I finally got around to starting and catching up on an album project I've had planned for a while now that I wanted to share.
Instead of creating separate scrapbooks for my daughter (or any future kids) each year, I've decided to do a layout-per-year in her own album that she can have when she is 18. Then I'm able to scrapbook at my own pace and about anything I feel like scrapbooking for my own annual family albums, but I'll know that she'll have a cohesive album of her childhood completed when she graduates from high school. So, now that my "baby" is two, it was time to get started on her book.
I decided to use a 9" x 9" spiral album by Heidi Swapp that I had in my stash, but had never used. It came with the perfect amount of page protectors to get her through all 18 years, so it was a great match. However, this album idea can be easily adapted to any size.
I tried to keep the album very simple with a letter to my daughter and notes about the year on the left side and a collage of monthly photos on the right. I may keep the same format all the way through, or I may change it up as she grows and different things are important. For instance, who knows if I'll have photos of her from every month the year she turns 12. And I won't always want to write a letter, so I might do a timeline of milestones or activities from throughout that year, etc. We'll just see how it goes.
Below is an example of the title page and her first-year collage:
I made the photo collage in Photoshop. Each individual photograph is 2" x 2", and the bottom photo is 2" x 4" (of her actual birthday each year). So the final photo collage is 8" x 8" which I then enlarged to an 8" x 10" canvas to have printed at Snapfish. Then I just trimmed off the extra two inches when the print arrived to make it a square print. I saved the original Photoshop file so that each year I can just plug new photos into the same template.
I'm a big fan of month-by-month and year-by-year albums, so this is a great way for me to feel "caught up" and not overwhelmed by having to do too much. Basically, it's what keeps scrapbooking fun for me...instead of if feeling like a job or responsibility.