Turn Your Themed Album Into a Story – Paperclipping 244

paperclipping 244

Years ago I began wondering how engaging a scrapbook would be if the combined layouts told one big overall story — with a plot and a resolution.

I’ve played around with that idea in different ways. Not all scrapbooks can easily translate into a sweeping story, but many of our themed albums can be. My best story album is almost complete and I love the story that it tells. I think you will, too!

I share it in a video and show how you can turn your own album, especially a themed album, into a story. It’s okay if you’ve already been working on your album. I was more than half done with mine when I changed to the story approach with this album.

You must be a member to watch the video. Members can find it on iTunes and in the Member’s Area.

Click here for info about a membership.


Shine On,

  • djbookkeeper

    Took your advice, Noell, and started watching my membership videos with the newest video. Very well done! And, what a great idea! My daughter was a collegiate golfer and I have tons of photos of her playing. But I got bored with the same old green grass, same orange and blue team colors. Your idea of turning the layouts into a story would fit perfectly. There was definitely a build-up – what we went through to achieve that full-ride, the conflict her first few years on the team and then the success. It would make a great story. Thanks! I think. Now, you’ve given me another nice, big project to ponder and tackle. But is that going to happen every time I watch one of your videos?! That’s a little frightening. Maybe I’ll wait a bit before I watch the next video. ;)

    Your daughter is lovely and that’s a great ballerina pose!

  • Love it! Love it! Love it!

  • Thank you for breaking down the parts of story. That was so helpful. I have honestly never thought about approaching themed albums in this way. I think your approach adds a depth and richness to the process and also becomes a reflective tool for life, adding meaning and value to one’s experiences.

  • deanna_munger

    I’m glad you are doing a giveaway, and it reminded me to watch my member videos, which are always awesome! Thanks!

  • It doesn’t have to be a big project, though. I definitely do not think of mine that way. I treat it like a regular album — when I feel like doing a specific dance page without any sort of story or album planning, I just do it. Then I stick it in the album where it seems to fit best. Later on, if I decide it works better with the story in a different spot, then I move it. Only once in a long while do I look at the album as a whole to see what’s missing from the story. I do NOT plan the albums ahead of time.

  • BTW, welcome to the Paperclipping Membership! Thanks for joining us! :)

  • Laura Kaplan

    I really liked this idea of making the whole album into a story. I’ll have to revisit my theme albums and make sure they flow that way. I see a few pages (at least) being added!

  • embur214

    Another great video, more great inspiration. It’s amazing how a slight shift in thought and/or viewpoint can give you a new focus when creating. This video gives me much food for thought.

  • Jan Johnson

    I’m not much of a storyteller-being definitely left-brained, but I loved the idea of telling a story with an album. That may be the solution to doing an album about myself. I can tell my children my story of growing up in the 50s and 60s, of living through the Watts riots, the Manson killings, and the Robert Kennedy assassination. It will make a much more complete story of my life (even if my memory has changed over the years: )

  • Ha ha!! The memories don’t have to be accurate, do they?!

  • Jan Johnson

    My left brain says “Yes” but the memories will be what they will be. Either way, that part of my life was a scary time. There are a lot more fun ones, even a few “Standin’ on the corner in Winslow, Arizona.”

  • djbookkeeper

    Thanks! That’s very helpful! Makes it a lot less intimidating.

  • tcarlson762

    Very interesting episode. I’m going to give some thought to whether or not I have a album that I could use in this way! Thanks for the great ideas as always Noell!

  • Kathy Thisted

    ok Noell, where can we get a FRED since only one can win the one you are getting?

  • Karen S

    I love storytelling so this concept sounds great to work with. (Especially with a new FRED…I’ve been waiting for them to come back into production!!)

  • Iliana Myska

    Thanks for the great video.

