For those of you who are interested, here’s a little bit of a guide to strap hinge albums, my very favorite kind.
I mentioned in my “scrapbook confessions” post that I loathe page protectors, and as far as I know, this is the only type of album that doesn’t require them (Please, if you know of another kind, I would LOVE to hear about it!!). My albums are Westrim Crafts brand, which I used to purchase at stores like A. C. Moore and Michaels– with coupons or on sale!) but I think the company is discontinuing the product. (I also believe that the Creative Memories albums used to be strap-hinge style, too)
The pages in a strap hinge album are heavy-duty cardstock with reinforced left and right edges (for easy page turning). You adhere your scrapbook page directly to the album page (or some people just scrapbook right onto the page itself… I used to do this but find it easier to work outside my album 😉 ) You can add as many pages as the length of your strap will allow. In my very first album (which is when I scrapbooked right onto the page and before I started getting very “dimensional”), I have 32 physical pages in the album (which means 64 page faces)!
These albums are super-easy to use. Here’s a little guide to what you see inside the cover (these photos all show the back cover, because I usually load pages in the back of the album, but you can load pages from either end)
Each page has two staple hinges along its edge through which the straps are threaded to bind the album together.
To load or unload pages from an album, you first slip out the binding completely (the binding re-curves when you slip it back in to accomodate really thick albums!)
Then you open the album to either the back or the front cover (like I said before, I’m showing the back).
Just “unbuckle the strap through the back hinge
flipping over the back hinge to “stack” on top of the pages as you slip it off the strap…
Finally, you unthread the cover from the strap, and can add as many pages as you wish under the back hinge piece (on top of the pages already in the album).
Then, you reverse the process to put the album back together! Easy-peasy!
These albums are usually just plain fabric-covered (sometimes with a little bit of metallic printing as a tiny cover border), which I really like– they are easy to slip onto a bookshelf next to each other and all the focus is on the beautiful memories and pages inside!