Heritage Scrapbooking: Tips and Suggestions

by Lain Ehmann on August 31, 2010

I have resisted “heritage” scrapbooking for years. Honestly, it just didn’t appeal to me. The idea of digging through old photos to figure out who these people were and what bearing they had on my life was not too appealing — I was way more interested in focusing on the here-and-now. I wanted to create pages of my cute kids, not of dreary black-and-white ancestors who I felt no ties to.

But my idea of heritage scrapbooking has changed in recent months. Maybe because my parents are getting older (or maybe because my kids aren’t as cute anymore, Haha!), I’m starting to feel the pull to document more of my “ancient” history. I’m still not digging into Gramma’s trunk in the attic; instead, I’m working on photos from my own childhood, so there is still an emotional attachment for me.

If you feel like you “should” create heritage scrapbooking pages but face some of the same hesitations I did, here are my suggestions:

  • Start with recent rather than “ancient” history. It will be easier for you to get the stories to document on the page if you were involved in them.
  • Use the products you love. Another reason I’d avoided heritage scrapbooking was that the “traditional” heritage scrapbooking supplies were not my favorites — they were dull and boring. While I don’t use all the bright colors that I might use on “modern” layouts, I still use bits and pieces of the supplies and embellishments I adore.
  • Make copies of the photos! Scan in precious images and use copies — you’ll feel more comfortable experimenting on the pages and cropping images.
  • Incorporate ephemera. Little pieces of history add so much to the page, whether they’re snippets of handwriting, receipts, pieces of fabric, etc.
  • Give yourself permission to scrap as much or as little as you want — even one heritage scrapbook a month! — will be a great contribution towards documenting your past.
  • Have fun! Involve your family members, interview older relatives, have your KIDS interview their grandparents… enjoy the process!

P.S. One of my favorite books on heritage scrapbooking is Family History Scrapbooking by Becky Higgins. She provides a very straightforward approach to working through your family scrapbook projects.

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