The Tale of a Digi Girl Making a Paper Album (and a Semi-Related Giveaway)

Welcome to the Wishing Well Creations blog for the 3rd post in our “12 Days of Crafty Christmas” December 2012 Blog Hop! …more on the hop down at the bottom of this post…

Sooo… a funny thing happened a week or two ago. A completely converted digi-only girl (that would be me)… began an utterly shocking new project:

Specifically, it was the Saturday after Thanksgiving when I fled my house to escape the Tiny Terrorists and the monotony of a rainy Saturday that had kept us stuck in our house together (and very bored) all day long. The minute my husband suggested that I leave and run some kid-free errands, I ran straight to the scrapbooking aisle in Michael’s with my 70% off post-Black-Friday coupons in hand… and made a very surprising decision…

…I was going to make a paper/hybrid album to document this December.

Nope, not a December Daily album. I am simply not disciplined enough for that. No sirree. This… this would be something else, I decided. It would be a way to put my favorite memories from this holiday season into an album, without the whole thing feeling too structured (in other words: not daily!). Maybe “The 12 Days of Christmas” (“12 Days in December”? …or “12 Things I Love About Christmas”?) or something like that.

So anyway… that evening in Michael’s, I grabbed a few fun new scrapbooky goodies at heavily discounted prices, and returned home actually feeling sorta excited about dragging out all of my old paper supplies to get all gluey and scissory this holiday season. Weird, right?! Yes, weird. And fun.

Why am I sharing this wacky lil’ story? Because you, too, can join in the fun and make a simple album out of papery goodness this December. Trust me, it’s not too late — it’s December 5, and I’m just now finishing up my foundation pages (I’ll reveal them in another blog post sometime next week). I’ll add my photos and journaling as the month goes on, whenever I have a few spare minutes. The key is that I’m not restricting myself by trying to follow any self-imposed rules — no “a photo a day” — no “documenting something every single day between now and Christmas” — no rules at all. No muss, no fuss. Easy peasy.

Here’s how I got started… what I have used so far… and how you can do this, too.

First, I chose a size/format. I went w/ 6″x6″ because I had found a great paper pad by My Mind’s Eye that I wanted to use (photo shown below, 3 images down…), and it meant I wouldn’t have to cut base papers again. I decided to use some old kraft notepad backs that I have hoarded through the years as the album’s pages, along with a canvas 6″x6″ metal-ring album I already had on hand.

Next, I started piling up random things from my everyday life that I thought might be cool to use for this album…

…a paper doily from a restaurant we went to a few weeks ago (it’s a sickness; I am constantly stuffing things like that into my purse “just in case”, haha)… some ticket stubs we got at a Christmas Tree lighting event over the weekend… a kraft paper tag and string that came on a new pair of pants I just bought… even some “Merry Christmas” washi tape that came attached to an order I received from Persnickety Prints earlier this week. :)

Then I started planning out a cover and some foundation pages, using some of the new items I grabbed at the store, as well as some old things I already had in my stash from my paper scrapping days.

In terms of mapping out my foundation pages… I knew I wanted to be able to use an eclectic mix of many different products (and even some printed digital papers/elements), while still maintaining a unified look and feel from page to page within the album. How? Well, one of the things I love to do is use my sewing machine on paper. Love. Love, love, love. I have no idea why, but I just love the texture and dimension that stitching adds to a paper project. And I knew that it would help make the pages flow together, even when I used different papers/colors/etc. from page to page. So… I also pulled out my sewing machine, and got to work.

In the end, I decided (very ironically, given that I just purchased a new 6″x6″ paper pad to use for this project, ha!) to use an old, old piece of 12″x12″ paper I had in my paper stash for the cover… a gorgeous distressed plaid in reds/pinks/oranges/greens — from a line that Zoe Pearn and Christy Lyle did for My Mind’s Eye a few years ago. I stitched it straight to the kraft cardstock I used for the cover (another irony — once I pulled out the sewing machine, I immediately ditched the idea of using the canvas cover… and will instead just be using just the kraft notepad cardstock along w/ the metal rings).

Then I used the aforementioned doily, along with some dimensional alpha stickers and a bit more stitching, to complete the cover.

So there you have it… my completed cover, and a peek at where my album is headed:

Again, I plan on revealing my foundation pages sometime next week… so stay tuned ;) … but in the meantime, I challenge all of you to jump on board and create some sort of mini-album (or similar project) this December, too. Whether it’s a paper album… a hybrid mini-album… a completely digital album… it’s totally up to you. Choose something simple that you know you can stick to and complete.

