This will be a long post, outlining what I believe is a very doable, FUN school-year photo album scrapbook.
The project is called 180 Days and it is a photo-a-day + question-of-the-week photo album I am doing with and for Clark to capture and document his senior year in high school, but you can do this for any year of school. I have enlisted a group of friends and senior moms to do this project with me–strength in numbers, right? (plus, we can share and exchange photos of key events!)
Here’s what you need:
An inexpensive 2-up photo album that is designed to hold 200 photos. Most of these albums feature a narrow strip/sleeve designed for labeling your photos. We will use this strip/journaling area for a weekly Q&A (we will also use this strip for our title, some quotes here and there and for labeling of months etc…) I purchased my album at Target for $4.99 (it is very plain and I plan to alter it) You can purchase any 2-up album designed to hold 200 photos–as long as there is a journaling strip (see photo.)
NOTE: I created the 4×6 sheet of circles (top portion of this title page) in a text box in Word. A similar sheet is clipped to a clipboard that is hanging on Clark’s bedroom door. Each day, he fills in one circle. In the end, I’ll replace this sheet with the sheet he has filled out during the year.
TIP: You can stamp (with acrylic paint) right on top of your photo sleeves. Just use a light touch. If the impression doesn’t turn out the way you want, wipe it off and try again!
Three or four sheets of two-sided 12×12 pattern paper. Cut these sheets into 4×6 blocks and then find 9 coordinating colors of cardstock (one for each month during the school year.) I considered doing Clark’s book in his school colors and then opted (big surprise) for a broader range of colors! The strips on the swatch ring was simply part of my organization/design process — not needed! You can pre-cut your cardstock for use in your journaling strips (keep reading for more info!)
TIP: I pre-cut my monthly slips and used some “old” Making Memories rub-ons. I have slipped these into my album already!
Journaling strips will also be used to record a weekly Q&A (I’ll text a question to Clark each week and record his answer back.) My mom friends and I have already brainstormed 50 questions to choose from for the 37 weeks of school. If you’d like these questions and a word document formatted for easy printing, email email@example.com and put “180 Days” in the subject line.
I’m also using these rub-ons to occasionally note which “day” it is on our countdown from 180 to ZERO (Graduation)
For all the details (from an email I sent to the other moms) click on the “read the rest of this entry” below!
The album is called 180 Days and is a photo-a-day and question-of-the-week approach to documenting both the everyday and the extraordinary aspects of life for our kids.
Photo A Day
As the title suggests, there really are 180 (179 now) days of school before graduation–all you need to do is take a photo on each of these days. You can and should enlist your teen to help you. These photos will not need to be cropped or arranged in any special way –this is not your typical decorative scrapbook. This is scrapbooking for busy moms. All you need to do is to keep your album and a stack of post-it-notes close at hand. After you snap your daily photo, make a note of it on a post-it and stick this post-it to one photo sleeve in your album. Once or twice a month, upload your digital images to Walgreens or Costco and have them printed. When you get them back, slip them into your album using the post-it notes as a guide.
Note: I used our district calendar to count out our 180 days of school, holidays, etc… and mark them off in my album. I will absolutely sit down with anyone at anytime and help you mark your album (trust me, you won’t want to figure this out on your own) Please note that this album is only for school days — you get weekends and vacations off. Since there are 200 photo sleeves and only 180 days of school, there are a few extras sleeves that I have designated for holidays, spring break, etc…
Question of the Week
Once a week, you need to ask your senior a question. I have put a reminder on my phone, so I won’t forget! You can text, call or just ask the question and then note your teen’s answer or reply. We will type these questions and answers up on the narrow strips/journaling sleeves in our albums. There are 37 weeks of school — so here again we have extra strips in our album, that I have designated for labeling the months (September through June) with a few quotes thrown in. The best part is I have attached a word document with 50 questions ready to go! You can choose from these questions or substitute a more personally relevant question at any time. You can ask questions in any order — since most of our teens are very comfortable with texting, I think sending a quick text and typing up their responses will be a wonderful way to capture bits and pieces of their life to accompany our photos. I’ve also attached a document that features text boxes set up for easy printing of questions and answers. Save this to your computer desk top and print it out page by page as you go. I will help anyone who needs help with this!
At this point some of you are probably thinking, a photo a day, is she crazy. I won’t answer the crazy part, but I will say that you can take a photo a day–it really is easy, once you get into the habit. Ideally, you’ll get your teen to help you — this means you can send them to school (sometimes) with a small digital camera or suggest that they use the camera on their phone if they have one. You can also purchase disposable cameras and use these. Since we have a good group of seniors doing this 180 Days project, there will be lots of photos snapped and I’m sure we can do some photo sharing! While we definitely want to take pictures of our kids, the most interesting albums will have LOTS of photos of their daily life. Here’s a short list of the kinds of photos that will be really fun to look back on … and remember to get it close and photograph the details.
(outside, inside, license plate, mileage, gas tank, parked in the school parking lot?)
(clean, messy, closet, nightstand, walls, etc.)
(on their bodies, on the floor, T-shirts, jeans, sock drawer, etc…)
(favorite candy bar, chips, soda, meals, half-empty cereal bowl – you get the idea, right?)
(back pack, books, homework, grades, locker, gym stuff, sports equipment)
(phone, computer, iPod, alarm clock, etc…)
We will naturally want to photograph school-related events and people, and get plenty of pictures of them with friends and family members — however, the more you practice snapping pictures of the details of their daily life, the more opportunities you will see. There’s a good chance you’ll have MORE photos than you actually need!
I think this will be a FUN process and a wonderful celebration of this pivotal year in school and life.
If you have questions, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to reply!