Instead of keeping that box of old family photos in the attic to collect dust, use the pictures to create a family history album. Creating an album is easy using a scrapbook. Most scrapbooks are fairly large, with enough space to fit pictures along with a title and notes describing the picture. A family history album is also a nice gift to present to the matriarch or patriarch in your family or to show during a family reunion.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Family photos and mementos
- Scrapbook Photo Album
- Glue sticks/adhesives
- Scrapbooking decorative paper
Gather old family photos, mementos and stories. Ask all of your family members to bring you any pictures that they have of the family, especially pictures of past generations such as your great-grandparents and great- uncles and aunts. If they have their own families, be sure to get current family photos as well.
Include any pictures of old houses or a town where the family patriarch started the family. Gather any precious mementos such as marriage certificates, love letters and newspaper clippings. Take pictures of family heirlooms to place in the album as well. Include any special family recipes and words of wisdom passed down throughout the years.
Find a scrapbook album with space to add extra pages. At a crafts store, choose a large scrapbook that has plenty of space on each page. Choose a scrapbook album with decorative pages to make designing each page easier. Pick up extra pages in case you run out of pages already in the scrapbook.
You will also need to buy photo tape and glue sticks or perhaps decorative-edge scissors to cut pictures or background paper into designs. You will also need acid-free permanent markers to write important family dates and stories on each album page.
Create a layout of each album page on plain white paper. Draw the outline of where you want each item placed on each page of the blank pieces of paper. If something doesn't look right, you can make corrections on the paper so you don't have to try making corrections on the actual photo album. Use the layouts as a road map as you assemble the family history album.
Assemble the family history album. You can put the album in whatever order you like, however chronological order is the easiest to understand the family story. Try not to overcrowd the album with too many photos. Use the best photos that tell a story as succinctly as possible. Supplement pictures with captions, mementos and letters that help explain the picture.
To make pictures stand out on the page, place photos over coloured construction paper to create a border around them. Use the decorative-edge scissors to make a detailed border. Write anecdotal stories that go with the picture that tells the family history story. When you have assembled all the pages, add in the extra pages so the family history album can be continued.
Tips and warnings
- To preserve photos, make sure the photo album comes with acid-free sleeves.
- If family members are resistant to giving you original copies of family photos, get copies made of all the photos so that you have copies for the album and the family members can keep their original pictures.
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