christmas planner :: christmas mini-album

Christmas Planner |

The first part of this post was part of the Handmade Holidays series on Julie Balzer's blog, where I was honored to have been a guest poster. I shared this version of a pocket mini-album to use as a Christmas Planner. If you read to the end of the post, you'll see how I changed this up to make it a Christmas mini-album instead! Enjoy!

Holiday greetings from the Southern United States, where the weather is cold and windy and we’ve just had our first snow! I’m Monika Wright and if you knew me, you’d know that I find any excuse possible to create mini-books. They’re fun, they’re fast and usually can be made with scraps already on-hand!
With that in mind, the Holiday Pocket mini-book we’ll create together today will serve as a holiday planner. Who doesn’t need a place to corral all those lists, ideas and receipts in one place during the busiest time of the year?

Christmas Planner |

We’ll begin by gathering our supplies:
  • double-sided 12x12 patterned paper - 1 sheet for each mini-book page you wish to create
  • front and back covers - mine are made with 1 sheet of double-sided patterned paper
  • cardstock for recipes
  • graph paper to make a DIY notepad
  • punches, bone folder, hole punch, brads and brad setter 
  • die cuts, ribbons and letter stamps
  • binder rings

ONE: Trim 1” from one side of your 12x12 patterned paper pieces, which will leave you with an 11” wide x 12” tall piece of patterned paper.
TWO: Along the 11" side, score your paper 3” from the bottom and fold that piece up.  This creates the pocket. 
Along the 12" side, score your paper 6” in from the side {meaning in the middle} and fold so that the pocket is on the outside of the fold. This will leave you with a mini-book page measuring 8” tall and 6” wide.
Here’s a photo to help with the measurements and folds. I’ve also provided a guide for binder ring hole placement, measuring down from the top of the page.

Christmas Planner |

Design Tip: The favorite side of your double-sided patterned paper should be the side folded up as the other side will be partially covered by whatever you place in the pockets (as you can see with the recipes below).

THREE: After punching several bracket shapes (Real Estate Punch), I cut them in half, stamped them and attached them to the pocket pages...

Christmas Planner | that I would know what each pocket was for.

FOUR: I created items to insert into the pockets.  For the recipes I used cardstock trimmed to 4x6 and added a tab (for a free recipe card download, click here).  The tabs were made with the 1” strips of patterned paper left from trimming our 12x12 paper. Just fold in half and attach with an eyelet.

Christmas Planner |
Christmas Planner |
The book is small enough to put in your purse.  I used the insert cards to write out my holiday recipes to have on hand when I head to the grocery store.

The next pocket is made especially for all those holiday wish lists that are sure to appear soon!
Christmas Planner |
Here, I used paper trimmed to 5x7, which fit very nicely into the pocket.  Give your children or your family a 5x7 sheet of paper and then you can slip it into your mini album for safe keeping.

And for my "to dos" I used graph paper.
Christmas Planner |

Again I used the scrap 1” strips of paper and an eyelet, but this time to make my own 5x7 notepad.
Christmas Planner |
Christmas Planner |

A great way to reuse the paper scraps you have lying around! I made 3 pocket pages for my mini-book using 1” binder rings and could probably fit another 2 pages without it being too full.
Visit with me on my blog, iloveitall, next week as I share another way to use this same mini-book project as a holiday photo round-up idea for the grandparents!  (While you’re there, be sure to check out my sidebar where I have several mini-book projects, tutorials and downloads.)  My plan is to cover the labels I made for the album and replace those with new tabs so that I can use this album for my Mom. Every year, I gift each of the grandparents with an album specific to the Christmas celebrations our family spent with them and they love it. Photos of everyone dressed up doesn't happen too often these days, so it's a nice switch.  It's a great way for your mini album to do double duty as a useful organizer and a photo album!
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: 

Now for Part II of the pocket planner mini I mentioned above, this time turning it into a Christmas mini-book to give to my Mom with photos of our Christmas Eve spent with her.

Christmas Planner |

The pocket to the right has had a new tag attached. Inside, I'll add photos of our Christmas Eve celebration with my Mom and brother. I will probably add some cardstock to the back of each photo I include and write a little something.

Christmas Planner |

The next three pockets have new tags with each of the kids' names. I added their 4x6 photo to a 5x7 piece of cardstock and again use a 1" x 2" tab to the top of each page. I think I'll have the kids write a little note to Oma in their own handwriting. I'm a fan of this, as it's so neat to read in a year's time what was important to them and what their handwriting looked like.

Christmas Planner | iloveitallwithmonikawright.comChristmas Planner |

More than likely, Victoria will draw a picture and write only a few words. The pocket adjoining her page has the same graph paper pad I made for the planner version and this will give my Mom a special place to write down some memories of her own.

Christmas Planner |
This last page will hold more photos, maybe a few momentos or even a few Christmas cards. Such a versatile design: two different options with the same papers and embellishments!


  1. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave in the Cooking category today [16 Dec 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  2. Super dupper work Monika! and I love the non-traditional Christmas colors!!

  3. Nice post thank you Robert


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