Need some extra inspiration?

For those of you who might be considering doing a digital album this month (and/or for those who would consider printing digital papers/elements and using them for a hybrid paper album) — I’ve got a coupon code that can be used in my shop at The Digichick to grab any of my holiday products at a 40% discount.

CODE: DecAlbum40

DETAILS: expires 12/15/2012; one use per customer; valid on all holiday-related products that appear on the following list…

Want a chance to win everything shown above? Leave a comment here and let me know if you’ve ever done a December/holiday album before (and/or if you’re thinking of doing one this year). What was your favorite feature? I want to pick your brains for great ideas! ;) I’ll choose one winner from all comments/entries received on/before December 15, 2012 (deadline for entry is 11:59pm ET on 12/15)… and that person will receive all of the products listed above (worth almost $43)!

Meanwhile, don’t miss the other posts that have already appeared so far this month in the “12 Days of Crafty Christmas” December 2012 Blog Hop:

…and here’s the full list of contributors to this month’s blog hop:

We’ll be posting every other day throughout the month of December (i.e. Dec 1, Dec 3, Dec 5… and so on…), so check back to each of the above sites (and/or follow us each on Facebook, as we’ll be linking to the blog posts from there) to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the fun! ;)

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42 Responses to The Tale of a Digi Girl Making a Paper Album (and a Semi-Related Giveaway)

  1. Kel H says:

    I have done holiday paper albums before, my kids love to look back at them and see what kind of tree we had, that they were sometimes more interested in boxes and paper vs actual gifts etc………would really like to work on a hybrid holiday album. Can’t wait to see more of how your album turns out, thanks for the chance to win all the great kits too.

  2. stacey says:

    I haven’t done one, and don’t know if I have time too this year – it may have to be after Christmas, plus I’d love to include pictures of my niece it’s her first Christmas – she’s 11 months. I need to wait for pictures -they took her to see Santa – she didn’t like him at all – so they didn’t like the pictures she was screaming and squirming trying to get away – LOL , they’re hoping to try again and see if he grows on her. thanks for the chance!

  3. Jen L says:

    I am actually doing a December Daily this year. We’ve always done a “Santa bag” each day (and by that I mean it has a Santa on it! lol) that has activities/books/holiday DVDs in it and this year we’ve added on a playmobil Advent calendar. We also have tons of things we do during December. So I am snapping away!! I’ve taken all the photos for a 365 calendar and thought this would be a nice ending. I still do one paper album yet and that is the photo cards I get from friends and family. I’ll keep going on that for a while. Thanks for a chance to win!

  4. Brendap says:

    The first digital album I did was a December album for my grandchildren showing all of our December family activities. I used Christmas songs as the title to each page.
    Thanks for the chance.

  5. Ghislaine says:

    I haven’t done one yet. I’m fascinated by the idea of doing foundation pages ahead of time though. That makes it seem like it’d be so much easier!

  6. Donna says:

    Love what you’ve done so far…. can’t wait to see the pages. I am considering a Dec album of some kind (not daily though…. too much pressure). Want to make it for my grandniece who we will be visiting Christmas week. Thanks for a chance to win your gorgeous holiday products… and thanks for your generosity. Merry Christmas!

  7. aly says:

    This is my first year doing one. I am highlighting the thing we are doing each day with our kids as part of our Advent countdown and other random top 5′s. Top 5 Cookies i like, songs, etc

  8. Stephanie Harris says:

    I haven’t done one. I am looking forward to doing one for my son who is two this year and is learning what the holidays are about. I love your cover! So creative to use your sewing machine with it.

  9. Rebecca says:

    I haven’t done one yet and I have “intentions” to do one this year. Now that I have an iPhone I think it may be possible, lol. Thanks for the opportunity!!

  10. Shortcake says:

    I did do a holiday album – from scratch – for my granddaughter when she was 4. It was only 8 pages but each page had a picture of her as a pop-up. I added miscellaneous items to the pages to give even more texture and dimension such as a string of seed beads on the picture where she was holding the beads for the Christmas tree and a tuft of fur on her stick pony’s mane. It was the coolest album I’ve ever done but it took a long time.

  11. Amy D says:

    I just pulled out my scrapbooks to start again. My kiddos are now at an age they won’t pull things off of the table just to see. I combine Christmas in the annual album. It’s so fun preserving the photos and fun scrapbooking the memories.

  12. Ali A says:

    I have done Christmas albums in paper before and plan on doing just digi this year. My favorite part of the Christmas albums has always been the Christmas lights. Each year we go see a few Christmas light displays and I love to have pics of them to remember.

