School Album: Kindergarten through 12th Grade

school album

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.

school - album side

1. 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):

school - album

Related post: Small Scrapbook Album Review.


2. Sketches

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
  • photos

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:

school sketch variation 1


school sketch variation 2


school sketch variation 3


3. Journaling Cards

For each year, I created a 3×4 journaling card with the following basic info:

  • grade
  • school
  • teacher
  • 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.

school - journaling cards

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
  • artwork

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:

school - pocket example

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:

school - art journaling cards

Related post: Organizing Memorabilia.


5. Photos

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:

school - all grades


6. Pages

Here are a few of the school album pages…

The cover page is currently plain (I plan to add a title later):

school - cover page

Kindergarten has three 2-page spreads:

school - kindergarten1

school - kindergarten2

school - kindergarten3


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):

school - first grade

school - 2nd grade1

school - 2nd grade2


Beginning with grade 5, I used the tabbed page inserts:

school - fifth grade

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):

school - album view bottom


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.

  • Sonja Foust

    Oh my gosh, this is so great! LOVE it– and Scarlett is such a beautiful, talented little girl. :)

  • Keianna

    I absolutely love this. Thanks for posting.

  • kelly

    wow. this is an amazing (already) album!

  • Linda

    So inspiring, Lisa! Love it all!

  • http://Debbie' Debbie

    Beautiful! Compact, complete, creative!

  • Lisa Moorefield

    Thank you, everyone! :)


    TFS. I have 4 grandchildren: freshman in college, K, 3rd, and 5th grades. I have been so lost in how to keep up with everything….(Their parents don’t have time to scrapbook (or no interest :( :(—-so I have to come up with something..You have great ideas. What a wonderful easy way. Thanks again!!

  • Audra Monk

    This is really great! Appreciate the details in your blog. Thanks.

  • Lisa Moorefield

    Thanks, everyone! :)

  • Paula Robertson

    This is really neat. I really like how you scanned memorabilia and printed it on 3×4. That’s clever. Do you then feel ok about tossing the original? I’m a hoarder and I’m not sure I’d be able to part with it. I shouldn’t say hoarder, more sentimental. But I think I’m going to give the scanning a try.

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Hi Paula! Thank you! After I scanned a few pages, I kept them in their storage boxes for a little while longer just to make sure I was going to be fine with tossing them. Then I tossed them. I did take out my very favorites to keep in the album – I’d say around 10 papers for each grade. It took a few years’ worth of papers for me to finally realize that I couldn’t keep them all. Good luck! :)

  • Sarah Gilbert

    You have inspired me to scrapbook again! Thank you for helping me figure out how to organize and scrap special kids memorabilia! I have so much saved and feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff I have kept over the years! My kids are in 4th and 7th grade now, but with your ideas here I feel like I can finally put it all together in a way that would be meaningful for my kids down the road and let go of all of that extra paper and stuff! Thank you so much, Lisa!

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Oh I’m so glad! Good luck and I hope you will find scrapbooking enjoyable again. :)