Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Prone to Wander // 3x8 Travel Mini

It's no secret that travel is one of my favourite things in the world. When I first started scrapbooking, I thought it would be so cool to have a mini album filled with the places I had been to in my life. I assembled a chipboard cover page, got some large binder rings, and made a total of one page before I abandoned that project. Oops.

Fast forward to 2017 - at the beginning of this year, I began to revisit this idea in my head. I was going through a creative rut and needed something different to (hopefully) reinvigorate my passion for crafting. I finally decided to turn thought into action and start this personal project. Thankfully, this was just what I needed to get excited about creating and making things again :)

I knew some sort of game plan for this mini book was necessary so that I wouldn't abandon it half-way through. I wanted it to be compact and contained in one album, and I thought a clean and simple format would be best so that it would look classic and cohesive. After giving the structure of the book a lot of consideration, I finally decided on the 3x8 size, which is the brainchild of the ever-so-talented Jamaica. I'm pretty sure she was the first to make a 3x8 mini last year, and I was so inspired by the tall and narrow format.

Some people have asked me why I chose 3x8 for this mini when I could have picked a regular size like 6x8 or 4x4, and it really boils down to wanting to try something new. I also thought that a 4x4 mini book would be too small for my needs and I wanted to differentiate this new project from my regular 6x8 travel albums. After completing this album (it took me about a week or two, I think), I'm really glad I made this mini album 3x8 :) It was a lot of fun to work with a novel size and nailing down the structure/format of this narrow album before diving into the project made it easier to get it all done. It's now one of my favourite projects to date.

I posted a flip-through of my album on Instagram a few weeks ago and had a lot of comments and questions about it, so I thought I'd try and break down my thoughts and the details of my mini book in this blog post. Here we go!

3x8 Album

I think the number one question I got was where I found a 3x8 album for my mini book. I don't know any company that currently makes this size, so I used an old 6x8 Studio Calico chipboard album I had in my stash and cut it down to 3x8 with a metal ruler and a xacto knife. A heavy duty xacto knife would probably work best, but I only had a fingertip craft knife (lol) so it took me about 6 or 7 passes before I could cut through the chipboard. It worked fine though!

The Studio Calico chipboard albums are discontinued but you can probably find some old ones on the internet (I found one on Amazon). Another option would be to cut down a 6x8 Simple Stories album, since they still make chipboard ones. I think the Simple Stories ones have smaller binder rings, but I'm not certain since I don't have any on hand.

I plan on covering the chipboard album cover with some nice paper...just haven't found the perfect one yet! Here's a look at the full album when it is open.

I added some stamps from Christine Herrin on the bottom left corner of the album, mainly to cover an oil stain (oops). But I really like the result and how they're stamped off the edge of the chipboard :)

3x8 Page Protectors

The only place I know of that carries 3x8 page protectors is Ali Edwards' shop. The problem is that they are for 6 ring binders, and the Studio Calico chipboard album I'm using has 4 rings. The holes don't line up and it's not possible to punch new holes without them overlapping with the old ones (aka one giant mess), so I needed to find a different solution. I decided to buy some old 6x8 full size Studio Calico page protectors which have the four ring design and I used my fuse tool to alter them to 3x8. Of course, it was an extra step and a bit tedious, but it wasn't hard at all. The key with the fuse tool is to make sure you let it heat up for a good fifteen minutes before you use it, so that it will be hot enough to melt the plastic and the seams won't split open.

I think those two points about the album and the page protectors were the most popular questions I received. Now I'll show you some of my pages :)

Title Page + Intro Pages

I wanted the title page of my mini album to be simple but striking. I've forgotten how awesome vellum is! I used my Silhouette cameo to cut out the number 25 on a sheet of vellum, then I punched holes and I overlaid this vellum piece on top of a full size photo of the view from my airplane window seat. Window seats are my fave :)

I started my book with a full-size photo of myself and a tall kraft envelope I made to hold some personal thoughts about travel and my intentions for this mini-book.

The 'prone to wander' design can be found in the In a Creative Bubble Journey printable cards (white on black) and in this new set of Jetsetter printable journaling cards (black on white).

Flipping the envelope over, you'll find a summary/index of the countries I've been to, organized alphabetically and sorted by continent. I designed this card for my mini-book intro so that it would serve as a sort-of table of contents. Since I've been getting a lot of requests regarding the designs in this book, I decided to reformat/redesign some of the cards so that they can be more widely used - you can find a similar version of this card in this new set of Jetsetter printable journaling cards (both 3x4 and 3x8 versions of the cards are included)...perfect for filling in your own info.

Divider Pages

I chose to organize my album by continent, so I created divider pages to introduce each section. On the opposite side of the divider page, I typed up a travel-themed quote to make 3x8 filler cards. The only exception is the North America spread - that was the start of the album (after the intro pages) and I thought it would be fitting to include a world map.

I plan to add some Avery index tabs to the sides of these divider pages, but I still haven't been able to purchase them. Oddly enough, they're hard to find in Canada so I'll probably end up ordering them off Amazon US or something.

Country Pages (format 1)

Each country in my album gets a double-page 3x8 spread. I decided to use two different formats for these double page spreads. Here's the first one: countries that I've only visited once or have just a few photos of get:
1) a country/journal card
2) an instax photo (printed with my instax printer)
3) a 3x8 page with either one full-size photo or a collage of photos.

Here are a couple more examples of this first type of format in my album:

I created some 3x8 photo templates in Photoshop so that it would be easy to make these photo collages. By using the same templates throughout the book, it also helped make everything look cohesive. You can find the 3x8 photo templates I used at In a Creative Bubble here.

