Preserving Memories: Flag Paper, Stickers and Stamps

By Patti Swoboda Premium

Capture the Flag

It’s up to you to document your American experience for future generations, so they know what life was like in the United States at the start of the 21st century. Design Originals’ papers and guides will help you 1 infuse the pages of your heritage album with American spirit.

Capture a slice of American life by matting newspaper clippings, photos and other keepsakes on bold, USA-pride paper. The $7.99 tear-out book Patriotic Papers contains 16 8 ½ ×11-inch scrapbook papers, while USA Papers has 18 12×12-inch sheets for $9.99.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect paper, it’s time to devise a catchy concept for your page. The patterns, instructions and sample pages featured in American Spirit Patriotic Scrapbooks offer a colorful salute to creativity and will give any heritage album an American flare. Contributor Joanna Campbell Slan adds journaling hints to the $12.99 book packed with techniques on how to weave paper strips, make microbead flags and incorporate wavy flag-striped paper into your layouts.

For the finishing touches, add some bold embellishments. Memory Folds U.S.A. includes everything you need to fold and create stars, flags, boxes, clothing and pinwheels using teabag-folding techniques. The $12.99 kit, which contains step-by-step instructions and seven folding papers, makes it easy to embellish your festive Fourth of July pages with a little red, white and blue. All of the Design Originals’ books and kits are available at your favorite craft or scrapbook store. (800) 877-7820, <>.

Scrapbook salute

As you celebrate the Stars and Stripes this Fourth of July, honor your relatives who have preserved our freedom through the decades: Create a page in your heritage album to salute your military roots. You can commemorate the contributions of your soldier ancestor or, if your family has a long tradition of service, try a then-and-now theme. An Independence Day spread is a great place to introduce a past family hero to a present one, highlighting their special relationships with each other and their country. For example, the page above illustrates the strong familial and military bonds that exist between grandfather and grandson — and it will serve as a lasting memorial to their family’s proud American heritage.

State of the Art

No matter where your ancestors lived, State of Mine Stickers has scrapbook embellishments that will help you commemorate the places your ancestors called home. The company offers name stickers for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each 8 ½ ×11 inch sheet is printed on clear polypropylene and includes labels for 18 to 25 cities, towns, parks, historical landmarks and tourist attractions specific to the state. Incorporate the unique character of each state — as well as a number of foreign countries and cities — into your album by playing up the vibrant colors and fun fonts characteristic of each location. The line is perfect for honoring family military heroes, too — it offers stickers to represent the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Designed for easy removal and placement, these archival-safe stickers are acid- and lignin-free. Prices range from $2.50 to $3.50 per sheet.

Journey Stamps coordinate with the State of Mine stickers: They’re also available for all 50 states and many foreign destinations. You’ll find a selection of greetings, phrases and state nicknames, as well. Prices range from $8 to $20. Ask for these products at scrapbook and rubber-stamp stores, or find a retailer near you at <>.

If you need inspiration for your location-themed pages, consult Destination Stickers and Stamps’ new idea book, In a Travel State of Mine. This 32-page booklet is loaded with page-design examples, fun facts and quick tips for creating travel pages. Adapt the suggestions in the $6 book to create layouts that document your family history: For example, chart your ancestors’ trek along the Oregon Trail, or design a page that highlights the ail-American apple pie recipe that won Grandma the Illinois state fair blue ribbon three years in a row. (407) 491-7624, <>

Label Your Lineage

Of course, no American-themed heritage album is complete without a pretty pedigree chart that outlines ancestors who either immigrated to or were born in the United States. The Family Tree Series from S.R.M. Press makes it easy to create a stylish family tree, with 12-inch borders and matching Little Labels that denote family titles. Each Little Label measures 3 ×1 inches and has space for you to fill in the appropriate names; blank labels let you add details such as dates and places, or create another page theme (such as the one at left). The stickers are acid- and lignin-free, and can be repositioned on your page. You’ll find them in craft, scrapbook, rubber stamp, stationery and gift stores. (310) 306-1595, <>

Scrap Speak: Embellish

You may have heard hard-core scrappers talk about all the fancy embellishments that make their pages unique. But, you think, isn’t adding anythingto a blank page considered “embellishing”? Not quite. To embellish a page is to accessorize it — and accent your photographs — with die cuts, stickers, chalk, ink or stamped designs. If you really want to add character to your album, invest in some “bulky” embellishments: three-dimensional accents such as buttons, wire, fasteners, raffia and textiles. Remember to make sure any embellishments you use are acid-free and that bulky ones aren’t positioned where they can scratch or dent photographs.

From the August 2003 Family Tree Magazine