Scrapbooking ideas

My Scrapbook Philosophy

Scrapbooking for me is all about story telling. The story takes center stage for me. It’s not about the art, it’s not about creating pretty pages. It’s about the story. That story motivates the entire process for me. I love looking through my albums and being struck my memories and revelations that come through scrapbooking.

It took me a while to find that niche. In truth, I think that was the thing I was searching for in those initial years. I was heavily influenced by Ali Edwards and Cathy Zielske and the way that they told stories on their pages. My overall style was also very much drawn from paper scrapbookers.

I began telling my story. It is just that- my story. It’s not my husband’s story. It’s not my nephew or niece’s story. It’s my story. Sure, they feature prominently in some of my pages- they are a part of my story. But, it’s my story from my point of view. I am the only one that can tell that story.

Here you will find scrapbooking ideas to help you tell your story.

Story Centered- Story Motivated Scrapbooking

My pages are centered around stories- from start to finish. Most of the time, they are centered around small stories. I particularly love to capture the smallest of moments. This approach helps me capture the stories that I want to remember. It helps me appreciate life.

Here’s a few things you’ll notice about my scrapbook layouts:

Story Focused- From the design to the supplies, it’s all about telling the story. There are design elements that help bring unity to the page. You won’t find flowers on a page about my husband “eating” an earthworm. The items on the page will help tell the story. My pages are most often simple allowing the focus to be on the story. Most of them are mainly paper, text, and photos.
Easy to Read Type- I want my stories to be readable. My husband is the one who sees the majority of my pages. He is dyslexic and I use him as a gauge. So, as my scrapbooking has evolved, I quickly saw when my husband would have issues reading my pages. So, most of my pages use a very clear to read font with appropriate spacing. Sure, I use a different font on some more personal pages that’s more like a handwriting font- but those are pages that are strictly for me.
Journaling- Often Lots of Journaling. I know people say that a picture is worth a 1,000 words but I don’t believe that’s true. I hear people say the picture tells the story but that’s never true. Show me a picture that you think tells the story and I’ll be asking you questions about it. There’s always more to the story.
Why- Do you remember the 5 W’s? What, When, Where, and Who- they can all be added to tags. It’s the why that really doesn’t fit. While I share what happened, I’m always sure to explain why it’s worth scrapbooking. Why am I creating this page? Why is this story important? How did I feel? It’s these things that I want to be sure to capture.
Anecdotes- When I scrapbook one story, I draw the line between a story and other stories of my life. As I start to scrapbook a page and as I journal, I think about the other stories and other moments that led to the one in the picture. (And as a side note, I love that I can get two or three stories for the price of one- I only have a limited about of time to scrapbook- so I love when I can capture more than one story at a time.) Including anecdotes make my pages as rich as our lives are- moments built upon moments, stories within stories.

Scrapbook Layouts

Scrapbooking Ideas


Favorite Scrapbook Layouts

Scrapbook Ideas


My Albums & More Layouts


My Scrapbooking Process

My process begins with deciding what story I want to tell. It may be inspired by something that happened just 10 minutes ago or a note that I made about something I saw or something my husband said. Or, I may scroll through my pictures and find the story I want to tell. It might be a story from 20 years ago or just yesterday. I don’t choose the stories I tell chronologically- we don’t tell stories in a timeline when we’re chatting with friends and my scrapbooks are just like one of those chats.

* Design Idea- I typically start with a sketch or a template (a template being a Photoshop version of a sketch.) Starting with one of these makes a lot of design decisions easier.)
* Add Pictures
* Add Papers for background and other paper elements
* Journal- Usually this is about the time that I start journaling. Sometimes I start with the journaling, sometimes it’s at the end. I try to do the journaling when the words are coming to the surface.
* Add any additional elements
* Finishing touches- drop shadows, save the full file and then save for the web and print.

