Accordion Photo Album

Posted by on Feb 11, 2014 in blog | 0 comments

Accordion Photo Album

I’ve seen instructions for these albums online and I’ve been wanting to make one of these for a while. Every time I’ve seen these they have been in a portrait orientation. Most of the photos I wanted to use for this project were landscape, so it made sense to make my album landscape. This meant I had to alter how others have done it considerably to make it work. Here’s what I did to make a 4″x6″ landscape accordion photo album.


This project takes a lot of precision to make it come out well, so make sure you take your time.

For this project, you’ll need: 2 sheets of 12″x12″ cardstock, 2′ of ribbon, a glue stick, craft glue suitable for photos, a craft knife, a ruler, a pencil, a bone folder, decorative paper or fabric, and your photos. I also used a square to make sure all my corners were perfect right angles, but you don’t have to do that. Just make sure you double check all your measurments.


Carefully measure the cardstock and cut it in 4” strips. You’ll end up with 6 4″x12 “pieces. You will be using 5 of them. Then fold all these pieces in half. There was a texture on my cardstock so there was clearly a right and a wrong side. If this is the case for yours, when you fold, the wrong sides should be on the inside. If you already have a bone folder, make sure you use it. If you’re like me and don’t have one, use a butter knife. It worked great! Using a straight edge as a guide, score the cardstock with the back of the knife (don’t use the serrated side). You’re not trying to cut anything, you’re just making a crease. Then fold the paper and smooth it down again with the back of the knife.

Take one of the pieces of cardstock and cut a small slit in the center of the fold that is just large enough for your piece of ribbon to go through it. Take a piece of ribbon that’s about 2’ long, fold it in half, and thread both ends through the hole you just made. There should be a small loop on the wrong side (inside) of the folded paper. Put a small dab of glue on the loop to hold it in place.


Once that glue is dry, cover that entire piece with glue. I used a glue stick for this part so that my paper wouldn’t get too damp and then warp. Take another one of your 4” strips and sandwich one of the halves within the glued paper. This should give you a V shape. Do the same thing (minus the part with the ribbon) to two new pieces of your cardstock. When you’re finished with that you’ll have two V shape pieces. They will each have one side that is three layers thick and one side that has only one layer. The sides with 3 layers are your front and back covers.


Cover your 5th piece of cardstock entirely with glue. Use that piece as a hinge to connect the other pieces together. The whole thing should look like the diagram below.

Each strip of paper is shown in a different color.

Each strip of paper is shown in a different color.

That’s the basic structure of the book. I printed the cover on some fabric, cut it so it was 3-1/2″x5-12/”, and frayed the edges. I cut 4 more pieces of fabric to be the same size and frayed those edges as well. I carefully brushed the back of the fabric with craft glue so I didn’t get too much on it, then placed them each panel of the book. The first panel has fabric on both the front and back because of the cover. Let one side dry thoroughly before you do the other so the cardstock doesn’t get too wet. You could also use a coordinating paper for this step.


Next, add your photos. When everything is nice and dry, fold it up and tie it shut with the ribbon. Trim the ribbon as needed and melt the edge with a lighter to prevent the ribbon from fraying. Make sure you don’t light the ribbon on fire. The doesn’t need to touch the ribbon; it just needs to get close to the ribbon.


And there you have a cute little photo album that’s both portable and makes a nice display.

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