Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Categorical Albums: tricks & tips

I've been so addicted to digital that I was worried I'd forgotten how to do traditional scrapbooking - not really, but it kinda felt that way.

With my son graduating this year, I was determined to get all of his unfinished traditional albums completed.

I re-discovered the fun of traditional scrapbooking.

Here is a list of 6 little tips I came up with:

1. Four square  - a great way to use up 2 very plain pieces of 12X12 paper, easy and repeatable.

Cut two colors of 12X12 paper in half length-wise with cM Rotary trimmer with straight blade.

 Cut those rectangles in half so that you have 8-6X6 squares
Alternate the squares in a checkerboard style across a double page spread. 

If the papers don't match up exactly in the middle, cover with a photo to disguise.

2. Use Big Diecuts to make original 12X12 paper fit in the center of True 12X12 page

Still have some original sized 12X12, use the big die-cut and center it on a True sized page.

3. REPEAT JOURNAL or JOURNAL PATH (an idea I stole from SBC+)

Repeat Journal a phrase around the outside of a page  - can be done around a big die cut can also be done around the outside of any page or any photo.  The right hand page has the journaling in all green and the left side page in all red.  Another option would be to alternate pen colors on every repeat.

4.  Create "THRU THE YEARS" page spreads

In this 4th of July double page spread I didn't have photos from every year.  This is where categorical albums can bring stress-free scrapbooking.  Just add the photos you do have and identify the year dates of any that you know.

This categorical beach spread shows my son on the beach over a variety of years - it's really cool to be able to see the age progression over the years.

5.  Silly can be super

When your kids act silly in photos - save them.  One of my boys makes a silly face in every family photo and we have to retake them over and over.  Years later, looking back at them, they made a great photo montage.  The photos above were taken by siblings... sometimes a photo thru the eyes of a brother or sister can be priceless.

6.  Back side is Better - a cure for less-loved printed paper

These white photo mats are actually the back side of the old printed paper that was only printed on one side.  I had a bunch of old storybox papers and some of the printed sides were designs that I didn't particularly care for - but, turn them over and they become beautiful bright white photo mats.

As a consultant I have a lot of older paper and embellishment products.  I'm always determined to use up my supplies - there are loads of ways to go about it that also help you to complete your pages - FAST!

Happy Scrapping!


  1. I love going back 'old school!' it is a great feeling to get rid of my old stuff AND get pages done!! Thanks for the ideas.

  2. I work on a computer all day most days so digital scrapping doesn't appeal to me at all (though I do all my journaling on the computer in a text box sized to fit the space left after doing my layout) so I really appreciate this post - thank you! I got some good ideas for my pages from this - & it's great to see pages that emphasize the pictures (which mine do as well)!! I was just at a 12 hour crop yesterday & most people were making these absolutely stunning pages with one or two photos & masses of embellishments & all I could think of was that while they were gorgeous, I'd rather see their photos than how creative they could be with buttons & ribbon & flowers.

  3. Thanks for your comment SadieSue -there do seem to be a variety of design ideas when it comes to scrapbooking and isn't great that no matter what way we choose - whatever we like for our own albums is the right way? I tend to be in the camp of more photos less art. I do love the art believe me, but when I sit down to complete an album, I do add lots of photos to each page. That said, maybe I'm at fault for just taking too darn many photos and maybe ONE impactful photo would make a bigger statement. I think there are times when both multi-photo page design and single photo page design have a strong place in our albums - but what's most important is that we are making photos albums to share and to love!


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