Milan, Italy Mini Album

Monday, December 2, 2019

Happy holidays! I'm back with a new mini album to share with you using the festive Together for Christmas holiday collection from Pink Paislee!
Check out this video flip through to see what this album looks like from cover-to-cover:
To start, I designed an Ornaments Mini Album cut file. The cut file includes 7 intricate ornaments and 7 solid pieces for backing. I die cut the 7 intricate ornaments from textured white cardstock by American Crafts (my cardstock of choice for die cutting - it cuts like butter!) using a Silhouette Cameo 3 and the 7 solid pieces from 7 of the coordinating solid colors in the Together for Christmas Project Pad. In Silhouette Studio I then flipped the 7 solid ornaments horizontally and cut them out once more from patterned papers. Next I sandwiched each ornament together: I used spray adhesive to attach the white cardstock ornaments to the fronts and the patterned paper ornaments to the backs of the solid colored paper ornaments. I machine stitched around the outer edge of each ornament with a Brother sewing machine to keep all the layers together permanently and add some nice texture. With the base of the mini album finished, it's time for decorating!
I decided to make this mini album about our trip to Milan, Italy over the holidays back in 2016. I printed my photos at home and trimmed them out leaving a white border which creates contrast. I have a tutorial sharing how I print small photos here. Before I started embellishing I had my Silhouette Cameo 3 cut out a bunch of flowers and ornaments from the patterned papers using the PixScan feature. I have a tutorial for using the PixScan mat here. It saves so much time instead of spending hours fussy cutting, the machine cuts out all the images in minutes! Here are the fronts of all the finished ornaments:
For the title page I added a dimensional wreath sticker to the center. I tucked one of the florals my Cameo cut out under the top along with a snowflake sticker. I layered a gold "December" sticker across the front at an angle and glued five gold sequins across the top. I cut out letters ransom-style from extra die cuts and stickers in the collection to spell " in Milan" and typed "italy" on my We R Memory Keepers Typecast Typewriter. I glued the these pieces inside the wreath and added a star sequin to finish.
On the back of each ornament is where I added journaling. I copied and pasted our blog post recap about Milan into a new word document, deleted parts I didn't need to include, changed the font to Remington Noiseless at size 8, printed it out, trimmed it into strips to fit the shape of the intended space, and used liquid glue to adhere the strips in place. A simple pinecone sticker adorns the bottom point.
On the 2nd ornament I layered embellishments on the left side: a floral die cut, pinecone die cut, layered acorn sticker, a trio of gold star stickers, puffy candy sticker, and gold puffy branch (all from the Together for Christmas collection). As always when I make mini albums documenting vacations, I have way more photos than can really fit so I have to find creative solutions to add more. In this instance I attached a trio of photos together with washi tape from my stash and zigzag stitching and then added velcro dots to the back so it can be taken out and put back neatly.
I embellished the photo strip minimally with a few sentiment stickers, journaling strip captions, and I stapled a transparency snowflake to the top for easier accessibility. Here you can see the velcro dots where the folded up photos stick to.
On the back of this ornament I added more journaling strips and a branch sticker.
On the 3rd ornament I did some chunky layering with various embellishments from the Together for Christmas collection and tucked a photo into the left side. Jane has always loved birds so I sneak them in wherever I can when it's a photo featuring her.
On the back of this ornament I added five 1" photos as well as journaling strips. Milan is known for its fashion so I had to document about our experience window shopping! This was another instance where I needed to find a solution to tell more stories with photos. By printing them small I was able to add five pictures and tell the story on the back of an ornament.
The 4th ornament features more clusters of embellishments and a large photo of Fox & Jane. It's one of my very favorite photos of them. This is when they were starting to become the best of friends and it was so heartwarming. Definitely deserved its own page! Notice I snuck another bird in too :)
By the time I'd finished the fronts of the ornaments I still had a lot of favorite photos I wasn't able to include. I wasn't planning on adding photos to the backs but then I thought, why not? So I added this photo from atop the Duomo amid all the hundreds of spires along with the printed journaling strips about it. For embellishment I cut a poinsettia sticker in half and placed the halves above and below the journaling and curved a puffy gold "peace" sticker along the bottom.
This 5th ornament page includes another option for adding more than one photo: I layered three photos together and machine stitched along the top to create flip-ups. On the background I created a cluster of die cuts and stickers and added a row of gold sequins along the bottom. To help make flipping up the photos a bit easier I stapled a transparent snowflake on the top two photos.
Here is a look at the other photos stitched together:
The back of the 5th ornament tells the story of the whole reason we went to Milan: to see The Last Supper.
My original mini album cut file didn't include this 6th star shaped page, but I needed another place for photos so I designed a star ornament in the same style as the other pages, repeated the process of backing and stitching around the edges, and voila - I had another page for photos! A lot more photos! Because I made a pocket to hold them all. I trimmed down one of the label die cuts, stitched around the left, bottom, and right edges, and tucked photos inside. Actually, I kind of made a mini album inside this mini album! Check it out:
I backed each 2" square photo with patterned paper, added printed/trimmed captions, and a sticker or two for embellishment. I stacked all the photos together and then punched a small hole with a Crop-A-Dile through the top left corner and slid them onto a tiny copper binder ring to hold them all together.
Here are the 8 photos included the mini-mini album:
And the backs with the patterned papers, stickers, and captions:
The 7th and last page includes more of the same - layers of embellishments and clusters along with two final photos. By using the same collection and style of embellishing, the album is cohesive and fun to flip through.
On the back I added a flower, gold "memories" sticker tucked above a gold puffy "together" sticker. And that's it!
By using a cut file as the base of the mini album and sticking with one collection this album came together quickly and easily. I would guess it took about 8 hours spread over the course of 4 days to complete. And now we have a memorable time in our lives documented forever! Thanks so much for stopping by, let me know if you have any questions and see you again soon!
SUPPLIES: Patterned papers, stickers, die cuts, sequins, embellishments: Together for Christmas by Pink Paislee; Ornaments Mini Album cut file: Paige Evans; Typecast Typewriter; Font: Remington Noiseless; Hole punch: Crop-A-Dile


  1. Absolutely STUNNING!!! LOVING the photos, the way you added the journaling (and the extra photos at the end), and LOVE LOVE LOVE the different shapes for each page!! You are AMAZING!!!

  2. I left a message at YouTube, but wanted to also say how beautifully you've photographed your project Paige. Also, I enjoyed the journaling you added for your visit to The Last Supper. That's so amazing and interesting. I hope I can visit Milan sometime too :D


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