DIY Mini Scrapbook Album – Vacay

Aruba mini album

I was inspired to try making my own mini scrapbook album from scratch after watching Heidi Swapp’s tutorial class on It’s a free class & she uses boxed cards to make the base of the album.

I had a few photos printed from my last vacation to Aruba and decided to use those for the album. They are press prints from Persnickety Prints that I had hanging on my Christmas tree last year. The press prints are so nice and sturdy, just love them. I also highly recommend the pearl finish when you have an image that you want to shimmer.

I had this Simple Stories Good Day Sunshine paper pad that I’ve been using for years now. I think it was a freebie from the Stamp & Scrapbook Expo, so it was a big stack with multiple pages of each design. I decided to try to kill it off with this album.

I chose a few papers and cut them down so that the album would be a 6×8 size. I adhered some pages together and used my sewing machine to sew pockets in a few pages (3). Heidi Swapp gives this idea/tip in her 2nd video in the class series. I like the idea of mixing the pages, some with pocket tags, some without.

I cut some chipboard to 6×8 and adhered it all together with Tombo permanent adhesive. For the cover I chose a paper that was 9 inches long so there would be overhang onto the back of the album to cover the spine. The journal card pages worked perfect for that.

Once the base of the album was complete, I loosely outlined where I wanted the photos then proceeded to complete & embellish each page. In total it probably took about 6-7 hours to complete the whole thing. Probably the quickest I’ve ever completed a project like this. Using the one paper pack as a base and sticking to a theme probably helped me focus more and get it done.

Aruba mini album

I used a lot of stash supplies, that “escape” sticker is from 7 Gypsies. Lots of Simple Stories embellishments from their mini “snap” packs and some other beach/paradise collection like “Here We Go”.

Aruba mini album

I love tags, and finally picked up a tag die-cut set at Stamp & Scrapbook Expo last year. It is from Hero Arts, the Infinity Tag set.

Aruba mini album

These papers worked out well because of the way they are color blocked for divided page protectors, it sort of blocks off different parts of the page layouts and also provides embellishment without having to add too much extra.

Aruba mini album

The “pure magic” is from Me & My Big Ideas, the other stickers and washi are Simple Stories Here We Go collection.

Aruba mini album

This fruity paper is from a 6×6 pad – American Crafts Dear Lizzy Happy Place. It was perfect for a visit to the smoothie bowl shack.

Aruba mini album

When I decided to start this album I had no printer ink, so couldn’t print additional photos that way. I did use my Lifeprint mini printer to print out mini photos of the food and snacks from the trip. The strip of paper under “good eats” is inked with Ranger Distress Inks. Again the pattern paper was already designed, so I didn’t have to add anything to it.

Aruba mini album

Aruba mini album

Sunglasses paper from 6×6 pad – American Crafts Dear Lizzy Happy Place. I also started by using the kraft photo corners, then just decided to continue that throughout the album for cohesiveness. The press prints are such a nice quality and I didn’t want to adhere them down.

Aruba mini album

This layout probably took the longest because I was trying to block off the left page to add some small stories. I have a Lifeprint hyperphoto that will take the place of the regular photo on the top part about these swans, fish and a swimming iguana. (Their servers were down at the time ūüė¶ )

The bottom was a visit to a favorite night spot, Bugaloe, with live music & the best grouper ceviche – yum!

For the right side, I added a different paper from Simple Stories Summer Vibes collection. I cut parts off to make the words make sense for the theme.

Aruba mini album

I wanted to include some journaling in the album, some was recorded in Day One app and other in an Instagram post. I put the journaling (which I write a word or two about the different things that happen, places visited or inside joke type stories) on the viewable page. Then I add my more personal take to the pocket tag.

For the page I wanted to put the journaling right on that busy page, so I used the negative from the tag die-cut to ink a space that journaling printed on vellum would show up. I used Ranger Oxide Inks to get a nice layer of ink to cover up the images on the paper. At first I just printed the font in black, but then decided I would like it reversed better. I use apps on my phone to create this journaling and print directly to my Canon printer using their printer app. (Letterglow app, PicStitch app, and Canon Print – learn more about that here) I continued that inking on the right side of the page to outline the photo a bit more.

Aruba mini album

Used my typewriter for this journaling on the tag.

Aruba mini album

This album was fun and surprisingly easy to come together. I’m glad I have a completed project for something I wasn’t even sure I was going to scrap the photos for to begin with.

I highly recommend checking out Heidi’s class and trying a mini album of your own.


Storytelling // Where to Start

I’ve been writing a series of Storytelling posts lately and will be sharing them as quickly as I can get around to editing. Some of it is just to sort out my own thoughts on the subject. I often see questions posed by other memory keepers of how to tell a certain story, so I hope some of what I have learned through this hobby will help someone else.

storytelling,, the papergoddess, scrapbooking, memory keeping, journaling, ancestry, stories, questions

Writing & reading & creative expression have been major players in my life for as long as I can remember.

Memory keeping for me has become the act of preserving stories through photographs, written words, and artifacts.

The more I navigate my way through this hobby, I am searching for more, for the deeper undercurrent to it all. And it always comes back to the story. Giving life and feeling to a snapshot in time. Or even sharing words without a photo.

I think as scrapbookers, we all start from a place where we have a photo of someone we love blowing out candles on a birthday cake and we caption the photo or layout with the title “Happy Birthday.” There is nothing wrong with that. The idea that someone is interested in memory keeping to begin with shows the depths of their soul and their commitment to a future where the past matters.

But now I often ask myself, what more can I say? What more can I tell? Maybe about this person or the moment?

Even posting a photo on Instagram. It’s easy to say my morning coffee, but¬†think of how the story changes if it’s captioned a warm way to start my day.

In some ways I think it’s ok to embellish¬†stories a bit. I mean, it’s happened for all of history. Just like playing the telephone game, when it gets to the last person, it’s always a little bit different. You don’t want to¬†completely falsify it, but just imagine if J.K. Rowling had only said there was a boy with brown hair and he¬†does magical things.¬†Guessing we wouldn’t know the enchanting world of Harry Potter.

These are some questions I ask myself to try to reach beyond what I see in the photo and share a more meaningful story…

  • How do I¬†feel about the person in the photo?
  • What is in the scene but not captured in the photo? What is just beyond the edge?
  • Describe the smells, tastes, or other physical feelings that were alerted¬†in this moment.
  • What song was playing? (I use this one a lot, constantly adding lyrics to my layouts. It also doesn’t necessarily have to be playing in real life, but maybe the song that popped in your head & was somewhat of a¬†soundtrack¬†for the moment.)
  • What emotions do the colors evoke?
  • Can you share a poem, quote, lyrics related to the color or object?
  • What season is this photo/story taking place in? It can be the weather related seasons or the seasons of life (youth, adolescence, early adulthood, etc.)
  • Does this photo/story invoke a reflection into something of the past? A childhood memory or early relationship event.
  • If some future relative is looking at this scrapbook, what do I really want them to know? What feelings do I want them have about it? What message am I trying to convey?

I think also keeping in mind it doesn’t have to be a perfect narrative with accurate¬†grammar & punctuation. It can be how I talk. It can be bulleted points or maybe strips of paper with various thoughts. A lot of times what I want to say/share is not a perfectly structured story in my mind or in real life. So there’s a dynamic to it. Tell the story. Start somewhere and it will flow.