Photo Folio


Cover of photo folio using Tales of a French Muse design paper
Back cover of photo folio
Photo Folio

I’m excited to share a design team project for SincerelyRina using her beautiful  Tales of a French Muse design paper. The paper is high quality cardstock and easy to use.

I created a cross between a photo folio and an album with a 1″ spine to accommodate lots of pictures and embellishments. I hope you enjoy this album which is great for a beginner project. Dress it up any way you like; the design papers available give you all kinds of options.

Let’s get started! I took lots of pictures to take you every step of the way. Here we go!









MATERIALS NEEDED TO MAKE PHOTO FOLIO: (folio is 7″ x 8 1/2″) designed by ideastimestwo

  • 2- 8 1/2″ x 11″  pieces medium weight chipboard (can be purchased at a hobby store or repurpose cereal box or notebook back, etc.)
  • Black cardstock ( I used 2-12″x 12″ and 8- 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets) Cutting instructions are in each step.
  • Design paper ( I used 8- 12″ x 12″ design sheets and one cutout page from the Tales of a French Muse collection and 2-8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets from my stash.) Cutting instructions are in each step.
  • Embellishments such as flowers, twine, butterflies, stickers
  •  Thin, strong magnets
  • Favorite type of glue or double-sided tape
  • Soft brown ink for mat edges
  • Corner rounder
  • Bone folder
  • Scoring tool








Notice how the black cardstock is pieced together


To make the book cover:

1.Slightly overlap two pieces of 12″ x 12″ black cardstock and glue together to make one long sheet. Let dry.







Lay out chipboard on top of black cardstock

2. Cut two pieces of chipboard 7″ x 8 1/2″ and one piece 1″ x 8 1/2″. Lay chipboard pieces out on the long black cardstock with the thin strip in between the two larger pieces so it resembles a book, as shown. Glue down when you are happy with your arrangement. Hints: Use a straight edge to ensure all pieces are straight. Be sure the black cardstock overlap is NOT on any edges or on the tiny gap between the spine and the covers. The gap between chipboard pieces should be about the width of a ruler or slightly less. You can just eyeball it.  Make sure you have about an inch or so of paper around all outside  edges of your chipboard pieces. Cut any excess paper around edges. Trim corners to remove bulk, as shown, cutting to about an eighth of an inch.








Remove excess paper at corners











Run bone folder around edges of chipboard to soften cardstock for folding
Glue edges




3. Run a bone folder or blunt object around entire chipboard unit to soften the paper for folding. Using wet glue or double-sided tape, place adhesive all around outside edges of both the paper and the chipboard.









Fold black paper over chipboard, tucking in corners and mitering
Tuck in corners



4.Fold black paper over chipboard starting in the center of each side. When you come to a corner, tuck in tiny overhang at corner and miter each side to make a point. If it doesn’t make a sharp point, don’t stress. It will still look lovely! Now we’re talking…it’s starting to look like a book!








Use bone folder to soften paper
Cover spine with black cardstock


5. Use bone folder and run it down the tiny spine gaps to soften paper. Cut a piece of black cardstock 2″ x 8 1/4″. Score (with the 2″ side at the top) at 1/2″ and 1 1/2″. Fold both upwards. Put glue all over the back and glue piece down to spine, lining up the folds. Burnish well. Once more, run your bone folder down the folds to ensure an easy closing book before the glue dries.









Back cover of photo folio
Fussy cut frame for back cover



To decorate the back outside book cover and spine:

1.While album is still flat, we may as well decorate the outside spine and back cover. Cut design paper 3/4″ x 8 1/4″. Glue to outside spine.

2.Decorate back cover. Cut design paper 6 3/4″ x 8 1/4″. Ink edges. Glue to back outside cover. Embellish. I fussy cut and inked a frame included in the Tales of a French Muse paper collection. Inside the frame, I used an image from the collection. The picture doesn’t show it, but I also used a Wink of Stella pen to add a glittery shine to the flowers and the dress.








