This Gift Idea Is Perfect For Teachers!


Hello everyone! It is Anna-Karin here today! I hope you had a lovely Christmas and that you managed to squeeze in some creative time - for me, that mainly involved taking photos. But right before Christmas, I was whipping up quite a lot of projects, and one of them are the three vintage notebooks in this tutorial. I wanted to make something special, but also useful, for my youngest son's teachers and thought a notebook would be a good gift, and fun to make too.

I made three notebooks and they were quite quick to make, partly because I decided to use mainly patterned papers, and only a single set of dies: Lori Whitlock's Essential Mini Album. Lori's die sets always contain a lot of very useful shapes and words and all the embellishments on the notebooks were die cut with that same set. You could make so many different variations of these notebooks, by using different papers and arranging the embellishments in different ways. I used patterned papers by Prima for my books.


Here you can see the Essential Mini Album set and all the accompanying dies. The set contains 15 dies.


Start by die cutting the covers from patterned papers. Use this sandwich: Sizzix Magnetic Cutting Board, Cutting Pad, paper, die facing down, second Cutting Pad.


The covers and inside pages are the larger die cuts shown to the left - the die also cuts the holes, which makes assembly very easy. The smaller die cut to the right can be used to add another layer. I used these on the covers only, but you could also add them to inside pages.


Die cut the inside pages from patterned paper and smooth kraft-coloured cardstock, or you could use another neutral colour. You could of course also stick with only patterned papers.


Glue sticky-back canvas to cardstock and when the glue is dry, die cut the spine. Fold along the score lines and ink the edges.


Sand and ink the edges of the covers. You could ink the edges of the inside pages too, but I skipped that step to speed up the process.


Fold the pages and covers along the score lines. The die makes the score line when you die cut the pages. Folding them makes it easier to turn the pages when the book is bound.


Die cut a variety of embellishments from left-over patterned papers and from some black cardstock.


Ink the edges to give the embellishments a finished look.


Stack the pages and place the spine around them. Bind them with ribbon or twine. I used Linen Ribbon on one book and lace on the other two.


Embellish the covers with the die cut shapes and words. You can also add some to the inside pages.


I added a sticker to give this album a different title than the other two.


If you want to, you can embellish the back of the album too, but I left it blank.


Some of the inside pages. I picked mainly neutral papers, without too many patterns, so that it is easy to write on them.


The second book has a lovely vintage rose paper in the background and is bound with lace.


You could also add a photo to the film strip frame.


Hearts are such useful dies and works great for so many themes and projects.


Here's the back of the second book.


And some of the inside pages.


The third book has a botanical theme, with vintage flowers on the front.


I really like the handwritten 'the story' - which will also work great for a scrapbooking project.


Here's the back of the third book.


Every second page is a kraft page.


You could make lots of these or just one. They are really fun and easy to make and I love the page design with the bracket edge. And you can make them with just one die set, the Essential Mini Album.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and thank you for watching. I also want to wish you a Happy New Year, with lots of creative adventures.

Happy crafting!



Other Materials Used:

  • Prima Marketing A4 paper pads - Vintage Emporium, The Archivist, Timeless Memories
  • Ranger Distress Ink - Ground Espresso
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology - Linen Ribbon, Chit Chat Stickers
  • Ranger Natural Sticky-Back Canvas

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3 thoughts on “This Gift Idea Is Perfect For Teachers!”

  • marci piraro

    These books are so cute! I love the themes and colors. Just darling.

  • Jeannie Sparks
    Jeannie Sparks Dec 29, 2016 at 03:38 pm

    This is wonderful! Thank you! I have this die set and can't wait to make a book. I just needed a little guidance on it and you have helped greatly. I would like to add an additional question that is not related. I am trying to find comprehensive resources that explain in more detail about what other manufacturers' dies can be used with Sizzix Big Shot and what the sandwich requirements would be. Can you guide me to any resources on this? I'm new to die cutting and I don't want to ruin my equipment! thank you if you can help on this.

  • Anne R

    That is a great set of dies, the little albums look wonderful in those papers too! Thank you for sharing your inspiration Anna-Karin!

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