Baby Memory Books

So, you have a new baby. If this is the first, you will have a TON of photos. Yet, in this day and age, most of those photos will be on your phone or the card in your camera. It is so easy to snap photos documenting each monthly birthday, their first step and much too quickly, they are driving.

Please note, if you are like most parents, that second and third child don’t have as many photos. My daughter, who is the second child, used to give me a hard time about that. She is now grown with children of her own. The first had a LOT of photos, however, there was a decline with the second and I hardly see any of the third. We get busy as mothers and sometimes barely keep our head above water. To compound the problem, many mothers are also working outside the home.

Babies grow so fast and one day you turn around and they are living on their own. Don’t let the memories fade. Print at least some of those photos and put them in a book for each child along with your thoughts or interesting information surrounding the photo. Add important papers or art work that they have done.

Baby albums

Baby Albums

I was one of those mothers that worked outside the home. However, I managed to keep a baby book for each child.

Inside Baby Album

Inside Baby Album

I also purchased a small book from Current with pockets for each school year starting with preschool. I am not saying that I did a perfect job but I do have pieces of hair from their first hair cut, their report cards and other papers.

Even if you don’t have time to put a book together, allocate a box for each child and gather moments of their childhood.



For each one of them on their “big 4-0”, I made a big book starting from the time I was 9 months pregnant. I picked something from each year of their life then added journaling and commentary. They loved it!! Everything was in one place. They didn’t have to search my computer or phone for photos.

I was able to tell them stories about what was happening or how I was feeling when the photo was taken. They show your perspective as a mom (or dad). It’s something that they can share with their own children. It’s fun to see the look on a little ones face when they realize their mom or dad were once little.

Even little children like to look back at their own baby photos. They realize how much they have grown. Of course there are many things that they do not remember doing so it is fun to watch them look at the photos in disbelief that it’s really them. They even like to look at their sibling’s photos and compare.

Make sure your handwriting is in the book as well. As your child ages and has children of their own, just seeing your handwriting can bring comfort. Some days, as a parent, are really trying and looking back at younger years can bring back good memories and be uplifting.

So, now I hear you………….I do not have time for all that. Then let me ask you this…how much time do you spend on social media? How much time do you spend in front of the TV? We are BORN multitaskers. While you are watching your favorite shows, create a page or two. It is much easier to do it little by little than to try to catch up when they are 40. Even though I tried to capture everything and had the photos, I know some of the stories were lost.

Do not let this happen to you. To make it easier, there is now such a thing as pocket scrapbooking. This is where you have a 3 ring binder and pages with pockets in which you can put photos, cards, journaling or small memorabilia. Here is a sample of what I mean.

Close To My Heart
Pocket Pages

To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of these although many like them. It is too structured for me BUT if it is these or lose all the baby memories, well, 3 ring it is! Let me clarify here, when I say “baby”, my youngest is in his 40s and almost 6 feet tall but he is my “baby”. Shhh, don’t tell him.

I hope I’ve helped give you some thoughts and perhaps convicted you a little to start a book or two.

If I can help, please let me know.  Please comment with your thoughts.  I would love to hear from you.


Founder Scrapbooking for Anyone



Ready for Some Albums?

You’ve purchased the paper, you’ll create the pages and now you need a way to store and present your pages. You insert your completed pages into page protectors. Page protectors are plastic sheets that keep dirty hands off your photos and embellishments. You then assemble these page protectors into an album. Albums keep your pages dust free and protected from light.

Albums come in a whole range of styles, sizes, colors, textures, themes and types of fastener. So much to choose from that it can be difficult to decide which is right for you. There IS no right or wrong. I’ve done all size albums, all colors all themes.

Scrapbook Albums

Let’s start with the album itself. Things to think about before you decide:

Is this a gift? If yes, what kind of gift – for a baby, birthday, retirement?
Did you just return from Disney and want all your photos stored together?

I ask these questions because you’ll want to think about how many photos you have to work with and how much you want to spend. Of course bigger albums can cost more.

When I do a gift, I usually do a smaller album like an 8×8 or even a 6×6 for baby gifts. However, when I’m doing personal albums, I usually do 12x12s. I do my albums by year so in any given year, I’ll have tons of photos and I can get more on a 12×12 page so I can generally keep it to 1 year per album.

Additional thoughts by size:


holds numerous photos

a lot of room to journal and decorate page

many 12×12 papers to choose from

large range of styles from leather to fabric from themed to plain

8 ½x11

still many papers to choose from

can handle standard computer paper


will be faster to put together because you’ll have less journaling

faster to assemble due to less embellishment space

makes a nice gift album


economical to make

12×12 paper can be cut to create 4 pages

mix and match just a few designs to make many pages

makes a nice gift

use for a single important theme (birthday, anniversary, etc)

Once you pick out an album, you’ll want to notice what kind of fasteners it has. There is:

Ring binder: these are nice because if you want to add another page, you simply flip to where you want to insert the new page, unfasten, slip the new page in and refasten. Simple and quick.


