This school album is a project that had me stuck for a long time. I couldn’t quite figure out what I wanted to do, and the mountains of school papers were overwhelming. But I’ve finally put together my daughter’s school album! She’s in sixth grade now, so it’s halfway finished already. :)
The idea is simple: one small album containing highlights from kindergarten through 12th grade.
I didn’t want to create scrapbook pages for every single school event and accomplishment. I tried that already – I’d made one layout when my daughter started Kindergarten…. that’s one layout in seven years. Obviously it wasn’t working for me. I just needed a “greatest hits” album.
I selected the 6×8 Studio Calico handbook system. This was my first time using it and I love it! The album is taller than the page protectors, so even though the school papers stick out of the pages a little, they do not stick out of the album itself. It also has a wider spine than the other small albums I’ve seen, so I can fit more pages in it.
I used the following supplies (but any of the handbook and page insert styles will work):
- Studio Calico 7×9 Sundrifter Handbook
- Studio Calico page protectors – so far I am using (1) 4×6 & (2) 4×3, and (4) 4×3
- Studio Calico Yearbook Album Inserts
- Studio Calico Classic Album Inserts
- Small letter stickers – mostly BasicGrey (monogram), Jillibean Soup, Recollections (from Michael’s), and some older ones from my stash (Mustard Moon and Pink Paislee).
Related post: Small Scrapbook Album Review.
In order to fit 13 grades into one album, I had to have a plan. For each grade I included:
- 5×7 school portrait
- journaling card with basic info
- report card
- ribbons & certificates
- sampling of schoolwork, art, and handwriting
Because of the Studio Calico page inserts I used (there are punched out numbers as you’ll see in the photos), I selected sketch #1:
3. Journaling Cards
For each year, I created a 3×4 journaling card with the following basic info:
- favorite subjects
- best friends
- career goal
- highlights (awards, plays, field trips, etc.)
I used the free font Open Sans Condensed (bold and light) and small letter stickers. I matched the cardstock color to the school portrait. I used the free font Learning Curve on the “First Day” card header (made to look like a legal pad),
I added sewing to each card as well.
To make everything fit, sometimes I had to abbreviate & eliminate. I shortened “Best Friends” to “BFFs” on 5th grade. I also changed the journaling design for 4th and 5th grade to accomodate more journaling. For Kindergarten, I made two journaling cards.
Related post: Christmas Album (journaling cards).
Also see my Pinterest journaling cards page for links to free printables.
4. Papers & Pockets
When sorting through school papers, I kept the following for each grade:
- sampling of papers from each subject
- excellent grades
- glowing teacher comments
- best handwriting
Once the papers were sorted, they had to go somewhere. I created pockets by sewing a piece of Bazzill clear plastic paper to the back of a Studio Calico page insert. Cardstock could also be used, or a separate page protector.
This is the front and back of one of the page inserts:
I also made a pocket with one of the folded pages by simply sewing the bottom edge (Kindergarten page).
Report cards fit perfectly, and standard size papers can be folded in half to fit. For larger papers that probably shouldn’t be folded (like certificates), just scan, reduce to half size and print.
I scanned & photographed some artwork and school work and turned them into 3×4 cards:
Related post: Organizing Memorabilia.
In addition to the 5×7 school portrait, I also gathered a few photos from each year, such as the first day of school, a photo with the teacher, field trips, etc. I added text to the photos in Photoshop, cropped or reduced them to 3×4 and printed on my home printer.
Also check out Cathy Zielske’s school album for some more ideas. I discovered it a couple of days ago and really like the photo collage for Kindergarten through sixth grade. It inspired me to make my own photo collage for Kindergarten through 12th grade using one of the Studio Calico classic album inserts:
Here are a few of the school album pages…
The cover page is currently plain (I plan to add a title later):
Kindergarten has three 2-page spreads:
I used the page inserts numbered 1-4 for grades 1-4, and I followed sketch #1 above (I’m only posting a few pages):
Beginning with grade 5, I used the tabbed page inserts:
And this is how much space I’ve used in the album so far – I’m at the halfway point, and page inserts for the remaining grades are already in the album (but not page protectors):
Now I’m getting started on my son’s album!
UPDATE: It’s Always Autumn has posted some fantastic free printables: Elementary School Year In Review Printable Pages.