I enjoy scrapbooking for my kiddos, and most people who see my scrapbooks rave about them and then bemoan that they don't have enough time to scrapbook. Well - today I'm letting you in on my secret - I have come up with a plan to make beautiful scrapbooks for my children that only takes 3 evenings per year - intrigued - read on! :)
Three - Not too Many Not too Few
I have three scrapbooks for each child that will eventually contain all the pictures from that child's childhood (birth - graduation). Each child has a specific color theme - Christian's three scrapbooks are blue jean and Abbie's three scrapbooks are rose.
The reason I have chosen to only create three scrapbooks per child is because I didn't want to create an overwhelming number of scrapbooks and then never display the albums because I have too many. The reason I have chosen a specific color theme for each child is so that they can easily identify their scrapbooks and they are a lovely set when displayed on the shelf.
Strictly Divided by Year
Each album will contain 35 sheets which (counting the front and back of each sheet) is 70 individual pages. This means each of my children will have 210 scrapbook pages by the time I've completed my project. The final page in their scrapbook will be their high school graduation.
I've divided my little one's childhoods into 19 sections beginning with birth through one-year-old and ending with seventeen through graduation. For each section I will create roughly 11 pages. In the early years I will do 12-14 pages per year and in the latter years I will do close to 10 pages per year.
The reason I have chosen to be strict about designating only 10-14 pages per year is because I don't want to have a plethora of pictures of my children when they are extremely young and have very few pictures of my children when they are teenagers. I want to remember every part of my children's lives, and I want my children to know that they are beautiful, treasured, and precious to me regardless of their age.
A Year Long Commitment
I take a lot of pictures. I take pictures of special events, and I also try to take pictures of things my children do consistently that I want to remember. For example if there is a stuffed animal they enjoy cuddling or if there is a specific game they like to play I try to purposefully take pictures of these because its easy to overlook those "mundane daily moments," but I know I will want to remember them someday.
I also collect any small keepsakes possible. For example when we brought Abbie home from the hospital I stored our hospital bracelets in a safe place. When we took Christian to see his first movie in theater I kept the ticket stubs. These precious little keepsakes help enhance scrapbook pages when I design them.
The reason my camera is always around is because I never want to miss a precious moment of my children's lives. I also want to constantly be taking pictures, and not take the majority of the pictures for my child's scrapbook in the month before I put their pages together because I didn't take enough pictures during the year.
Each year as my child's birthday approaches I look over the past year's pictures. I carefully select the 10-14 themes or special events that I most want to remember from that year. I also make sure that I have each season (summer, spring, fall, and winter) somewhat evenly represented. I meticulously choose 7-8 pictures for each page I will create, and I have the pictures printed (roughly 100 prints).
I then take some time to write out a small paragraph for each page describing the event or theme. This usually takes less than 1-2 hours because I post a lot of my children's highlights on this website, so I simply cut-and-paste from website posts and tweak them a bit.
The reason I wait until the end of the year to select my page themes and pictures instead of creating scrapbook pages throughout the year is to ensure that the pages accurately represent the year. Particularly because I only allow myself 10-12 pages per year I want to be sure those pages accurately reflect the top themes and events from the previous year.
Birthday Party Deadline
In two whirlwind nights I put together the pages representing my child's previous year. After placing the pictures, keepsakes, and paragraph descriptions on each page then I select stickers or clipart to further enhance each page.
The reason I put the pages together quickly is because it is always my goal to have the scrapbook ready to be looked at during my children's birthday parties. It has always been special for my children and their birthday party guests to be able to see pictures of my children from birth right up to the month before their birthday party.
As my children get older I will obviously stop displaying their scrapbooks at their birthday parties (or they would die of embarrassment), but I hope that regardless of how old my children get that we will always take time on their birthday to pull out their scrapbooks, cuddle on the couch, and review the blessing of the years God has given them.
You Can Do It!
Scrapbooking is a big commitment, but it's also a very special way to help your child feel treasured and to help your child remember their past. Scrapbooks are beautiful keepsakes you, your children, and even your grandchildren will cherish. I hope that by reading how I do scrapbooking it seems more doable to you. It just requires you to keep your camera handy and choose three evenings to select the pictures and put the pages together. You can do it! :)