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Do Scrapbooking Title Pages Really Matter?

Philippines Album Inside Cover

Do you really need introductions in your scrapbook albums?

Let me just say that before I add title pages to the fronts of my scrapbooks, my experience of opening them feels random and a little perplexing. It can almost feel assaulting to be slammed with that first page without explanation — like when you get up in the morning and all of the kids bombard you with complaints and requests without bothering first to at least say, “Hi, Mom.”

But of course, that doesn’t happen at my house. I’m just speaking hypothetically. ;)

Why not welcome your viewer — and yourself — with a pleasant greeting, a hint of what’s inside your book, and some helpful explanations?

I don’t believe every scrapbook has the same title info needs. I allow for a little mystery in some, and a lot of explanation in others. It depends on the story I’m telling in my album. No matter which way I do it, I love the way my title pages make me feel when I open the covers of my scrapbooks.

Here are five examples…

1. The Mysterious and Subtle Title Page That Only Hints at the Story

I'm a Butterfly

This is for an album about myself. Without being too explicit it says who I am and what I’ve always been about. While I may eventually put a few details inside the cover of my album, I think the pages that follow give all the explanation I really need for what the album is.

2. The Scrapbook Title Page that Says It All

Our Everyday Life

On the other hand, the story of this album is not so clear on its own. It gives a view of our everyday life between the years of 2007-2011, but without that explanation you wouldn’t be able to put your finger on the topic. Not only that, but toward the end of assembling this album I noticed a repeating thread in our story and the title page allowed me to emphasize it from the beginning and give the viewer something to look for as he or she turns the pages.

3. The 6×12 Scrapbook Title Page that Let’s You Peek at the First Layout

Nutcracker '12 Intro Page

Here’s another album that doesn’t require much explanation but it lets you know up front that this isn’t a general dance album of different performances. It’s specifically for the Nutcracker Ballet. By choosing a 6×12 layout, the outside of the next page is visible. Who can resist turning the top narrow page to see the whole second page?

The varying sized pages make this scrapbook a page turner right from the beginning. Here’s a closeup of some of the detailing in my title page.

Nutcracker '12 Intro Closeup

4. The Two-Part Scrapbook Title Page That Speaks More Slowly

Scrapbook Album Intro: This Is Us

Sometimes I like to put some of the album information directly on the inside of the cover. When I do that, I still want the front page to incorporate the general idea of the story of the entire album, as well as the title. So this is a two-parter.

Here’s the second part…

This is Us

5. The Suspenseful Scrapbook Title Page That Hooks You Into the Story

Philippines Album Inside Cover

This is another two-parter. It begins with the beautiful title page that came with the Olive Project Life kit. This is not a typical Project Life album that chronicles are current days. It’s an album about my life and observations in the Philippines years ago, and I’m mixing Project Life supplies with standard scrapbook pages.

The first part of the title page offers an elegant welcome.

The second part wraps you into the overall story of my experience by hooking you with a hint of drama and turmoil to come…

Philippines Album Intro

“I can’t believe there is another place in the world that is as magical as this one.

That is so happy, but so very sad.

That is so beautiful, but also so maddening.

My first month in the Philippines was torturous. On the first day in my new home I witnessed closeup the most violent and scary scene of my entire time there.

I didn’t know how I would ensure an entire year and four months.

But then, everything changed in just a few weeks of pushing through and I fell in love with the Philippines and its beautiful people. I found myself grasping at every minute as it ticked away from me.

And then it was all gone, like a dream. But if affected me, and it stays with me.

It changed my life.

From March 1994 to July 1995 I lived in the Philippines. I tell this story from my current perspective, 20 years after being home in the U.S. I’m including writings from my journal and from letters home to provide some observations and feelings at the time.

Here is my story…”

Note: I’ve erased a few personal details from the journaling at the bottom in the photo of this page. Just wanted to let you know in case you’re wondering about the blank spots in my writing.

So…

Have you made title pages for your scrapbooks? How are they different from mine?

