Lisa Bearnson first discovered scrapbooking at age seven, and quickly became addicted to this fulfilling hobby. "I started with a passion for saving memorabilia that was very therapeutic for me as I was growing up," says Bearnson.
Now, as the founding editor of Creating Keepsakes Magazine, this Orem, Utah mom who works at home has turned her lifelong passion into a multi-million dollar business. Along the way, she's discovered that making scrapbooks for your children "can build self-esteem, and show them that they belong to a family who loves them," she says.
Bearnson explains that creating a birthday page for each year, and assembling all the pages into a birthday scrapbook is an easy way to commemorate the memory of birthdays, "a day when you are celebrating that child." She offers the following suggestions for creating a great birthday scrapbook.
Choose a yearly theme
Bearnson suggests considering each year as a "chapter" in the birthday scrapbook. She herself gives each of her children a birthday party every other year, and stresses that a scrapbook theme section can be created for each year whether or not the child has a birthday party with friends that year. She recommends choosing a yearly theme to connect the memorabilia and help each birthday stand out as a separate memory.
For example, on Bearnson's daughter Kayla's eighth birthday, she chose a smiley face theme. "All the pages from that year are black and yellow and have smiley faces on them," says Bearnson. Another year, her child chose a Pokemon pizza party theme, so all of that year's pages featured Pokemon cartoons and die-cut pizzas. "A pirate theme could include treasure chests and sailing ships," suggests Bearnson.
Plan your pictures
There are two types of photos that typically make great additions to a birthday scrapbook, says Bearnson. The first kind includes close-up photos of the birthday child. "This could be a child holding up fingers to show how old he is, or sitting beside a cake with the appropriate number of candles," says Bearnson. She knows of one mom who usually has her child smile while holding a sign in her outstretched hands. One year, the sign said, "It's my eighth birthday."
The second type of photo includes pictures of the party guests or family members who are celebrating the event. "You might consider a photo of all the kids or family members smiling, or an individual photo of each birthday guest," explains Bearnson. For her son's birthday party where the children made gingerbread houses, she snapped a photo of each child with his finished gingerbread house. "These pictures are great for thank you cards to send each child a photo of himself with a thank-you note," she says.
Include a time in the celebration when guests or family members can sign autographs as mementoes of the day. "When we had the smiley face party, the kids all enjoyed signing their autographs in the smiles. Autographs are an easy, adaptable way to preserve memories that fits with any birthday theme," says Bearnson.
Record the year's highlights
Bearnson explains that an easy way to record the year's highlights is to create a list of favorites. "The list might include your child's favorite movie, song, vocal group, best friend, color, book, sport, hobby, etc." Bearnson adds that you might consider naming the page "Favorites at Five," for example.
Parents can also consider commemorating the year's highlights by writing a letter to their child that describes events of that year. "One Mom I know writes a recollection of the year's happenings, such as hitting a first home run, and lists her child's 'favorites,' around the edge of the letter, says Bearnson. "A parent can also take the opportunity to express love and appreciation for the child in such a letter."
Create a "pocket page"
Bearnson explains that a "pocket page," is a scrapbook page with another piece of paper attached. You can create a "pocket" by gluing or taping the top piece of paper to the scrapbook page on three sides, thereby creating a "pocket." "This page can follow the theme of the other pages, and allows you to keep memorabilia that you don't want to glue inside the scrapbook. It's perfect for birthday cards, movie tickets, a copy of your invitation, or other mementoes."
Consider creating an "invitation page"
It's fun to create an invitation that fits your theme, and therefore contributes to that year's birthday theme in your scrapbook. For example, the invitation for Bearnson's "smiley face" party is a camera that says, "Put On Your Smiley Face, because Kayla's having a happy birthday."
Feel free to use your creativity
Bearnson explains that a scrapbook is as individual and unique as a child. "Work together with your child to determine which memories are most important to him. Most of all, a scrapbook is a place to be yourself and have fun."
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