  13. Lynn says:

    I have not done one but you have inspired me!

  14. Gill says:

    So Inspiring, I just love that you are showing how to start!!!!! just what I need, I live in Australia so thinking of heading to my local Spotlight store and just buy and buy !!!! Look forward to following your blog, many thanks

  15. Theresa says:

    Love the start of your album. I’m attempting a December Daily for the first time, so we’ll see how it goes. I never seem to have enough time at the holidays to get everything done so I’m giving myself permission to get a day or two behind and play catch up!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  16. connie says:

    I am also doing my first Dec ember Daily this year. But I am strictly a paper girl until after the 15th. Then my goal is to spend some time every week in 2013 learning photoshop and digital scrapbooking. Before the 15th is my crazy time, so it will wait until then. But, winning this package would be a great start , wouldn’t it? I am not getting scrapping done every day in Dec. but I am getting pictures taken and thoughts written down. I will pull it all together when I have all the homemade gifts finished and the wrapping done. My base pages are ready though, and when I have a minute or two I do get the layout sketched and thought out. Hope you like yours as much as I think I am going to like mine. sd connie

  17. Amber says:

    I’ve never done a December album – am I horrible? They look so beautiful and I hope to do one some year, maybe when my kids are older and the doctors have my narcolepsy under control. Last year, we got our tree and I didn’t even get it decorated because I was just too tired! Yikes! But your album looks absolutely adorable and I would LOVE to win the kits so that some year I’ll be all prepared! Thanks for the chance!

  18. Shannon Horch says:

    I started my first December Daily in 08. I got to day 10.
    My 18 year old daughter convinced me to give it another try this year. So far so good.
    Tonight I went and dug out the 08 album and its so cute. I want to go back and finish it now.
    I love how doing this project makes me more aware of the importance of the season & the memories are being preserved forever.

  19. Terrie Andrews says:

    New to paper crafting. I’m still gathering supplies and ideas. This sounds like it could be a good way to start scrapbooking. I would love to win. Thanks for your wonderful blog and for the chance to win.

  20. Kimberly Sudol says:

    I’ve never done a scrapbook before, but I’d love to start! I make cards and other paper crafts so it would seem to be an easy transition, I just haven’t had time to even try it out yet. This is GORGEOUS paper you are offering!! I never even knew this kind of paper was available from DigiChick….that may have to be my new favorite site!! Thank you for the chance to win all this!! I would LOVE to play with it all!

  21. Amber says:

    I have tried to make one the last 4 years and I still don’t have one complete. This year I threw out the idea of tradition/hybrid/digital completely and decided my book will be a Shutterfly book.

  22. Erika says:

    I have tried for a couple of years to do a paper version & only completed a few of the days, I continue to be in awe of those who succeed! Last year I did a digital December Daily & managed to do the whole month!! This year I am saving things to do a hybrid album after Christmas & I am also mixing in instagram photos too. Thanks for the chance to win!!

  23. Lisa says:

    I’ve done a December Daily photobook (digital) for the last 5 years. Unfortunately 2010 never got finished, but it’s almost there :) This year my kids (7 & 9) sat down and read through all of them *without* my prompting! That was so exciting to see them enjoy what I had documented. It made my decision that I’ll be doing it again this year, despite my minor stress to remember to take pictures of stuff!
    Coming up with an easy template to pop pictures into is my game plan this year. I custom made each page one year. Even though it was beautiful, it’s much less stressful to do it the template way (and I still have to finish my Project 365 book from 2011. ugggh).

  24. Patty Colton says:

    I’ve done a mini one as Christmas cards for immediate family. :)

  25. ScrappyMama says:

    I’m trying a “December Daily” TYPE of album this year for the very 1st time. I’m a VERY S.L.O.W. scrapper (mainly a paper scrapper but am getting more involved in the digi world) & I can already tell you that my biggest obstacle to deal with/overcome is that I’m going to need to make this more of a “smash book” type of project or I won’t enjoy it & I’ll never stick with it!!! If I essentially try to make a “layout” for each day…well, it just aint gonna work for me ’cause this little album would absolutely be the ONLY thing I got to work on all month & I don’t want to do that! So I’ve now got a note on my monitor that says “SMASH THE SEASON” & I’m hoping that this will help keep me on track! I think it’s funny that you’ve ended up NOT using most of the stuff that you bought specifically FOR this project…welcome to MY world LOL!!! Thanks for the chance to win such an awesome giveaway…I’ve got my fingers crossed!!!!!!

