What mother wouldn't want to receive a purse-size portfolio full of snapshots of her smiling children this Mother's Day? This small album with stair-step pages is a great project to work on with older children, and it makes a wonderful gift.
1. Using the lettering template, trace the letters in reverse on the back side of the card stock. Cut them out using small scissors or a craft knife.
2. Starting on the last page of the mini album, make two light pencil marks 1/2-inch from the right edge and draw a straight line to connect the marks. On the next page, make marks at 1/2-inch and 1-inch, as well as a mark 3/4-inch from the bottom edge. Draw straight lines through the marks at 1/2-inch and 1-inch. Continue marking the rest of the pages, marking 1/2-inch farther from the edge on each page and an additional 3/4-inch from the bottom. The first page of the book should have pencil lines at 3 inches and 2 1/2 inches from the right edge, and a mark 3 inches from the bottom.
3. Once all the pages are marked, adhere the letters. Apply a bit of adhesive to the letter "R" and glue it to the lower right corner of the last page. Continue to the next page, gluing the "E" so the right edge lines up with the 1/2-inch pencil mark and the bottom aligns with the 3/4-inch mark. Adhere each letter, aligning the bottom and right sides with the pencil guides.
4. When all the letters are adhered, trim away the excess paper and make the stair steps. Starting on the last page and using the ruler and craft knife, slowly slice along the 1/2-inch pencil line, stopping at the letter and continuing below if necessary. Trim around the letter to the right of the pencil line so that the excess card stock detaches from the book. Turn to the next page, and using the 1-inch line as a guide, trim the excess card stock away in the same manner. Trim the remaining pages, using the second pencil line on each page as a guide.
5. After the pages have been trimmed, add the photos. Place a bit of adhesive on the back of the first photo and attach it to a sheet of solid card stock. Using the ruler, trim to 1/8-inch all around. Mat five more photos in the same manner, leaving one without a mat. Adhere matted photos to patterned paper and trim sides to 1/4-inch, creating a double-mat effect.
6. Place the matted photos on the pages using clear adhesive corners. Center from left to right and about 1/2-inch from the top, leaving room to write a caption beneath.
7. Write captions on each page. Practice in pencil first for positioning; then go over the lines with a pen.
8. For the finishing touch, place the remaining unmatted photo in the die-cut window space using clear adhesive corners. Position to frame the subject in the window. Write a caption below the window if desired.
There are a number of ways you can customize your album: use die-cut letters or lettering stickers instead of a template; make different mat shapes or sizes, or leave your photos unmatted; or embellish the pages with stickers, punches, or hand illustrations.