Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tutorial: Creating acrylic mini-albums

Here are some creative ideas to use when creating acrylic mini-albums: I think acrylic pages in any album create an impressive backdrop for photos. I will be showing you several ways to alter your acrylic album pages so you can start using acrylic pages in your albums too. Ready to get creative?

First, choose a mini-album. I am using Maya Road's Acrylic Coaster album. It's pages measure 2.5x3.5" each so it is quite small. Also, you will want to grab some micro or small glue dots to adhere paper to the pages and items to the pages. Glue pens also work. Your adhesive should be placed in areas that will be covered by embellishments on the "other side" of the page so try to always be thinking ahead.

Second, choose a line of paper. You will need a very small amount of paper for this size of a mini-album so scraps are perfect. I am using BoBunny's Christmas paper line Blitzen.  This is a great choice because Bo-Bunny's heavy double sided printed papers have great design elements on both sides of the paper. This is extremely important during the design portion of your album because both sides of the paper will be visible.
Third, choose your pictures. Remember, the pages are extremely tiny so one 4x6 picture may provide you with two pages of layouts.

 Also, keep in mind that very small parts of photos may be used to emphasize certain items on your pages. I will show you an example below. I used a circle punch to include the pictures of the tree ornaments. Then I matted them with another circle, adhered them with glue dots and pop dots to add a bit of dimension. 
Fourth, decide what order your pictures will be used in the mini-album. What is the story this little album will tell? Your photos don't have to be used chronologically. Because both sides of the pages/papers are visible; the entire album needs to be planned out and designed before you begin any techniques or adding paper or pictures to the pages.
Fifth, begin the actual creation of the mini-album. I love adding "snow" and "frost" to acrylic pages because the acrylic page naturally gives the viewer a feeling of ice or liquid. Here's how to give the look of snow: add Ranger's Adirondack Dabber in Snow Cap acrylic paint around the outer edges of the page. Allow to dry or use a heat tool to quicken the process.

On the second page of the book create the look of frozen metal or "frost" by adding Ranger Adirondack Metallics Silver Dabber paint around the outer edges of the page. Again allow the page to dry or use a heat tool to quicken the process.

Next use a tiny word stamp on a die cut or punch label and adhere to the front of the second page. Also, use a snowflake punch (mine is from EK Success) and punch a few snowflakes (hearts would be great too) to place in the upper left corner of the page. Use another small lable punch to add a second seasonal word to the paper you'll be adhering to the back of page 2. Using micro-glue dots adhere the paper to the backside of page 2. Check for paper placement through the acrylic page before adhering.
I applied a sheet of paper to the backside of page two. This can be seen all the way through the front of the album. I think it sort of looks like I am peering through several layers of ice. I added a  Maya Road chipboard snowflake (stained and glittered of course) along with a brown Maya Road flower in the center. These first two pages work together to create a snowy, frosty look setting the tone for the chilly holiday mini-album.

Sixth, continue working through your mini-album continually keeping in mind that you need to check the pages's fronts and backs before adhering anything to see what the view is through the acylic. On the fourth piece of acrylic I used alcohol inks to color the page green. I used Rangers Adirondack Earthtones in Lettuce on a piece of felt attached to a blending tool. I used a heat tool to dry the alcohol ink.

The alcohol ink creates the background behind the circle photos on the left page seen here:
Seventh, the fifth page of the album I distressed using a sanding tool and then inks with Ranger Distress Festive Berries red ink. This effect is very suddle. (It's the left page pictured below). I used a Maya Road chipboard stocking colored with Tattered Angels glimmer mist as a journaling block.
Eighth, the sixth page of the album I stamped using a Just Rite Holiday stamp and StazOn Solvent ink in Jet Black (StazOn ink works great on acylic surfaces!). I stamped on the backside of the last page and adhered the paper to the front side of the page allowing the final "Happy Holidays" greeting to be seen through the acylic.

Have fun creating with acrylic! Hopefully, some of these ideas have inspired you to create something with acylic.
Products Used:
Mini-Album: Maya Road
Patterned Papers: Bo Bunny Blitzen
Chipboard embellishments: Maya Road
Paints: Ranger Adirondack Dabbers (Snow Cap & Silver)
Inks: Ranger Distress Ink in Festive Berries
Ink: StazOn Solvent ink Jet Black and Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Ink in Lettuce/Blending Tool
Stamps: JustRite
Bling/Pearls: Queen
Plastic Flower: Maya Road
Punches: EK Success
Adhesive: Micro Glue Dots & Glue Pen

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