Tag Archives: scrapbook albums

Finish a Scrapbook Album in Less Than 30 Days


Do you have an album close to completion?

This month at Paperclipping we’re finishing up a scrapbook that’s almost done (and hiding those unsightly back sides that so many of us have in our books!).

Play along with us! We’re starting now…

Choose the Scrapbook You’re Completing

I’m going to finish an album I titled, Everyday Life. Because I work on lots of albums at once (of different subjects or stories), I’ve been adding to this album for many years now and I’m ready to just finish it all and be done with it!

Look Through Your Scrapbook Album

  1. Note the empty, problematic, or missing stuff (it’s often the ugly stuff like back sides of pages).
  2. Find the underlying potential story.
  3. Identify what’s missing from the album and/or what should be moved.

The second step is optional (but awesome!). If your album is 100% chronological or 100% random — and you want to keep it that way — then step 2 may or may not apply. If it does not, skip step 2 and move onto step 3.

Let’s dig into these steps and I’ll share my own results with you…

Step 1. Note the Empty, Problematic, or Missing Stuff

  • If you scrap chronologically, maybe you left a page to be completed later.
  • If you vary your page sizes then you probably have backs to fill.
  • Is there missing journaling?


I have at least five page backs to fill. Also, my Everyday Life album contains a section of pages I made to document a week of our life and it pops out of nowhere with no explanation. It’s jarring and confusing. So I need to add some explanations. It also involves some unusual style pages that are difficult to turn.

Step 2. Find the Story
My albums start with a general subject. As I go through this process of finishing an album, I tend to find a subtle story underneath all the life snippets of my scrapbook pages. It’s really exciting! If you don’t see a story thread in yours right away, don’t brush off this step immediately. It might take time.

For example, at first I didn’t see anything more in this album than the fact that each pages reveals an aspect of our everyday life. That’s enough of a story. But now that it’s almost done and I’ve been looking more carefully at my pages to see what’s missing, I realized there is a recurring theme throughout this album, which covers a spam of years…

There are lots and lots of pages about big and small changes that we’ve made.

Staying Home for School

Not every layout in this album is about a big change, but I can take this concept and do something more with my new story theme before it’s totally done.

I love that because it unifies your experience as a viewer of my album, and gives more insight into who we are!

So take a good look at your album. Sit down with it and read your journaling. Is there a story you could develop further? If not, that’s okay. I’ll post more about this next week.

And that leads you to the next step…

Step 4. Identify What’s Missing and/or What Should Be Moved

When you look through your album make a note of anything you’ve left out:

  • journaling on some of the pages
  • relevant parts of the story that you realize your scrapbook isn’t showing
  • photos you want to include in that album
  • ephemera that should be a part of the album

I usually find at least one or two pages that will be better at telling a different story in a different album.

Now we’re ready for the next step…

Make a Plan: the remaining scrapbook pages to complete.

You should now have a list of the empty backs of pages you need to fill. You should also have a list of what’s missing in your album. Now match them up.

For example, one story I found missing from my scrapbook is how we reclaimed our home by turning our garage into a studio so we can shoot our videos and the Roundtable in there, instead of in our living room and bedroom. The number of pictures I wanted to use for that works well with one of my empty pocketed page protectors.

I completed that page yesterday…

Reclaiming Our Home

playalong 3

Make a Scrapbook Layout and Share It!

Ready to get going? After doing any steps above that make sense for your album, choose which layout you want to start with and make a page!

If you post your layouts somewhere online, please link us up to it by leaving a comment!

Paperclipping Members: If you want additional ideas and inspiration, you can watch episodes 175 and 176, where I shared this entire process (and more!) for a scrapbook about the personality of my family.

For next week’s member video tutorial I’m going to take you on a tour through my Everyday Life album so you can see more of the problems, more of the “uglies,” and see my solutions for it. You’ll see this album — which currently looks like a jumbled and confusing mess — come together as a more cohesive story that flows.

Not a member? Click here for info so you get a fuller experience as you play along this month!

To move forward in the Play Along: Finish An Album, click here: Complete an Everyday Life Scrapbook.

My Current Active Scrapbook Albums


These are the albums I’m most actively adding layouts to all the time right now.

