Grandma Album Assembly Tutorial

As Mother’s Day quickly approaches, I’ve decided to briefly revisit this Grandma Album that has been by far my most-popular project ever.

Grandma Album Assembly Tutorial

Download:

First, here are some download links for freebies to create this album from a pre-made file. Choose the one that best meets your cutting capabilities:

Grandma album cut file (in Silhouette Studio format for Silhouette Portrait or CAMEO)
Grandma album 12×12 cut file (in Silhouette Studio format, optimized for Silhouette CAMEO and 12×12″ paper and chipboard)
Grandma album cut file in SVG format (resize all together proportionately so the letter height is about 4″ tall for all the letters and the longest letter (A) is about 8.5″ wide)
Grandma album PDF to print file (to cut with scissors or craft knife)

Assemble:

Here is how to cut and assemble this album. The finished album is about 4″ tall and 8.5″ wide.

1- Cut all the letters once from chipboard. I love the Silhouette 12×12″ chipboard because it’s so smooth and easy to cut with my CAMEO, but it will all be covered so you can cut it from any thin chipboard. You can use cereal boxes, packaging inserts from scrapbook paper or photo enlargements, etc.

Grandma Album Assembly - chipboard layer

2- Cut each letter front from pattern paper. Choose papers that coordinate, but select alternating contrasting colors (dark vs. light) so the letters will stand out from each other.

Grandma Album Assembly - colored front layer

3- Cut all the letters in reverse from pattern paper. You can choose a different paper for each letter, but I think it’s simpler to have all the back sides matching.

Grandma Album Assembly - colored back layer

4- You should now have three layers for each letter. A top paper layer, a chipboard layer, and a reverse paper layer for the back.

Grandma Album Assembly - 3 layers

5- Now just start adhering the correct front and back paper layer to each chipboard letter. You can use any glue you like. I used my Scotch Advanced Tape Glider (ATG) this time around. It’s easiest to start with the largest letter and work your way to the smallest. Make sure you focus more on lining up the letter-portion of the page than the flat end.

Grandma Album Assembly - letter with 3 layers

6- Once all your letters are covered front and back, you are ready to add photos and any other embellishments you like!

Grandma Album Assembly - letters ready for photos and embellishments

And just because I love my CAMEO so much and was able to get the letters to cut so precisely, I have to include some detail shots.

Grandma Album Assembly - layers detail 1

Grandma Album Assembly - layers detail 2

Binding:

As you can see, I haven’t added any binding yet in these photos. You have several options for binding.  If you have a personal binding machine like a Cinch or a Bind it All, those will work. If not, you can often get it punched and bound at a local copy shop with little plastic bindings as seen in my original album (below). Another simple option is to use a hole punch to add 2-3 holes in each page and add loose binder rings.

Create Your Own Word as an Album:

If you are feeling ambitious and want to create your own word album that says something other than grandma, you can see this tutorial I made for designing an album from scratch in Silhouette Studio. Just be warned that it uses an older version of Studio that will look a little different from the current version.

And here is the link for a tutorial to design your own word album and print it to cut with scissors for non-Silhouette owners (again, slightly outdated so let me know if you get totally lost).

Inspiration:

Here are a few more versions. The bottom two are my original albums from 2008 for my own mom and my mother-in-law. You can see I simply added small photos, rub-on quotes, flowers, and ribbon.

Grandma Album for Mothers Day or Grandparents Day

1-grandma-album

grandma-album

I hope you have fun making this album! Please let me know if you have questions.

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