Archive | August 30, 2010

It’s Elementary: Scrapbooking School

I have been scrapbooking for over twenty years. In fact, my start was doing summer vacation books and school projects for myself as an elementary school student! My life has come full circle, and now I look at the important gift that lays ahead: documenting my own child’s school career. It is a process that I will want her involved in (if she is interested), and one I’m sure that will change and evolve as needed.

I recall years ago when scrapbooking school meant bright colored crayon stickers and yellow bus papers. Not anymore! I have seen so much lovely school-themed product that I’d use for any age – even for non-school pages – this 2010 fall season. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. This week I am happy to share with you some thoughts, ideas, picks, and new scrapbook layouts to celebrate the new school year.

First there are a few factors I want to consider before beginning any layouts:

  1. Should I make school a separate album or part of an annual/general “about me” album for the child? It depends! I am going to start out with a three-ring binder-style album dedicated to my daughter’s school career. I have chosen this format because I can add divided page protectors to it (to hold photos, memorabilia, art, class photo, etc) as well as change the order of things easily as needed.
  2. How often do I plan on scrapbooking school stuff? I think just a select few layouts each school year is what I will plan on.
  3. Do I want a coordinated looking album? Or do I want to mix & match?If I wanted a consistent look, I’d buy enough cardstock and patterned paper all at once to create my layouts for the full length of her school career. Personally I don’t know what I’ll feel like doing in the future, so I’m going to take a more mix & match approach.

Just like any crafting project, beginning a school book is a major project and decisions should be thought over before cropping that first photo. What if you’ve got someone special (yourself, your own, grandchildren, niece, etc) that you’d like to create a scrapbook for that is already in school or finished with school? The same questions should be asked, as well as asking yourself if you already have any layouts made (such as layouts from previous years) that you want to be sure to include.

A few of May’s product picks for getting started:
American Crafts 3-Ring Albums | Two Peas
American Crafts 4 x 6 Divided Page Protector | Two Peas
Jenni Bowlin journaling papers and memo books | Two Peas
Pebbles Chalk
Penmenship Journalers by Katie Pertiet  at
Sakura Micron journaling pen set
Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad in Faded Jeans | Two Peas
Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam in Big Apple | Two Peas

Tip: You can shop by theme at – check out their school section for lots of ideas!

Some traditional themed school product picks now available:
Reminisce “Making The Grade”
Crate Paper “School Spirit” | Two Peas
Creative Imaginations “It’s Elementary”
Die Cuts with a View “Grade School”
Bo Bunny “Learning Curve”

Another great choice that has a lot of sayings and is perfectly themed for school days is Memory Works new Simple Stories collection “Elementary. I would recommend getting just the paper pack for older students – or even for non-school layouts! The papers in this line are really fantastic. For younger and elementary age students, I think the kit, or any of the embellishment pieces available would be fantastic items to purchase. There are a lot of words and phrases on the embellishments and papers, though the papers are all double-sided so you are given a lot of options and you can choose to use whatever works best for your tastes. I like the traditional colors with added grungy cool look to everything. I received some to test out – and I’m very happy with the results.

other supplies used:
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in chipped sapphire | Two Peas
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in fired brick | Two Peas
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in brushed corduroy | Two Peas
Dear Lizzy crochet flowers | Two Peas dictionary paper flower
other: buttons, pen, adhesive

For the title I used the Memory Works alphabet stickers, then inked around them (fingers work best) and outlined the letters with a fine tip black Sakura journaling pen as well before using a craft knife to remove the letter stickers.

I love this technique – it’s one I’ve been doing for years and I still love it. Paint, chalk, and in some cases mists work too, but I find inks (especially Tim Holtz Distress inks) to work best, and that nothing beats fingertips for application here.

Above you can see how it looks when removing the letters – at that point I decided there wasn’t enough contrast and added the touch of black pen to outline and accent the edges.

I also created a quick card with this line to send in the school folder back to our new (and favorite!) teacher.

With a few touches of Stickles and a little bit of baker’s twine I was able to make this sweet card in just minutes. The front is a 4×6″ paper from the Memory Works collection, and I used a 5 x 6 (one edge torn and folded over to adhere) piece of another paper to create the back. It couldn’t have been quicker or easier, and now I have a special card to share.

I have more school ideas to talk about, products to recommend, and projects to share. I will be back with more school related articles all week – stay tuned!


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