by Doris Sander

When you use scraps and product packaging to make a “hodgepodge” mini album you get a charming and inexpensive project for your photos. Add this time-save process and you’ll have a great stash of minis to keep and give away.

I will confess: I was initially a bit intimidated at the thought of making hodgepodge mini-albums. Since then, I’ve developed my own approach to putting them together, and now I am hooked. Here’s what I do:

hodgepodge mini album ingredients

As you’re acquiring and using product for your other scrapbook pages, be sure to save the chipboard backing from packaging. Keep an eye out, also, for the scraps and little bits that lend themselves to a mini album.

Here’s a look at packaging, scraps and leftover items from product I’ve used on scrapbook pages. Based upon width, I stack my items from smallest to largest. Each of these minibooks will have nine pages.

“assembly line” production of hodgepodge mini albums

I’ve found that using this time-save approach is a great way to put together a nice stash of gift albums.

As you’re clearing your workspace, spend five minutes arranging your scraps and papers and into stacks for several mini albums. When you’ve got a spare half-hour, cover fronts and backs of packaging materials with patterned paper. Don’t overthink it, just cover them!

I adhere patterned papers directly to chipboard packaging then cut off the excess and lightly sand the edges. You can save even more time by lining the chipboard up along straight edges of the paper to avoid a cut or two. 

add photos and journaling

When you’ve got another 30 minutes, edit and print photos for your hodgepodge minis. I like printing at 2″x3″ to save thinking time. I usually end up cutting a few down even smaller. Consider printing a couple photos at 4″x6″ then adhering back-to-back to add an extra page. Remember–when you’re making gifts, it saves even more time to print multiples of the same photo and do a second or third album.

Once the photos are mounted, go back through and add titles and journaling. I used label stickers, journaling cards, and letter stickers on the interior so my album would lay flat.

finishing touches

The final half hour is spent prettying up the front. Also look at the right edges of the pages in your mini-album. Since you’ve arranged things to be sequentially smaller as you move up the stack, these are great spots for adhering dimensional embellishments. My mini-albums are still laying totally flat, but they still have all the dimensional bits that I love because they’re carefully placed on page edges.


Use a hole punch to punch out a spot for the book-binding ring on the left side of each page and tie on a pretty bow!

Save one for yourself and put one in the mail as a very special gift!  The trip to the post office is always the hardest part for me!


Doris Sander is a mother and teacher who currently calls Tennessee home.  She is the Director of Marketing for Jenni Bowlin Studios and has been published in Scrapbook Trends, Creating Keepsakes, BHG Scrapbooks Etc., Memory Makers, and Cards. You can see more of Doris’ work and learn about her classes on page design at her blog  {me}anderings.