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I agree with Kim; I just cut the protectors away. However, if you are trying to make something like a pop-up album, why don't you try a board book? Chipboard albums come in a variety of shapes, sold here on sb.com. You can also get thicker board books (like kids read) at places like Oriental Trading Company.
Khadijah also brought up the point of strap-hinge albums. Creative Memories and a company called Westfield (I think?) make these types of albums. Like she said, they come with unprotected pages. I found a bunch of black ones at a local Big Lots for $8 each. I think the ones by Creative Memories are better, but they're also more expensive. To me, they are worth it, but that depends on what you want, your tastes, and your wallet.