During the last few weeks of our summer vacation, we ran into many of my children’s friends out and about. I always asked the other kids what they did this summer and they would give me blank looks. None of them could recall anything that they had done this summer. I wanted to make sure that my kids remember what they did during their 12 weeks of summer vacation so I got the idea of having the kids make their own summer scrapbooks.
We started by sitting down together and looked through our 7000 summer photos on my laptop. I created two folders – one for Kara and one for Colin. Each child picked out photos that they wanted to include in their scrapbook and I copied the photos to their corresponding folders. The photo selection process took over 2 hours but we enjoyed looking through the photos together and discussing our memories. It was eye opening to me what photos the kids chose. Their choices really emphasized to me what they thought was most important in their summer adventures. The majority of Colin’s photos were of trains. Kara chose mostly photos of friends/family and the things that she accomplished this summer. I am happy that both kids chose to include a few photos with all 4 of us in them.
To make the project easier, I decided to use the Sn@p scrapbooks and pocket-style page protectors that I found at Michaels.
The overall size of the page protectors is 6×8. The page protectors we used had 6×4 and 3×4 pockets. I did use one 6×8 page for the front page of the album. That page protector came with the album.
I bought my supplies from Michaels but I had to go to two different Michaels to find what I needed because their stock on the Sn@p products was low. If you can’t find what you need at Michaels, you might want to check on Amazon.com.
After the kids chose their pictures, I spent about 5 hours editing and resizing the photos. Here are the steps I used:
- I edited all the photos.
- I cropped all the horizontal photos to 1200×800 pixels so they could be printed as 6×4 inch photos.
- For the vertical photos, I needed them to be sized 3×4. To save money on printing, I used a PSD template to merge two 3×4 photos into one 6×4 photo. You can download the PSD template I used here.
- Because I knew there would not be journaling in these scrapbooks, I decided to overlay the names of the places or a few details onto the photos before printing. With the 6×4 photos, I did this by using a transparent overlay and adding text over it. For the 3×4 photos, I thought the overlay was going to take up too much room so I just added transparent text to those photos. NOTE: I added the text to the photos after they were cropped and re-sized so that all the text would be the same size.
I picked up this pile of 200 photos for our local photo lab. We were ready to begin after I sorted the photos for each child by date.
I got my paper trimmer and scrapbook paper and camped out on the kitchen table. I worked with Kara first. I showed her the photos that we had to work with and we picked out what kind of page protector we needed. She slipped the photos in the sleeves and then she picked out scrapbook paper to compliment the photos. Kara liked to have the paper match the theme of her photos closely.
Sometimes we put the scrapbook paper in the 6×4 pockets and sometimes the scrapbook paper went in the 3×4 pockets. It all depended on what photos we had and where Kara wanted to place them. It took about an hour and a half for Kara and I to finish putting the paper and the photos into the pocket pages.
Next up was Colin. I was prepared for this to be a long drawn out process because he is 4 years old but he was actually efficient. He knew exactly what he wanted and where he wanted it. Colin did not care if the paper he chose was related to the theme. He just picked whatever paper he liked. Colin was done in about the same amount of time as Kara even though he had more pictures.
I decided to have the kids decorate their pages with stickers at the same time. I got out my two overflowing Crop N Style Sticker binders and helped the kids navigate through all the different stickers that I have accumulated over the past 10 years.
The kids had such a great time using the stickers.
The kids put the stickers directly onto the page protectors, not on the photos or paper directly. I noticed that they were trying to cram a sticker anywhere one would fit. I only had one rule that they couldn’t put any stickers over faces. Of course Colin had to find an exception to my rule. He put sunglasses stickers over his eyes because “they should have been there to begin with.”
Here are samples from Colin’s book.
On the page below, Colin told me that he put a heart on his shirt because he loves Winter so much! So sweet!
Here are a few samples from Kara’s book.
Since there was no journaling in the scrapbook, I decided to make a list of each child’s summer favorites for the front page. I hand wrote their answers on paper that came with the albums. These are Kara’s summer favorites.
These books have been done for about a week now and I am happy to say that the kids have looked at them and we have talked about their summer adventures everyday since then!
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