Tips To Make Your Journaling A Feature
- Try to tell the story of your photos. If your layout is a day at the beach with your children, mention some of the funny things that happened. Perhaps one of your children covered the other one completely in sand. Or, maybe your son was about to eat an icecream when it fell off the cone! This would be traumatic for your son but quite a funny story for him to read about in later years, which is what scrapbooking is all about, and why journaling is one of the most important elements of your page.
- Think about what your children and grandchildren might want to know when they are looking through your scrapbooks. Your page might be about your daughter’s first day at school. The most important thing will be to describe that first day in as much detail as you can.
- Don’t always journal using your computer and printer. I know, you are going to tell me your handwriting is terrible. I hear you, and mine is just as bad, I can assure you! But this is another important thing you are passing down to your children and grandchildren, whether you like it or not. My parents passed away quite a long time ago (dad 31 years ago and mom 12 years ago) but I would immediately recognize their handwriting if I saw it. In fact I have a few things they have written, ie mom’s recipes and dad’s notes and I really treasure these small and seemingly fairly uninteresting things. So PLEASE do some handwritten journaling on your page – just for me! Just so you don’t think your handwriting is worse than mine, here is a sample of mine on a layout about the tunnel in Paris where Princess Diana was killed. And this was me trying to be as neat as possible!
- Making your journaling sound conversational, like you are telling someone in person what happened in the layout you have produced.
Even write down whole conversations! You might be talking to your child who is about to start school and they are telling you their innermost thoughts. Write as much of the conversation down as you can remember. You will love reading this again in a few years time!
Or a conversation with your husband that goes along the lines of ‘he said/she said’ will always turns out quite amusing!
- Write in a question and answer style. If you are doing say a birthday layout, ask them some questions such as “How Does It Feel To Be 70”? (Of course this would work great for a child who has say turned 8 or 13 etc as you will probably get some hilarious answers). Some other questions might be…”Now that you are getting older, have you decided what you want to be when you grow up”? “What are the most important things you have learned in your first 40 years”? “Do you have any plans to travel overseas before you settle down to have a family, and where would you like to go”? You get the idea.
- Do your journaling as a list with bullet points. I did this on a layout ‘All About Me’. It was about things I had learned at the age of 40 that I did not know when I was 18.
Journaling Layout Ideas
Put your journaling in ‘speech bubbles’ a bit like what comics do. There are lots of different designs in MS Word and you can make these whatever size you need.
Handwrite or type your story onto tags, and again there are lots of different shaped tag ideas.
Put small blocks of journaling spread throughout the page to give it more interest than perhaps just one block of writing that may be less inviting to read. I have done a layout like this describing my favorite cocktail, a ‘golden dream’!
Perhaps for a School scrapbook page (either about your School days or your child’s), rip a page out of a small spiral bound notebook (this looks much better than using a standard notebook) and handwrite journaling on this piece. You want to leave it looking tatty as that gives it some dimension and interest.
If possible (providing your printer is wide enough to take your main scrapbook sheet), print your journaling directly onto your page. Work out in advance where you want this to appear and how much room it should take up. The best way to do this is print it off on a piece of paper first, then lay all your other elements in place to make sure everything fits.
Write or print your journaling right around the outside of your scrapbook page (it is best if you leave a small border on the outside). If you are printing it, do it in double spacing so you can cut the lines in strips and join together neatly.
If you are only wanting a small amount of journaling, print this with your dymo label machine. There are different color refills available for this machine but black and white is the most common.
Great for a travel page is to get a blank postcard and write your journaling on this. Better still, you may have an actual postcard that you wrote home to your mom and dad when you were overseas. I’m sure they will let you use it for your layout!
Have your photos going across your 12 x 12 inch page at different heights and put your journaling on strips of card the same width. Place the journaling strips right above the photos so their length reaches the top of the page. They will of course all be different lengths. Leave additional space top and bottom for embellishments. Here is an example of this type of layout.
If you have a lot of empty space on your photos (particularly at the top and bottom), print your journaling directly in the space.
Stuck for journaling ideas, enlarge a dictionary definition of a relevant word like ‘love’ for a wedding page and add that to your page.
If you have quite a bit of journaling to do, highlight a special section of this with what I call ‘spotlighting’. Use a highlight pen, or even better, your word processing program to highlight in yellow or a better matching color, a part of your journaling that is of particular interest to the reader.
Print your journaling in short strips of either sentences or even words as I have done in this layout.
Finally, hide your journaling on the page. This is particularly good if you cannot bear to see your handwriting! See there is always a way to include your writing, so there is no excuse! How do you hide your journaling?
When you tape your matted photo to the main page, only adhere it top, bottom and on the left side. Now print your journaling on a strip of card that is the right size to slide in the right side of your photo and either just a little wider than your photo or the same width. If you make it the same width, just punch a hole in the right side of the journaling piece and put some ribbon through to use as a level to pull the piece out.
Write your journaling in columns to look like a newspaper article.
Make a little booklet of perhaps 2 x 2 inches by cutting a piece of 12 inch wide scrap card into a 2 inch strip. With this piece of 12 x 2 inch card, score from top to bottom every 2 inches. Now fold the booklet right up and you are left with a 2 x 2 inch book. You can start writing your journaling now. To put this booklet on your page, just put some double sided tape right across the back cover. Have a piece of ribbon ready that is about 8 inches long and lay this ribbon across your table. Now peel the back off your tape and carefully place your booklet in the middle of the ribbon (it should be the middle top and bottom and also each side so the same amount of ribbon is showing both sides. Now stick the booklet down on your main page and tie the ribbon in a bow to keep your booklet closed.
I have taken the above idea to extremes on the layout below! The layout below details a entire event filled month. Some of the journaling was fairly personal which is why I have hidden it in little booklets all the way through. In this case though it is just pieces of card I have folded in half.
I truly hope you have found these ideas useful and you will find lots more in my Scrapbook Ideas Guide.