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


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. 


Continue the process until they're all paired up.


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


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.


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....


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.