How to Gift the Perfect Scrapbook



I’m pretty good at the whole scrapbooking thing. I also think that the best gift you can give someone always contains a part of yourself. That means that if I like you — I’ve probably made you a scrapbook-gift at least once. Furthermore, since moving last summer (and writing more notes to friends), I’ve been making a lot more scrapbook-gift presents for people. There’s really no better feeling than seeing someone fall in love with a gift that you’ve made for them.

Scrapbook gifts are not for everyone. But if you have that friend or family member that’s always going-on about how they would love to scrapbook, but they just don’t have the time? Chances are, they’re a good candidate for a scrapbook-gift.

I realize that the idea of giving someone a piece of your artwork is terrifying — all that time? all that effort? what if they hate it? Here are a couple of things that I’ve learned over the years about what makes for the best handmade scrapbook gifts.


1. Start Small. If you aren’t sure if you’re friend is the scrapbook-gift type, start small. Gift them a small mini-album, or send them a handmade card. The best candidates for scrapbook-gifts are the type of people that appreciate the effort-part of the gift as much as the thing-part of the gift.

2. Bulk Projects, If you’re still not sure, A great way to test out your friends and family is to make a simple assembly-line type project, a set of cards or a mini-album, and see who is most responsive — then those people get the cooler scrapbook-gifts in the future.

3. Event Scrapbooking. Help someone tell their story. Graduation, Weddings, Birthdays — all great excuses for a scrapbook. Creating a pre-made scrapbook for someone’s life event gives them an easy opportunity to document an important part of their story. Also, people tend to take lots of photos at life-events, so now those photos can have a place to sit instead of on everyone’s phone.

4. Embrace Your Style. The hardest lesson I’ve learned is that the best gifts embrace your own style first. Yes, you might be making a gift for someone else, but you are the one making the gift. Your best effort will come from creating something that you’re comfortable with, and the person you’re giving the gift to is getting a handmade present from you — your style should be present.


This following photos are from a scrapbook-gift album I gave to my sister for Christmas. She’s moving from home (NYC) to Chicago for her first full-time grown-up job, and I wanted her to have a place to document all her new favorite things. She doesn’t scrapbook herself, but she loves having scrapbooks of her favorite life events.



Between moving halfway across the country into a brand new city, and starting a totally new job, there’s no way she’s going to have time to properly document the amazing time she’s going to have living in Chicago. So I made her this album to document all the good stuff that happens. All she needs to do is print photos from her phone, and jot down a few notes here and there to remember the details.

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Supply List: Versafine OnyxInsta-Album Teal, Basic Grey Second City Flair, 6×6 Paper Pad, Cardstock Stickers, Die-Cuts/

Have you made scrapbook-gifts for other people? If someone were to make you a scrapbook-gift, what would you want it to look like?

  • Lauren

    I love your tip about testing who is the most responsive to handmade gifts – I once spent a lot of time making a card for my mother in law with our kids photos on it and when she opened it she said “you have too much time on your hands.” Now she gets store bought cards and I make handmade cards for those I know will love them!! That album looks amazing and what a fantastic idea, I’m sure your sister will treasure it.

    • Ugh. mothers in law. // It’s just so nice to know that there are some people that really appreciate the time and effort put into something you made for them.

      • “Ugh. mothers in law.” <3 <3

        I love the tips about thinking who would appreciate it. SO needed in my life, because I pour my heart into things that I think people would love and sometimes they are like, 'meh.' // Side note: those are also sometimes the people that I realize might not be the best fit in my life.

        I also hate when people are like, "oh you scrapbook? You must have so much free time to be able to do that. I could never do that since I'm so busy with XYZ." MAKE TIME FOR HOBBIES, PEOPLE. Don't diss mine.

        *steps off soapbox*

  • Ilona

    I gave my ex-boyfriend a scrapbook about his childhood. He didn’t have that much photo’s of himself, because he was put into foster care. The few pictures he had, I put in a scrapbook for him, so he still had an album of his childhood, like most of us have (made by our parents). He loved it and he still has it, even though we split up.

    • That’s exactly what I’m talking about — that’s amazing.

  • Kristen C

    What a timely post. I’m wanting to help a friend scrapbook her mother’s journey with cancer. It’s obviously a sensitive and rather unhappy topic, although I think my friend and her mom embrace the simple yet difficult to swallow fact that it is now a part of their lives. At first my friend wanted me to create some sort of calendar on my computer, but I want it to be a more personalized labor of love for them. I have never scrapped anything of this nature. Does anyone have any ideas?

    • I haven’t made an entire album, only added bits and pieces of hard times to my Project Life and other scrapbooks. I’d love to help you brainstorm though — Anytime I think about scrapping hard times, my mind automatically goes to envelopes. I like using them for hidden journaling, or little mementos that need a place, but don’t necessarily have to be out in the open.

      • elizabethrosemond

        Envelopes are an awesome idea!

  • Cerise Wade

    Love this!! In the past when I have gifted albums they have been complete, but I love this one. I need to do something similar for my mother. I caught her taping stuff on colored sheets of paper the other day and she said it was just easier. :) Thanks for the idea!

  • Carol W.

    I made my sister’s twins their baby books/albums. Not only did I include the traditional information found in most baby books, I included pages for each first holiday and a double layout for first birthday. Her face was the best ‘thank you’ I have ever received. Her boys are 8 now and they still love to look at the albums.

  • Bella

    It’s so inspiring! My boyfriend and I are traveling a lot and that moving scrapbook is awesome! Thanks for sharing your ideas!