My Barcelona mini album is

fiiiiiiiiinally

finished and I am so excited to share it here on my blog!!  I swear that finishing a mini album is about as exciting as it gets.  And I'm not really sure why I love working on them so much (since they take for.ever.), but I really do.  There is something so awesome about having a book of memories you can hold in the palm of your hands.  My favorite thing about minis is all the texture and dimension the album has.  Sometimes I feel like you lose a little part of that when you slide everything into a page protector, you know???

This project sat on the back burner for a while because I really couldn't figure out how to tackle all of my photos.  I wanted a bunch of different sizes, but really did not want to open them in PS, resize them, layer them on an 8.5x11 canvas, print, trim....yada yada yada.  I love printing at home, but I decided to make things easier and have them printed through a service.  I use Persnickety Prints for all of my enlargements, so I uploaded all of my photos, printed them in various sizes and waited (impatiently...which is about one day) for them to ship!  I am always amazed at how quickly I get my "your prints are ready to be shipped" email from Persnickety!  They are so fast and the quality is superb!!  (And nope....this is not an advertisement...just my honest-to-goodness opinion.)

My next obstacle was the album.  I went back and forth and tried out a few that I had here at home and finally decided on this fun black diamond binder from Target.  I'm pretty sure this is just a plain old "school" binder, but it worked for me.  It originally had a spine with three binder rings attached, but I couldn't make my photo sizes AND the spine/rings work together.  So.....I cut off the front and back of the binder, punched my own holes and created a mini album.  Love. 

I used a lot of the

Park Avenue Scrapbook

and

Project Life kits

throughout this album.  I just shuffled through all the papers, cards and embellishments and selected ones that fit with my photos.  I also used a few different travel themed papers (some from

Studio Calico

and some from

October Afternoon

) that I have been hoarding just for this book!

I began the album with a few layers.  I love having papers and photos of various sizes throughout my albums.  I think it makes for such an interesting read....you always wonder what's on the next page!!!

I added an office supply tab and "Barcelona 2014" to the outer edge of the first photo.  It kind of acts as a lift tab and a label!

I tried to stick with a system of backing my photos with additional photos (although I ran out of some sizes and had to use patterned paper in a few spots).  This helped with the ease of building my book and took out some of that confusing guess work when getting started with a mini album!  

Finding and sticking with a system is definitely key to completing a mini album.  Once you have a system in place, I find it's easier to play around and get creative!

I trimmed a piece of the gold foil scratch off paper from the

Park Avenue Scrapbook kit

to include both the US and Spain and added it here at the beginning of my book.  I debated scratching off NC and Spain, but I just couldn't do it.  It's just too pretty!!  I need about 50 more of these, please!!  

I kept my embellishments pretty simple throughout the album.  I felt like the book was already busy enough as it was with all of the pages and photos.

Adding simple stickers, wood veneer and labels are really all you need in a mini album

(although I've been known to go a little crazy in mini albums before so don't judge!!).

I saved all of our room keys, menus, coasters, business cards, etc. (basically anything was legal to take I took!).  I punched a hole in them and added most of them directly into my album.  

I included just a few words here and there about our trip and the different places we visited.  I'm seriously not the best when it comes to adding in stories.  I usually just stick with the details, and I'm totally ok with that.  My goal is to focus more on stories next year.  We shall see how that goes!! 

The page above is a fold out brochure from our hotel.  I wanted to use it as it was in the book, so I trimmed down a page protector to fit the last page and then sewed my edges shut.  Now I can fold out the brochure without having to remove it from the book!!  These interactive bits are my favorite!

I used a few different pieces of wood veneer on my photos to added some texture and dimension.  Wood veneer is so super versatile and classic!

I had a few extra photos and brochures that I couldn't make work with the ring spacing of the album, so I altered several page protectors and added in all of the extras!

For the page above, I trimmed a two pocket 4x6 page protector down to 4x4 and added my four square photos.  

I did a similar altercation here, but first I slipped the brochure into a 6x8 pocket, sewed along the edge of the brochure and then trimmed off the remaining plastic.  I find that this is really the easiest way to sew on these page protectors.  If you I try to trim first and then sew, the plastic usually moves leaving a few wrinkles on my page.  

And to finish my album I added in a

Becky Higgins 6x8 Small Envelope

 full of all the photos and memorabilia that didn't make it into the album.  Some are duplicates (like the Instax photos) and some I just wasn't sure how to incorporate.  I may go back and add them in (bwahahaha). 

I trimmed the "Just Start" Project Life card to fit into the front pocket.  I love the phrase for the ending of a book, and I especially love the bold black color in contrast with all of the goodies!!

So there you have it!  A jam-packed Barcelona mini album!!  Although it looks like a lot of work, I promise you that taking the photos of the finished pages and writing up this post took me longer.  :)

I love mini albums, though!  They are worth 100% of the effort!!  

Thank you sooooooo much for joining me today!!  I hope I have inspired you to document your travels!!  

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