First - get yourself one of those Tyvek mailers (or a piece of Tyvek from the hardware store) they're the ones that are hard to tear but they're a different material than paper. Tyvek // is a brand of flashspun high-density polyethylene fibers, a synthetic material; the name is a registered trademark of DuPont. The material is very strong; it is difficult to tear but can easily be cut with scissors or a knife. Water vapor can pass through Tyvek (highly breathable), but not liquid water, so the material lends itself to a variety of applications: envelopes, car covers, air and water intrusion barriers (housewrap) under house siding, labels, wristbands, mycology, and graphics. (per Wikipedia)
Cut the Tyvek and a piece of cardstock the same size (the color you choose will be inside your book).Cut them as tall as your mini album will be (say a 6" mini album would need a piece of cardstock and Tyvek 6" tall and a minimum of 11" long for a 5 page mini album) glue the 2 pieces together using a STRONG glue .. NO glue sticks!! I like E6000 spray but some people don't, you can use whatever you like as long as it will give a good bind without being bulky. Let dry thoroughly. If you are using the E6000 spray, remember to spray completely on one of the pieces and press hard, keep pressing occasionally and let dry COMPLETELY before moving to the next step (usually about 4-5 minutes with the E6000 spray).
This is where watching the video in the first paragraph comes in handy. Leave at least 1 1/2" or more on each end. I start in the middle of my paper and work to the edges. Score in the middle (remember, if you don't have a score board you can use the little divet in a paper slicer to run a score line down paper using a stylus ). On each side of the middle, do a 1/2" score .. then a 1/4" score, then a 1/2" score, another 1/2" score, then 1/4", then 1/2", then 1/2", then 1/4" ... (if you haven't seen this before PLEASE watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5cRBlfVnLoThis lady explains why this version is one of the best and how to do it.
On the back side, where the Tyvek is, put a piece of ScorPal Tape .. or Terrifically Tacky tape -- You can use a strong glue if you use several clips till totally dry.
This creates the bindings where you will be attaching your pages.
I'm making two bindings for 2 different books at the same time -- that's why you will see two in the pictures.
Fold the ridges back and forth to get them limbered-up for the turning of your pages (don't forget that little 1/4" on each end before you get to the 2" space on the very end too ... that will be the one that will hold your front and back covers. (The 2 inch unlined areas are what you attach to your front and back covers).
Now for MORE reinforcing!!! ... cut another piece of Tyvek and another piece of paper the same size as your binding. Glue the Tyvek to the paper (this paper will be what everybody sees as your spine. (Don't glue the binding and the spine papers together yet -- Just the Tyvek to the spine paper. Let dry completely.
If you want to emboss your spine, now's the time to do that. You only have to emboss the center you will be seeing behind the pages (I ran these through a Tim Holtz Halloween embossing folder) and then put a drip of white acrylic paint on a paper towel and lightly brushed over the embossed image.
(sorry it's sideways :P ) when I fold the edges that will be under the front and back covers you can see what my book's spine will look like ... Now Glue (strong glue again or the ScorPal or Terrifically Tacky tape) the binding piece to the spinal cover piece (You will be gluing the 2 Tyvek pieces together). Make SURE you get the edges and corners glued together well.
Make sure no glue is seeping out the edges before you clip them
Finally, use a Sharpie (or other permanent marker)-- or even better, use alcohol ink (such as Tim Holtz Adirondack Inks) to fill in the white/red colors of the Tyvek that are peaking out and there you have a great reinforced binding for your custom handmade mini album.
Once I finish one of these albums I'll post it up.
HOPEFULLY ... I'll be done before Halloween!!