I was wondering what I could create for my wife for Valentines Day this year, I thought of an idea I had seen some time ago, and basically came up with creating a mini concertina photo album in a homemade box!

I had to decide on how big I wanted to make each image in the album, so I settled with 5cm x 5cm.  I hadn’t decided on how many images I wanted to include in the concertina album, so I just went with the flow.  🙂

Creating the Concertina Photo Album

In Affinity Designer using the Guides tool I created a template grid of 4×5 squares (5cm x 5cm) on an A4 size paper.  It was a case of then filling in those squares with images and words.

Once I had finished putting the sheet together it was a simple case of printing it and cutting the individual squares out.

The next job was to attach them to ribbon…but this I knew would be a difficult and fiddly thing to do.  You see I was going about attaching the ribbon in a awkward way, and that was to lay each cut square image face down at equal distances apart and in line; then glue the ribbon to them…that was the worst idea to try!

One, the ribbon wasn’t sticking easily and two the slightest touch to the squares would move them and of course this meant the squares weren’t straight or equal distances!

…so back to the drawing board…

What I decided to do in the end was cut narrow slits in the top and bottom of each square and feed the ribbon through, then attach with a sticky dot on the back of each square…this worked brilliantly!

The ribbon fed through the back and sticky dots holding in place

When cutting the narrow slits in the card, make sure they are at least very slightly thicker than the ribbon you are using; as well as slightly wider.  This makes it easy to insert the ribbon and also stops you from damaging (tears or creasing) to the square images.

I also added a small loop at the top of the album so that it can be hanged, using the same ribbon; fixing it with a sticky dot.

NOTE:  It’s not until now that my daughter pointed it out to me, that I have made a typing error with the word “Valentines”.    🙁

I have made the changes since to correct this!

Making the Box

I didn’t want to just give the concertina photo album just as it was or wrapped in some wrapping / tissue paper…I wanted to make something special, so I made a box with a lovely flowery paper that I printed on.

To make the photo album fit inside the box snuggly but with a little room to move about I made the base of the box 5.2cm x 5.2cm (if you remembered the album is 5cm x 5cm)

The height of the box was set to 2.5cm.  The actual album when pushed flat was around 2cm, but due to the springiness of it with the ribbon I found it best to make a little taller so it gave it more space.

Due to the amount of work required to make the box I will create a tutorial for this, so watch this space!!

For the inside of the box I decided to have a pastel pink covering.  I cut the base and sides to the correct size and glued them to the paper.

Once the glue had dried I cut around the edges carefully so that I had the original card with the newly stuck paper.

I glued the pieces together and let the box dry.

Now for the lid…basically repeat the steps for the base of the box; but make it just a little over 0.1cm so that it fits nicely when the lid is on.

I made the lid a little over 1cm in height.  Once the base and lid have dried I sanded the edges and corners to make sure everything is smooth and no overhangs.

Covering the box is the final part.  I found a repeating pattern of flowers on the web and printed it out on two A4 pieces of paper…one for the lid and the other for the base of the box.

Covering the box is very satisfying because this is where it starts to look like a box…obviously!  Also with the paper covering the box it feels a lot stronger and rigid!

That is the box and lid completed…now to make sure it all fits!  😉

For the finishing touches I tied a ribbon around the box.  My wife loved it and it is currently hanging in our hallway.

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