when my dear friend and media team member Kim Jeffress recently came to SLC to visit, we had a fun-filled week of work, spring breaking, easter, prom, dance recitals and everything in between! on our last day together, we spent some time in my studio documenting her visit and i was able to create an entire mini album in just ONE evening! it made me so happy! SO, today i thought i’d share my TEN TIPS for creating a super quick, packed full of memories mini-album!






between all of us, we had a BUNCH of great photos. we created a shared album so that we  had access to all of the photos from the week. to keep it QUICK and simple, i used the Walgreens APP, and uploaded all of the photos directly from my phone. they are great at printing both 4×4 and 4×6 photos, and are available in about an hour, right on the corner of Happy & Healthy!




i chose to make a 6×8 mini album. it’s a great size because you can get multiple photos on a page, and i could use my favorite journaling pad from
the Memory Planner collection:



this made it really easy to gather papers for the inside pages. based on the number of photos you have, it will be necessary to estimate how many pages you will want in your book. i find that it’s fastest to build the book before adding photos.


i then chose to use chipboard from my Gallery Wall collection for the covers. the fabric covered gold polk-a-dot chipboard is one of my FAVORITES, and made a gorgeous album cover! i used a utility knife to cut it down to 6×8, and adhered paper to cover the raw chipboard side.




the Cinch machine is seriously one of my most favorite tools ever! with it you can punch the holes and bind any size or shape of album in minutes! (you can click here for some video tutorials about the Cinch)HSCinch

once i had all of the pages picked out, i went ahead and punched all of the holes, and put them in the order i wanted.


i like to throw in different sized pieces to give it some interest and uniqueness! no reason for all of the papers to be the same size.




for most of this book… i let the photos be the main focus, but i really love to have an impressive, FUN title page. for this book i used some Bazzill Basics plastic paper for the very first page.


i combined glitter alphabets and clear stickers to create this fun title. i love the layered look with the words and photos! this is a great place to get fantastic impact, then keep the embellishing throughout the rest of the book pretty simple!




once i have the book all bound… i just start going crazy adding the photos into the book. i like to round some of the corners… i like to position the photos so that i allow little spaces to write information.


some of my pages have 2 photos, others only have one. sometimes it makes sense to cut them down a little, and overlap them even.  i do this pretty fast… don’t overthink it!





once the photos are in, i like to just do some stamping. this allows some quick and inexpensive personalization to the pages.


notice on the bottom left side i stamped the “#happyday” over and over. This was just a fun way to add in some fun design. i left enough room for some journaling.


i also did repeated stamping with the “remember this” stamp. i love how it fades out, and adds something fun to this floral paper!




once i got all of the photos in place, and added some stamping here and there, it was time for me to sit down and do the journaling. i usually do all of the crafting part while i am standing up- but i like to sit down to write. i used a .3 tip pen which is my favorite size for journaling.


i like to mix 2 different styles of journaling… sometimes i just write a couple of sentences explaining what i want to remember about that photo. i also sometimes like to make little bullet pointed lists about what happened, or the highlights. it’s not always necessary to write TONS of info… keeping it short and sweet is great!


here are also a couple of examples of different ways that i add the stories:

1. write on a little note card and adhere it layered over a photo (above right)

2. draw an imperfect box around your journaling to set it apart and call attention to it

3. mix handwriting styles (caps and cursive) to create some visual interest

4. you can even write sideways along the edge of a photo for a fun caption!

5. draw yourself some lines to write your story along.


there are really NO RULES! i believe that anything goes.. but just be sure you WRITE SOMETHING because you think you will remember, and the fact is… you won’t!





i kept the embellishing part of this pretty easy! and this is my favorite part! as you look through all of these different pages, you can see that i really just used a bunch of different washi tapes. i love to layer them, overlapping and creating corners or tabs. i have a bowl of washi tape on my table and just used a little of all of them! once you have the photos and journaling in place, it’s really easy to see where you need a little “something something” to fill in or add color!





there are 2 ways that i love to add EXTRAS in a spiral album… especially when it comes to cramming in all of the photos i can!

first: create extra pages of photos or notes by punching them with the Cinch, and then using your scissors to make a little cut for each hole. this will allow you to add additional pieces into the spiral like i did with this photo below:


second: use washi tape to create “hinges” for photo flaps.


on the right side of the page above, there are 3 photos layered on each other.


i like that it makes the book more “interactive” but it also gives me a change to include more photos and more journaling under each photo!




as you can see, the inside pages are pretty basic: photos, journaling and a little washi tape. so i wanted the cover to have some WOW factor!


seriously, what better way is there to make a STATEMENT than by using the MINC!? i used two different techniques for adding FOIL in unique ways for this cover.

i chose a beautiful paper from the Memory Planner paper pad, and using the Minc paint and the small set of foam stamps, i stamped the word “UTAH”, and foiled it using the Champagne foil. 

i then painted Minc reactive paint onto the little wood “hello” word and sent that through the Minc. (always make sure that the paint is dry before sending it through the machine). i love the finished result!


true confessions: i used a hot glue gun to attach the stuff on the front so it wouldn’t go anywhere!

we honestly had the BEST time over spring break! my kids loved coming along for the ride from downtown SLC, to Park City. Colton had his Senior Prom and Quincy and Capri had a dance performance so Kim could see the inside of a High School!


and we were able to venture up to the state capital just in time for the beautiful blossoms!


it was so much fun showing KIM around the 801! she got to see the REAL insiders look at the craziness that is my everyday! while she was here, we filmed a little HOW TO video that you can see here…


turns out it was a GREAT way to spend our SPRING BREAK! i am so thankful for my friendship with Kim! i’m so glad she came so i could repay her the hospitality she has shown me so many times Down Under!


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Category: heidi, Inspiration

About the Author : Heidi Swapp

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