Sunday, December 16, 2012


Ho Ho Ho!  It won't be long now until Santa will be making his rounds.  Have you been naughty or nice? 

This week's Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is appropriately 
themed "Gift Inspiration".   
 Stop by the blog and check out the beautiful gift ideas my Design Teammates have created just for you...all so unique and beautifully crafted.

I have created something that I would love to have received as a gift. 

This is a birthday calendar in an album form.  I am always forgetting someone's birthday.  Having to transcribe birthdates from one calendar to another every year is a royal pain.  So, I created this very sturdy birthday album with separate pages for each month of the year and a list of the birthdates I want to be reminded of from year to year.

Here were my basic supplies to create the album:

Two - 5 1/8" x 6 7/8" chipboard pieces for the cover
One - 6 7/8" x 2 1/2" chipboard piece for the spine
One - 3 1/2" x 8" cardstock for the spine cover
Two - 6 1/2" x 8" cardstock for the album covers
One - 4 1/2" x 8" cardstock to join the spine to the covers
One - Piece of Tyvek slightly smaller than the two 4 1/2" x 8" cardstock pieces that join the covers
Six - 4" x 6" chipboard pieces that will create the inside pages
Twelve - 4" x 6" cardstock pieces to cover the pages (should be coordinating)
Twelve - 4 1/2" x 3 1/2" cardstock to create the pockets for the pages
One - 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" cardstock to create the pocket for the back cover

I began by covering my chipboard album with papers from Prima's beautiful Ledger #1  Paper Pad.  I covered each of the album covers and cut the corners on diagonal.

Then I added the 1/4" Scor Tape to the inside edges and folded them up into place; covering the front and back covers of my album.  I also distressed all of the corners and edges using some Gathered Twigs Distress Ink and a Chestnut Roan Cats Eye Ink Pad.

Then I assembled the spine.  First I attached the Tyvek (cut slightly smaller than the cardstock) onto the piece of cardstock that was cut 4 1/2" x 8" by using 1/4" Scor-Tape.  Next I placed the paper covered (and double side taped on the backside) chipboard spine to the center of the spine assembly.  Next I added more 1/4" Scor-Tape to the outside edges of the cardstock that was still sticking out from either side of the chipboard spine.  I laid the front cover at a 90 degree angle, next to the spine chipboard and gently pulled the cardstock onto the cover and ran my finger over the tape to let it take hold of the cover.    (That allows for the cover to bend and not be too rigid).  I repeated this process to attach the back cover.  I then measured the hole placement for Tim Holtz' Large Ring Binder and made my holes.

I slipped the Ring Binder in place in the center of the interior spine.

Here is what the covers look like from the outside with the binder installed.  Next I covered the two interior covers of the album with a distressed coordinating paper.

I had a Cuddlebug embossing folder titled "Madison" that I thought would create beautiful "vintage" style embossed pieces for my cover.  So, I used Ranger's Metal Tape Sheets as the base.  Then I antiqued the covers with a wash of Burnt Umber Acrylic Paint and water.  I brushed it on; getting into all of the crevasses and then dabbed off the excess.  

The shiny embossed metal was transformed into this antiqued look.  

     I then used my finger to randomly swipe some paint from a Juniper Paint Dabber onto the surface to give a patina look.  And I added some patina metallic corners to the front cover.  Notice the design in the center....the two entwined rectangles?  

 I cut out one of the entwined rectangles to create a decorative cover on the spine of the album, to hide the brads from the Large Ring Binder. 

Here is a look at the completed outside cover.  The embossed pieces were attached using 1/4" Scor-Tape and glue (on the spine) piece.

Here is more of a closeup picture of the beautiful embossed "antiqued" design of the metal foil sheet. 

Each of the 6 chipboard pages were covered with coordinating papers and then I created pockets for each page (to hold the monthly birthday sheets that I created on my computer using Print Shop).  I computer generated the months of the year and printed them out on manila cardstock.  They were then attached to each pocket BEFORE I added them to the chipboard page.

Here is a look at the finished interior pagesThere is one page for each month and inside each pocket are "birthdate" sheets numbered from 1 - 31.  I can now write the name of the person on the appropriate line and stick it in the correct month.

The back cover has a pocket that holds extra birthdate pages.

Why not join us and create some gift inspiration?  Enter it into our challenge and YOU could be the winner of our ...

$5.0.00 gift voucher.  Now THAT is a little gift inspiration!  You could also be chosen as one of our TOP THREE entries for the week!  Good luck!!

