I once blogged on the topic of things I don’t do. Ironing topped the list, as did (hanging head in shame) scrapbooking. If you, like me, are guilty of not preserving your family’s memories, take heart. I’ve rounded up a few scrapbooking alternatives here for you.
It’s not that I don’t admire the craft of scrapbooking. Some of the finished products are veritable works of art, and the ever-expanding aisles of scrapbooking supplies at craft stores are almost tantalizing enough to convince me to take it up. But, alas, pictures of my girls are still relegated to my camera’s memory card; their artwork, award certificates and keepsakes are either shoved in their baby books or in a box in the basement. I must admit, there’s a part of me that feels this makes me a terrible mother. I’ve seen scrapbooks that encapsulate each year of a child’s life so completely that my unorganized mess of mementos is quite literally, sad by comparison. Sad because I feel my kids won’t have a tangible record of their early years if I don’t get on the stick, and sad because I won’t have a tangible record of their early years if I don’t get on the stick. I’m already forgetting the cute things they’ve said or done, for heaven’s sake, and they’re only 9 and 7! I look at pictures of our youngest as an infant, in particular, and feel her babyhood was a blur.
I know this is all very shocking coming from me, since I’m someone who purports to cherish all things handcrafted and personalized. Trouble is, I have so many crafting interests, that I can’t see sitting down to spend dozens of hours on one project. And might I add, said project is never-ending. As kids get older, more scrapbooking must be done if the whole picture is to be captured. In any event, if I haven’t been clear enough already, I’m not a scrapbooker and probably never will be.
So in an effort to ease my conscience, I’ve decided to devote myself to preserving memories from our kids’ childhoods in other ways. Here are some other ways to ensure your soon-to-be-grown children will know that you cherished their childhoods.
Digital Photo Albums–Pick the best of each year’s photos and make them into a photobook on Snapfish or Shutterfly. You can write captions and headings and choose from hundreds of backgrounds. Making one of these for each year takes up a lot less shelf space than 8,000 photo albums and isn’t all that time-consuming or difficult, either.Gallery Wall–Scan your children’s favorite artwork from the year and save it digitally. Frame just one or two of your favorite pieces and create a gallery wall that grows as they do. Here are some of my faves from around the web:
Scrapboxes—Frame baby clothes, team jerseys, favorite small toys or books, or anything else that will fit in a shadowbox. Imagine a whole wall of these! Talk about a conversation piece, not to mention what a great way to honor your kids. Cookbooks–If you and your kids like to cook or bake together, take pictures of them making your family’s favorites, then type out the corresponding recipes for a personalized cookbook. If you’ve got the original handwritten recipe, scan and include it, too, for a multi-generational vibe. (Tastebook is a great site for creating a professional-looking cookbook. You could have several printed and give them as gifts to your children or grandchildren.
Silhouettes—Preserve your kids’ sweet little features with one of these silhouette projects:
via Plum Pudding
Vacation Memory Jars–Preserve memories of your family’s special trips or vacation spots with this project:
via Martha Stewart
At the very least, jot down memorable moments from each day on a calendar or in a journal. Because as someone once told me, “The days are long, but the years are short.”