1. Measure and cut your bags to desired size (mine are 8 1/2 inches). The reason for this cut is to dispose of the thick bottom ends and to have an opening for each layout.
* I am going to use my left over ends as disposable snack holders for my daughter.
2. Cut your desired papers to 7.5 x 6 leaving one inch of space for your binding. (Test these measurements on one bag before you cut everything, just in case you have a different size bag than me.)
3. Distress edges, add brads, eyelets, or anything else that requires your paper to be loose BEFORE you glue it down. (You don't want your embellishments going thru your paper bag, so whatever you insert into the bag will not get scratched up.)
* To glue I used Perfect Paper Adhesive (love this stuff!)
4. Be sure all of your layouts and inserts are completed before binding. (This is so you will know the thickness of your album.) Also be sure to leave the front and back cover unfinished till step # 9.
5. Now stick 1/8" thick strips of foam inside the end of each bag to pad the binding, and even out the album. (Be sure to place them INSIDE each bag to ensure they are not see-able when completed.) Also we are using foam because it is easy to puncture.
6. Mark dots 1/4" apart with a pencil on the uncovered area of each bag where it will be bound.
7. Pre-poke your holes where you made your marks.
8. Sew your album together (I used embroidery thread).
9. Finish front and back cover, and make sure you cover those ugly foam strips!
10. Don't forget to add some fun ribbon to your inserts and maybe a way of closure... I used Basic Grey magnets attached to ribbon under the top paper bag.
These albums make a great gift, this particular album is not only the first one I have ever made, but it is also a gift for my in-laws as a welcome home... they moved to Maui under two years ago, and they just got back two days ago.