Aly Dosdall's picture
By Aly Dosdall

Year-in-Review Scrapbooking Ideas

Creative ways to capture your year
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As the end of the year approaches (wow—that went fast!), do you find yourself reflecting on the celebrations, challenges, and memories your family has experienced over the last 365 days? Whether you've created a few or a few dozen layouts over the past 12 months, I hope you've captured details of your everyday life, relationships, and family values in addition to the major holidays and events. But if you haven't, this time of reflection is the perfect opportunity to do just that!

One helpful way to capture more than just the major events in our scrapbooks is to take a year-in-review approach to telling our stories.  In other words, try combining photos from the past year that don’t necessarily come from the same occasion, but are related in a different way.  There are many fun and clever year-in-review scrapbooking layout ideas and projects—I’ll share a few of my favorites.

Keepsake Calendars

We usually think of scrapbooks as the best way to tell our stories and share our photos, but keepsake calendars can also be a convenient way to record a year in photos and words. I created this keepsake calendar of my daughter Faith’s first year.


Baby Calendar Scrapbook

Supplies: Baby’s First Year keepsake calendar kit (SRM Press) • patterned paper (Fancy Pants Designs) • chipboard accents (American Crafts) • felt and paper flowers (Making Memories) • brads (Lasting Impressions, The Paper Studio) • ribbon (Offray) • border punch (Fiskars)

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On the same day each month, I took a photo of Faith against the same background so I could keep a month-by-month record of her growth during the first year. (You could follow the same process with your child at any age.) Since I followed the same design on each page, it was easy to make all the pages in advance and then just add a new 5 x 7 inch photo each month. The calendar kit I used, from SRM Press, comes with stickers to mark typical milestones that you can add to the appropriate day, and you can also write in notes, thoughts, and funny stories. After all twelve months are completed, you’re left with a wonderful album featuring a loved one in your life.


Highlights Page

A great resource for year-in-review scrapbooking ideas is A Year in the Life: Scrapbook your year in 24 simple layouts, an eBook written by the members of Write.Click.Scrapbook. One of their layout ideas is to create a page highlighting photos you love from a particular season or period of time, rather than creating an entire page for each photo. This is a great way to scrapbook photos that don’t fit with a particular holiday or event, but still need documenting.


Springtime Layout

Supplies: cardstock (Bazzill Basics) • patterned paper, die cut paper, embossed tag and stickers, layered chipboard tags, word stickers, crocheted flowers, glitter brads, ribbon, sew ribbon tool (We R Memory Keepers) • mini alpha stickers (Echo Park Paper Co) • epoxies made with Shape Studio Tool Round 14, Round 14 epoxy Vintage Settings Teahouse (Epiphany Crafts) • ink pads (Clearsnap, Studio G)

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Once the weather turned warm last spring, my kids were begging to play outside every day, and I was more than happy to oblige as I followed them around with my camera in hand. Since these photos weren’t from one particular outing or event, or even taken on the same day, a spring highlights page was the perfect way to record them quickly and meaningfully. And there’s nothing better to warm you up on a cold winter’s day than focusing on memories from the spring and summer.


Holiday-Inspired Layout

When you’re thinking about scrapbooking highlights from the past year, the holidays will naturally come to mind. Use recurring events on the calendar to spark ideas for scrapbooking the different aspects of your life. Since I am the photographer in my family, there aren’t many photos of me taken on Mother’s Day itself, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use it as a topic for a page.


Mother's Day Layout

Supplies: patterned paper, layered chipboard, layered stickers, label stickers, decorative brads, baker’s twine (My Mind’s Eye) • chipboard alpha stickers (American Crafts) • chipboard heart (Maya Road) • epoxies made with Shape Studio Tools Round 14 and Heart 14 (Epiphany Crafts) • mini wooden clothespins (Bazic) • fine tip black pen (Sharpie) • distress ink (Ranger) • smooch pearlized accent ink, smooch spritz (Cleasnap) • edge distresser tool (Making Memories)

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For this page about my role as a mother, I followed the lead from A Year in the Life and gathered some photos of me with my children from the past year. I then created a page about my feelings on motherhood—the amazing ones, and the not-so-amazing ones too. Follow a similar approach for a Father’s Day layout or switch the focus and make a page about your relationship with your mom and/or dad.


