Dec 102009

I don’t know about you, but I am an intentional scrapbooker.  I always intend to do it, but I don’t.  I have lots of scrapbooking stuff, just not the time.  Actually I think it’s more of a space issue.  If I had a place where I could leave everything out so that it was ready for me to work on when I had a free moment, I would probably get some pages done.  I did finally get tired of developing pictures and having mounds of photos still in their envelopes or worse – having tons of undeveloped pics on my digital camera.  So when I saw this idea in a Southern Living magazine, I jumped on it.  It’s very simple and anyone can do it.

First you need to pick out a basket. Not too deep.  Something nice that can sit out on a coffee table or bookshelf.  I like to get baskets at Michaels when they are 50% off.  If you like things very orderly, you might want a nice square or rectangular basket where you can stand your albums up.  If your more organic, you might prefer an oval shape where books can be casually tossed.  I like both – it just depends on what mood I’m in 🙂


This basket was both the perfect width for my shelf and for the photo books.



Next pick up several of the little photo albums – some people call them brag books.  These are the 99 cent variety that are clear and have the little cardboard insert in the cover that’s removable.  I also usually get these at Michaels and if you watch the sales, you can pick them up for about 60 cents.


Some snow day photos


Get your pictures out from wherever they’ve been hiding.  Sort by event or theme – for instance, a birthday or holiday, or pets, or a trip.  Take the cardboard insert out of the book and replace it with a photo. I like to pick the best photo, or one that sums up whatever is going in the book.  Then just fill the book.   Repeat this until you have several books filled.  Now you can fill your basket with the books and place it somewhere that allows family and guests to browse.  Keep empty books on hand, so that each time you get pics developed, you can fill one up and toss it in the basket and Voila! – an instant ‘scrapbook’.


Basket filled with memories


The kids love to look at these all the time, especially toddlers.  They just love faces and this is a fun way to teach them names of loved ones.

These also make great gifts, particularly for parents & grandparents. I did it for all the grandparents a couple of Christmas ago.  I found cute baskets for about $5 and put one filled book in with several empty books.  Now, they can put loose pictures people send right in the books or I can just send them a filled book and they can add it to the basket.  They’re easy to mail and it keeps us connected.

It’s also great for all the school pics people send that go on the fridge for a while and then you don’t know where to put them 🙂  After Christmas, I also cut all the photo cards to size and put them in the book with the Christmas photos.

It’s one of those simple ideas that I get all excited about because  1 – it’s easy, 2 – it’s cheap, and  3 – it involves the organization of our families memories. Now we can enjoy looking at them somewhere besides the computer’s screensaver 🙂

Hope you like it, too!

  16 Responses to “The habit of organizing and sharing memories”

  1. This is one of my all time favorite ideas! Sometimes I don’t do a scrapbook because I feel like it needs to have all the pretty extras. Overwhelmed before I even start.

    This is simple enough to do for this Christmas. Some grandparents just might get a bonus gift. I love, love easy.


  2. I love this idea! I’ve given up on “scrapbooking” as I just don’t want to devote the time to it. I’m collecting photo albums with space to write notes as I loved the journaling part of scrapbooking the most. But I may do this as well as I could see my children enjoying the access to pictures!

    • Melissa –

      I love the journaling idea. What a great way to capture your memories of an event!

      And I do love the easy access for the kids with these baskets. That way if I do manage to make nice scrapbooks, I can keep those safe. Just know that sometimes the little ones get excited and your little albums may reflect that after a while 🙂

      Thanks for sharing.

  3. I absolutely LOVE this idea. I “intended” to do this when you first mentioned it on your blog. I went as far as buying the basket, then the basket got filled with children’s books instead 🙂 I’m officially putting this on my to do list!

  4. Yep, Great idea!! Thanks for sharing! I have never been a scrapbooker but have always had lots of pic albums but I got lazy and just have a ton of pics on the computer. am trying to get them off and get caught back up again. So this idea comes at a very good time!!

  5. Love this idea, thanks!

  6. I love to scrapbook! This is a pretty neat idea and another idea for those without a lot of time are the calendars or year in review. I pick one picture for each month and then scrapbook the page at the end of the year with 12 SMALL photos and then journal half a page about the events of the year. The calendar thing is almost the same thing just with not as much journaling…but again scrapbooking my favorite.

    • Thanks for this idea! Sounds like something I could actually accomplish. I am good with the creative part, just not the consistency part:)

  7. I have recently discovered It’s awesome. It’s all digital, you can journal, and I take pictures of *keepsakes* like baby shower invites, exc. and put them in it. The books are thin like yearbooks and hardly take up space. Titles are printed on the spine. It’s great!

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