handmade photo albums

photo album care

Storing and caring for photo albums

You have a beautiful photo album. It was made by hand using archival materials and time-tested techniques. It is full of high quality prints that are mounted using archival adhesive. You have a priceless object that can last for centuries! Now how are you going to keep it in good shape? Follow our suggestions, and you'll be well on your way.

handmade album in slipcase

Photo Album Care and Storage


  • Keep your album in a cool, dry place, ideally no warmer than 70 degrees F.
  • If possible store your book flat with nothing on top of it.
  • If you're storing your album vertically, give it enough space so that it doesn't become warped by surrounding books.
  • Consider investing in a slipcase or a clamshell box to protect your album.
  • Wash your hands before leafing through your book.
  • Pull your album off the shelf by grasping the spine.
  • Always support the covers when your book is open.
  • If you choose to write notes in the margins, do so with an acid-free pen.


  • Don't store your books in a damp basement, molds and mildews ruin pages and photos!  (30% - 50% humidity is ideal)
  • Avoid spills. Don't look at your book with a glass of wine in one hand and a burpy baby in the other.
  • Keep your album out of direct sunlight, covers can fade.
  • Don't let your cat sleep on the album.
  • Don't touch the photos, finger prints are difficult to remove.

Ultimately, books are made for us to use and enjoy. Their primary function is to protect what lies within. A little wear and tear shows love and adds history and personality to the book.

Click here for info on older album types and how they preserved (or destroyed) photos. Or learn how to treat spills on book pages.

Wedding Album with Photo Prints

Photographs Shine in a Handmade Wedding Album

We often make blank books here at Hinged Strung Stitched, and leave it up to the client to add their own content. However, we also offer photo mounting services for our handmade albums. Mounted photos give the book a satisfying heft, and look simply beautiful. This album and slipcase for photographer and new friend Christina Richards are the latest to leave the studio:


A photo of the couple is mounted into a recessed window on the slipcase:


The hues of the bookcloths work nicely with the tones in Christina's photos:




All photos in the album are copyright Christina Richards.

As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.

There's nothing before there's something

A visitor came into our studio today and we showed them our work. "Does this come smaller?" Yes, we said, we can make that smaller. "Does this come with more pages?" Yes, we can put in as many pages as you like. It occurred to me that they didn't realize that we make everything from scratch. As Molly often says, "There is nothing before there's something." So I thought I'd take a moment to share our raw materials and our process. (To see more of our process, and photos of us riding a bicycle built for one, visit our friend Lauren's blog.)

Book board comes in large sheets and is stored on the very bottom shelf (a.k.a. the floor.)

We source parent sheets of paper and then cut them to the page size requested (these start as 22" x 30")

Hinging tape and thread hold things together.

Boxes and book covers are fully constructed before they're covered (this is a slipcase with a recessed plaque area.)

Bookcloth (or paper or leather) can be used to cover the books and boxes.

Holes are drilled in covers, and cut pages are sewn in by hand.

A completed album and slipcase (with space for the client to tip in their own plaque.)

Questions? Email us, visit our Facebook Page, or check out people we've worked with to learn more.