As my oldest nephew was reaching the time of his graduation from high school, I started to think about we could as something special for him from the entire family. I was, at the time, really just getting into Scrapbooking full force so, creating a Graduation Album was the perfect idea. Since that time, I've made 4 more, including two this year. I thought I would share the basics of what I do to create this wonderful gift. Obviously, the first one, was a surprise, but since than, the nieces and nephews all expect these and even offer advice on what color album they want :-)
The first step in creating the album is to get the info out to all of the family members. Normally, somewhere during the month of February of the year of graduation, I will send a litter to my brothers and parents which includes the following: Instructions, due dates, blank scrapbook pages. I ship this off with hopes of getting them back on time ha!! Each family is "required" to create their own scrapbook pages which include a family picture (or pictures), and than a letter written by each family member to the graduate. This letter can include memories, funny stories or just advice for the graduate. For the youngest members, they can make pictures (this year, since my boys are so young, I actually traced each of the boys handprints to put in the book.) The family also decorates the pages as they wish. They return them to me and I add them into the final book . Originally, they only had to send the letters and I created all of the pages but one year, my sister-in-law, Nora, send back full pages and I realized how special those pages really were and therefore, changed what I did!
While the family is working on their pages, I am pulling all the pictures I can find of that person with family members. Some are easier than others based on how closely we lived to each other but I'm always amazed at the number of pictures I'm able to gather. I also ask the family to provide me with photos but, I don't get many LOL Also, I used facebook to pull pictures as well since that seems to be such a great storage place for so many people.
This year, for the first time, I created the albums digitally. I used Creative Memories photo software to create all of the pages. That way, I only had to drag and drop the photos into place, add journaling and than print. It was so nice and they turned out so well!! Here are a few samples:
The best part of the book though, are the letters, Everyone enjoys reading what is written but, for the graduate, it is such an encouragement.
Here are a few pictures of a finished book - the most recent one.
Sorry for the turned photos - blogger doesn't like them today :-)
If you would like info on the Creative Memories Software feel free to ask but this post is really just show off my latest "craft" :-)