Post bound: Most of my albums are post bound because I like the look of them. They just seem to have a more finished appearance. Just my personal preference. However, they are a pain if you want to insert a new page. You must unscrew the post from one side while holding the screw still on the other side, pull out ALL the pages, insert your new page, then slowly put all the pages back in and rescrew the posts back together. The posts do come in different sizes that allow you to make your book as big as you’d like. Use your judgment on this though. You don’t want to make it too big or it will be too floppy.


Most albums are post bound but you can get 12x12s and 8x11s that are a ring binder type.  Again, there will never be a right or wrong. This is your creation and you can do whatever you want.

I hope this helps with your album selection.  Please feel free to contact me for additional help.  There are so many variables when you’re deciding and not a one size fits all.


Thank you for reading

Please leave Comment/Questions

Debbi Armstrong



Just Paper

Let’s talk paper.  When I say paper, you may think of printer paper, notebook paper, lined paper, colored paper, crepe paper, wax paper, wall paper, etc. Just the list of papers used in day to day tasks goes on and on. So, now I’m really going to blow your mind when it comes to scrapbooking paper.  There is: cardstock, regular weight paper and vellum. Easy and not even confusing.

Paper has become more important to me over time because I no longer do scrapbooking pages that are elegant and artistic, if you will. I may pick an image here or there to single out and truly express my artistic side but it’s rare. Like many of you, I have TONS of photos that I try to get into albums and a limited amount of time. Therefore, the important part to me is the journaling and storytelling. I want people to pick up my album many years from now and know who the people are in the photos and what that event or person meant to me.

Let’s start with cardstock

Cardstock is a tad heavier weight than your ordinary paper. There is textured and smooth cardstock. You can find it in just about any color. It can be used:

for tags to journal on
to create embellishments (i.e. flowers, stars, etc. – think grade school)
frame photos on your page (my usual use for it)

regular weight paper

This is generally used as the background of your page and probably the most important piece of paper. Today there is any number of patterns and themes to choose from that will coordinate with the photos you’ve taken. Many of the manufacturers create collections of papers that coordinate with each other. These are frequently contained in stacks of paper in all different sizes (12×12, 8×8, 8×11 or 6×6). Remember to choose a theme or look for colors in your photos that you would like to build on or draw attention to.

Scrapbook Paper1 Scrapbook Paper


As you can see, you have a HUGE selection to choose from.


Vellum is translucent. It comes in different colors as well. You will also see embossed vellum or vellum with glitter. Its main purpose is to soften up your patterned or colored paper. The only thing to be careful with when you use vellum is how you attach it to your page. Tape on the back will show through. There is a spray adhesive made just for vellum but it can be expensive. I try to use a very very light swipe of my glue stick OR attach it with brads or any other embellishment.  DSCN2931

As pictured, the top is paper without vellum and the bottom is with.  You can see how the vellum subdues the pattern.



I hope this helps you when you go into the store (or online) to pick out paper. It’s not as hard as it may seem but newbies to scrapbooking can get overwhelmed.  If I can help, please let me know.


By Debra Armstrong

Thanks for reading.

Comments?  Need help?




Memory Connections

I just read an interesting article that I wanted to share with you.

You might think that taking a photo of a thing or activity will preserve that moment in your mind forever. However, there was a study done that proved that this was not so. The study showed that when we take photos, we normally do it mindlessly because we think we’ve captured whatever and don’t use our brain to really process what we are seeing.  The image fails to get stored in our memory.

So, on a scrapbooking site, am I telling you not to bother taking photos? Heavens NO!!!! Please do take photos and take many. Yet don’t merely take the photo, share them and talk about them with others. The process of looking at the photos and talking about them helps your brain make connections and you will be able to preserve the memory more easily.

This means by making scrapbooks you will once again look at these photos and while the event or thing is fresh in your mind, journal what you see, how you feel. Use all your senses! It will serve you well when you get older and read the journaling you’ve included along with your photo. You can relive that moment or the day that you were looking at that special flower, or whatever it may be.  How about that butterfly?butterfly4

May all your memories be special and remembered for generations to come.


By:  Debra Armstrong

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Themes and Layouts

Scrapbooking is a creative outlet. That doesn’t mean that you have to be an artist. It just means letting your imagination go. It has evolved over the years. The lines between crafts are becoming blurred. You will see sewing, painting, needlework, clay and any other creative skill you have now being used in a layout.

It’s difficult to know where to begin. So, before you walk into a craft store to gather supplies for your scrapbook, think about what kind of book you’re going to create. Will this be a gift or for you and your family?

