Self-adhesive photo albums have been a great source of joy for many families. They come in shapes and sizes fit to tickle any fancy, are widely available, and are easy to hand down or share.  

But while sticky photo albums may seem like a safe way to preserve your memories, the adhesive itself can often harm your photos. Depending on the chemicals used in the adhesive and plastic covers, your photos may actually be worse off than if you stored them somewhere else.

If you’re trying to organize and better protect your printed photos, you’re wise to remove them from photo albums with adhesive pages. However, the other problem is how difficult it can be to detach them without damaging them. 

Tips for Removing Printed Photos from Self-Adhesive Photo Albums

The adhesive in some sticky photo albums is practically glue. If you want to remove your photos, you don’t want to go pulling them out without a plan. 

To remove pictures from peel-and-stick photo albums without damaging them, follow these useful tips from our Pro Photo Managers in the Photo Organizing Hub Facebook group.

Freeze your pages before pulling photos from them. 

You read that right – cold pages make for easier removal. Chuck your albums into the freezer for a bit before yanking them off the pages. The cool air helps make the adhesive more brittle and may give you an easier time.

Gently pull from an angle parallel to the adhesive.

Oftentimes, the adhesive in sticky photo albums is aligned at an angle. Rather than going against the grain and pulling from the top or bottom of a photo, pull in the same direction of the adhesive strips. Your photos will release with less friction. 

Don’t pull straight up.

Rather than trying to lift the photo as you pull it away from the page, make an effort to keep it low and close to the album as you gently lift it away from the self-adhesive. Pulling up puts more stress on the paper and can lead to bends, folds, and rips.

Get creative with your tools.

We’ve heard of Pros using dental floss and even flat kitchen spatulas to remove photos from albums. Consider using something thin and flat to slide under your pictures and gently pry them off the page. You might be surprised at your success!

Preserve Your Memories Outside of Self-Adhesive Photo Albums

If you’ve got precious family photos in sticky photo albums, it might be time to consider finding them a new home. Removing your photos from these self-adhesive albums is a smart idea, but it can be a challenge. 

To ensure you don’t inflict unnecessary damage, follow the tips above. 

For more helpful hints on how to organize your photo collection, consider joining our community of photo organizing DIY-ers and Certified Pros in the Photo Organizing Hub Facebook group. Our group is open to all and offers a wealth of knowledge.