Easy Scrapbook Journaling

I do hand journaling in my albums in addition to some “digital” journaling using my computer and everyday photo-paper. One of the troubles with digital journaling is the temptation to use non-archival paper. I’m always tempted to use index cards, but regular index cards are not photo-safe and acid-free. So, I recommend using something like HP’s everyday photo paper in the 4×6 size for printing your typed digital journaling.

The nice thing about printed journaling (aside from not having to worry about how neat your handwriting is) is that you can fit quite a lot of text in a small space.

Digital Journaling
Digital Journaling

I’ve created a template in MSWord that’s sized to 4×6 with landscape orientation. I then insert a text box to type my journaling. A text box allows you to get text closer to the edges of the page than normal margins would allow.

You can keep the border on the text box (and/or do fancy things with it with some of the settings in Word) or you can remove the border. To remove the border, look under the “Shape Outline” menu and choose no outline.

Text Box, No Outline

You can also do things like change the fill color of the text box, which can allow you to get white text on a colored background. This can be a fun look for journal boxes or page titles, of course you do need a color printer for this technique to work.

Colored Background Text Box

I’m also a big fan of the fun true-type fonts you can get online for free. Installing them on a PC is as easy as double-clicking the font file, once you’ve downloaded it. You will see a preview of the font and the option to install it.

Click Install to add this font to your MSWord Options

I’ve downloaded some great free fonts from the following sites:

By using a combination of hand journaling, handwritten or typed titles and typed digital journaling you can create pages that are simple, attractive and EASY to do.


Creative Memories Going out of Business

I have been a fan of Creative Memories for many years, their scrapbooks are the Cadillac of Scrapbooks, super high quality. However, after a few years of shelling out over $26 for just the 12 x 12 cover-sets (pages are extra), I switched over to Colorbok brand albums, which are less expensive and widely available in stores and online.


I just got an email today from my Creative Memories consultant that all products will be available only “while supplies last”… so if you have some unfinished album projects, it’s time to buy what you need even if it’s going to take you a while to finish!

One of the things that I like about Creative Memories, besides that fact that their products are very high quality, is that their focus is always on preserving the memories and not how many embellishments you have on each page. They place a high value on Journaling (writing the stories of the photos) and on getting albums completed simply and easily…. which is definitely my philosophy as well.

I hope that CM can find a way to rise from the ashes of their financial difficulties, because their consultants and their products have always been an inspiration to me.

Easy Scrapbook Embellishments Using Paper Punches

I love working on our scrapbooks and my family loves to look at them. In fact, my 16 year-old son has been after me to “get back to work” since I am behind a few years on our family albums and even further behind on the albums I made for the kids.Enjoying Scrapbooks

Anyway, my favorite tools for making easy scrapbook embellishments are the paper punches from Creative Memories.

Paper Punches

I’m not a eyelet, brad, complex paper-crafty kinda girl. I use the paper-punches to make embellishments for pages out of coordinating paper and sometimes even punch photos that I am not using in a particular layout. Like, sky & sand at the beach, flowers in a forest, green grass from a meadow. I think they make terrific enhancements to the page and they are so easy (and much less expensive than using lots of  stickers.)

For other resources on Easy Scrapbook Embellishments, I recommend looking up the books by Cathy Zielske, whose totally apropos tagline is “Taking the crap out of Scrapbooking since 2001.”  I’m also going to do a little searching to find some ideas for using the paper punches to create unique page borders. I attended a terrific workshop years ago and ended up with some really nicely decorated journal boxes and page borders that I would love to re-learn how to do.

I understand that there are lots of people who like to make each page of a scrapbook a time and labor-intensive work of art, but for me the main event is the photos and the journaling. My goal in keeping scrapbooks is to preserve memories. In this fast-paced digitally focused world, sometimes it’s really nice to settle down with a scrapbook in your lap and page through the past. Looking at photos, reading stories, taking stock of where we’ve been and where we are going. Give it a try today, spend some time looking at family photos, I guarantee it will feel like a mini-vacation.

So, what are your favorite easy scrapbook embellishments?