Making a Hardcover Keepsake Album

1. Gather materials:

Koala Pete supplies:
  • PVA glue
  • Paintbrush
  • 2 Binders Boards
  • Binding cloth
  • 2 Spacers
  • Spine Board
  • 2 Binder clips
You supply:
  • Ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Box knife
  • Scrapbook papers (spine, cover and end pages)
  • Scrap paper
  • Heavy books
  • Waxed paper
  • Finished postcards

Make Text Block:

2. Arrange pages. Add first and last (end) pages (cut to 5 1/2 x 8 1/2″) facing INSIDE album. Align short edges and clip together.

3. Glue spine (short end) with fingers. Wipe off glue that seeps down on the page. Dry (under heavy books) 15-30 minutes. Repeat 2 more times.    

4. Center binding cloth on spine. Glue to spine only. Wipe off any glue that seeps onto end pages. Dry 15 minutes. Repeat.    

Make Case Binding:

5. Place text block on spine board. Mark and trim to width of text block. (Leave height as is.)    

6. Cut 1 scrapbook paper 3½ x 8½” Center spine board and glue. Align ruler on bottom edge. Place ¼” spacer boards on either side. Align and glue cover boards in place. Do not glue ¼” spacer boards.    

7. Carefully turn over spine. Depress gutter between spine and boards with back of paintbrush. Cut 2 cover papers 11 x 8½”. Align next to spine paper and glue. Smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles. Weight down. Dry 30 mins.    

8. Trim paper to a 1″ margin beyond boards.

9. Set spacer board perpendicular to table at a 45° angle on corners. Mark and cut all 4 corners.

10. Fold paper over edges of cover and glue. Work corners with spacer board. Adhere cover to gutter with end of paintbrush. Smooth out wrinkles. Dry under heavy books.    

11. Put wax paper between end sheet and text block. Glue end sheet up to ¼” from binding cloth. Adhere binding cloth to end sheet. Remove wax paper.

12. Center text block inside front cover, flush with inside cover board. Open to end page and smooth out wrinkles. Repeat on other side. Close album to line up covers. Then open and smooth out wrinkles.

13. Place scrap paper between end paper and text block. Place wax paper between front cover and first page of album. Repeat on back of album.

  1. Embellish front of album as desired. (Suggestions: Draw/illustrate | handwritten cover | Photo | Scrapbook paper | fingerprints–always fun with little ones)

    Place album under heavy books overnight so glue can set.

    Time to sit down and enjoy your Softcover Keepsake Album with your loved one and a hot chocolate or lemonade.