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I absolutely love cardmaking and altered art and especially like to make unique gifts or decorations and the Papermania Bare Basics Albums are a perfect starting point.
The Papermania Bare Basics Albums are plain chipboard albums which are ready to decorate and come in a range of shapes including Door Plate and Parenthesis pictured above. They are widely available from craft shops and online retailers such as Amazon and cost around £3. Each album has a total of 6 chipboard pages which are joined by 2 jump rings. The chipboard pages can be inked, painted, stamped, heat embossed or covered in paper.
If covering the pages with paper I find it best to draw round the shape onto paper first and then to stick to the album page using a repositionable glue in case you don't get the positioning right the first time. I then like to ink the edges or draw on a faux stitching effect.
I like to add several different patterned and textures patterned papers to add both texture and interest. I especially like to use embossed papers or to stamp over the top of the papers. I love to use a range of embellishments; lace, ribbons, flowers, die cuts shapes, buttons, card candy,gems and hat pins are just a few suggestions... the possibilities really are endless. I also like to use items I have found on my travels to decorate my pages such as cones, dried leaves or shells.
I like to create hidden pockets for my journaling (memories you want to record) and to hide embellishments such as tickets with just a little poking out or maybe a ribbon tab. I also like to add interest and disguise the jump rings by decorating them with tied pieces of ribbon, lace or fabric.
They make beautiful mini albums for a range of occasions such a new baby brag book or to record holiday memories and once decorated they make lovely gifts. I have made a lovely garden themed one in the past with hidden seed pockets and this made a lovely and unique gift for a family member. I decorated each page with die cut flowers to match the seeds and included information on the flower.
You can also use the chipboard pages singularly to create wall hangings by stringing several together, or a single page as a plaque. I have made a new home plaque and last Christmas made some lovey wall hangings. The pages really are incredibly versatile.
If you use photos on your pages do bear in mind that not all products are safe to use with pictures and may cause damage over time so it is best to avoid using originals.
These albums would make a lovely craft project for children. They could have great fun decorating the albums and using them to record precious memories such of their holidays including photos, ticket stubs, shells and other trinkets and would be lovely to look back on in years to come. Or they could use them to make lovely gifts. For example a page could easily be transformed into a fridge magnet by adding magnetic strip and would be a change from the standard drawings family tend to display on their fridge.
These albums are so versatile and are great fun to decorate and I highly recommend them for crafters at all levels of ability as well as a fun crafty project for children.
This review also appears on CIAO under the same username.