Make a Ready-to-Fill Scrapbook as a Gift

Dana Hinders
A ready-to-fill scrapbook makes a thoughtful gift for any occasion.

To share your passion for preserving memories with friends and family, make a ready-to-fill scrapbook as a gift.

Scrapbook Themes

A ready-to-fill scrapbook makes a wonderful gift for someone who loves to take pictures, but lacks the time or skills to make an album from scratch. With this type of album, all it takes is just one afternoon for the recipient to create a personalized memory book showcasing a collection of favorite photos.

Examples of popular themes for ready-to-fill scrapbooks include:

  • My Wedding Day
  • Baby's First Year
  • Vacation Memories
  • Graduation Day
  • The ABCs of Me

If you need ideas for making a ready-to-fill scrapbook, take a look at the pre-made albums available in your local craft store. While you probably won't want to copy them exactly, they can give you a good idea for what types of designs work best for this kind of scrapbooking project.

How to Make a Ready-to-Fill Scrapbook as a Gift

The process to make a ready-to-fill scrapbook as a gift is basically the same as making any other type of scrapbook album. However, you'll be leaving blank spaces for the recipient to add his/her photos and journaling.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you're creating the album:

  • Plan ahead. If you're creating the scrapbook as a Christmas, wedding, or birthday gift, start well in advance of the date it needs to be finished. Making handmade gifts is supposed to be fun, not stressful. If you're rushing to finish, it will be hard to enjoy the process.
  • Consider selecting a size that's smaller than a 12x12 album. Although 12x12 books are the most common in the scrapbooking world, the larger size is often viewed by non-scrappers as bulky and hard to store. An 8x8 or 6x6 ready-to-fill mini book, on the hand, makes a cute gift that the recipient can easily display after the photos and journaling are added.
  • Since you can't match the colors in the photos to the papers and embellishments, the easiest way to make a ready-to-fill scrapbook as a gift is to choose one coordinating product line to use throughout the album. For example, KI Memories has several paper and embellishment lines with bright colors and bold prints that are perfect for a child's scrapbook.
  • Choose a fairly simple layout for your pages. An overly fussy album is likely to be intimidating for someone who doesn't already scrapbook. Designing the album around a layout sketch, such as the sketches featured in Becky Fleck's PageMaps book, is a good idea.
  • Keep the photo mats sized to fit standard prints. People who don't already scrapbook are probably not going to want to take the time to trim a large stack of photos to fit in an album. Stick with mats for 4x6 and 5x7 prints.
  • To make journaling easier for the novice scrapbooker, add some questions to your layout. For example, a page for an album of baby's first year might ask when the child took his/her first steps or what his/her favorite toys were.
  • Ruled guidelines on journaling blocks make it easier for the recipient to print neatly, especially if he/she dislikes writing by hand. As an alternative, however, you could consider suggest typing the journaling in a fun font and printing it on acid-free cardstock to attach to the pages.
  • Consider including a few blank pages at the end of the album to allow the recipient to make his/her own layouts or add extra journaling as needed. A pocket for memorabilia, such as travel maps or cards from a baby shower, may also be useful.

Presenting the Gift

Include a black journaling pen and some acid-free adhesive with your completed ready-to-fill scrapbook album. A gift certificate for photo processing services may also be a good idea.If you think the recipient will want some help putting the album together, offer to provide the necessary assistance. You may manage to find a new cropping partner in the process!

Make a Ready-to-Fill Scrapbook as a Gift