Mini Album with 4″ by 8″ Policy Envelope Style Pages: The Instructions

Finished 4x8 policy envelope album (front).

I thought it would be nice to have the instructions to make the policy envelope mini album all in one place. You can always refer back to the other posts about this mini album for more details. Here we go.


  • Scoring tool
  • Bone folder
  • Paper cutter
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Metal or metal-edged ruler
  • Craft knife
  • Crop-a-dile, Big Bite or other heavy-duty hole punch 1/8″
  • Punches (optional)–I used a corner rounder, a scalloped edge punch, and the Artisan Label and Modern Label punches from Stampin’ Up!


  • Glue or other strong adhesive
  • Ink for inking edges of cardstock
  • 8 sheets of 65 lb. 8 1/2″ x 11″ cardstock for the pages, for the covers, for the spacers
  • 3 sheets of 12″ x 12″ cardstock for flaps, belly bands, tags and inserts
  • Patterned paper to cover pages and cover of album–2 sheets of 12″ x 12″ for the covers, 5 sheets of 8″ x 8″ or 3 sheets of 12″ x 12″ patterned paper for the pages (Minimum). These are the bare minimum amounts. These amounts do not include paper to decorate flaps and tags. I actually used 27 pieces of 6″ x 6″ paper. It would have been more efficient to use 8″ x 8″ or 12″ x 12″ patterned paper, but 6″ x 6″ was what I had. I also used about 3 or 4 sheets of 12″ x 12″ patterned paper and about 5 sheets of plain textured cardstock from a 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ matstack.
  • 2 sheets of 8 1/2″ x 11″ chipboard for covers and spacers or 1 sheet of 12″ x 12″ plus a 4″ x 5 3/4″ piece
  • 2 pieces 2 1/2″ x 9″ of fabric or Tyvek to reinforce the binding hinge on the cover
  • 1 yard ribbon, twine or another type of strong fiber for the binding
  • Embellishments–I used embellishments made of paper, 5 buttons and some bakers twine. Use whatever suits your style.
  • Photos, of course

To Make the Pages (5 sheets of 8 1/2″ x 11″ cardstock)

  1. Score 5 sheets of 8 1/2″ x 11″ cardstock in the following manner: On the 11″ side, score at 1 1/2″ and 9 1/2″. Turn the cardstock so the 8 1/2″ side is at the top and score at 2 1/4″ and 6 1/4″. It doesn’t matter which way you turn your cardstock to score it.
  2. Make a tick mark either with your scoring tool or with a pencil 1/4″ before the 9 1/2″ score line. This would be at 9 1/4″ from the left edge of the cardstock.
  3. Draw a line from the tick mark on the top edge of the cardstock to the intersection of the 9 1/2″ and 2 1/4″ score lines and from the bottom edge of the cardstock to the intersection of the 9 1/2″ and 6 1/4″ score lines.
  4. Cut along the angled lines drawn in Step 3. Turn and cut along the 2 1/4″ and 6 1/4″ score lines. You will be cutting out two of the corners made by the score lines on one end of the cardstock.
  5. Fold along all the score lines. Burnish the folds with a bone folder. Fold the 1 1/2″ score line backwards and forwards. This section makes the fold that turns the pages in the album.
  6. Fold one of the sides of the envelope closed. Glue along the edge of the outside of the flap. Glue along the inside edge of the other flap and fold together to glue the envelope.
  7. Round the corners of the closure flap if you wish.

Click here for illustrations of how to score, cut and glue the pages.

The Flaps, Belly Bands and Tags (3 sheets of 12″ x 12″ cardstock)

  1. From each sheet of 12″ x 12″ cardstock, cut a 4″ x 12″ strip. Keep one of the strips whole for the z-fold insert. Cut one of the strips into two 4″ x 5″ pieces. These will make the belly bands. Cut the last strip down to 3 7/8″ x 12″. Cut the strip in half at 6″ to make two 3 7/8″ x 6″ pieces. These will be the tags that insert into the belly bands.
  2. From one of the remaining 8″ x 12″ pieces, cut four 4″ x 6″ pieces. These will be the flaps for pages 2 and 4.
  3. From the two remaining pieces of 8″ x 12″ cardstock, cut the 8″ side down to 7 7/8″. On the 12″ side, cut three pieces at 3 7/8″. This will give you a total of six pieces of 3 7/8″ x 7 7/8″. These make up the inserts for the envelope pockets in each page. Note: Here is where I would change the inserts to 3 3/4″ x 7 7/8″. They fit into the envelope pockets a little easier than the 3 7/8″ width once the photos and patterned paper are attached to them.
  4. For the belly bands, score the two pieces of 5″ x 4″ cardstock at 1/2″ and 4 1/2″ on the 5″ side. You can use a decorative edge punch along the 5″ sides if you so desire. Be aware that an edge punch will make your belly band narrower.
  5. For the flaps on pages 2 and 4, score the four 4″ x 6″ pieces at 1″ on the 6″ side.
  6. For the z-fold flap, score the 4″ x 12″ piece of cardstock at 6 1/2″ on the 12″ side. Flip the cardstock over so the back side is facing up. Score at 1″ on the 12″ side.
  7. Use the 1/2″ tabs on the belly bands and the 1″ tabs on the z-fold and other flaps to glue them to the pages.

I placed all the flaps so they would be centered on the pages. You can arrange them in any way that pleases you. Click here for illustrations of the cutting and scoring of the flaps. Click here for photos of the flaps attached to the pages.

