How about decorating journals? Teens love these, I know I did a lot of writing when I was younger. You can start with blank notebooks that can be decorated with scraps.
The mini albums sound lovely too. I would definitely go to your local SCS or any discount store and ask for donations. We did this for a local event here and major chains were more than generous. Just be prepared with a letter that describes your cause and ask for your letter to be given to the manager, then ask for contact information and follow up. The average donation we got was worth about $25.