Here are the products available at Simon Says Stamp and Show 
that I used in creating this album:





  1. such a clever project - and the how-to is fantastic!

  2. WoooW! This is great, wonderful work!!!!!

  3. candy, the work into this gift has not been wasted it is wonderful, the cover is stunning and what a wonderful idea! Have a wonderful Christmas Love trace x

  4. ...what an outstanding inspiring piece Candy, so much detail and workmanship and your step-by-step tutorial is easy to follow too, I love this book, thank you for sharing your talents and amazing creativity...Mel :)

  5. Wow, this project is gorgeous !!! Great job !! Thanks for the inspiration.
    Best regards Berdien

  6. Fabulous idea, Candy! I know I'd love to receive this beautiful album.Love the embossed metal on the covers. Thanks for the great step by step. Happy Holidays to you!

  7. Well, you have done it again Candy and created a masterpiece. This album is quite stunning. The embossing folder you used is gorgeous and gives the album a truly vintage feeling, it really does look old! I just love this -- so very much and it is practical as well -- what more could you ask for! Hugs, Anne x

  8. This is just gorgeous! I had to purchase that embossing folder after I saw your project. Love the faux metal effect on the cover with the aged patina and then the inside is wonderful!

  9. Oh my...what a gift! And to are certainly deserving! Happy holidays, my friend!

  10. Candy, this is so beautiful! I love the embossed folders, so pretty with the aged effect you got from the paints. The inside pages are wonderful and I love that you added extra pages in the pocket at the back. I made birthday calenders to my family a few years ago, but never made one for myself. It's a great thing to have.

  11. That´s fabulous.. and wonderful to see your progress!
    very merry Christmas to you !

  12. Oh Candy, ich bin sprachlos angesichts dieses traumhaft schönen Geburtstagskalenders.Die Prägung wird durch das Auftragen der Patina noch unterstrichen und ergibt diesen wunderbaren Effekt, ein grandioses Werk!
    Liebe Grüße.

  13. Hi Candy, I have been NICE all year, honest lol, never naughty! Love,your birthday folder, absolutely perfect gift idea and a wonderful way to keep a record of those special birthdays. The embossing folder is very striking and you have aged it beautifully, gives it a real vintage/aged feel. Love the interior too, such beautiful details and wonderful attention to detail as always. Tracy x

  14. wow this is a brilliant idea and so useful as well.
    Thank you for a great tutorial Candy, I totally love your birthday book. Hugs Annette x

  15. Thanks for sharing the progress, your project is so awesome really a masterpiece!

  16. Gorgeous make!!! That cover is to craft for!!! WOW!!! Love it!

  17. When I saw this on the Simon Says blog I had to come by to see how you did it. Great directions for a beautiful and very well organized birthday book.

  18. This is fantastic, I need one of these! Gorgeous book cover.

  19. I saw this on the Simon Says Stamp & Show blog and had to run over here to read a more detailed account of the Birthday Book.

    What a fabulous project. Thanks for the step-out photos.

    I've pinned this for future reference!

  20. Fantastic card keeper, Candy! I love the design you used and the metallic finish makes it look antique :)

    Simon Says Stamp!

  21. This is an amazing project! Love all the detail and texture!

  22. It's stunning Candy, & a brilliant idea...we all need one of these! I love the embossed covers, & thanks for the step-by-step.
    Alison xx

  23. Fabulous birthday calender album! What a great idea and a wonderful gift! Love the cover very much, and the inside is really pretty too! Hugs, Sandra

  24. Absolutly amazing calendar and i love the aged look on the cover. Your choice of paper for the inside fits perfect. Very tastefully (:o)

  25. Wow, this is stunning Candy! Love what you did with the metal, that embossing pattern is gorgeous for this! And the aged look you got with the paint and ink...perfect!

  26. Just gorgeous candy, Anyone would love to receive this as a gift. The cover is so Beautiful, love all that texture!
    hugs Lynn

  27. Oh, Candy, this is amazingly gorgeous and practical too... it looks like you added real metal (so ornate!) to the covers and spine. Just beautiful. Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a great New Year!

  28. Wow, Candy! Hope, you win the challenge with this!!! That cover is absolutely amazingly brilliant!!! LOVE!!!!

    Have a merry X-mas!!

    die amelie x

  29. Stunning, as always. Thanks to YOU, creativity IS contagious!!


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