How to make a personalized photo album with your embroidery machine

By on December 12th, 2019
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Last weekend I attended a baby shower of a friend’s step-daughter which is something I hadn’t done in a while.  Since my peers are kind of done having babies, I saw this as a great opportunity to make a baby gift.  Although I purchased a few items off of the registry, I wanted to supplement the gift with something more personal. So, I decided to resurrect an old project I came up with a view years ago: a personalized photo album.  And, guess what? This latest version turned out better than any I had made before. And the new mom LOVED it. So, today I will be showing you how to make a personalized photo album with your embroidery machine.

How the idea for a personalized photo album originated

I came up with this project a few years back after taking a trip to Switzerland with a friend of mine. She had been much better than me about taking pictures and was nice enough to share them all.  So well, in fact, that I just stopped taking pictures and asked if I could simply have copies of all of hers.  It was pretty fantastic. Whenever I felt compelled to take a picture, I just said, “Julie, get a picture of that.”  And it was done. Great service!

So, as a way of thanking her, and to commemorate our trip – I thought it would be fun to make a photo album of all our – I mean Julie’s – pictures and have the cover of the photo album be a Swiss flag. To do it, I digitized an applique design of a Swiss flag and stitched it out on a sturdy piece of red fabric and covered an existing, inexpensive photo album.

Since the trip wasn’t that long, I didn’t need a huge album to accommodate all the prints. For this project I picked up a little mini album for $3 at Walgreens and used this as the foundation.  But, of course, you could do this project with a larger album.

Why a personalized photo album makes a great gift

When I first discovered these mini photo albums, their tiny size immediately made me think they would be a perfect size for a baby. And I think I stumbled upon the perfect baby gift.

Never thought about making a personalized photo album for a baby? Maybe you should. Here’s why it’s a great idea.

First of all, it’s personalized.  New moms and moms to be go apeshit over anything with their baby’s name on it.  There’s just something about seeing that baby’s name in print that fuels the excitement of a newborn.

If you really want to score with a new mom, make the personalized photo album coordinate with the baby’s nursery.  A cute, custom photo album that coordinates with the baby’s room decor could be displayed on a shelf and help tie everything together.

But a personalized photo album for a baby doesn’t just have to sit on a shelf.  A mini album with pages that are easy to turn will provide hours of entertainment to a young toddler. I know from first-hand experience, babies LOVE turning pages. If the album is filled with pictures of friends and family, the baby could get to know friends and family near and far by flipping through the pages. The baby certainly won’t be clicking on folders of pictures stored in the Cloud.

Now here’s one of the best reasons to make this personalized photo album. It’s cheap! I made mine for less than $5 using supplies I already owned plus a $3 photo album.

So, let’s do this!

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How to make a personalize photo album using your embroidery machine

Supplies you will need

STEP 1: Determine how big of a piece of fabric you will need to cover your album, by laying your fabric over the back of the album. Cut around the album, leaving about an inch on each side.

Determining the size of the fabric needed to cover the album

STEP 2: Mark the center of the design using a pin by laying the fabric over the album.

Mark the center of the design so that it will appear in the center of the cover

STEP 3: Stitch out your design on the fabric.

Design stitched out on the fabric

STEP 4: Cover the album with fabric glue then stick the cover onto the photo album.

gluing photo album

STEP 5: Press front and back cover onto the fabric.

pressing album onto fabric

STEP 6: Trim the fabric around the outside edge of the photo album, leaving approximately 1/2″ of fabric. Cut away corners as pictured below.

STEP 7: Apply glue to the remaining fabric around the outside edges of the album.

gluing edges of fabric

STEP 8: Fold over the excess fabric around the edges and hold in place with binder clips.

using binder clips to hold down edges

STEP 9: Cut 6 pieces of ribbon to cover the raw edges of the fabric that is folded over onto the inside cover of the album. Before gluing these piece onto the album, burn the ends of the ribbon to prevent them from raveling.

burning edges of ribbon to keep it from fraying

STEP 10: Glue the pieces of ribbon down onto the inside cover of the photo album to cover the raw edges of the photo album, both front and back.  Use binder clips to hold the ribbon in place.

securing ribbon with binder clips

holding ribbon with binder clips

STEP 11: Once the glue is dried, the album is all done!

personalized baby photo album made on embroidery machine

Don’t like this idea?  That’s ok.  I have lots of other baby shower gift ideas to make using your embroidery machine.

Enjoy! And happy stitching!


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How to make a personalized photo album using your embroidery machine

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