. . . so you can tell what the book is by looking at the bookshelf, without having to pull each one out and look inside.
I'm so excited! I finally found a wonderful way to solve this problem!
OK, so you have these photo albums (or you don't, but for the purposes of this thread, I'm assuming you do) - either photo albums or scrapbook albums.
Photo albums are albums that have slots you simply slide the photos into (don't use the magnetic, sticky ones). Scrapbook albums are ones that have blank pages you design and decorate yourself, with photos, papers, and embellishments.
My mother used to label her (magnetic) albums by writing directly on the spine with magic marker. I hated the look of that. I tried those dialing labelers, but those looked cruddy and could start to peel off. I've used stickers, but those tend to peel as well, and none of it works well on a post-bound album.
For the photo albums, I had finallyfound some metal clip-on label holders from Oriental Trading Company.
These are great for the slip-in photo albums, such as this one (I have several of this exact one):
But post-bound scrapbook albums don't have a big-enough, solid spine, but a curved piece in between the two book-ends, like so:
Many other album types also lack a solid spine.
In trying to solve this issue yesterday, I found some sites where scrapbookers were discussing this very problem, and one person had a terrific solution:
You take a tag (like the tags you get from the office supply store (only mine are acid-free, etc., from a scrapbook store):
Cover it with paper to coordinate with the book itself (or just cover the bottom square part of the tag). Trim it narrower, if you like, if it is a very narrow album. Label the tag with the name of the album, such as, "Josie's Eighth Birthday Party."
Run a coordinating ribbon through the tag, attach it inside to the top screw of the album (under a flap), and let it hang down the side.
Here's a picture of how this girl did it, showing all her albums in a bookcase:
I started doing this for my completed scrapbooks last night, and it looks great! For instance, I have a navy blue album of our trip to DC, and I made a tag for it using one of the red polka-dotted papers that I used in the album, hung by a colonial blue ribbon. Adorable, and very neat (as in tidy) looking!
Sometimes I'm amazed by my inability to think outside of my own boxes. In hindsight, this solution seems like it should have been obvious to me ages ago. Oh well. That's what the internet is for, I guess.