I apologise to anyone who follows me on Pinterest because I have been going absolutely mad pinning loads of digital scrapbooking materials and resources over the past couple of days.

I’m  embarking on the huge task of making a permanent home for my family photographs by collating all of the images on my computer into photobooks. At the very least, I want to make yearly albums for Arlo. Actually, I really want to create the ultimate baby memory book.

I plan to go back and photograph special items like the hospital ankle bracelets and first clothes he wore, to sit alongside the photos from those early days. I’ll also type up the letters I have written to Arlo and add those in alongside photos from that particular month.

I’m going to use 12×12 layout because I like the symmetry of a square page, and because you can fit more photos than on your average landscape layout. Most of the scrapbooking papers seem to be for 12×12 too.

Online printing companies like Blurb and Photobox have some excellent tools and layout options for creating photobooks, and I’ll be using an online service like this to print the final product, but I quite like the idea of having the complete creative freedom of designing my own pages. Clearly, I want to bite off more than I can chew and give myself a headache.

I’ve found some great paper and element kits, but I don’t want to go overboard with illustration or end up with a mass of different patterns just for the sake of it. Along with the rest of the bloody world, I m in awe of Kelle’s photobooks (and they just keep on getting better every year), and I’m also loving the templates that Rebecca has created and shared with her readers. I will probably aim for a mixture of simplistic, clean styles, try a few things out until I find my ideal layout style.

A project like this is so mammoth that it’s difficult to know how to begin, or how to structure the pages. I plan to go by a checklist of things I definitely want to include and pages for certain groups of images. The books are documenting a year in the life of Arlo, so seasonal pages need to be featured, as do any developmental details and milestones. Once I have a basic storyboard framework, any other photos that I want to include but don’t really fit into a specific photoset can slot in in chronological order between the group pages.

I think I might start with the second year, as the gameplan above is basically the same as Arlo’s first year video that we premiered at his birthday party, and I wouldn’t mind working on ‘new’ material and give the first year stuff a bit of breathing space for a while.

This is completely new territory for me. Despite being surrounded by colleagues using Photoshop all day long for all sorts of crazy things when I worked as production manager at a company who specialise in digital image manipulation, I’ve never worked with layers before, only using photoshop for basic retouching and colour correction. Before this Sunday, I had no idea about how to use clipping masks and layered templates.

Not really a fan of the cheesy words, and the style is a bit crowded for me, but I wanted to practise using templates and this was the first thing I ‘made’. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but it took around two hours for me to figure out and all I did was add in my photos and change a few colours. I blame Arlo.

Template is from aliedwards.com

This was my second layout attempt at working with templates and after getting the hang of things with my initial two hor attempt, this took about ten minutes. I like that there’s no detail to detract from the images.

Template is from Simple as That

The bathtime layout at the beginning of the post is one I created from scratch. I hope after a bit of practise I will be able to make my layouts exactly the way I want them to look.

This is going to take me forever, but it will be so worth it.

Anyone doing or done a similar thing? Tips and tricks? Any other superstar digital scrapbookers or great resources that I should know about?


  1. This is going to be so lovely, the pages you have shown are already great! Good luck with it all. I keep meaning to piece together my son’s scrapbook/baby book, I have all the info and the photos-just never get around to doing it!

  2. Lovely collages and I envy your organisational skills. I really want to arrange our digital photos in a better way so I can look at them more often but, like you, am not sure where to start. Great post, your final results are going to be such treasures.

  3. Pingback: 12-03-12 Love Photography Weekly Showcase | Love All Blogs

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