Scrapbooking: Another Tool for Family History Blogging?

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Scrapbooking: Another Tool for Family History Blogging?

Scrapbook creations are popular arts/crafts activities for people of all ages. The scrapbooks come in all shapes and sizes and formats. I’ve seen a beautiful collection of family scrapbooks displayed at funerals and memorial services; to great advantage. Attendees can browse through the photos and memories of that family through the eyes of the deceased. Photos are added to an album page with stylish frames and embellishments, and words are added in text or handwriting.

Alongside the photos of your family in the scrapbook spread, it’s important for scrapbooking projects like this to include the memory of people who have also moved on. Scrapbook kits will make your scrapbooking life easy. A good kit contains all the essentials for creating an amazing scrapbook layout. These are available at all good craft stores and online. The top Heritage Scrapbooking find on Google was this one.

But what if you want to digitise your scrapbooks? How can you recreate the look and feel of a carefully crafted scrapbook page for your family history?

Finding answers to that question was my mission this week; I have researched the art of digital scrapbooking for family historians. I was most interested in finding templates for Canva that would provide a heritage look to the background of a page. In the featured image for this post, you will see one of the pages created using such a background template.

Below are the steps I took for creating that page:

  1. Purchased and downloaded templates for heirloom scrapbooking from Scrapbookingdom at Etsy.
  2. Uploaded the template pages to my Canva account.
  3. Created a blank Family History Scrapbook project in Canva (this comes with the page size already identified and the ability to add pages horizontally to create a page-turning effect)
  4. Added a collection of pages (as many as you may need for the scrapbook)
  5. Added the template pages uploaded to each page and right-clicked to embed as a background
  6. Added three or four digital images (photos, documents, memorabilia, etc) and place them within Frames on the page
  7. Edited and/or cropped the images for extra effect, and in some cases removed the background
  8. Downloaded a jpg image of a page to place in this blog post.

Canva also enables you to add people to share the design directly in Canva. This is a great way to collaborate on building pages with other family members.

Canva also enables you to download the finish scrapbook in several ways. See diagram below.

Your choice of options above will be determined by the purpose of sharing and the capacity of the person you are sharing with to view easily. For instance, if sharing with an elderly person who prefers a physical album, then choose the PDF for print option. Alternatively if sharing with a person with digital skills choose the MP4 video option. The finished scrapbook could also be shared on your blog post as a PDF document. See below for an example of just 3 pages from my project.

Family History Scrapbooks Papers 1 Samuel John Allery Canva project

There are many types of templates available that would lend themselves to include in your blog post. One simple family tree template for an ancestor, that shows parents and grandparents, would make a great feature image. See this example below, using yet another template from Etsy. For this image, I combined a scrapbook background template with a black and white family tree template. The family tree template enables the addition of photos (into frames) and text captions below.

I saved this page as a jpg to include in my family tree scrapbook. This appears in the download available above.

Finally, you may prefer to just create a digital family history scrapbook using some of the pay-for tools such as MixBook or Shutterfly. Devon Lee from Family History Fanatics has these YouTube tutorials to show you how it’s done.

This week I interviewed Robinette Wilson for my Essential Genealogist Podcast, on how she created The Taylor Family History scrapbook using MixBook. Here’s the link to that podcast episode.

Scrapbooking options for your family history blog posts abound – it just takes a little imagination and a flair for design.

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