Smartphones give users instant access to just about everything these days, including a camera. In fact, in 2017, 1.2 trillion photos were taken, 85% of which were taken with mobile devices. That is a lot of photos, yet just a small fraction of them are ever actually printed. If you’re like the majority of iPhone or Android users who take between 111 and 185 photos a month, you let your memories sit in digital archives for, well, forever. If you do have photos in frames, they likely date back years and are probably missing a child (or two). Fortunately, it’s never too late to change this and eradicate that mom guilt in the process. You can put together an annual family album and have fun doing so!
Every family photo album is unique, and not just because of the pictures each contains. Even if you go with the typical album with picture sleeves, you can seriously customize each page of your album with stickers, backgrounds, text, and more. The sky is virtually the limit when it comes to ways to highlight your favorite memories and showcase your family’s adventures in a unique and personal way. That being said; because there is no limit to what you can do, getting started might be overwhelming. You can ease yourself into the photo album-making/scrapbooking process by beginning with these six DIY album decoration ideas.
Run a Map Across the Background
If your family took a vacation to somewhere remarkable in the past year, really emphasize the travel theme by running a map of the location across the background of your pages. A map background will not only add visual interest but also it will instantly give context to your memories. If you don’t have a map, consider using printed materials that contain the location’s name, images, sites in the area, etc. For instance, plane tickets, brochures, concert tickets and postcards all make great backgrounds and all help to tell a more complete story about your adventures.
Take this tip to the next level with sticky notes. We’re not talking about your traditional Post-Its, though. Use themed sticky tabs to denote special locations (Think your favorite Parisian café, an animal encounter, or that seriously impressive donut shop.) with images, text or both.
Use Envelopes To Store Mementos
Ticket stubs, pressed flowers, dried leaves, pebbles, stickers, receipts, and handwritten notes are just a few examples of the mementos individuals collect over a lifetime. While these treasures hold immense sentimental value, most people are at a loss as to what to do with them after a while. A great way to keep and cherish them is to make space for them in the family photo album. You don’t have to dedicate a whole theme or even a page to each trinket — rather, glue an envelope to the cover and use it to store all those bits and bobs you collect throughout the year. You can make your own envelope using patterned paper or you can decorate a plain white or manila envelope with gel pens, colored pencils, markers or even crayons.
Decorate With Sticker Tape
Decorative sticker tape makes it easy for you to make creative and personal backgrounds for your photos. Available in a variety of themes, which range from friendly monsters to cuddly pooches to more sophisticated polka dots, roll-on tape makes it easy to add depth to pages and enhance your prints. They also pull double duty, as you can firmly attach photos in a single swipe.
Tell a Story With Stickers
Stickers are some of the most commonly used scrapbooking materials, and for good reason. Available in hundreds of themes, shapes, materials, textures and sizes, stickers are a fun way to tell your story without having to use any words. At OOLY, our sticker collections range from playful and quirky to pretty and sophisticated. They come in scented and unscented sheets, the former of which you can use to transport the viewer to the place and time of the picture. Sticker words, which come in fun fonts and colors, offer easy and fun ways to caption photos and to add just a little more flair to your pages.
Get Creative With Watercolor
When it comes to scrapbooking, most people stick to the traditional materials and mediums such as scrapbook paper, stickers, gel pens and markers. Many people overlook the creative potential that watercolor — the most elementary of mediums — offers. You don’t have to be a creative genius, or even an aspiring one at that, to create a visually interesting background with just a few dabs and swipes. Use a higher quality palette, such as the one from Chroma Blends, on heavy-duty, acid-free paper to create personable and stunning backgrounds that tell your story in ways no commercially available scrapbook paper can.
Probably one of the most important aspects of photo album decoration that many people neglect is the text. Text gets a bad rap, but the truth is that it can add visual interest and context. Text, when done in a creative way, in fun fonts and with a fun medium, such as with fountain pens, gel pens, or markers, can bring pops of color to a page while simultaneously telling you what is going on.
You don’t have to limit yourself to just writing captions though. Cut photos into letters and create words such as “Paris,” “Home” or “Family.” Use stickers and stamps, and paste into place any handwritten notes that match the theme you’re trying to create.
You already have a million pictures saved to your various devices. Now it’s time to do something with them. Preserve your family’s memories in a fun and unique way by creating an annual family photo album. When it comes to album decoration, get the tools you need from OOLY!