C finished preschool last week and we wanted to do a little something for his teacher Miss Laurie, who is all sunshine and smiles. Funny story: After his first week of preschool C asked me if I could be "more like Miss Laurie." And when I asked him what he meant, he replied "Well she is just happy ALL of the time." (Hmm..)
I had gone with Miss Laurie and the kids on a field trip to the fire station earlier in the year and had taken lots of photos. So we decided to pick our favorites and put together a little album. Here's how to dress up a cheap plastic album (available at craft stores and photo stores for about $2). Ridiculously easy.
You will need a plastic album that holds 4x6 photos (I think this one fit 24 prints). Two different pages of thick pretty paper (mine are from the Martha Stewart line). And a sharp x-acto knife and cutting mat.
The covers on these albums are usually pretty ugly, and they are sealed into the plastic so they can't be removed. Open your album and using your x-acto knife, cut carefully along the edge of the plastic that is holding the cover in place. You just want to cut through one of the layers of plastic if you can (it looks a little neater than if you cut through both the front and the back). Start at the top edge of the book (where it is bound) and cut neatly down to the bottom. Then you should be able to slide the ugly cover out of the book and replace it with something pretty.
One you've pulled your cover out, you can use it as a template to cut your paper. Lay it down on your pretty paper and cut two covers for the front and back (if you like you can also cut two more out of a complimentary paper for the inside front and back cover).
Carefully slide your new pretty covers into the album, taking care not to bend the corners. (I used the blue paper with white dots for the cover, and the white paper with blue dots for the inside covers.) Insert your photos into the album.
Dress things up by adding a cute label to the front (these are also from the Martha Stewart collection). And you're done.
I keep a stack of these albums on hand for all sorts of things. They make great gifts for grandparents (filled with pictures of their grandchildren, of course.) Or newlyweds (filled with photos from the wedding, and sent to the bride and groom as a surprise on their first anniversary). The next time you are at a baby shower or birthday party, and the hostess is running around too busy to take photos, grab your camera and get to work! When you hand her your album a few weeks later, she will be thrilled.