Sunshine & Happiness + A Picture Tutorial (PHOTO HEAVY)

Hello! Brooke here with a picture tutorial.

As we come to the end of summer, I’m amazed at how quickly it has flown by. All of the back to school commercials and fall decor are getting me excited for the new season, but also making me hold on to these last few weeks of prairie summer. August made me want to work on a summer-themed project and as soon as I saw the Simple Stories Sunshine & Happiness line I knew I needed to work with it. The designs are adorable and I love that the Simple Stories sticker packs have 8 different sheets of cute stickers.


I decided to try creating an accordion mini album and I made a picture tutorial as I went so you guys could try it out as well. It’s super quick and easy and can be done in whatever materials or colours you like!

Keep in mind that this is the first time I’ve ever taken pictures of my creative process so if it’s wonky I’m sorry! If anything is unclear please let me know in the comments below.

Accordion Album – Picture Tutorial

Supplies you’ll need:


  • Paper trimmer
  • Scoring board
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Double-sided tape
  • Pencil
  • 2 sheets of solid cardstock
  • 1 sheet of patterned paper
  • 2 pieces of thin cardboard or chipboard (I used chipboard but you could easily cut up a cereal box or some other type of cardboard!)

Accordion mini album tutorial 1

1. Take one sheet of your solid cardstock (I used white swiss dot) and cut it in half so you have 2 pieces that measure 6 inches x 12 inches.

Accordion mini album tutorial 2

2. Score your cardstock pieces at 4 inch intervals. Each of your cardstock pieces should be “divided” into 3 sections each measuring 4×6 inches.

Accordion mini album tutorial 3

3. Cut your chipboard into 2 rectangles each measuring 6 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches.

Accordion mini album tutorial 4

4. Adhere your 2 pieces of cardstock together end-to-end using double sided tape.

Accordion mini album tutorial 5

Once they’re adhered it should look like the picture above and this will be the inside of your album.

If you want to ink or distress the edges of your album now would be the time to do it so you can reach every edge. I learned this the hard way!

Accordion mini album tutorial 6

5. Cut your second piece of solid cardstock and your piece of patterned paper to 8×6 inches. These 2 pieces will cover the pieces of chipboard and make the covers of your album.

Accordion mini album tutorial 7

6. Adhere one piece of chipboard to your piece of patterned paper. Make sure to tape the chipboard to the side of paper you DON”T want as the album cover.

Accordion mini album tutorial 8

7. Cut each corner of the patterned paper as shown above. I didn’t make this a very technical step but you could be technical by measuring it out and making precise cuts. I didn’t bother making sure my angles were perfect because I would be covering the folds with the scored cardstock piece anyway.

Accordion mini album tutorial 9

Your cover should look like the one in the picture above.

Accordion mini album tutorial 10

8. Fold the long edges over the chipboard piece making sure you pull the patterned paper as tight to the chipboard as you can. Adhere each edge of paper to the chipboard with double sided tape then repeat with the short edges.

Accordion mini album tutorial 11

Your back cover piece should look like the picture above. Don’t worry about the chipboard showing in the middle because that will be covered by cardstock.

Accordion mini album tutorial 12

9. Repeat steps 6-8 using your second chipboard piece and your 8×6 cardstock piece. Because the cardstock was thicker, I used a bone folder to make sure my edges were crisp and not “puffed up” around the chipboard.

Accordion mini album tutorial 13

So now you have your long, folded cardstock strip and a front and back cover. Let’s put ’em together and finish up this album.

Accordion mini album tutorial 14

10. Fold up your cardstock strip and put double sided tape on the end sides (only 2 sections should have tape on them). “Sandwich” the cardstock between the 2 covers and press together firmly. When “sandwiching” it together make sure to place it right in the middle and make sure your edges are all even so that the album will be balanced and able to stand up for display.

Accordion mini album tutorial 16

It should look like the picture above when it’s closed.

Accordion mini album tutorial 17

And it should look like the picture above when it’s open.

That’s it! Super easy and now you can decorate it however you like.

As mentioned above I used the Sunshine and Happiness line by Simple Stories to document some Summer 2016 pictures of my sweet cousins. This album will be gifted to my aunt as a keepsake of the kiddos.

Sunshine and Happiness Accordion Mini Album Brooke Gorrell Cover

The front cover features a handmade accordion circle (are you sensing a theme here?) made from yellow cardstock and a small white doily at the top.

Sunshine and Happiness Accordion Mini Album Brooke Gorrell Cover detail

Sunshine and Happiness Accordion Mini Album Brooke Gorrell full

I love that the album can stand up because of the chipboard covers and be displayed on a shelf or something.

Sunshine and Happiness Accordion Mini Album Brooke Gorrell above

For added dimension I popped up quite a few elements with 3D foam dots.

Sunshine and Happiness Accordion Mini Album Brooke Gorrell side one

On the “chill” section I brushed some yellow acrylic paint as the background and on the watermelon page I ran a piece of cardstock through my typewriter to add a little message.

Sunshine and Happiness Accordion Mini Album Brooke Gorrell side two

This album is a good jumping off point; you could add more cardstock into the middle for a bigger album with more pictures, change the size of the album for bigger pictures, or add some sort of closure during step 10. Tons of possibilities!

Thank you for joining me today and again, if any of the steps are unclear, please let me know in the comments!

Have the loveliest Wednesday!

0 thoughts on “Sunshine & Happiness + A Picture Tutorial (PHOTO HEAVY)

  • Fabulous tutorial, and gorgeous mini.  The colors are outstanding!  I also love how you have designed the pages, love your style!

  • Brooke this was a great tutorial! I’m a show me chick and you’ve done a super job of this! Love the bright look to it!

  • Wow Brooke, this is awesome!!  I love your choice of paper line – LOVE those Simple Stories sticker packs!!  And your instructional is SO thorough!!  I totally want to make one!!

  • What a fun mini album, love the photo tutorial !!! The paper and embellies are perfect for a summer mini album.

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