Hopefully these examples have given you some new ideas!

Play Along: If you’re playing along and don’t yet have a title page, your challenge this week is to make one! And don’t forget to continue adding any missing pages or details as we finish up an album this month. If you post your pages somewhere online, please be sure to share what you’ve done with us by leaving a link in the comments of this post!

To move forward in the Play Along: Finish an Album, click here: How Story Can Make Your Scrapbook a Page-Turner

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  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.kopp.79 Susan Kopp

    What a wonderful Idea and one I am now going to incorporate. I just thought we needed to fall into our pages and albums and now realize there is a rhyme and reason and I need to concentrate on the cohesive story. Thanks!

  • Lisa H

    I’d love to see more of your Philippine album. And what a wonderfully inspiring idea to use PL to make this reflection. I’ve shared before that I also spent a year and a half in Manila and your opening words to your album could be mine (without your first day experience). It changed me too – for the good and forever. I’ve been picking photos out of the thousands I took one or two at a time for the last few years and have made a handful of pages but my photos deserve to be presented in a beautiful album like yours. Your title page is gorgeous and you have my brain working away.

    thanks for some serious Monday morning inspiration, Noell. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ann.marshall.399 Ann Marshall

    The variety of your tailored title pages (specific to a particular story but also diverse in concept and design) is very helpful and also provocative, in the sense that the examples spark my imagination. Heck, sometimes they even whack me on the side of my head!

    Thank you for the ideas and inspiration you convey both visually and in writing, a “guided tour” through your thinking in relationship to the creations that result. I invariably find your discussions both interesting (a peek into another person’s approach to exploring and reflecting upon life) as well as motivating (hey, what a neat idea!).

    As always, many thanks for your meaningful mentoring.
    Ann

  • Chriss

    So far, I’ve only done title pages for my ‘theme’ albums, like my travel albums. My title pages have 9 photos with a title. They are then followed by a second page that introduces the story at hand. It details the five Ws and other pertinent details. Basically, they are like a prologue so that the rest of the album makes sense. I’m still working our ‘Life’ albums and haven’t yet decided how I’m going to ‘set the scene’ as it were. One step at a time.

  • http://www.paperclipping.com Noell

    Thanks for sharing! Are the 9 photos of your title page in squares as a grid? Is that why you’ve chosen 9?

  • http://www.paperclipping.com Noell

    Thank you, Ann! :)

  • http://www.paperclipping.com Noell

    I wish I had taken more photos, and I wish I had been a better photographer when I was there!!! I would love to see your album, too! I’ve only just started working on mine, so hopefully I’ll be scrapping and sharing pages from this album from here on out!

  • http://www.paperclipping.com Noell

    Thank you! :)

  • Keitha

    Definitely food for thought, Noell. I’ve always kept my layouts by subject and named the albums accordingly, although hadn’t seen the need for title pages in many of them. But you’ve made me realize that without an introduction from me the thread of my collected stories would be lost on the viewer; it seems so obvious to me now, LOL. I’ll definitely be adding title pages to several tomes already considered ‘finished’ on the shelf.

  • http://www.paperclipping.com Noell

    Cool! I hope you find it as fun as I do! I used to avoid doing it because it seemed like a “task” I was obligated to, but once I did it a few times it became a favorite thing for me! And I LOVE how much better my own experience is when I open one of my scrapbooks that has a title page.

  • http://www.LindaTieu.com/ Linda Tieu

    Wanted to share that I’ve created opening pages for albums before – sort of like creating a cover, but not on the cover of the album itself. However, I never thought to include more information or an intro… not just a title. Now that I think about it, would be nice to make the title page more informative! http://www.twopeasinabucket.com/gallery/member/436934-tortagialla/1780101-opening-page-for-scrapbook-album/

  • Barb S

    I really like the examples you have provided. The title page, to me, is an integral part of the entire story and present an overview of the story…and such fun to make! Sometimes i put a couple of general photos on the page or just make one with fun products…just depends on what happens when i sit down to create! In fact i have an “About us” album that needs a title page before i go further with it. it already feels like something is missing. Thanks for more inspiration!

