Repurposed Antique Photo Album

I few weeks ago, I bought an old antique photo album at the swap meet for a dollar. I had to have it. Inside the front of the cover written in pencil it reads, "Mabel Johnson Latham Age 11. December 25, 1811. Kansas. Wow... that makes it two hundred and five years old. There were no photos inside... but that didn't deter me from wanting to buy it. I immediately thought it would make a super cute photo album to put some of the photos from our yearly pirate party. The paper mats on each page that originally held old photos in place were extremely brittle and they were not going to be able to be used at all...
I used a razor blade to cut out the old paper and then went over the edges with sandpaper to clean it up a little more.
Once the pages were cleaned up, I made a paper pattern that closely resembled the original paper mats so that I could mass produce each paper mat needed for the album. This photo album measures 16" tall. Luckily, I had a tall book of maps to pull from to use as the albums new photo mats. To reinforce each new photo mat, I used contact paper on both the front and backs of each page from the book of maps. The backside I used faux wood grain contact paper... and obviously on the front I used clear.
In the original photo album I noticed there was a sheet of paper that would have been sandwiched in between each photo... I replaced those sheets as well. I used black paper which I think looks fabulous with the maps right now while the photo album is empty.
To clean up the front of the album, I rubbed a little bit of black acrylic paint over the cut work in the cover to highlight it a little better.
 After the paint had set, I wiped away the excess with a baby wipe.
There were a few chips in the celluloid cover of the album. But seeing how it was over two hundred years old... it is in remarkable shape. I filled in the missing pieces with some older looking pieces of map which I aged slightly with some black paint. I think it really ties in nicely with the aged look of the entire album.
 Here is another newly patched area...
I am pretty happy with the way the photo album turned out. It will eventually hold thirty-two photos of my grand kids enjoying themselves pretending to be pirates... aarrrrgggghhh~
I've linked up to "My Salvaged Treasures" Talk of the Town.
big hugs,


  1. You are the queen! another amazing piece by artsy fartsy you!
    Have a great weekend!

  2. It looks fabulous -- and you did a wonderful restoration job! What a treasure it will be!

  3. This is such a beautiful project Cheryl. I especially love how you did the patching. You did an amazing job of re-loving this piece back to life. I'd love it if you'd share this at Vintage Charm, which is all about vintage, repurposing, and upcycling. The party's on right now. I hope to see you there. Tuula :)

  4. Oh Wow what a fantastic find, and I just love how you have updated it a bit with all your wonderful touches, what a wonderful thing to be able to hand down to future generations!

  5. I absolutely LOVE how you salvaged this beautiful old album. What a treasure! Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Talk of the Town.

  6. A lovely salvaged piece. I love your choice of the maps and how you went on to use that theme in touching up the album cover. Brilliant!

  7. Such a great find. I like all you did to bring the album back to its former glory.


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