I scrapbook whatever I feel like at the moment, and then I slip the page into the album I want it to go into.

Here are topics of the active albums (shown above):

  1. Everyday Life #2 – The kinds of stuff we do from day to day.
  2. This is Us – I’m just about finished with the final details of this album and I’m excited to start the 2nd This is Us! These highlight the personality of our family relationships.
  3. This is Trinity – This highlights Trinity’s personality. I finished a This is Aiden album a while back and I haven’t been as active doing layouts on him recently. His and Blake’s This Is albums are in the living room cabinet.
  4. Celebrations – Right now this holds a big mix of things we celebrate, like holidays, birthdays, and accomplishments, including business accomplishments. I’ll eventually separate some of these into different albums.
  5. Everyday Life #1 – This one’s just about done. It’s time for me to go through it the same way I showed in this month’s episode! Fun, fun!
  6. Nancy Holt Hyman – This is a heritage Album of Izzy’s deceased mom. I’m not really working on this much right now so I need to move it out and replace it with something else that is more active.
  7. Dancer – Trinity’s dance album. This one in particular tells the story of her transition from a once-per-week ballet dancer to a 20+ hour/week company dancer.
  8. Yesterday & Today – I started this album with Ali Edwards’ class. It has stories from my childhood, and stories that compare my childhood to my current family life.

Active — Just LESS Active


One of these is actually complete. The rest are all in-progress. Since I add to these slightly less often than the others, they’re out in the living room cabinet.

  1. At Home – This is all about our home, including our yard and neighborhood.
  2. Extended Family – Pages with Grandma’s and Grandpa’s, extended families. As this gets fuller I’ll separate grandparents into their own album. For now I also have pages about our friends in here because I needed to buy another album.
  3. Izzy and Noell – Pages about Izzy and me together and our personality as a couple.
  4. This is Aiden #2 – Right now there are only 4 pages in this.
  5. This is Noell – It’s all me!
  6. This is Aiden #1 – This album is finished, except that I want to add an explanation inside the cover.
  7. This is Blake – Another personality album, this time about Blake.

I love having these different topics I can add to. I love the focus of topic when I look through the scrapbooks, and stories that develop within them, too!

Another benefit of having themes is that it’s easy to tell what parts of the story I’m missing.

* * Remember * * With the method that I shared in video episodes 175-176, you don’t have to plan these out ahead of time. It’s about being spontaneous with the scrapbook layouts you feel like doing, and then pulling it together with a few easy steps at the end!

More Info on Scrapbook Albums

If you’re just landing here and haven’t seen my other posts on scrapbook albums, including an article and videos on the awesomeness of transforming your albums into complete unified, complete stories, please click here.

The video series is only available to our Paperclipping Members. If you’re not a member, you may not realize it’s like taking dozens and dozens of classes for the price of just one!

You’ll get 176 video tutorials when you sign up, plus two more every month. Click here for more info.

Transform Your Albums Into Unified Stories – Part 2 – Paperclipping 176

This is Us

I don’t remember when it happened — maybe it was when scrapbooking companies started making transparencies and die-cut shaped pages — but at some point in my scrapbooking evolution I realized that when my albums were full, I still didn’t feel like they were ready for viewing.

What do you do with the backs of all those odd pages?

Not only that, but sometimes there would be abrupt topic changes that just felt weird and out of place.

Two or three pages of vacation layouts after a nice run of pages about us all at home.

Or a big slew of pages about Aiden with just one of Blake.

Ummm, awkward…

And what about that memorabilia you find just two weeks after you did the scrapbook page, having forgotten about the cool stuff you originally wanted to go with the layout?

Album Solutions

All these things bothered me and over the years I’ve been playing around with solutions to make each album feel like it’s own cohesive story and to fix all those awkward dilemmas.

There were a few ideas I tried and tossed out.

I’m not sharing those. ;)

But the good stuff — the stuff that really works for me — is in this week’s video tutorial for Paperclipping Members, along with last week’s.

Here’s one of the layouts in the episode. That layout at the top of this post is, too —

1+1 Isn’t Always Easy
1+1 Isn't Always Easy
I still need to add the journaling onto the left side.