  • SOULCRAFTY

    Love your pages.
    This idea makes yu feel less threatned trying to come up w/titles.

    Thank you for making it simple :)
    Cynthia

  • Emmie

    Hello. Thank you for these inspiring pages. I allways start an album with a title page. Mostly with a title and one of the favorite photos of the subject. But now I see that there are other possibilities. I think I have to try to make a different title page next time.

  • Shannan

    I have thought about doing this for my albums but also felt it would be another “task”. But I hadn’t thought of doing the title page 6×12 size – what a great idea. Almost like a divider. I am a digital scrapbooker now, so my other idea is to make a grid on my title page but add a few of my favourite layouts in small size instead of photos. Thanks for the disussion!

  • http://www.moniquenugent.blogspot.com/ Monique

    I have my albums in the LOM format and have not done title pages yet. But I can see that when you open up one of the albums you just kind of fall in! Although each album has a title on the outside it is just the basic “all about us”, ‘things we do”. I definitely need to do some title pages with more of an explanation and I also like how you have noted that the album is by you and from your point of view. I goes I just presumed people would know that! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • BeckBT

    I have never thought of putting a title page in the albums! Each album is a particular person (my kids) or theme (wedding/random) but they would definitely look lovely with a title page in them! Thanks for adding to my To Do list lol

  • Jakee

    You are inspiring as always, and I now realize that my albums are missing that vital title page, and that’s why they seem ……odd.

  • Jana_NJ

    Titles titles they are such a struggle for me sometimes I think they take to much space sometimes I just don;t know what to put and sometimes I totally forget them. Great article Noell

  • Chriss

    Yes. I print small photos or (preferably) use leftover photos and crop them to 2×2″ and arrange them in a grid. I really don’t embellish them other than adding a bit of ribbon as a ‘shelf’ between the photos and the title, and maybe a button or brad on either side of the title. It’s dead simple, in fact they are the simplest pages in my albums. I chose to do this because it is easy to keep them consistent.

    I’m now trying to figure out what to do with our ‘Life’ albums that are arranged chronologically(ish). I like the idea of keeping my title pages consistent, as it provides a visual cue to the reader, especially for albums that might contain more than a single year. These also really don’t need a ‘back-story’ because they pretty much explain themselves. Maybe a title of “Life 2012″ (for example) is enough. Still thinking on that. :)

  • Suz

    You really inspired me to put titles even on albums that are more random… I think it really will tie them together & alleviate some of the apparent randomness without the title page. I really like how your albums incorporate quite a few years in one book – glad I’m not alone in doing that.

  • http://www.paperclipping.com Noell

    Yes — because I don’t pack everything into a yearly album — I focus more on a subject or story — that means they span multiple years. I kind of sort of tend to order the pages almost chronological — only when it’s convenient. :) For example, I’m about to put a 2009 story between two 2011 layouts. Since the album is topic based there’s no reason not to do that. It’s fine.
    Also, even though that album has stories mainly from 2007 to 2011, and my next Everyday Life album starts around 2012, if I decide to do an everyday life layout from 2008, I will probably put it in my newer album that mostly starts at 2012 right now.

  • http://kissandtellscrapbooking.typepad.com/ Katie Scott

    So glad to see you doing the Phillipines album! I did some semesters abroad when I was in college and I made old school scrapbooks while I was there (in magnetic albums with newspaper clippings) a few years ago I ripped them apart and made new albums (feeling a bit sad about the old albums getting undone – but I did save a few of the magnetic pages with lots of collage – and the new albums look much better).
    I feel like some of these old stories sometimes get overlooked but they are so important and it feels so good to get those older parts of our lives told – because otherwise those stories might just go away – and I’m sure I’ll want to revisit the college stories when my kids get to be that age. They are already asking me all about middle school / junior high.