Heritage Scrapbook: Elementary in the 80s

School records and photos are so fun to discover for our ancestors. But, do you have documents from when you were in school? How are you going to show case those records?

altered alpha - Kiss WInter Blues; Chalkboard & crayons - Ramona Preschool;
scallop edge, yellow tag, & flowers - Coreen Silke - Spa Holiday; yellow paper - Triple J Designs Sun Kissed

Normally I scrapbook using templates. They're fast, easy to use, and take the guess work out of designing a page. That's power scrapbooking. For this collection of items, I had to give it a go without assistance and it was challenging.

How could I arrange everything in an eye appealing way, compensate for the faded manual school report cards and three different color themes in these school photos. I wanted a soft color palette to complement these 80s era photos. What could I do?

The first thing I did was determine how I was going to arrange the items on the page. I didn't necessarily want to over emphasize any one particular photo or item. I only knew the name of myself in the group photo (see, you have to label photos or no one will remember!). So, I scaled everything to be of similar weight. I also noticed the report cards were going to take up a lot of real estate to be legible. I decided I liked the outer cover of my pre-school report card on the lower left corner. The interior of the report card on the right leading vertically in the 'diploma' to conclude the page. The lower right corner often is the last thing our eyes see on a page. So, the diploma logically goes there.

With the papers in place, I could arrange the photos. The photo in the upper corner has me facing to the right of the portrait. The photo in the lower right has me looking to the left. A subtle but critical design tip is to have people in your photos looking into the page rather than off the page. I noticed the eye direction and that guided the placement of the photos on this page. With these two photos in place, the group photo was a natural fit.

Next, I placed the journaling. My scrapbook text blocks tend to be larger than others, so I need to find enough space for the writing. Thankfully this arrangement of photos and documents left enough journaling space.

Since this was a school themed page, I wanted school elements. For the lower portion of the background paper, I wanted notebook paper that is often used to train small hands. Then I found a few other items: chalkboard and crayons. Once these items were in place, I needed something else.

I chose a flower and altered it to be the same color as the ribbon in my favorite Easter dress that I have scrapbooked before. These elements needed a little something extra to tie them together, so I found a yellow tag. The tag fades into the background but links these elements together.

Finally, I added a title. I didn't wrack my brain trying to come up with anything clever. I simply called this page what it was... Preschool. I'm so glad that the original alphabet is gray. Whenever I need the alphabet to be a different color, I change the letters using Photoshop Elements. I draw a solid shape, fill it with color and then snap it to the element that needs a color change. I then switch the blending mode to color and I'm usually good to go! I pulled the colors for the letters from the embellishments... blue, orange, and yellow.

I had a small void on the bottom between the two photos. I could have left this blank, but I added a simple 'abc' in the title colors. It was just enough to make my heart sing. At the top of the page, I placed a very soft scallop border and the layout was complete.

Initially, I thought this layout was going to be so difficult to connect all of these competing elements together. Once I started took a deep breath and pressed on, things fell into place. If I can do it, you can to.

For more tips on what goes into a Family History Scrapbook, order my eBookCreating A Family History Scrapbook Digitally in Twelve Simple Steps.

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  1. Is this a 2-page spread? I like that you used soft colors for the letters rather than bright primary colors which might have been more expected for a preschool page.

    1. Yes Wendy. This is a two page layout. Good I. I generally I scrapbook two pages and most of the time I post each page separately. Today, I thought you'd like to see them side by side they way they'd appear in the final printed book.

      Thanks for the feedback on the soft colors. I really struggled trying to pick a color pallet for the layout. Should I play up the time period or the colors in the photos. I opted for the softer colors and I feel this helped me stay focused on the photos and the story. Glad you found that choice pleasing. I love to hear feedback on my creations.

  2. Great layout! I would love to scrapbook my childhood. Thanks for the motivation. :)

    1. Glad I could motivate you Dana. I'd love to see what you create.


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