The 3x4 country cards were also ones I designed just for this book. (Can you tell I enjoyed custom making things? :D) While I wanted to keep my book clean and simple, I still really love color so I decided to alternate between four different colorways for my country cards, depending on which looked best with my photos. I've been getting lots of requests for blank country cards for people to fill out their own info, so you can find png/layered psd formats of these cards in my store as well.

Country Pages (format 2)

Here's the second double-page 3x8 format I used for some of my country pages. I decided to use this format for countries that I've visited multiple times, were my favourites, or had more photos I wanted to include. For this format, the country would get:
1) a full size 3x8 photo
2) a 3x8 page with a 8-photo collage
3) an oversized country/journal card that gets hole-punched and inserted in between the photo pages - the card is double-sided and the front has info while the back has journaling.

Here's how the journaling card looks in the album:

I added some notches to the design to make it a little bit more fun :)

Here are a few more examples of this second type of country page/spread format in my album:

Closing Pages

I wanted my album to have some sort of closure/finality to it instead of just ending it with the last country in my book, so I designed this Adventure Log card. On it, I typed up some random highlights/info from my travels throughout the years - my favourite place in the world, a cool sight, a place that took my breath away, best hotel, longest layover etc.

The very last page is another airplane card and I simply typed my name as the documenter/maker of this book :) The end!
I didn't try to count or estimate how many pages I'd need for my mini book, but it ended up working out perfectly in this Studio Calico chipboard album. My pages and cards filled the binder rings of the album without it overflowing. Yay for happy coincidences!

Oh, one last point that is also frequently asked is where I had my photos/cards/pages printed. At first, I was going to print my photos at Costco (I can fit four 3x8 photos/spreads on a 8x12 picture) but with the number of photos I needed, I knew it would get expensive real fast. In the end, I decided to print everything at home. I can fit three 3x8 photos/cards on a piece of 8.5x11 cardstock or photo paper. I use an old Epson workforce printer and Epson premium glossy photo paper for my pictures. The cardstock I'm using for all my journal cards/country cards is 65lb Neenah bright white cardstock.

High five if you got up to this point and managed to read this entire blog post! I know it is incredibly long but I figured it would be best to type it out all in one go instead of breaking it up into multiple posts. If you're curious as to what I added to my store that was inspired/derived from this personal project, you can find the Jetsetter 3x8 photo templates, Jetsetter journal cards (both 3x4 and 3x8 versions), and the Jetsetter country cards/layered templates in my shoppe. I set up a Jetsetter bundle as well - it has a small discount and includes the envelope template I used to create that tall envelope at the start of my album.

Thank you for reading! I hope this inspires you to document your own travels in some way. This mini book was definitely a labor of love, and I think one of the most enjoyable parts when making it was looking back at my old photos to find the perfect ones to use. All these photographs brought back lots of great memories and I'm glad I found a way to document my adventures in a tangible and compact format.

Happy Wednesday! xo.


  1. This is wonderful! I love looking at your albums!

  2. I LOVE your album, what a fabulous idea, done with so much style and finesse.

  3. Hi Geralyn. I'm so happy you wrote this post! I completely fell in love with your album when I saw it on Instagram and wanted to make my own in a similar style. I like the challenge of this narrow format and the clean lines of your cards are always so nice. Thank you for the detailed description and for creating the cards bundle! Now I'll get to work on my own travel album right away :-)

    1. Yes, the challenge of the narrow format was definitely a lot of fun :) Glad I could inspire you to try your own!

  4. You are, hands down, the queen of both the mini album and travel documenting. This album is perfection. I feel so sheepish having seen so little of the world. But, I'm kind of dying to make a 3x8 album, now. Something about tall and narrow!

    1. Oh, thank you so much! You should give it a try - while it doesn't allow for a lot of room for filler/pages, I think some people are even using the 3x8 format for Project Life this year! :)

  5. You are so amazingly creative! And i'm so envious of all your travels. Definitely this is inspiring me get down to it and document my trips that I haven't done or gotten to! Way to go!!

    1. Awesome! One of my goals is to document more travel albums this year too! :)

  6. Ah! This is awesome. You are by far my favorite memory keeper.

  7. Love this so much! You are such a scrappy inspiration. :)

  8. This is awesome, very creative. Love your style! Off to purchase some journaling cards now! ����

  9. Thank you so much for making the cards and templates available! Just one question - what fonts should I use with your cards to make sure that they match? Thanks!

    1. You can use any fonts you want and use them on all the cards to keep them consistent! A lot of the fonts I used for journal cards were commercial, so I chose some more basic fonts for the layered templates which I think would look good together. Have fun!

  10. This is probably the coolest project I have seen in a while in the internet world. I totally just had to buy the jetsetter bundle. Thanks for making them!

    1. Thanks so much Andrea! I can't wait to see what you make with them :)

  11. Definitely one of the best projects I've seen in the past little while. I love how you document your travels, been using your blog to find inspiration for a NYC mini album I'm trying to do up! As a side note, I love how you custom designed cards just for this book. Did you go to school for that/how did you learn to design those cards? Thanks!

    1. Thank you! I taught myself Photoshop + Illustrator years ago :)

  12. This is definitely the best mini album I've seen in a long time! I love how cohesive everything is. I only wish I travelled enough to have one of my own!

  13. magifique j'adore la documentation. not enough talented to do the same but totally in love with the things you make. bravo. Nathacha

  14. I love your travel albums! My scrapbooking/cardmaking/stamping style is also clean and simple, so your designs are among my favorite! I'm so glad you make journaling cards and digital stamps for countries that I almost never see as stamps or paper. I recently purchased the London and Belgium sets and I can't wait to use them in my albums!

  15. What a lovely project. It's amazing. And the journal cards a great.

  16. beautiful project, where I can find the large binder rings? With two rings I never seen... I love it!!!

  17. This is amazing!!!! It's so well made!