  • Janet Trapp

    Sweet album! I love your work!
    ~God bless~

  • Gina

    Oh gosh Noell, you have changed the way I think about scrapbooking – since listening to the Paperclipping Roundtable, I have totally changed the way I look at my older photos and how I take photos too. When a friend introduced me to scrapbooking years ago, I did what she did – scrapbook events – birthdays, Christmas, apple picking, etc. Now I so want to capture stories with the events and leave those stories for everyone reading the scrapbooks. Much of this has been from listening to episodes of paperclipping and watching the videos. Now, with this, it is all those baseball photos of my son. I have so many photos of my son playing baseball and really haven’t scrapbooked many of them but really would love to. He has recently decided that he is determined to “get somewhere with his baseball playing” and instead of just a scrapbook of photos of him playing baseball, this is a great way to show his journey, whether it ends in high school, college or beyond. Thank you!!

  • craftylady62249 .

    I learn something new from each video. I want to try the themed album ideas for an album about my grandkids.

  • candyclay

    No schmo for me–been member for awhile. Have enjoyed watching you grow in this as the videos and content just get better and better. Sad about Two Peas so even more important for people like you and Izzy to keep this wonderful hobby alive and well. Thank you.

  • vintageplaid

    Loved this video…it was so timely. I recently made a small album as a wedding gift for my nephew and his wife, and really enjoyed planning the whole thing ahead of time, choosing the pictures and trying to get some sort of story flow. However, the points brought out in the video will help me tremendously for the next time. I kept nodding my head, and saying,”that makes sense” and “that would have really helped the story along.” Also, I love the magical way you take tiny scraps and weave them together in a layout. That is encouraging for using up those bits that I hate to throw away!

    How exciting that Fred is back!!! I would love to win one. After I watched the video where you were talking about your Fred, I asked my husband to try to make something like it for me. He tried…but not too sure how well he succeeded. It does help so much to change the angle of the neck, though, so am looking forward to checking this out.

  • vintageplaid

    P.S. It’s nice to know this technique works well with albums that are not planned out ahead of time. I rarely plan ahead, so can use the technique either way! The one album I just planned and completed was a totally new experience for me.

  • I agree with djbookkeeper, there are some topics that does get a little old when you’re scrapping them over and over again. Turning them into a story album really does change the way I go about it.

  • tamiellasmith

    So glad to hear FREDS are available again!

  • Laurie Kearnes

    Noell, I really, really like this story telling approach to an album. I have been re-thinking my albums lately, and am not as keen on the Stacy Julian albums anymore – you know, the Places We Go, Things We do, etc. My main objection to that approach is that how is the heck do my kids decide who gets what album when I am dead and gone. Seems like it would be a mess – cause each kid would want their own pictures, mostly, as well as some of the rest of the family, of course. So this solves that problem perfectly. I’ll be thinking about this approach over the next few days. Thank you so much for your videos, and for PaperClipping Roundtable. I love it and couldn’t do without it. And thanks for the chance to win this FRED!

  • Nicole Hoffman

    I’m so glad you sent the email and had the giveaway to prompt me to watch the videos. I spend less time on my desktop, but that was where I had the password stored. This got me to actually figure it out so I can watch from my phone or iPad more often. I’m hoping these videos help me when I help my friend put together her wedding album. I’ve already prepped her to think about what stories she wants to tell with her pictures – wish us luck, we have to narrow down from 1000+ photos!

  • mjgreer

    I have never thought of a themed album this way. You seem to always open my eyes to new way of looking at my scrapbooking. I don’t comment very often but wanted to thank you for sharing your talent with us in way that teaches us.

  • Karen Hanim

    I love the idea of pulling together pages that we have done before to start or add to a story album. This was so very helpful!! I have had an idea on a back burner for a while not quite sure how to go about it. This is the solution. Thanks so much Noell!

  • Cyndi

    A very thoughtful way to illustrate Trinity’s journey. A path unknown in the beginning yet you found a wonderful way to bring it all together. She is extremely graceful in that last photograph. You must all be very proud. Best wishes to continuing success and fun! And many more memories and layouts!

  • Cropelf

    Thanks for the terrific advice. And the giveaway is just another reason I value my Paperclipping membership! Thanks from a non-schmoe.

  • Cat vonHassel Davies

    This is really great Noell!! I also love the Pinterest board.

  • Lois John

    Another awesome member video!! TFS and for the chance to win FRED.

  • Jennifer G.