  26. Robinsismai says:

    I haven’t done a December daily album, but I did do an album for my friend’s daughters who had a joint birthday party (16 & 18). I used bits and pieces of the decorations for additions to my pages. I bought a pad of themed paper and used various items I had in my stash. They were thrilled to receive their albums. Have fun working on yours! Thanks so much for the chance to win!!

  27. Margie says:

    I haven’t done an album but yours is inspiring. It looks wonderful.

  28. TJ says:

    I have never done one!

  29. Betty says:

    I have never made a “completely” Christmas album just random pages for myself and small 4×6 brag books for my granddaughters and other family members and friends.
    Your album is very good and inspiring.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  30. Sarah says:

    I’ve never done one… I’m not sure I’m disciplined enough to do a daily one, but I might like to make a book of December in January maybe… thanks for a chance to win all those great kits.

  31. puffinliz says:

    I have a large post bound 12×12 album that I add on to every Christmas. I also incorporate a few Christmas pages into my other albums. I like doing mini albums for specific events and for gifts. Glad you delved into doing one for yourself.

  32. Alyce Anne says:

    I’ve never done a holiday album, but I’d like too.

  33. erin says:

    I have never done one before, but decided to give it a go this year. I also am doing an activity advent calendar with the kids for the first time, so the two work well together most of the time to give me plenty to fill the album. So far it has been fun, though I don’t do it day by day, rather several days at a time. Oh well. I love your doily idea – I might have to borrow that!

  34. redjanfan says:

    I’ve never done a paper album, but this year I’ve been doing more cards, and experimenting with 3D embellishments and love the texture and raised imagery. Pop ups are so fun and if I were to do an album I’d definatly be putting some of those in! Dec is already so busy that my hat is off to you for doing another project, and I know it will be a treasure for your family. After all, that’s why we do these things, isn’t it?

  35. Misty says:

    I’ve never done a holiday album because I really only started scrapbooking this year, but I have pictures from spending Christmas at Disneyland that I can’t wait to scrap. :-)

  36. Katka says:

    Hi, never done a holiday album before, but maybe this year, if I have som time… all the stash is waiting for me but I’m sooo late with everything :(

  37. Ruthie says:

    I was planning on doing a daily but…I too am, how did you put it…”not disciplined enough”…LOL! But you have inspired me to do a December album…I was bummed when I for got to take pics the first few days. I never thought to not worry about that…so thank you , thank you! I certainly can pull things together for a general album for December.
    I am kind of missing paper and glue…so will be following your lead on that! And the no fuss, no muss minimalist approach is where I am headed.
    Thanks for the chance to win your kits. They are sweet!

  38. Barbara S says:

    Oh, I absolutely cannot wait to see your completed album! I have never attempted this…Only have completed traditional 12×12 layouts, and one year I made 12×12 digital pages to document our Christmas. As our boys get older, Christmas seems to be less about the ‘stuff’ (material goods and activities that leave us drained) and more about the TRUE spiritual meaning of the season and ‘togetherness’…A very GOOD thing, actually, but sometimes harder to document with pictures & embellishments. So, my goal is to JOURNAL more this season about how our Christmas traditions are changing as our family grows and changes. Thank you for a chance to win your lovely collection.

  39. Amy says:

    I haven’t done a holiday oriented album at any point but I’m giving it a go this year! Mine will be hybrid … Thanks for the chance!

  40. JulieBee says:

    Hi. I haven’t completed a Christmas album, but I started a Creative Memories post-bound one about 16 years ago. It has 3 completed pages in it. Does that count? lol. I’m hanging my head in shame. I’ve decided one of my main problems is that I have too much clutter so there isn’t a nice, big clean surface to work on, so I’m constantly discouraged from working on that. I would love to win the kits. I think I might manage a small 6×6 album like you’re doing. Yours looks like it will be great! Mine would have to be a 12 things or 12 days sort of thing, too. Daily is NOT my thing!

  41. Aimee Stacker says:

    I have never done a December album. I have considered it, but I didn’t feel I could committ to doing something every day, so I just haven’t done it. Seeing your take on the December album, I am thinking I could definitely do something simple like it. Thank you for the opporutnity to win these digital collections. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

  42. KarYn A. says:

    I have not done one – the closest I came was last December where I had gathered everything as we experienced life – but nothing has been put in an album. The more I read about it, the more I think I need to do my “foundation” pages in July – then just add things as they happen in December – haven’t quite figured it out yet being mainly digital…what do I do with all the “ephemera?” Thanks for the opportunity.

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