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How to Include Personal Memorabilia in a Digital Scrapbook Or Photo Book

How to Include Personal Memorabilia in a Digital Scrapbook Or Photo Book

My first scrapbook album was an epic undertaking for me. My then fiancé (now husband) and I had spent six weeks travelling in England and Europe. I had dreamt of this trip for as long as I could remember. So I kept everything: Every receipt, every scrap of paper, one of every coin. I kept a journal almost every day.

When I came home, I organised all of my collected tickets and other mementos and learnt how to scrapbook. I placed tickets from the Eiffel Tower alongside my photos and added my journaling. It was quite easy in a paper album to pull it all together. It took an incredibly long time, but the challenges were mostly of design and techniques- the issue of ‘how’ to put everything in was not there. I simply glued it in.

And so now flash forward seven years. I have returned home from my second trip to England and Europe. I again collected as much as I could and photographed everything. The photo collection is more immense because this time not only did I have a digital camera, I had my daughter with me! I was not only documenting my travels, but her first trip abroad. But there is one major difference in putting my album together- I am now a digital scrapbooker. On a whole, I have found this to be more convenient for my life now. And while I was travelling, I was even able to scrapbook a few pages and journal my feelings as I went. But now I am faced with the challenge of what do I do with all of my precious scraps of paper? All of my little bits and pieces?

One approach is to use little memorabilia pockets, which are clear archival safe envelopes that attach to pages. These work very well on printed pages that are inserted into a clear-slip scrapbook album. As you are scrapping your page, create a shape using the custom shape tool the same size as the pocket you wish to use. You can use this as a guide for adding mats or embellishments behind the pocket. This will also ensure that the pocket will not cover anything important once you attach it to a page.

Another option is to scan your tickets and other pieces, and then extract them. You can in this way add them to your page as you would any other embellishment. If you do this, it is a good idea to mention that your original tickets have been added to the page, otherwise, they may be overlooked and your hard work will go unnoticed! This option is especially useful if you do not have a great camera, as scanning allows you to get quite a lot of detail on tickets, coins, and any other small and fairly flat pieces of memorabilia you may have brought home.

The obvious option is to photograph them. This is a good choice if you have a good camera for taking close up shots. Many little point and click cameras have a macro feature these days, so if yours does not, ask any friends and they may be able to help you. It is a good idea to use a tripod as well, to keep your camera still and avoid any blur that will reduce the detail. Then, you can either extract the pieces and use them as elements on your page, or keep them as photographs. Another way of personalising your album even further is to turn your photo of your precious tickets into background papers. Your photo needs to be of a high enough quality to be enlarged. Simply place your photo over your paper, adjust the opacity, and you have it- personalised paper! If you are feeling creative, you can experiment with borders, adding textures and other overlays.

One of the obvious drawbacks of including your memorabilia as photos or scans is that the original will not be in your album. So you must decide what you are going to do with it. If it is photographed and documents, some people will feel okay about throwing it away. Personally, I like to keep it all anyway. One option is to buy a box big enough to put your album and trinkets in all together, or you can keep them separate. It really is all a matter of personal preference.


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