Monday, 17 October 2016

Photo Folio - Step by Step Tutorial #1

Hello everyone and welcome to my bloggy space.  Hope you are having a fabulous day.

Here  I am finally, sharing Part 1 of my Step by Step Tutorial for the little Photo Folio I made as exchange gifts for some scrappy friends .. Adriana Bolzon, Astrid Maclean, Heather Jacob and Helen Wallace.

 I have to warn you .. this post is really HUGE!!!  Probably would have been better as a video but, as I don't make videos, I have decided to do it in two stages.  This first stage will show you how to make the inside pages (which is what you need to first anyway) and then in stage two I will share how to create the cover and put it all together.

So, this is what I'll be showing how to make today.

First up though, I would like to thank all the generous people who share their ideas and techniques freely on You Tube.  They are way too many to name but, without the inspiration and little tips from these fabulous crafters, this would have been a lot more difficult to put together.  Thank you ladies and gents.

Hoping this will all make sense to you.

NOTE:  You can use 12 x 12 sheets of cardstock for the whole of the folio but, for the cover, it is easier if you have A3 size.  You can make it with 12 x 12 sheets but with the A3 size it can be made in one piece.  I am just letting you know this so that you can match colour for both parts of the book.
For this part of the folio you will need 4 sheets of 12 x 12 cardstock.   If you do have A3 size sheets you will need less of course.  


Following the diagram, cut three base pages from your chosen cardstock.

As you can see, I rounded the corners but that is really not necessary as it all gets covered over anyway.

The base sheets get sewn together so, lay them over each other staggering them, as shown below.  Set your machine at the largest stitch size to sew them.  The larger the stitch, the less likely it is to tear.   If you do not have a machine you can, of course, do it by hand.

I staggered mine about 5/8th inch apart and then did my sew line about an inch in from the edge of the top leaf.

To create the pages, turn the set over ..

.. and, using a bone folder or something similar, crease the first sheet on the left side towards the center.

Do the same for the second sheet.  The bottom sheet is left as is, as this one gets glued to the cover.

Use some sticky tape to secure the ends of the threads to the back to ensure that the stitches don't come undone.  Probably a good idea to knot them first (I forgot that bit).

This is what it should now look like.  You have the base, which gets glued to the inside of the cover, and four basic 'leaves' to create the inside pages of your folio.  Obviously the leaves don't need to be quite as wide as I've made them so you can cut them down if you wish.  I feel though, that the bigger the surface you have to adhere to, the stronger it will be.  But that's just me.

With this basic structure, you can create any number of different types of pages for your folio.  Of course, you can also add more 'leaves' for more pages but I didn't want my folio to be too thick and bulky so, four pages was enough for me.

Now we need to create those 'pages'.


Following the diagram, cut out the two pieces from your chosen cardstock.
(The solid lines are cut lines, the red broken lines are score lines)
Ink the edges.  (You can see by the photos that I forgot to do this until after the pocket was finished .. Duhh!!  LOL!!)

To make the pocket, Part B  is glued to the back of the first leaf (the narrowest one) of your base pages and Part A gets wrapped around them.
TIP: To ensure that they fit together properly, you may need to trim a tiny bit off the side of the base leaf and off Part B as well .. this will enable Part A to fit comfortably around without buckling them.  

Adhere double sided tape to the back of the 'base leaf' and then, adhere Part B, making sure it is lined up properly.  (The 'base leaf' actually ends up inside the pocket.)

Score the lines on Part A (3/4 inch from each end) as per the diagram, crease the score lines and cover the inside of each end with double sided tape.
TIP:  To ensure a neat finish it is a good idea to trim a tiny V section off each end starting at the score line.  It's a bit hard to tell from the photo below but you can see it more clearly further down.
You can also see that I cut out a small half circle in the center at the top.  This is optional of course but I feel it may make it easier to pull out the booklet that fits into this pocket.

Wrap Part A around Part B  making sure it is lined up properly and that the tops of the pocket are even.

Remove the backing on the double sided tape and adhere the end to the back of Part B.
Below you can see what I meant about cutting out the V section at the ends.

Before glueing down the other side, just make sure it is still lined up properly.

 To close the pocket at the base, simply run a small bead of glue along the inside at the bottom.  I used Glossy Accents.  The thin nozzle makes it easy to insert under the bottom edge.
The finished pocket (after inking!).

On to the next page.  Hope you're still with me peeps.


Following the diagram, cut two of each from your chosen cardstock. Ink the edges.

These pockets are assembled the same as the previous pocket. Part B is attached to the 'base leaf' and Part A is wrapped around them both.

Round the corners on one of the short edges of Part B.  This will be the top of the back of the pocket.

The first step is to cut the 'base leaf' to create two sections.
Find the center at the inside edge of the leaf (the sew line) and make a mark 1/4 inch on each side.  Do the same at the outside edge.  Draw a line between the two marks and cut this section away leaving about an eighth of an inch at the bottom for strength (this also prevents you from cutting through the sew line).

As with the other pocket, you may need to trim a tiny bit off one side edge of both the 'base leaf' and Part B to ensure a good fit for Part A.

Adhere double sided tape to the back of both base sections ..

.. remove the backing and adhere Part B to each section with the rounded corners at the top as shown.

Score the lines on both Part A's (3/4 inch from each edge) as per the diagram and crease on the score line.

Attach double sided tape to the scored sections and cut a small V shape from each end as on the previous pocket.

When wrapping Part A around Part B to create the pocket, make sure you push it down to the bottom.  Part B should protrude about 3/4 inch above Part A.  Don't push it too tight to the bottom though, leave about a 1/16th to 1/8th inch  as it needs a little space so you can flip the page comfortably. 
The photos below show how it should look.

