Little hand-made photo books / by Neil Alexander

I've been working lately on a slightly different marketing campaign - mini hand-made photo books. They cost me nothing more than time to make, that and a little ink, a couple of sheets of paper per book and some acid-free tape. It's something I've been thinking along the lines of doing for a while, but when the guys over at Photojojo posted a step by step, showing how to solve some of the problems I'd come across, I figured it was time to get some made. 

What you need: 

  • Your photos, printed and pretty small. I ended up with a dozen just short of 3" square.
  • A sharp craft knife and ideally a small guillotine.
  • A cutting board
  • A metal ruler. If your knife is sharp, you'll take chunks out of a plastic one.
  • Some thin cardboard for a cover, or print your own as I did.
  • White archival acid free tape
  • Optional extra - some colored tape

The first step is to print your photographs. This is how I laid mine out in Lightroom. Don't print them too big or too close to each other as you'll need a margin to attach the tape to without covering the photo. I did originally print all 12 on a sheet of A3+ but it actually worked out easier to print them on two sheets of A4. It will become clearer why shortly. 

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Once you've got them printed, you need to cut them up. This I actually found to be the trickiest part. Cutting down a very large sheet of paper into 12 equally sized ones is a whole lot harder than it sounds. With a knife and a ruler, I found that I spent an eternity slicing tiny strips of each one to get them to match. Then I printed onto A4 and got out my little guillotine. This speeded up the process and made it far more accurate. Each photo still required a little tweaking but I was starting from a much closer place. Without printing guides onto the paper, or having the patience to carefully measure each cut, there's a little fudging required. But that's fine with me for this. The one thing I don't want them to look is polished. They need to appear hand-made as I believe that people will be far more likely to pick them up

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Once they're cut up, I put them into pairs one on top of the other picture side up. Then taped them together down the spine and carefully sliced of any excess tape. 

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Continue the process until they're all paired up.

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Once I'd paired them all up, I taped all the pairs up together.

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I found that on some pairings the outer bind didn't stick too well, so scoring my thumb along each crease helped the tape stick to each pairing.

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Now that I had the innards of my little book, the next step was to apply a cover of some description. The guys at Photojojo made one with cardboard, but I wanted something that looked a little more inviting, so I created front and back covers in Photoshop. Simply measuring the size of my book, I created covers with a fat black border that gave me a little leniency when cutting.

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I then just taped them all up together, and....

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And here you go, the finished product.

Would you like one? Simply email me your name and address and I'll pop one in the post. 

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