Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Restoring Old Photo Albums into Pocket Page Scrapbooks (Part Two)

If you missed part one of this series you can find it HERE.

Initially I thought I would be able to do this project on my own in my free-time. 

Well, because I got the albums in November and they were still sitting in the same spot, untouched in May I decided to call in reinforcements. 

My mom, my sister, my sister-in-law, and my cousin came to my rescue. We planned a day when we could all get together and get this project done (or so we thought we could get it done. It turns out we'd need more than one day).

When we all get together it's a house full of kiddos. Between us we have 10 kids. I knew that this day would take a lot of effort and planning on my part to make sure we could be as productive as possible. I got all the supplies ready and spread out across my kitchen table. 

I got snacks ready for everyone. 
 Snacks for the kids
and snacks for the moms. Although I made a terrible mistake here and there was clearly not enough chocolate for the moms. I won't make that mistake again, I promise!

The first task was to get the photos out of the albums. Some of them came right off, some of them...didn't. This is where the dental floss and band-aids came into play. We used the dental floss to remove the photos from the sticky background by placing the dental floss under the corner of the photo and gently working the photo away from the backing. 

*tip: put band-aids on your fingers before you do start this process. Otherwise you'll cut your fingers from having the dental floss wrapped around your fingers, pulling against all the nasty adhesive and then you'll need band-aids so you don't get blood on the photos. You can thank me later. 

I did some research on how to remove the photos before I started this process and I chose the dental floss method. A couple of other recommendations were to use heat to soften the glue and then remove the photos. One article recommended putting the pages in the microwave. I was scared that I would scorch the photos or just my luck, they'd start on fire. Another article recommended using a hair dryer. Honestly, I just didn't want to risk heating the photos and having them get warped or scorched. The dental floss was a pain but it worked well. I only had one photo that tore and it was only a very small tear on the side of one of the photos.

After we had all the photos out of an album we scanned each one onto a memory card. As I said in my previous post, I used this Photo, Slide, and Negative Scanner. It worked amazingly well! It was so easy, all you have to do is feed the photo through the scanner! Really, that's it. You feed the photo into the front of the scanner and it comes out the back. When the memory card is full you replace it with a new one. Easy peasy! My only complaint is that it wasn't big enough to scan anything bigger than a 4x6 photo. I knew that when I bought it, so I really can't complain. It wasn't a huge deal because I only had a handful of bigger photos and I was able to scan them using my flat bed scanner. 

Pretty soon we had a stack of photos ready to be put into the new pocket page protectors and albums.

Make sure you stop by next week for Part 3 of Restoring Old Photo Albums into Pocket Page Scrapbooks where I'll have the final product ready to show you, as well as my grandparents reaction.

Here's another look at what supplies I used to complete this project.

Here's a list of supplies that I gathered for this project:
We R Memory Keepers Albums  
We R Memory Keepers Photo Sleeves
Photo, Slide, and Negative Scanner

Waxed Dental Floss 
Project Life Journaling Pens
Self Adhesive Photo Corners



  1. I have my Mom's old scrapbook from when she was a teen. I definitely need to give this a try. Thank you, Becki (and family). :)

    1. Yes! Lisa, get those photos taken care of! You can do it!!

  2. Such an awesome series Becki!!!

  3. Your series is really helpful to me! I think we are all of the generation where we are losing our family members from the Depression Era (and before), and we are "inheriting" the photo albums. We need to save those important family links.
    My problem is the photos that are GLUED down. I don't know what kind of glue was used, but trying to remove a photo or newspaper article is pretty much impossible. Do you have any solutions? Thanks for any ideas.

    1. Before I tried to remove newspaper articles from adhesive I would make sure to scan or photocopy the newspaper article. Then I would try the dental floss method. If that doesn't work, I would try to soften the glue with either undo adhesive remover OR try softening the glue in the microwave for a few seconds. Good luck! Let me know if there is anything that I can do to help you.

  4. That's it, you've inspired me. I have got to get a hold of one of those scanners and get to my grandmas house fast.