Monday, December 27, 2010

Finally, An Album

Before I got married, I never really understood what was so difficult about making an album.  You pick out some photos, decide on a layout and badda bing, badda, boom, album done.

Um, yeah...Not so much. Turns out, making an album really is as much of a b*tch as everyone says.

First of all, at least in my case, I was trying to narrow down 2,156 photos to about 60 or so.  Friends, let me tell you, that is no easy task. I wanted to make sure I chose the best of the best, the photos which truly represented my wedding and where everyone has their eyes open and was smiling pretty. It took me almost a month just to choose the pictures!

Then I had to decide what kind of album I wanted to make (this one is for my parents, I'm sure ours will be a solid year or two coming.) While our photographer seemed to offer competitively-priced albums, I just couldn't come to terms with spending so much money so I decided to go the DIY route.

I ordered this beauty from Kate's Paperie:

It's hard to tell but the cover is actually crushed velvet with the image of baby's breath etched into it.  Dreamy.

I decided to go for a vintage look and used the old-fashioned picture-corner-holders (that's a technical term, kids) like these:

Cavallini Photo Corners, Black

Funny story about these photo corners: I could not, for the life of me, figure out how they got stuck onto the paper (and they did not come with instructions.)  I thought maybe I was supposed to peel off the back layer and it would be sticky but that didn't work.  Then I tried using a glue stick but that was messy.  I finally went to Michael's and bought glue dots but what a pain-in-the-arse that was.  It wasn't until I finally Googled the damn things that I realized you're supposed to lick the back, like a stamp, and then they become sticky.  Brilliant!

Anyways, once I had chosen the photos, uploaded them to Adoramapix, ordered the prints and received them in the mail, it was finally time to get cracking.

I organized the photos chronologically, then started arranging them on the pages, to see what would fit where.  Once I finally had a layout done, I then used the photo corners to attach the photos to the pages.  Since I'm kind of craft-challenged, I was certain there would be a major mishap or two but as luck would have it, other than a few uneven photos and poor arrangement choices, I actually managed to not screw it up! Will wonders never cease...

Once all the photos were in, there was one more DIY hurdle to overcome- the graphite transfer.  I think it was that smarty-pants Mrs Dolphin who clued me into this technique. I wanted to add our names and wedding date to the front of the album but didn't trust myself to free-hand it, so I tried this with greeeeeat success!

Here's how I did it...

I printed out the text on regular computer paper (in the font I used for our programs, cuz I'm all coordinated and matchy-matchy like that, boo-yah!)

Crap, now you know our real names and wedding date, the secret is out!

Then I turned the paper over and used a pencil to trace over the print.

Once that was done, I flipped the paper back over, put it where I wanted the words to go on the actual album, and traced over the printed words with a pencil, thus transferring the pencil from the other side onto the album page.

Ha, note my creative use of my Martha Stewart Weddings magazine collection... And yes, I still buy them even though I've been married for over 6 months, shush!

Anyways, after tracing over the printed text with a pencil, I got a light outline on the album page:

All I had to do then was go over it with a fine-tipped marker.  Here's the results...

Pretty darn good, if I do say so myself! 

It took me about two months and what felt like millions of hours of work to get this album finished but my mom's face when she opened up her Hannukah gift made it all worthwhile.  It was so fun to look through it with my family and reminisce about our crazy, rainy, mad-cap wedding.

And folks, don't hold your breath for a post about our own album because Lord knows when that will happen.  I'm still toying with the idea of having a professional one made but it pains me to spend that kind of cash, so we'll see what happens.

And to all you newlyweds out there, I'm curious to know, have you gotten albums made yet or did you slack like I did, overwhelmed with how to even begin? If you've gotten an album, did you go the DIY route or have a professional do it?


  1. I do album design for a photographer friend and print with a professional album company that only photographers have access to. The cost to print one album of 80 pages (40 spreads) is well over $900. We've been married for 1.5 years and if I didn't love doing this stuff (I've done many albums) I would pay for the photographer to do it. You're only married once, splurge and get the album. As lovely as the album you made is, those corners are going to dry up and become "unstuck" eventually. Your kids will want to look at your album when they're getting married and beyond. You want it to last forever. Hindsight is 20/20, we had a DIY-on-crack wedding and the album is one thing I would not DIY if there's an option to have it done otherwise.

  2. I love your album and love how you used real pictures. I looked at my moms album which featured real pictures and was not the uber expensive album when I was getting married and the pitures looked as if they were taken yesterday and the black corner tabs were still attached and it was well over 20 years old. My grandmothers album had the old school static tabs with gorgeous black and whites in them and they were also in great condition. I'm no professional and don't claim to be but I think your pictures will be fine. I opted to not pay for the expensive album but did go with the Shutterfly option and I LOVE my book, its 100 pages and it looks gorgeous!

  3. This is so pretty! I love that you used real live prints... we are probably going to do something through iphoto, which feels more manageable at this point. I'm a little sad not to have "real" photos to sort through. Right now we're partially waiting on having the time/motivation to sit down and do it, and partially waiting for the finances.

  4. What a wonderful idea! I will keep this as memory when I finally do get my wedding photos!