Holiday Extravaganza: Christmas Journal

Welcome to the rukristin papercrafts inaugural Holiday Extravaganza Blog Party.
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This guest post comes to us from the UK.  Thanks to Jo Sowerby of Curly Scrapbooker



Every year I take part in Shimelle Laine’s class ‘’Journal Your Christmas’’. What I love about this class is that it lasts from December 1st through to 12th night, the 6th January. The first year you pay for the class but on subsequent years you receive all the class pdfs but the class is free. I think it is around £22.00 to purchase. There are other December journaling projects, for example Ali Edward’s December Daily, however I love completing my album right into January every year.

Every year, I make my own album from scratch using a mixture of Christmas supplies, some current papers but often papers I have kept from previous years. I love having a wide choice for making my pages and inserts. I have made albums using Amazon book packaging, pizza boxes and purchased chipboard pages. Recycling can be beautiful.

For my album this year, I have used some mount board pieces which tend to be a good weight for covers. You need something fairly sturdy to hold a lot of patterned papers and inserts so basically something which is strong. I have a local picture framer who leaves mount board off cuts outside the shop for you to take free so this album will be pretty cheap. I decided to make my album sized: 10 ½ x 7 ½ as the boards I had were cut to that size.

Having cut my covers to size I then needed to decide on the cover patterned paper. I chose a pink card with a slight sheen to it for the front and back covers. I chose a velvet and lace ribbon for my ribbon ties. Apply your adhesive of choice; I used Glossy accents by Ranger as a little goes a long way and it always adheres perfectly. Apply the papers you have chosen to your covers, press them under a weight or heavy books and leave your covers to dry thoroughly, preferably overnight.

Because my journal will run from 1st December to 6th January I need at least 37 pages however I know that some days I want to document more so I actually cut a total of 40 pages. This gives me the freedom to expand on certain days such as Xmas day, my birthday and New Years Eve. I also found some overlay sheets which I cut to size to use as pages and dividers.

But do not worry if you feel you are unsure of how many pages to cut, as I will be showing you how to make some special pages for your album where you can document more on just page. I made a series of pages with extra pockets for tags and card for days I thought there might be more pictures and journaling.

The first one I made was based on this video by ‘’clipngirl’’ who also blogs here This video is 11 minutes long and easy to follow.


This insert has several pockets for journaling cards/photos and also small tags.

This was a lovely addition to make as it only uses one full sheet of 12 x 12 patterned papers and a small piece of spare patterned paper to make an extra pocket section. The instructions were very simple to follow. Although it is a lot smaller than my main pages, it easily adds interest to a larger page.

The second set is based on 3 videos by Kathy Orta based on her December Daily 2 album. You can find the first video here. Kathy also blogs at . I have added more information on the attached pdf for this post.

This first page is made for my Christmas day pictures and journaling and includes lots of spaces hidden and seen.

Picture 1 shows the front of the mini insert which I have attached to one of my pages. I added ribbon to the insert to allow the page to be closed securely.


This front page has a hidden envelope pocket which holds a journaling card.

Picture 2 shows the inside cover. This has a pocket for tags which I have decorated. I will sue the rears for journaling or small photos. On the right hand side of picture 2 is a red card matted with a coloured paper, you can see this opened in picture 4 to show an envelope hidden beneath and a journaling card.

Picture 3 shows a close-up of one of the tags which I distressed with Tim Holtz Distress ink. I stamped the sentiment using embossing ink and clear embossing powder. I add some Jenni Bowlin chipboard stars which I had added glitter to a sticker and some small stars from Studio Calico. I also added some red twine and a pearl pin.

Picture 5 shows the back of the 2nd page with a sleeve for tags and another page with a pocket for tags. Hidden within this page is another journaling page which is pulled out.

I loved the simplicity of using envelopes and patterned papers to make inserts for my album which would provide so much extra space to journal and add photographs. I also tend to have a lot of memorabilia to add so these pages are perfect.

Here is another page I made using Kathy’s videos…


Because I have been a regular participant in Journal your Christmas, I already know in advance some of the pages we normally complete. These include:

  • Putting up decorations and the tree,
  • Favourite music,
  • Parcel wrapping,
  • Christmas traditions,
  • Christmas menu,
  • Letters to Santa,
  • Christmas Day obviously
  • New Years Eve,
  • New Year resolutions,
  • Packing everything away.

Here are a few pages based on these prompts.


I have added small Studio Calico and Jillibean Soup Polaroid frames but only stuck the bottom of the frame to the page so I can slot my photos in later

I also know I will be going to the odd carol concert, a gig, the annual Reindeer parade, participating in Storytelling Sunday on the 1st of the month, meeting friend, maybe being invited to a party etcetera. So if you know certain events will be falling on specific days, you can plan ahead.



The ‘’Dear Santa’’ letter was found online a couple of years ago but there were lots around at the time. The Reindeer parade page has a cut down Starbucks disposable cup in a holder attached to the page. When it is opened there is room for journaling or pictures.

And here is the finished album…


I added lots of ribbons to the binder ringers as they looked rather bare, usually I leave this right until the end, however for the purposes of this post I felt it looked neater. The tree decoration is an ornament I bought this year for this purpose.

My final addition will be this little fella.



He will be my bookmark and is a simple wooden tree ornament which I took the hanging from and added a gold ribbon to instead. He has a little bell so won’t get lost among the pages.


I will be blogging more about my Christmas journaling during December so if you like to see some finished pages then do come and visit me at


Play along using hashtag #holidayextravaganza.

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