Hi everyone! I am so excited to be here with you today to talk about one of my favorite subjects – scrapbooking family history! A heritage/family history scrapbook album is wonderful way to document your family’s history and create a lasting gift for future generations. Some people find scrapbooking family history to be a challenge so I thought I’d help out a bit by offering a few different ways to document your family history in your scrapbook pages.
One of my biggest tips regarding family history scrapbooking is to just get started. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the photos and memorabilia from the past and wanting to be sure each and every page is perfect. I have found that just jumping in is one of the best strategies for getting the pages done – find a photo or a story that you really want to document and JUST DO IT! It’s often a good idea to start simple – using neutrals and muted tones which are more traditional colors for historical photos. Trying to focus on keeping it simple can help you get started. Neutrals and traditional motifs can help you create beautiful but fairly easy pages that don’t require a lot of fuss! Here are a few examples of pages using ‘traditional’ heritage supplies to create beautiful pages for your family history scrapbooks!
One of the things that I often hear people say about heritage scrapping is that they don’t scrapbook family history because they do not have photos about the events of their family’s past. Although I certainly understand the trepidation that comes from not having photos, I have a few suggestions about how to document those events and experiences from the past despite not having photos with which to base a scrapbook page! My first suggestion is to think outside of the box and scrapbook a page that tells the story of the major historical events have impacted your family. One example of this technique, is a page I created about the fact that my maternal grandfather was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed by the Japanese and how that experience affected him and his family. It was a difficult page to create because it outlines some very personal and difficult experiences but I love that it tells the story of our family within the larger context of the world around them. I didn’t have any photos of my grandfather at Pearl Harbor so I googled photos of the Pearl Harbor bombing and found this photo which was perfect for the theme of my page! Don’t be afraid to search for relevant photos online that might capture the themes of your page!
Other ideas for scrapping family history pages when you don’t have photos include the following –
- Document pop culture of the past
- Tell stories from the past and use scrapbooking supplies on the page that will reinforce the theme of the story you are telling! One of the main things future generations will be interested in is the stories you have to tell so be sure to document them regardless of whether or not you have pictures that go with those stories.
- If you have memorabilia from the past, you can always use that in lieu of a photo to tell a story.
- Do you have any furniture, glassware or art that you’ve inherited from a family member? If so, take photos of all of those precious ‘things’ so that you can tell future generations about the things from the past.
- If your family has certain family recipes or foods that are significant, be sure to document those in your scrapbooks. You can make the dish and use a photo from today to document those recipes or you can do a photo-less page that outlines the recipe and why it’s significant to your family’s heritage.
Another thing that I have often heard people say they struggle with in scrapbooking the past is that they prefer using modern supplies (vibrant and bold, for example) which we don’t tend to see used with older photos. I love to use more current kits and supplies on my heritage layouts – so I definitey recommend you give it a try! No one said that older photos had to be neutral and muted! Add some color and use more modern motifs to add that extra something to your pages! Here are a few examples that might help inspire you to use more modern supplies and motifs on your family history photos!
I really hope these suggestions and ideas are helpful to you and allow you to begin to document your family’s history! Don’t forget that there are no rules for scrapping the past – it’s your scrapbook & you should create pages that resonate with you!
So, now it’s your turn! I would love to see what you can do to pursue history by using one of these suggestions to create a family history page. I’m hosting a challenge over on the forums and I hope you will come play along! Check it out at The Drawing Board: Challenges.
About the Author: Amy lives in Reston, VA with her husband of 13 years and their 9 year old boy/girl twins. Their 18 year old daughter is in the midst of her second year at West Virginia University! Amy has been scrapbooking since the early 1990s but discovered digital scrapbooking in 2005 when her twins were born and has primarily scrapped digitally since that time. She is passionate about telling her family’s stories and documenting their life together! Amy is a huge reader (mostly literary fiction) and is a pop culture junkie! She also LOVES all things beauty & makeup!