Birthday Album: Update #2 + Tips


With my 10 Layouts Challenge coming to a close later today, I’m back to show off the second half of my daughter’s birthday album + offer some tips based on what I learned during the process of putting this album together. ūüôā

Here are the final sets of birthday layouts (layouts are linked to my gallery):






When I started out with this idea to create a birthday album, my goal was to¬†assemble a clean,¬†elegant and most importantly, cohesive album that would compliment 10 years of digital photos that varied widely in terms of their size and quality.¬† I wanted the photos from my daughter’s first birthday, which averaged around 400-500 KBs,¬†to¬†appear just as lovely¬†alongside the higher quality (nearly 5.0 MP)¬†photos taken¬†on her 10th birthday.

Here’s what I learned during this process:

Quick Albums are a Little Like Using Magic


A tip I picked up last Fall when I was putting together¬†my wedding album (consisting of scanned printed photos)¬†–>¬†the fastest way to get challenging photos scrapped is by using a ready-to-use album.¬† Less time invested in creating a page left me more time to fix and clean up the lower quality¬†photos.¬† And since I was using photos that ranged from¬†itty-bitty to supersized, I designed this album to have frames/windows¬†that would accommodate and compliment¬†all of these sizes.

Opposites Attract

One of the things I like most about the Still Life Collection: Black & White 12×12 Album is that it is clean and elegant.  Since this album combined the themes of kids & birthdays, I was looking for a way to add a little colour, whimsy and character to each page.


Easy to alter and re-colour, the doodles from the Photo Doodles: Volume 3 pack not only add a whimsical, celebratory touch to each page, but on many pages they also help tell part of the story.

Black & White Photos are the LBD of Photography & Scrapbooking


Low quality photos I could enlarge once they were B&W

The easiest way to¬†fix noisy, low quality photos or photos with distracting colours and backgrounds –> convert these into high contrast black & white photos.¬† The noise and dull colours¬†on¬†the photos from the earlier years were much less noticeable once they were no longer in full colour.¬† Converting all of my photos for this album into black & white also gave each photo an elegant quality¬†and instantly unified the entire album.

Let the Photo take a Back Seat


One photo + lots of journaling

Recently, my approach to albums has either been to be more photo focused or balanced in the photo and story presentation.  Even though I had handfuls of photos from each of these special occasions, most of the layouts have only a single photo.  For this album my design plan was to let the coordinating journaling page tell the majority of the story.

It’s all in the Details


Having only one or just a few photos for the photo layouts, the journaling page was my chance to tell the whole story Рfrom jotting down the traditional who-what-when-where-why details to capturing the funny, sweet & memorable moments that would help all of us relive the excitement of that special day.

Some of details I included on each page:

  • date & location of the party
  • theme & decorations
  • names of guests & special guests
  • food, snacks & treats served
  • activities & games
  • loot bags
  • presents & gifts received

Understandably, retrieving all of these tiny details from the deep, dark recesses of my memory proved to be a challenge.  Here are a few strategies I used to track down bits & pieces of information I had long forgotten:

  • Play Where’s Waldo with your Photos – It’s surprising to see how many of those memory elusive details get captured in the foregrounds & backgrounds of both the action and staged say-cheese-for-the-camera photos.¬† Food, d√©cor, gifts, location, weather, unplanned moments – all of these (and more) may literally be hiding in the far corners of your photos.
  • You Have Mail – If you are like me and didn’t keep the paper invites, but have an unintentional tendency to horde emails, do an email¬†search using key words like the name of a guest or¬†location of the party.¬† I had kept emails from parents who had sent their¬†RSVP via email.¬† These emails were a gold mine for finding the exact date of my daughter’s party and¬†sometimes the long lost name of a party guest.
  • Facial Profiling¬†– While many of my daughter’s frequent party guests are close friends to this day, some of her guests were classmates that have moved on or away over the years.¬† My best resource for tracking down guest names –> class photos (all of my daughter’s class photos include the first name of each child listed at the bottom).¬†¬† Every single time I made a successful match of a¬†clean, smiling face from¬†a class photo to¬†a painted, silly¬†face¬†from a¬†party photo, I was¬†left feeling like a CSI boss.

What’s next?¬†

My initial plan was to turn this album into a photo book asap.  That was until my husband gave me an awesome, but labour intensive suggestion to follow each birthday layout set with a set of layouts that celebrate the highlights of that year (photo page + journaling page).  I LOVE that idea, especially because it would get so many of my favourite photos of my daughter scrapped.  So, for now, the printing of this album has been put on hold.:)

For all the projects in this blog post I used these products from my shoppe:

Grab the Still Life Collection: Black & White 12√ó12 Album here and the Photo Doodles: Volume 3 pack here.


Today is also the last day to pick up this sampler pack . 

Thank you to everyone who has joined me in¬†my 10 Layouts Challenge this month!¬† I have been so inspired by all of your beautiful projects and layouts and have added many of them to my own scrapbook to-do list! ūüôā


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