If you feel like you’re having to make explanations for people about awkward stuff they see in your albums, you’ll get a lot of this tutorial.

And when you sign up for your membership, you’ll not only get this episode, but 175 others, too! You’ll also get two more new videos every month!

Click here for Paperclipping Membership Information.

Storage Solution: In-Progress Scrapbook Albums

Albums in Progress 5198
The albums I’m most actively working on wait for their pages on this shelf in my scrap room.

It’s an old ugly TV stand and the perfect depth for 12×12 albums!

Completed albums move to the living room cabinet where dust is less likely to slip into the page protectors. Unfortunately, they’re also less likely to get viewing time in there, so I do bring one out and set it on top of a waist-high cabinet once in a while.

Living Room 5200

Our babysitter says she looks through the, so at least I know somebody’s looking!

I do have a few in-progress albums in that cabinet, as well, since my scrap room shelf isn’t big enough. But they’re the ones I add to the least often.

In the next couple days I’ll share the albums I’m most actively working on.

Where do you keep the scrapbooks you’re regularly adding pages to?

Note: This is part of a new series on scrapbook albums. Here’s what else we’ve got so far —
Transform Your Albums Into Unified Stories

Choosing an Album for a Dance Scrapbook

There are five video tutorials in this series, the fifth one will release by tomorrow!

You’ll need to have a current Paperclipping Membership to view the videos (but not the articles). Click here to learn more.

Members can return to these episodes in the membership for the five videos:

#175 – Transform Your Albums Into Unified Stories – Part 1
#176 – Transform Your Albums Into Unified Stories – Part 2
#29 – Inside the Album
#18 – Solving Your Two-Page Layout Problem
#13 – See-through Layouts

Transform Your Albums Into Unified Stories – Part 1 – Paperclipping 175

Our Own Cheerleaders

I’m all for scrapbooking however and whatever makes you happy.

That includes how we organize our scrapbook pages into albums. So I understand this comment on a recent Paperclipping blog post:

At one point I tried to put my layouts into albums chronologically. Now it’s a free for all. When I fill up one album, I just buy another and put the layouts in. I just don’t want to spend the time putting things in categories. I’m just not sure anyone is really going to care in the long run.

Whatever keeps you scrapbooking is priority number one for me, so if all you’re interested in doing is slipping the next page you made into the next empty page protector, I say go for it.

But before you say, “No one is going to care” or “It doesn’t make a difference,” just ask yourself whether that’s really true.

What if you could tell a larger story by the way you organize your pages into albums?

Scrapbook Albums: How You Can Tell Bigger Story

My albums have topics, which make them like memoirs!

There’s a topic connection between all of the layouts so that when an album is full there is a complete story. You see how the home has changed over time, and how it fits the personality of the family in an album about home. You see how a child’s personality develops over time — how parts of it seem to change in some ways while other parts remain unchanged and immovable — in an album about that child’s personality.

A mix of topics such as vacation, sports, personalities, weekend activities, everyday moments, and holidays crowd out the bigger story that is hiding for each of those topics.

In an album about things we love to do as a family you see over a number of years how our activities have changed with our maturing ages. Or I might be reminded of something we once loved but have forgotten.

You don’t get these broader revealing stories when you put all the pages into strict chronological albums that mix topics. And not when you place layouts in the order of your scrapbooking either.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that! ;)

There is just more story you can be telling! And discovering!

Turning Your Scrapbook Albums Into Visual Memoirs

As an album gets close to its full point, I spend some time with it to flesh it out and turn it into a viewable finished story. In the process I deal with all the tricky pages — the backs of the odd-shaped pages, for example.

Snuggle Bug

In this week’s episode of Paperclipping we go inside one of my albums to see…

  • the story that has developed naturally by having a purpose (such as the personality of the album).
  • what’s missing from my story
  • the problems in the album, like die cut shaped and transparent pages

I then share some solutions for dealing with those tricky pages where we don’t want the stuff to show through.

If you’re a member, you’ll find this video in the Member’s Area.

Think you want to jump on board to get your membership and watch the tutorial? You’ll get the video immediately, along with access to all 175 videos in the membership!

Click here for membership information or to sign up!