To close the bottom of the pockets, run a small bead of glue on the inside at the base.

I hope everything is making sense to you thus far.


Following the diagram, cut out the two pieces from your chosen cardstock and ink the edges.

Score Part B as shown on the diagram (2.25 inch from the top).  This creates the flap for the pocket.  Round the edges of the flap if desired.

Once again, Part B is glued to the 'base leaf' and Part A is wrapped around them.
Put your double sided tape on the back of the base leaf and adhere Part B making sure it is lined up properly.  The photo shows the back .. unfortunately, I forgot to take a shot of the front .. sorry about that.

On Part A, crease on the score lines ..

.. attach the double sided tape and cut the small Vshapes off the bottom ends.

As with the previous pockets, Part A needs to be placed close to the bottom leaving just enough room to be able to open and close the page.

Again, to close the pocket at the bottom, run a thin line of glue on the inside at the base.

Attach magnets to ensure that the pocket flap stays closed. 

So, now onto the last of our pages.

Following the diagram, cut one piece only.

This is the simplest of the pages to make.  Simply cut it out and score as per the diagram.  Crease the score lines, ink the edges and then adhere it to the last of the 'base leaves'.

Attach double sided tape to the back of the 'base leaf'.

Making sure the page is lined up straight, remove the backing and adhere the largest section of the flip page to the folio base leaf.

Fold your page to the inside ..

.. and it's done!!

That's all folks!!  The pages are now complete and ready for matting .. Yayy!! 

Before you start adding your papers, you will need to trim the base down.  It was easier to do this as a last step rather than try to explain it at the beginning.  Trim the base to about half an inch on the left side of the sew line and three and a half inches on the right side (4" total width).   This will ensure that your pages will fit properly inside the outer cover.

Here is the page set with papers added.  ('Cos I forgot to take a photo before I matted everything.  Duhh!! )  When adding your papers, do not cover the base as yet.  That will get done after it is adhered to the outer cover.

Tip:  When lining the pockets, make sure your paper covers the little
ridge left by the 'base leaf'.  This will ensure that your photo and journalling mats don't get caught on it.  It's not necessary to take your paper all the way to the bottom, just make sure that the 'ridge' is covered.

So, the inside of the folio is now done.  I hope I explained everything clearly enough.  If you have any problems please don't hesitate to contact me either in the comment section or on my facebook page.

As I stated at the beginning, I will post the tutorial for the cover and the photo mats etc.  as soon as it is done.  Trying to make sure that will be by the end of the week.  Have had my granddaughter staying with us so some things had to go on the back burner.

Just a little note:  I have given these plans and instructions freely for you to use however you wish and I am happy for you to share under the same conditions .. for free.  I would just ask that you make mention of where you got them from.  Thank you. 

Thank you so much for visiting and for sticking with me through this huge post.  I hope you enjoy the rest of your day and, please, if you do decide to make a folio of your own following these instructions, send me a link.  I would love to see it.  Thank you.

Hope to see you here again in a few days for Part #2

Take care and God Bless.


  1. Thank you so much Margaret. I am going to give this a go. Yours looks amazing. Hugs Rita xxxx

  2. What a fabulous tutorial - Thank you so much!!

  3. Oh wow, what a fantastic tutorial! I'm going to bookmark it for future reference. thank you! x

  4. Oh Margaret, thank you so very, very much!!! I cannot begin to think how long this must have taken you!! You kow how much I treaure the one you made me. I am planning to make a Christmas one now, and would have been totally lost without these instructions....(they are brilliant and very, very clear)!! Pinning them right now, so I can refer to them when I start. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  5. Oh wow Marg, this folio looks amazing, and the step by step are pretty amazing too.. i must admit i got lost a bit but I am sure it all makes sense when you are actually playing with the pages and doing all the steps.. if I ever want to make one I will come back to your instructions for sure.. I hope your week is off to a great start... and I am sure it will fly by just like the rest of them!!

  6. Love how you've done the step by step. FAR better than a video, cos you have to stop them and write instructions & it's confusing. This is soooo much better & those diagrams are really great for cutting the sizes....I'm about to start a mini for Lucas [doing 2015 before 2016 is over. JUST getting it in!!!] I'm going to nick some of your ideas & incorporate that fold out page, not only cos it's simplest but cos kids love folding out things! Hope you've had a good time with your grand girl. Always nice to have them around. And nice when they go, LOL!!!!

  7. Oh. My. Goodness! You are truly amazing! Your friends are so lucky to have you make something like this for them. Wow!

  8. A clear, concise and easy to follow tutorial Margy. It must have taken hours to get together; a labour of love. Specially like the stitched spine, so much sturdier than a paper bag one I made earlier in the year. I plan to have a go at making one in the near future. Look forward to the next stage. TFS

  9. How absolutely awesome - your friends all must have loved this beautiful folio. And, thank you for sharing the tutorial - your time is very much appreciated!

  10. Thank you for this fantastic tutorial Margaret. hugs, Marlies

  11. Wow Margaret, this is just brilliant!! I am totally bookmarking this page for reference later!! I actually just stopped in to say thank you for the warm welcome back comment, but man I sure did get distracted reading your amazing tutorial. Well I hope you had a wonderful month! It's great to be back, see you again soon. hugs :)

  12. OH WOW! Marge this is intense and so detailed and I so want to make one. My machine just died after 35 years so I am going to have to hand stitch :O I think these are wonderful little gifts. Thank you so much for sharing and I agree with you the knowledge and generosity of the people who share stuff on you tube and the web in general is simply astounding. <3

  13. Videos are good but these step by steps are just so easy to follow. I reckon I might even manage it. I think I am going to make one each for my kids for christmas... such a cool idea. Don't know how you managed it but I am glad you did. <3


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