Glue design paper to right side of book




To decorate inside back cover:

1.Place a magnet about 1/2″ up from bottom inside cover, centering. Even if magnet has a sticky back, I always place another piece of double-sided tape over it to secure. You may choose to leave the release paper over the tape until the last minute as this might make the process easier. Cut design paper 6 3/4″ x 8 1/4″. Glue onto book inside cover. Cut 3/4″ x 8 1/4″ piece of design paper for inside spine. Glue onto inside spine.







Cut 8 pieces to make waterfall


 To make waterfall pages:

1.Cut 8 pieces of black cardstock 4 5/8″ x 6″. Score (with 4 1/2″ side at top) at 1/2″ on all pieces. This little folded part will be at the top of the waterfall flap. Fold and burnish. Round corners at bottom of each waterfall flap. Cut 8 pieces of design paper 4″ x 5 3/4″. Round two corners. Glue onto the front of each black piece, centering on large flat portion, making sure rounded edges are aligned. (1/2″ folded flap should be pointing backward.)




To make waterfall strap:

1. Cut a 2″ x 8 1/2″ piece of black cardstock. Round two corners at one end. This will be the bottom. At top, score (with 8 1/2″ side at the top) at 1/2″. Fold and burnish. Add a magnet (make sure the magnet is facing the correct way to attract the magnet that is attached to the back inside cover) to the bottom about 1/2″ up from bottom edge, centering. Cut a piece of design paper 1 1 3/4″ x 8 1/4″. Round two corners at one end with a corner rounder. Glue to black cardstock, centering and aligning rounded edges.




Glue strap to top page


To finish waterfall:

1. Decide which of your flaps will be at the top of your waterfall. Glue the waterfall strap’s 1/2″ folded edge over the top of the waterfall page, lining up the score lines and centering.







Glue top page/strap unit 1/4″ from top of inside back cover



2.Glue this unit 1/4″ down from inside back cover, centering, as shown in picture. Let dry.









Glue each page flap down, butting up against previous flap
Finished waterfall


3. Lift up top waterfall page and glue next page’s small flap to back directly underneath, butting up against edge of top page’s flap, as shown.


The waterfall is complete! The strap folds down over the top of all the pages and the magnets at the bottom should snap and keep all the pages from swinging out.








To make the gatefold/pocket page:

1. Begin by cutting black cardstock into:

1 piece 6 7/8″ x 8 7/8″ (flap)

1 piece 7 3/8′ x 9 3/8″ (pocket)

2 pieces 3 7/8″ x 8 1/8” (gates)
















2. Score lines: (as shown in pictures)

For flap, with 6 7/8″ side at top of score tool, score at 1/2″. Fold and burnish.

For pocket, with 9 3/8″ side at top of scoring tool, score at 1/2″ and 8 7/8″. Turn paper. With 7 3/8″ side at top of scoring tool, score at 1/2″. Fold and burnish all folds up. Snip off the two folded corners almost up to the fold lines.

For gates, with 3 7/8″ side at top of scoring tool, score at 1/2″ for both gates.

3.Gluing the pocket/gate page together:

Start by laying the pocket page flat side against your table with the unfolded edge to the left. (The other three sides should have little flaps and be folded up to face you, as shown in the picture of pocket.) Put glue on all three flaps.

Now place the flap over the pocket with the little folded edge at the top, butting up to the crease of the flap to the edge of the pocket. It doesn’t matter which way the little folded edge of the flap page is laying at this point, you can always fold it the correct way later. Line up all edges. Burnish.


Pocket page should look like this (flap should be folded back not forward as shown)











4. Glue gates onto flap at left and right edges.

Open up gates and place magnets on each gate. In corresponding place, place another magnet on main part of flap so that when you fold the gates in, they will snap shut. (Make sure they are flipped the correct way so they attract each other.