Memorabilia Display

Memorabilia can capture a unique aspect of our life stories. A collection of receipts documents where we like to shop and how we spend our money. Travel brochures and airline tickets tell the story of where we’ve been and when we were there. Movie, concert, and other ticket stubs share the story of a dating relationship or marriage. Gather these slices of your life onto a scrapbook page, as I did with a series of tags that tell the story of a treasured family tradition.


Thankful Thoughts Decorative Tree

Supplies: patterned paper, title stickers, tag maker (Creative Memories) • baker’s twine (Jillibean Soup), butternut squash, tree branches, awl

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Each year, our family keeps a thankful list of one kind or another during the week before Thanksgiving. Each family member writes at least one thing they are thankful for each day, and then we read the list before our Thanksgiving meal. This year we kept a “give thanks tree.” We wrote our blessings on tags and hung them on the branches until the tree was full.


Blessings Tags Layout

Supplies: patterned paper, die-cut embellishments, alpha stickers, epoxy stickers, title sticker, large scalloped circle punch, tag maker, blossom place ‘n’ punch, wavy tearing tool (Creative Memories) • flower punch (Marvy Uchida) • small scalloped circle punch (EK Success) • machine stitching

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We read the tags out loud before the big feast, and then I collected them and created this scrapbook page that records what we’re each thankful for, some of the things that have happened to us or have been part of our lives over the last year, a glimpse of our handwriting, as well as what’s important to each of us.


Decade-in-Review Layout

Expand your perspective to include more than just the past year of photos. Try creating a page with your family photos from the last ten years, or with ten of your own childhood school photos. Perhaps you’ve had the same loyal dog for many years—scrapbook a page of ten photos of him over the years. You’ll enjoy seeing how things have changed.


A Decade Defined Layout

Supplies: patterned paper, corrugated alphas, journaling spots, die-cut stickers, canvas flowers (Jillibean Soup) • number stickers (Echo Park Paper Co.) • buttons (Creative Café) • glimmer mist (Tattered Angels) • font (Times New Roman)

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For this page I wanted to capture what I felt were ten events that defined the first decade of the 2000’s. Since I didn’t have any personal photos of any of these events, I searched for large-size creative commons images on Google. (Just remember creative commons images are for personal use only.)


As you contemplate the past year and how you can capture it in interesting and meaningful ways, consider trying the ideas I shared with you, or check out the many resources available to scrapbookers online (see list below). Just remember that there’s no right or wrong way to record your year as long as you are happy with how you tell your story.
Year-in-review resources and scrapbooking ideas:

  • A Year in the Life, by Write.Click.Scrapbook. for Ella Publishing Co.
  • Project 365
  • Project Life from Becky Higgins
  • Project 12 from Scrapbook and Cards Today magazine
  • Document project from Shimelle Laine
  • Write Every Day from Amy Sorensen
  • Us Right Now
  • Take Twelve with Ella Publishing Co. This guided kit and year-long project focuses on the “Take 12 Photos on the 12th of Each Month” idea. Join in the fun for free, or pick up the Take Twelve kit which will feature 12 photo-taking checklists to capture your everyday life, 12 alternative photo-taking checklists that follow fun themes, 12 scrapbook sketches from Donna Jannuzzi featuring 12 photos each, 24 printable List It! journaling cards, 12 printable calendar accents, 12 printable page titles, and more! Coming your way December 12.


Aly Dosdall is an avid scrapbooker, mother of five, and blogger who lives in northern Utah. She's a member of the Write.Click.Scrapbook. inspiration collective and the Epiphany Crafts and We R Memory Keepers design teams. Keep up with Aly on her blog, It Happened Like This.

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