Got a close friend with a milestone birthday coming up? Don’t just celebrate her birthday—celebrate her life.
A scrapbook celebrating each decade with photos and keepsakes is a wonderful way to mark a milestone birthday. Start by enlisting the help of her family and friends to gather photos, awards, newspaper clippings, ticket stubs and other keepsakes from each decade of her life. Shortly before the big day, find the following: a block of time, a digital camera, a scanner, scissors or a photo cutter, an empty scrapbook and a helper or two. Follow the simple steps below, and within a few hours, you’ll have captured a lifetime of memories between the covers of a book.
Gather mementos of all shapes and sizes. Don’t limit yourself to photographs and paper items—three-dimensional objects like a baby dress are beautiful when turned into scans or photos.
Place all your items on a large table, loosely arranging everything by decade. This will help you understand the flow of the book.
Scan, make color copies or photograph all certificates, clippings and awards. Photograph large items, like a baby dress, with a digital camera. (Avoid using flash photography; instead shoot images by a window. Natural light will give your photographs a softer look.)
Tip: Photograph some items lying on vintage print papers, then use those same papers as backgrounds for other pages.
Size most photos, scans and copies so you’ll be able to fit a few on a page. But size some images, like the shot of the baby dress or of grade school homework in our examples above, to use as backgrounds.
Lay all the pages on a table and arrange them to tell your friend’s story. Then tweak and glue.
Write captions. You can also add clip art or stickers. And remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be memorable!
The finishing touch
Write a letter to the recipient of the book telling her how much she means to you. Place the letter in the front-cover pocket. Save the back-cover pocket for cards and notes from party guests.