old ones when I get out all of my Christmas decor at the beginning of the season. I made an extra accordion album to keep for myself, and I have it displayed next to a few of my favorite cards :)
I’ll be back after Thanksgiving with another fun DIY. Have a wonderful week and Happy Thanksgiving!!
*Disclaimer: Thank you to Shutterfly for providing product to facilitate with my holiday card recommendations. I only work with brands I fully support and as always, all opinions are 100% my own!
This post includes affiliate links only under the “Shop the supplies I used” section. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.