Tip: Place one magnet where you would like it. Place a piece of double-sided tape over it. Don’t remove the release paper yet. Test another magnet for polarity then place the double-sided tape over the side that is attracted to the first magnet. Place this magnet on top of the first magnet as shown in the picture. Fold gate in toward center. Press firmly. The double-sided tape should grab the paper and keep the magnet in place and the result will be a perfect match! Remove the release paper as you glue your mat on top. (Next step.)

Your pocket/gate page base is complete.




Place gates on front of flap and glue at side edges



Align magnets
Magnets on top of each other, ready to fold over and secure



















Decorate pocket/gate pages:

1.Cut two mats from design paper 3 1/8″ x 8″. Ink edges, glue onto gate fronts. I embellished mine by gluing painted wood gates I found at JoAnn Fabrics and crafts. I also glued on a painted wood butterfly from my stash. The two gate latches are from the Tim Holtz section at the hobby store.

2.Cut two mats from design paper 3 1/8″ x 8″ for the inside of the gates. Round all four corners and ink edges. Glue onto gate insides. (Shown in pink in the center picture.)

3.Cut mat from design paper 6 1/2″ x 8″for center of gate page (shown in blue in the center picture.) Round all four corners and ink edges. Glue onto gate page inside center.



Decorated gates-using literal gates
Gates opened up to reveal inside
Decorated pocket page with tag





















Decorate flip page and inside back cover:

1.Flip the gate/pocket page up and decorate the flip page and the inside back cover. Magnet time again! Before matting the inside back cover, you will need to place a magnet about 1″ up from bottom edge, centering. Cut mat from design paper 7″ x 8 1/2″ for inside back cover. (Shown in music paper with French muse in the corner.) Round all four corners and ink edges. Glue onto back inside cover.

2. Place other “half” of magnet to line up with inside cover magnet. To do this, please read TIP from step #4 above, making sure magnets are polarized. The placement will be about 1″ down from the TOP edge of flip page when it is standing open, as shown  in picture below. Cut mat from design paper for the flip page 6 5/8″ x 8″. (Shown in blue paper with small muses on it.) Round all four corners and ink edges. Glue onto flip page. My paper was directional and I glued it on in such a way so that when the page flipped up, the paper would be right side up.

It would be fun to add extra little pockets or tags to these large mats, but I could barely stand to cover the paper! Go crazy and add more here if you would like. We’re almost done!






Decorate back inside cover and flip page
Flipping up gate page to reveal back inside cover

















Make and decorate pocket tag:

  1. Cut black cardstock 6 7/8″ x 8″. Round two corners on the same 8 “side. For mat, cut design paper 6 5/8″ x 7 3/4”. Round two corners along 7 3/4″ side. Ink edges. To make the tag easier to pull out, you may cut or punch a semicircle or notch in the back side of the pocket (the front side of mine has the wooden gate embellishments so I couldn’t punch that side.) I also put an eyelet through the tag’s edge and threaded a piece of lace through the hole, as shown in the picture below.




Semicircle cutout and tag pull










Decorate the front cover:

Last, but not least, comes the fun part of decorating the front cover! I matted the cover with two papers, inking edges and punching the corners with a fancy corner tool. Next came the doily with inked edges. I backed a kraft-colored tag with black cardstock, then topped it with design paper and a fussy cut muse. Pop the tag and the muse up with a little foam tape. Next I tucked scraps of design paper backed with black cardstock under the right edge of the tag. Decorate upper left corner with a spray of twine and lace topped with flowers. You are done!!



Cover of photo folio using Tales of a French Muse design paper
Fussy cut muse backed with black cardstock
Cover idea












This post is a bit long but I tried to be as specific as possible to help you to create your own photo folio. I hope you give it a try!


If you love the paper as much as I do, be sure to check out for more information.


Back cover of photo folio
Photo Folio
A peek inside the photo folio
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