Let’s take this step by step and start with themes. Here’s a list just to get your creative juices flowing:

– Baby                                  Holiday (VDay, Halloween,Christmas etc)
– Birthday                             Friendships
– Grade/High School            Family
– Wedding                            Graduation
– Vacation                             Fishing trip
– 1st trip to dentist                 Prom
– Camping                             Engagement
– Beach                                 College
– Sports                                 Events at school
– New house                          New car
– Festivals                              Pageants
– Scouting                              Anniversaries (25th, 50th)
– Zoo                                      Retirement or Farewell

On the other hand, you may choose to organize your photos chronologically and create scrapbook by year which is how I normally do it. This means that every event that happens in any given year will be in one book.

As gifts:

You can create books for your children with photos taken throughout their childhood.

When my friends and I take trips, I sometimes make them each small books documenting our trip and all the crazy things that happened.

Working with the military, we often had farewells.  I’ve made books for the person transferring by taking photos of all the people in the office and office functions we attended.  I then left a couple pages blank and passed the book around the office for everyone to sign.  The people signing enjoyed it almost as much as the person getting it.

The possibilities are endless, but you might want to at least have a rough plan before you buy anything. The next topics I’ll be covering are your photos and papers. So, stay tuned.


By Debra Armstrong

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Overwhelmed and Confused?

Do you get overwhelmed and confused when you walk into the scrapbook section of your favorite craft store? One of my friends just confessed to me that she does. Now this woman can write proposals and cook with the best of them but gets discombobulated (one of my favorite words) when she walks into a scrapbook section. She has a new grandbaby and wants to make a book for her but can’t get past the rows of “stuff”.

To me, walking into a craft store is like sending a kid into a candy store. There’s so much good stuff, I don’t know what to look at first. However, let me look at it from my friend’s perspective. Let’s say, for example, you’ve just taken some Easter photos. You have them developed and want to make a page or two. You don’t have to go crazy. There are so many papers out there that cater to themes now. It wasn’t always like that. You have it easy.

The whole idea is to make a memory with these photos. You don’t have to make works of art. I was left with a box full of photos and I can’t even identify many of the people. I don’t want that to happen to my kids. So, forget ALL the aisles and concentrate on the paper only. Look at your photos. Is there a predominant color that you want to highlight? If not, just pick something that compliments your photos or pick one of the (in this case) Easter papers. Paper alone can make a BIG difference in your books.

When I went to China on a mission trip, I took TONS of photos. I can’t possibly make artistic designs for all of them so I’m just using paper and journaling along with some very simple embellishments. These photos haven’t been cropped or matted yet but I want to show you what a difference any kind of paper can make. The tag in the middle will be used to identify that this is the Great Wall. As a side note, I can’t even begin to comprehend how they built this. I got tired WALKING up it much less building it.   I digress, but just using paper, which is more appealing to you?  By the way, that ribbon is from an article of clothing.  I always cut those ribbons off that the stores use for hanging.

china w out paperchina w paper







My whole point is, take is slow, and you can build up to different techniques. Use paper for interest and maybe (in our sample) some cross or bunny stickers and journal. Who is in the photo? Where was it? Interesting emotions (Suzy was afraid of the Easter bunny) or background information. Well, you get the idea.

Remember how you eat an elephant? … bite at a time. Same with scrapbooking. One thing at a time. Now take a deep breath and head to your favorite scrapbook store and check out the paper.

By Debra Armstrong

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No time to scrapbook?

I had a question from a young mom asking how find time to scrapbook with 2 little ones. It was not a question she meant for me to answer, but I do understand and I’d like to address it. You most likely don’t have the time especially if you work outside the home as well. However, what you CAN do right now is take photos and keep the memorabilia (ie birth announcements, report cards, pix drawn in school, any pix from newspapers, etc). Keep these in a book or box.  Make sure you have some way to date them though. You think you’ll remember but sometimes the years become a blur (voice of experience). Then when they get older, you can make them a scrapbook and while you’re arranging the photos, journal about where the photo was taken, what you were feeling at the time, what the occasion was, etc. I did this for my daughter when she turned 30 starting with a photo of me just before I went to the hospital. She (and her friends) loved it!  Don’t think this is just for girls. I made one for my son when he turned 40. Of course, I had to tell him he was adopted because surely I wasn’t old enough to have a son that old! He just looked down and smirked.) He loved the book though and was surprised to see some of the things he had written in grade school.

For those of you that DO have the time, pre assemble scrapbooks as a baby gift for those new busy mothers.  I usually wait until the baby is born so I can personalize it; embellish the pages and leave room for the photos.

Hope this provides you with some ideas.

By Debra Armstrong

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