Thursday, May 23, 2013

Recycled Photo Album

A couple of weeks ago I was purchasing some new clothes and the store was offering a free gift with a qualifying purchase. After ringing up the sale, the store manager told me that I qualified for the free gift (photo albums). I didn't want or need the photo album, but the manager was so happy that I qualified for the gift that I didn't want to make her feel bad by refusing it. I accepted the album and headed home.

The album was fairly nice quality although the cover was ugly-dark olive green with large embossed flowers. I felt bad throwing a perfectly good album in the trash and offered it to several friends. No one wanted the album in it's current state. I had been looking for a make over project for my blog and this seemed like the perfect candidate. There was only one problem, the deeply embossed flowers covered a large portion of the front cover.  I covered the entire album cover with gesso. The gesso soaked into the embossed areas, but didn't cover them up. Next I tried modeling paste. I built up two thick layers of modeling paste but the flowers could still be seen. I painted the front cover with acrylic paint and let it dry. I mixed the blue paint, modeling paste and white paint together to produce a slightly lighter shade of blue. I dabbed the mixture onto the front cover with a foam brush to produce a textured surface. I set this aside to dry.

Here's the work in progress.

Original free photo albums.

Album covered with gesso and modeling paste.

Layer of textured paint added.

Close-up of textured surface.

Finished Album

I am so happy with the finished result and the fact that I turned an ugly photo album destined for the trash into an album that I would be proud to give as a gift. The textured finish on the album can be made in any color simply by mixing modeling paste with acrylic craft paint.

Directions for Butterfly Album:

Photo album or memory book
Golden Modeling Paste
Liquitex Basics Acrylic color-light blue, white
Recollections Adhesive Faux Pearls
Recollections Pearl trim
Recollections Butterflies- Aqua, Purple
Sheer white wire edge ribbon
Parchment color paper
Hot glue gun
Clear craft glue
Foam brush
Duraclear Satin Varnish

1.   Coat the album cover (front and back) with gesso. Let it dry.

2.  Apply a light layer of modeling paste to the cover and let it dry, then repeat.

3.  Using a foam brush paint the album front cover light blue. When it is dry, paint the back cover and album spine.  Apply paint to the edges of the album and let it dry.

4.  Mix light blue paint with modeling paste. Add white to the mixture until desired color. I added white until the paint mixture was one shade lighter than the paint in the tube. Be sure to mix enough paint and modeling paste to cover the entire album.

5.  Dip the end of the foam brush into the paint mixture. Dab the paint mixture onto the front cover. Place the end of the foam brush on the cover, press down and then pull up to create the textured surface. Once the front cover is completely dry, dab the paint mixture onto the spine and back cover. Let it dry.

6.  Apply a thin coat of craft varnish over the album (front cover first, then spine and back cover).  Let the varnish dry before applying to the spine and back cover.

7.  Apply a thin layer of clear craft glue to the adhesive faux pearls and press in place along the front edge of the album cover. Position the pearl trim on the lower part of the front cover and press in place. Leave a space wide enough to glue the butterfly in between the trim.

8.  Glue the aqua butterfly (with hot glue) between the pearl trim. Hot glue the purple butterfly to the right edge of the clear window on the album.

9.  Tie the sheer white ribbon around the front cover of the album and tie a bow. Trim ribbon edges at an angle (to desired length).

10. Print Memories or some other sentiment using Microsoft Word and the font of your choice onto parchment paper. Cut out and insert in window on the front cover of the album.