The Covers and Page Spacers (2 pieces 8 1/2″ x 11″ chipboard, 3 sheets 8 1/2″x 11″ cardstock, 2 strips of fabric 2 1/2″ x 9″)

  1. Cut one piece of 8 1/2″ x 11″ chipboard in half on the 8 1/2″ side at 4 1/4″. Cut both pieces of chipboard at 8 1/2″ to give you two pieces measuring 4 1/4″ x 8 1/2″. Cut the remaining pieces at 1 7/16″ to give you two pieces measuring 4 1/4″ x 1 7/16″. (7/16″ is just before the 1/2″ mark.)
  2. Cut the other piece of chipboard into two 4″ x 11″ pieces. Cut each of these pieces into 4″ x 1 7/16″ pieces. You will need 12 of these 4″ x 1 7/16″ pieces for the spacers
  3. Cut a piece of 8 1/2″ x 11″ cardstock into two pieces measuring 4 1/4″ x 9 1/2″.
  4. Cut two strips of fabric measuring 2 1/2″ x 9″.  Glue each piece of fabric approximately in the middle of the backs of the 4 1/4″ x 9″ cardstock. You can use tacky glue or a fabric glue, just make sure that the glue you use is somewhat flexible after it is dry. Let the pieces dry.
  5. Glue the pieces of chipboard that you cut in Step 1 to the piece of cardstock with the fabric glued to it. The fabric side needs to be between the cardstock and the chipboard. There needs to be a gap of 3/16″ or 1/4″ between the 4 1/4″ x 1 7/16″ and the 4 1/4″ x 8 1/2″ pieces of chipboard.
  6. Trim the cardstock so you have a flap to fold over the chipboard but no excess when wrapping the covers. Here is what it should look like.

    Chipboard glued to cardstock trimmed to wrap around cover.

    Steps 5 and 6.

  7. Glue the area of chipboard that will be covered by the cardstock piece. Add glue to the one end of the cardstock. Wrap (fold) the cardstock around the chipboard to finish gluing the hinge section of the covers. Click here to see an illustration of the steps.
  8. Cover the rest of the chipboard with patterned paper or cardstock. You will need two pieces measuring 5 3/4″ x 9″ for the outside of the covers. You will need two pieces measuring 4″ x 8 1/4″ for the inside of the covers. Glue the paper on the outside of the cover first. Wrap the extra paper around and glue to the inside of the cover. Glue the 4″ x 8 1/4″ paper inside the cover. Be sure to pay attention to the direction of the printing to get it right-side up. Also remember that the front and back covers are mirror images, so don’t glue them facing the exact same way.
  9. To make the spacers, glue two pieces of 4″ x 1 7/16″ chipboard together.
  10. Cut six pieces of cardstock measuring 3 1/2″ x 5 1/4″. You will need either one sheet of 12″ x 12″ or two sheets of 8 1/2″ x 11″ to get six pieces of this size.
  11. Glue a spacer to each piece of 3 1/2″ x 5 1/4″ cardstock. Miter the corners. Glue the cardstock and wrap it around the chipboard spacers. The illustration below shows the steps for wrapping the cardstock around the spacers. Alternatively, you could paint or ink the spacers instead of covering them with cardstock. I think covering them gives a more finished look.
Wrapping spacers in cardstock

Wrapping the spacers in cardstock.

The Binding (1 yard ribbon)

  1. Punch 3 holes in a spacer. I punched the holes at 3/4″ from the long side. I punched one hole in the center at 2″ and the other two holes 1/2″ from the top and bottom.
  2. Use the spacer from Step 1 to mark the holes in the other spacer and the pages. Punch all the holes.
  3. Use the spacer from Step 1 to mark the holes for the covers. Place the long edge of the spacer along the edge of the cover but center the spacer from top to bottom. (The cover is 1/4″ higher than the pages and the spacers.) Punch the holes in the cover.
  4. Glue the spacers to the pages, making sure that the holes line up. Start and end with a spacer.
  5. Line up your covers and spacers and pages so all the holes are aligned.
  6. Bind the album together using 1 yard of ribbon or twine. Thread your ribbon on a needle with a large eye. From the front cover, sew the ribbon through the center hole to the back. Leave a tail at the front for tying the ribbon together. Wrap the ribbon around the edge of the spine and insert the needle into the center hole from the front. Bring the needle to the bottom hole and go in through the back. Wrap the ribbon around the edge of the spine and insert the needle again through the bottom hole from the back. Your ribbon should again be on the front side of the album. Sew the ribbon through the center hole and out the back of the album. Bring the ribbon through the top hole from the back to the front. Wrap the ribbon around the edge of the spine and bring it through the back of the top hole. Your ribbon should again be on the front side of the album. Remove the needle and adjust the ribbon through the hole so it is even when both ends are brought together at the center hole. Tie the ends of the ribbon together with a double knot.Your ribbon should look like a backwards E. You can finish off your ribbon with a bow or trim it to a good length.

That’s it for constructing the album. All that’s left is the decorating. You can decorate the pages before or after you bind the album. I find it easier to decorate before the pages are bound.

To the best of my ability, I have included all of the supplies needed and the instructions on how to put together this mini album. There is a possibility, however, that I forgot something. If anything is unclear, leave a comment and I will be glad to help. Also leave any corrections that are needed in these instructions.

This album was designed by me. I want you to use my design as it pleases you. Feel free to make modifications. You have my permission to make this album for your personal use or to sell. If you use my design to teach a class, please credit me as the designer. If you share this design on your blog or video, please link back to this post. That’s all I ask. Have fun making this album for yourself. I must say I loved the way it turned out. I hope you will love it, too.


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