    Catching up on the last three membership videos and I have to say, I think these are the best ones yet. Thank you for your guidance and inspiration!

  • Teresa S

    Loved how your layouts evolved into a story. I think those ‘accidental’ discoveries work out better than ones planned. Thanks for another great video.

  • I agree, Teresa. Planning it all out ahead of time is so unnecessary and sometimes can even blind us to other possibilities!

  • Katherine Kelley

    Thanks for sharing this video on the dance story. Great ideas on presenting life as it is – a big multi-volume book with lots of stories and adventures in its chapters. Lots of takeaways to apply to whatever photo storykeeping method we use. I had accidentally let my membership slip (yikes!) but the story topic spurred me to action. I am creating an album of my son’s story and this approach will be perfect for showcasing some dilemmas and fixes we worked through as a family. Thanks again, Noell, Trinity, & Izzy.

  • So great to hear from you, Katherine. BTW we’re moving out of the competitive mixed/styles dance world and into the classical ballet world. We don’t have a lot out here in Phx so all summer we’ve been exploring all the options and and I think we’ve found a good school. Trinity is auditioning tomorrow for placement and to see if she’s ready for their pre-professional program. It’s far so we’re nervous about how it will be with me hanging around there 6 hours each day to wait while she dances. Uggh. But we want to do what we need to do. I know you know what I’m talking about. :)

  • stampartiste

    I don’t usually watch the videos in any particular order, Noell, but your little “sweetening of the pot” definitely spurred me to watch this latest one ASAP. :)

    I really did enjoy hearing your process for a story-type album. When I took Shimelle’s Cover to Cover class, her idea of viewing our layouts as a continuing story of our lives made me rearrange them in chronological order so that I can see where I need to fill in the gaps. So this concept of seeing our albums as a continuation of our life’s story wasn’t new to me, but you carried it to such fantastic heights with your daughter’s album, Noell! I love how you took her story through the same process as writing a novel with exposition and conflict and resolution (I know, I’m missing a couple of steps there).

    After I watched this video, I wished I had thought of this concept before doing some of the layouts of a trip my husband and I took in 2010. We were traveling through Iowa and Nebraska in our camper, and the weather was so horrible for so many days in a row (high winds, hail, driving rain, and even nearby tornadoes), that we almost made the decision to cut the trip short and come back home. Only at the last minute before our exit back south, did we make the decision to go on. This story laid out over each day of that leg of the trip, with your idea of tension, climax and resolution would have been so awesome!

    I love, love, love this idea — thank you for sharing your process with us.

  • Katherine Kelley

    We left that comp world too for a bunch of reasons also. And like Trinity, my son decided to train in classical ballet. This summer he is at Walnut Hill which is a beautiful amazing school. I found a fellow scrapbooker whose child is also training in classical ballet so we can share stories. I will keep Trinity in my thoughts for her audition. My son hears me talk about your family ‘cuz it’s cool to share two of our family’s passions. Lots of stories!

  • Katherine Kelley

    Just curious – what are folks thoughts on how to incorporate the story when doing a travel album? I have some ideas but would love the wealth that this group brings.

  • Gabrielle McCann

    This is such a cool way of making an album … thanks for so much food for thought Noell. And wishing Trinity the best of luck with her audition too!

  • LisaDV

    Could you link us to the site to get a new Fred. Thanks

  • Maribeth

    Loving the paperclipping membership, glad I finally go off the fence. I love that your videos really do apply across the board to everyone’s specific style. I am not quite there yet on an album that tells a linear storyline, but I do scrap in themes. Thanks Noell for all you do.

  • Nixmom96

    An album like this will be cherished by your daughter no matter her long term dancing path. I agree, the struggles are an important part of our lives. We learn and grow so much.

  • Melissa LaFavers

    An album as a complete story is such a thought-provoking idea, and I’m going to try to incorporate some of your ideas into my own scrapbooking, particularly my wedding album, which has barely begun, though it was the main reason I started scrapbooking in the first place. Thank you for the innovative inspiration, Noell. :)

  • Jennifer G.

    Just realized we have not see an “outtake” for a while.