Hand-Covered Photo Album

Most people have photographs lying around waiting to be mounted. Here is a simple method of converting an inexpensive, purchased photograph album into a distinctive and useful gift.

What You Need

Photo album with spiral binding

Craft batting, a little larger than the complete cover (back and front) of the album

Fabric, 1 1/2 inches larger all round than the cover of the album

1 yard ribbon, 1 inch wide, to coordinate with fabric

Wrapping paper to coordinate with fabric sewing thread

Sewing needle

Tape measure


White glue

Clean scrap paper

Applying the Batting

1. Evenly coat the inside of the front cover of the album, including the edges and the spine, with a thin layer of white glue.

2. Lay the piece of batting flat and position the glued front cover of the album on it, with the edges just inside the edges of the batting.

3. Repeat step 1 for the outside back cover of the album.

4. Bring the batting over the spine, keeping it taut and smooth, and press it down over the glued back cover.

5. If necessary, trim the batting so that it will just wrap around the edges of the cover. Clip the corners so that they will not be bulky, and press the batting down onto the glued edges. Allow the glue to dry.

Covering the Album

1. Cut the ribbon in half. With right sides facing, lay one piece of ribbon over the fabric with the end centered on one short edge of the fabric. Stitch a 1/4 inch and 1 1/4 inch rectangle to hold the ribbon flat and secure.

2. Repeat step 1 to attach the second piece of ribbon to the opposite edge of the fabric, and then trim the ribbon ends at an angle to prevent fraying.

3. Open the album. On the inside cover, mark the center point of the vertical edge. Run glue along this edge from top to bottom. Press the wrong side of one short edge of the fabric onto the glued area, aligning the stitched end of the ribbon with the center point. Let the glue dry.

4. Turn the album over and repeat step 3 on the other side, pulling the fabric firmly over the cover with the album as nearly closed as possible. Close the album, placing sheets of clean paper between the cover and the pages in case of glue leakage. Let the glue dry thoroughly.

5. If necessary, trim the fabric at the spine so that it will tuck down flat behind the spiral binding. Glue the top and bottom of the inside of the spine and stick the fabric down.

6. Apply glue to the top and bottom edges of the inside front cover. Stick the fabric down, mitering the corners and ensuring that the fabric covers the outside of the album smoothly. Repeat this step on the inside back.


1. To make endpapers, cut two pieces of wrapping paper 1/4 inch smaller all round than the inside dimensions of the cover. Glue the endpapers to the insides of the covers to conceal the raw edges of the fabric.

2. When the glue is dry, close the album and tie the ribbon in a bow.

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