Teaching Journal Scrapbook Skills

Dana Hinders
Writing in scrapbook

Whether you're a Creative Memories consultant hosting workshops for novice scrapbookers or a teacher at your local scrapbook store, you may find yourself in search of tips for teaching journal scrapbook skills.

The Importance of Scrapbook Journaling

With so many patterned papers, stickers, and embellishments available, it's tempting to spend all your time focusing on the artistic aspect of making a scrapbook layout. However, scrapbook journaling is still a vital part of making an album that future generations will cherish.

Journaling serves several different purposes. For example:

  • Journaling gives basic information, such as the names of the people in a photo and the date the photo was taken.
  • Journaling provides context for photos, helping to explain why Madison is crying on Santa's lap or why Ethan's birthday cake looks a bit lopsided.
  • Journaling helps the reader understand more about the person who created the scrapbook page by giving clues about her personality, feelings, and relationships with those around her.

Understanding Common Journaling Fears

If you're interesting in teaching journal scrapbook skills, it's important to understand some of the reasons why crafters dislike scrapbook journaling. Here are a few examples of common journaling fears:

  • They don't have anything important to say.
  • They have too much to say and don't know where to start.
  • Other people will tease them for being too sentimental in their scrapbook journaling.
  • Writing takes too long.
  • Their spelling and/or grammar is embarrassing.
  • They're just not good at writing.

Techniques for Teaching Journal Scrapbook Skills

To get your students more comfortable with the idea of journaling on their scrapbook layouts, you have several different options available.

Make a List

For those who are uncomfortable with the idea of writing long paragraphs of text, journaling in a list is a way to get used to the idea of expressing themselves on paper. Here are a few ideas for lists that can double as simple scrapbook journaling:

  • 10 Things I Love About You (for an anniversary or romance themed scrapbook page)
  • 5 at 5 (five skills learned on a child's fifth birthday)
  • Vacation Essentials (a list of items needed to ensure a happy and stress-free family vacation)
  • Christmas Memories (top moments from a season of hectic holiday celebrations)

Start with a Quote

Sometimes, writer's block is all that is keeping a crafter from becoming more comfortable with idea of scrapbook journaling. Once she gets over the initial fear of the blank page, writing comes fairly easily. For this type of scrapper, point her to the following resources offering quotes covering a variety of common layout themes:

Create a Poem

Word embellishments are very trendy in the scrapbooking world, ranging from decorative rub-ons to metal charms. For the scrapbooker who enjoys playing with embellishments, making a poem using decorative word accents can be a great way to overcome the fear of journaling. A haiku can be a fun addition to a scrapbook layout, especially since this poem doesn't need to rhyme. Haikus have three lines and a total of 17 syllables:

  • The first line has five syllables.
  • The second line has seven syllables.
  • The third line has five syllables.

Keep a Journal Jar

For the scrapbooker who is always pressed for time, journaling often seems like a bothersome task that gets in the way of the fun of designing a layout. A journal jar can help take some of the stress out of scrapbook journaling by providing writing prompts that can be used to create pages at a later date. For instructions on how to make a journal jar, see the Organized Christmas site.

Teaching Journal Scrapbook Skills