Do you remember the 1985 movie Out of Africa with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford? What an epic romance! The panoramic scenery and the wonderful soundtrack swept me away, and left an indelible imprint on my imagination. So when I received the gorgeous papers and ephemera in the 7 Gypsies Serengeti collection, my mind traveled back to that movie, and I decided to create a romantic Out of Africa Serengeti Mini Album to share with you today. I also have some step out photos to show you how I made the cover and binding.
The Serengeti papers are so inspiring to work with, just filled with vivid colors, wonderful vintage images and amazing background patterns. Imagine how thrilled I was to find a replica of the book on which the movie was based! I immediately wanted to make this the focal for my album. I actually made a blank mini book and then added it to the cover of my mini album. It looks like a well thumbed copy of the tale, doesn’t it? I fussy cut the wonderful Serengeti label from the Vitabu paper. If you are familiar with the story line, you know that lions played a central role in the telling of the tale, so I have included them here on the cover. The lion pin is one that I picked up at a yard sale and have been saving for just the right project. I also filled an Amber Apothecary Bottle with antique gold embossing powder, tied it with green hemp rope and added some hand made vintage book page flowers.
I had a Roma book cover in my stash, but needed to create a back cover for my album. So I cut a 5″ x 7″ piece of medium weight chipboard and ran it through my Cuttlebug with a Spellbinders Brick and Bark embossing folder. This created a wonderful wood grain texture on both sides of the chipboard. But I needed to get it to match the color of the Roma book cover. Thank heavens for the Tattered Angels Maritime paint system! It was the perfect tool to accomplish the job!
I used the Olive Vine spray mist from the paint system and applied it liberally. After heat drying, I sponged the entire surface with Walnut Stain Distress Ink. I also lightly sprayed and sponged the Roma cover. Then I heat embossed both covers with clear embossing powder. This creates a great faux aged leather look and feel.
You would never guess that these book covers are made from chipboard, would you? Thanks, Tattered Angels!
The next step was to design the binding for the album. I wanted to use this vibrant fern burlap between the two covers. I also wanted to employ a hidden hinge binding inside the album. After a little thought, I realized that if I stitched a 3.25″ x 8″ strip of the burlap, overlapping the top and bottom by 0.5″ each, I would have a really sturdy, serviceable binding.
I cut a 12″ x 7″ rectangle from the Maua papers and measured in 4 3/8″ from both the right and left hand sides. After drawing a line to mark this measurement, I place one strip of 1/2″ Scor-Tape in the center of the back side of my burlap panel and positioned it between the two lines. Then, I flipped the paper over and sewed around the burlap binding and around the entire perimeter of the panel. I did this so that the finished stitching would be on the inside of my cover liner.
Here you can see the finished cover liner for my album, along with the hidden hinge binding. I followed this tutorial for the binding, as it is the clearest, simplest one I’ve found on YouTube. I cut a 9″ x 7″ panel of green cardstock and then followed the directions in the video. I covered the green side flaps of my binding with more paper from the Maua page, just to make everything blended in.
I really love the way the binding turned out! The vibrant green picks up on the elements I fussy cut from the Mabango paper. I punched a hole in the top of my binding and threaded through some avocado green help rope, white waxed cotton cording and natural hemp rope. I tied a series of knots with the red waxed cotton cording and slipped an Antique Silver Mini Round Hanger through the cording, pinching the hanger end closed to keep it in place. Then I threaded on the beautiful Serengeti Charms using jewelry wire to hold them in place. Finally, I frayed the ends of all the various cords and ropes to make them look like animal tails.
The inside contains 4 double sided pages. Inside the front cover, I created a pocket by covering a 3.5″ x 5.5″ kraft paper bag with an image from the Vitabu paper and a piece from the Serengeti Mini Ephemera Pack. I filled this with tags that I cut from cardstock, Vintage Travel Journal Pages and handmade cheetah paper. The facing page is covered with Picha paper. I also fussy cut the photo album from this paper and turned it into a pocket for photo mounts. The giraffe and pith helmet are from the Mini Ephemera pack.
The next double page is a fold out. I covered a 4″ x 6″ file folder with the Wanyama paper. I fussy cut stamps and covered two tags with this same paper. By leaving the top side of my photo mount open, I was able to make a pocket for tags. The facing page uses more of this same paper, but this time I cut a thumb hole with a circle punch and only glued down the top, bottom and sides, creating another pocket for photo mounts. I added another ephemera image to a tiny card and bag combo, topped it with a mini clothespin and created a perfect spot for journaling.
I covered the interior of the file folder with more of the beautiful Maua papers, then added both a large and medium photo mount.
The photo mounts are tied together with burlap and canvas ribbon, making them easy to insert and pull out.
I wanted to create lots of room for photos and journaling and found that the Vintage Travel Journal Pages are a great way to add both.
The mini ephemera in this collection is especially beautiful!
On the final page, I fussy cut the beautiful African lady from the Mabango paper. I painted the wooden medallion with the Tail Fin Glimmer Mist from the Maritime Paint System, then spritzed it with a little more of the Olive Vine Mist to deepen the colors. It makes me think of a warrior’s shield. The feathers, pebble and other fussy cut images make for a dramatic ending to this Serengeti Out of Africa Mini Album. Inside the back cover, I created a pocket by folding a journal card, stapling the edges and topping it with that gorgeous air mail ephemera. I stuffed the pocket with American Vintage Post Cards because the green was such a good match. You can both mount photos here and do journaling on the back.
I love this album! I can almost hear the soundtrack from Out of Africa playing in my mind! I hope you can, too!
- Serengeti 12×12 papers: Mabango, Maua, Mihuri, Picha, Vitabu, Mabango, Maua, Wanyama
- Serengeti Charms
- Serengeti Mini Ephemera
- Cheetah Handmade Paper
- Fern Burlap
- Naked Manila Folder
- Vintage Travel Journal Pages
- Kraft Paper Bags
- White Cards with Kraft Bags
- Roma 5×7 Book Cover
- Maritime Paint System
- American Vintage 4×6 Travel Post Cards
- Amber Apothecary Bottle
- antique silver mini round hanger
- Natural Hemp Rope
- Avocado Hemp Rope
- Red Waxed Cotton Cord
- White Waxed Cotton Cord