Photo Organization for Scrapbooking

I have fewer pictures from 1994-2003 than I do in any one year since then. The difference is simple- a digital camera. When we got digital cameras, we could take as many pictures as we want. Personally, I found that digital gave me the freedom to really explore photography. Most of us take more pictures that we could ever scrapbook. I am really good at purging down the photos that I keep but even still there’s so many more pictures that I could scrapbook. In 2012, I kept 1,216 photos. I’m can pretty well guarantee I took four or five times that amount at least. When I do the math, I realize there’s no way that I could scrapbook that many photos in a year. Its time to prioritize.

I separate the pictures that I want to scrapbook into two types:

Time Period Stories

These are pictures form moments and things that happened in a give moment. I prioritize the pictures by stories. Of those 1,216 photos for 2102, I’ve identified 176 pictures I might want to scrapbook. Truth is that’s still more than I can scrapbook but it’s enough to still get me options. I use tags and smart collections/folders to pull those 176 pictures into a folder where I can focus.

I also identify the highest priority stories. I’ve got these in smart collections/folders as well where I can draw directly from there. There are just 107 pictures in there spanning 1994 to current.

Spanning Time

I also keep select pictures in categories that I might want to scrapbook- Cody & I, Family &Friends, Places We Go, Things We Do. These curate into other stories. They make it easy to combine pictures and tell meaningful stories. They are also a resource for stories I want to tell that I may not have a picture for. I love getting to use great portraits of my husband this way. A portrait in and of itself usually doesn’t tell a story but when I want to write about something he said or something sweet he did because I want to remember and cherish it forever, that portrait becomes something much more meaningful.

When I get ready to scrapbook and don’t have a story in mind, I browse through these sections of my photo library. I often start with those priority pictures but will then browse the other areas as well. I simply look for a story that inspires me at the moment.

It all started when

I started scrapbooking in 2003. I’d seen all the scrapbooking supplies in the store before and I avoided it like the plague- because I somehow knew I’d love it. Well, then. . . At work, for our secret Santa, I wound up drawing the name of a new co-worker from another part of Texas that I knew nothing about- except that she liked scrapbooking. So I got online to see what to get her. Do you know what happened? We all have those times when we get online and follow some rabbit trail that ends up inspiring us. Right? I found digital scrapbooking. Wait, I thought. I can scrapbook on my computer. I’d just gotten my first digital camera so the timing was perfect. And so it began. The funny thing is that all those supplies I thought I’d love, they’ve become secondary to simply telling my story. That’s why I’m still scrapbooking today- I love to record and reflect on my story through words and photos.

So what is digital scrapbooking?

Digital Scrapbooking is simply using the computer to create scrapbook pages. It takes many forms and many styles. It’s also mixed in with paper scrapbooking to create hybrid scrapbooking. There are a lot of different softwares out there that will allow you to create your own digital pages. In my opinion, Photoshop is the gold standard. It is what most people use.

But let me preface that. Most people use Photoshop Elements (PSE)- which is much cheaper than the full Photoshop (PS/ PS CS). These days it does almost everything that the full Photoshop does in terms of scrapbooking. That wasn’t always the case- and I switched to the full Photoshop probably in 2004 for many of the features that are currently in Photoshop Elements. If you are interested in getting into digital scrapbooking, I recommend Photoshop Elements- unless you really are into photography and want to be able to do your own editing (and even then, I’m not sure I’d tell you that you need Photoshop. . . I happen to use Lightroom- which plays nicely with both programs.) There are few things that I use all the time though that PSE won’t do- loading files into layers, organizing layers in groups, and recording my own actions. None of these are critical to digital scrapbooking through I find they make things easier.

That’s the geek part. But what is digital scrapbooking? For me, it’s simply scrapbooking. Telling my story in a way that fits for me, a way that makes it easier and removes barriers. I have a real affection for even spacing and straight lines- that’s much easier to do digitally. I hate my own handwriting- so I can type my journaling easier. And, I’m totally comfortable on the computer. In the end, I end up with scrapbook pages- they get printed and put in an album. I believe that what you use to scrapbook (a computer, paper, etc) is about finding what you are comfortable and removing the barriers to telling your story.

Inspiration from Pinterest