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Transform a photo album into a seed book. This idea is a great handmade garden gift or a fun way to store a small collection of seed packets
This is a fun project that’s better as a handmade garden gift, rather than a way to store loads of the seeds. The clear plastic pockets inside a photo album are great for organizing seed packets in a visual way. Providing that the packets aren’t too thick, you can slide them in and out easily and the clear plastic makes them easy to browse. Imagine how fun it would be to flip through all of your new seeds, on receiving this as a gift.
You can use practically any spiral-bound photo album for this idea but many have a generic design or are not garden-themed. This tutorial shows how to recover a photo album in fabric to make it just a little bit more special for the gardener-recipient.
Seed Book Fabric
To start the project I purchased a ‘Fat Quarter’ of fabric, which turned out to be far more than I needed. To fix the fabric to the album covers I used an ordinary spray mount though I’m sure any glue that’s suitable for both cloth and paper will do. In all, the project took about half an hour and I’m pretty excited about how the new seed book looks.
I think that an ordinary album might be trickier to use for this project because seed packets are thick when stacked one on top of the other. Using a spiral-bound album is far more practical when creating a seed album since it can help create space.
The trickiest part of the project for me was deciding how to approach covering the line of holes along the spine. In the end, I decided to forget trying to cover them at all since it seemed like a mission and the chances of the fabric fraying around the holes are pretty high.
My solution was to turn the front and back sides of the album covers inside out so that the Cheetah design faced inwards and the visible part of the spine was black. Running the fabric right up to the holes but not covering them worked well and I was relieved to skip the ordeal of cutting out and pinning back fabric for every single hole.
Step 1: Gently pull the front and back covers of the album off the spiral connector. If the inside covers are a neutral color then just visualize in your mind that the insides are now going to be turned around and used as the outward-facing sides. If the design on the inside isn’t neutral I’d consider painting the spine area with acrylic paint before continuing onto step 2.
Step 2: Cut two pieces of fabric – one for each of the covers. Leave an extra 2-4cm of margin for the top, bottom, and one of the sides. I only used 2cm in this project since I’m trying to save as much of the remaining fabric for another idea but I’d recommend a little bit more to make things easier. You’ll also notice that the edges of the fabric below are zigzag.
This is because I cut the fabric with pinking shears which can help minimize fraying at the edges. Though to be honest I don’t think it’s a big deal if you cut the fabric this way or just with ordinary scissors.
Step 3: Lay newspaper over your workspace and spray the ‘wrong side’ of the fabric with spray mount. Wait thirty seconds for it to dry and become tacky and then align and press the front side of the cover (in my case the black side) on top. Using spray mount is very forgiving since you can peel the fabric off and reposition it if need be. Remember at this point that you don’t want the fabric overlapping the spiral holes.
Step 4: Fold the excess fabric in and create your corners. Start by folding the long side in and pressing down. Then take the corner fabric along the bottom side and fold it in as shown in the below photo. With that done, fold the bottom piece up and over the cover and press down. Repeat with the top side to create the second corner.
Step 5: Create inside panels…aka bye bye cheetah. Cut two pieces of fabric that will comfortably cover the inside panels. I left about a half cm (quarter of an inch) margin so that it covers the first piece of fabric but doesn’t go completely out to the edges. Spray the ‘wrong side’ of the fabric with the spray mount, wait thirty seconds, and press the panel into place. Repeat with the second cover.
Step 6: Place the dapper new covers back on the spiral connector and your project is finished. All that’s left to do now is fill your new organizer with seeds. Happy crafting and I’m sure that the lucky recipient will love their handmade garden gift.