Monday, December 21, 2009

Last Minute DIY Gift Idea: Mini "Keyring" Photo Album

It was about this time last year that I remembered I needed one more gift for T's sweet grandparents, who would be in town for Christmas. My budget was maxed to the max, my throat was starting to get a little bit sore, and I just wasn't feeling like heading out to the mall again. (If you know me, then you know I really must not have been feeling well.)

So I sat down with some Afrin for a few minutes and thought about what to get Grandmommy and Granddaddy that they might not already have. (Older folks are sometimes the hardest to buy for, I think. My Nannie has had 98 Christmases...they've seen it all!)

I know they love photographs. Every year, I make them their annual Shutterfly Photo Calendar with photos of my girls, and they spend the better part of the year showing it off to anyone who crosses the gates of their retirement community.

I had some of their treasured family photographs downloaded on my computer, so I decided to create a little project just for them.

You'll be surprised at how inexpensive and easy this Mini Keyring Photo Album is to create.

You crafty people can probably figure the whole thing out just by looking at the picture above, but if you are arts-and-crafts-challenged, here is a complete step by step list of instructions:

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A SCRAPBOOKER TO COMPLETE THIS PROJECT! (That's in bold to get my point across)

1. Start with anywhere from 5 to 12 of your favorite photos. It's nice if you have a theme, like "baby first year," or "wedding," or "our pet," or "vacation." I chose old black and whites from Grandmommy and Granddaddy's early years. Scan them onto a CD if you have to.

2. Once your photos are on a disc or memory card, head to the nearest Kodak Photo kiosk.

photo credit:
(You could use another brand of photo machine, but Kodak is the one I use and I will be giving you directions for that. Most photo kiosks also allow you to do some scanning there.)

3. Print your photos in the wallet size option.

photo credit:
It usually lets you print 4 separate photos to a page (the pages come out in 4x6 size and you cut each wallet sized photo individually), which is why choosing 12 photos gives you more bang for your buck. 4x6 sheets usually run around 30 cents.

4. Supplies:
~3 sheets of double sided scrapbook paper in a pretty pattern (both sides of the paper will show, which is why you need it to have a pattern on each side). This should be more than enough.
~2 or 3 small reams of thin, coordinating ribbon (I find this stuff all the time in Target's Dollar Spot or the Dollar sections in craft stores)
~A package of binder rings/clips from Staples or Office Depot (around $3 for a box of 20)
photo credit:
~ Acid-Free Glue stick, one-hole punch and Scissors

5. Cut out each photo.

6. "Mat" your photos by laying them flat on the paper and gluing them down. USE AN ACID FREE GLUE STICK so your photos won't be ruined. Lay a photo on the scrapbook paper and measure around it so it "frames" the photo. *Leave enough room at the top of the photo for a hole to be punched through the paper.

7. I usually lay all of my photos down on my paper in a column, glue them down, and do one cut straight up to make a long strip. Then I cut each "frame" individually so I have a little pile of matted photos. If you're feeling ambitious, make a little "title page" with a message or give the last page some embellishment with some scrap paper like this:

8. Take your stack of photos to the print shop to be laminated. My local place just runs them through the laminating machine and puts them all together on one or two sheets. This might run me a dollar or two...nothing to break the bank.

9. Cut each laminated photo individually, taking care to leave a tiny border of lamination around the edges so it doesn't peel off.

10. Punch a hole through the top of your laminated, framed photos. Hopefully you remembered to leave a large enough border at the top of each sheet so your hole doesn't go through the photo.

11. Clip your binder ring through the holes and embellish with some of your ribbon. Voila!

Grandmommy and Granddaddy were so surprised and pleased when they opened this on Christmas morning. The entire project probably cost me less than $5 because I already had the ribbon and binder clips on hand.

I love it because the whole thing can fit right in your hand, so it's easy to store or throw in your purse if you don't want it cluttering up your Family room.

Have fun, and please let me know if you try this project!

Linking to Kimba

{Are you making any gifts this year?}

I have a list as long as my arm of gifts I still need to work on!


  1. I love these! So cute - cheap - and sweet.


  2. Oh, I love this idea! This will be great for creating mini books for my son who loves to look at pictures.

    Thanks for sharing-

  3. this is such a great idea! and i have a laminator, too! wish i wasn't such a lazy bum!

    merry christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. This is so perfect for new grandparents! Also great for tweens to make for their friends.

  5. What a neat idea - these are so cute! Thanks for sharing! Happy Holidays!

  6. Very clever! Much more personal then the digital versions they have now.

  7. So cute! I have been crafting up a storm this season to save money!

  8. This is a great idea! And wouldn't it make a great gift for a kid who could hang it from the zipper fob of her backpack?

    Merry Christmas!

  9. Neat idea. Tracy did the same thing with postcards from their vacation for the boys to look at & reminisce.

  10. That is such a good idea! People always ask to see pics of the kids and this idea is great. I always have my keys in my hand.

    Merry Christmas!

  11. I did something very similar. I printed photos at home, glued them back to back, laminated them id card size using a home laminating macine, rounded the corners using a corner rounder punch and then took them to Office Depot and had them spiral bound for under 2 bucks.

    Gave it to teh 2 yr old and she loooooves it! Calls it her picture book!

  12. great idea, Amanda! what's the Decorating Dilemma party in January? Have I missed a post?

  13. What a great gift for grandparents. Thanks for sharing. MERRY CHRISTMAS


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