Preserving Memories

By Diane Haddad Premium


What are you going to do with the dozens of family photographs you’ve unearthed in your family history research? Don’t file them away or paste them hastily into an album. A family heritage scrap-book, complete with journaling about ancestors and explanations of family relationships, is a loving way to preserve your family’s unique story. Here are four of our favorite heritage scrap booking products to get you started:

Your one-of-a-kind family photos deserve an extra-special home such as Westrim Crafts’ strap-hinge albums. Plastic straps in the binding (concealed by a removable spine cover) slip through hinges on each page. Choose from leather or gold-bordered linen covers in 12×12-, 8 ½×11- or 7×5 ½-inch sizes and several colors. Each album comes with 10 sheets (20 pages) of acid-free paper, and they’re expandable so you can add pages as you discover more ancestors. Prices range from $13 to $35. (800) 727-2727, <>

Old-fashioned black-and-white photos call for a classic-looking scrap-book page. Enter Provo Craft deckle-edge scissors. The timeless pattern, which resembles the edges of the finest stationery, adds just the right touch to photo mats or color photocopies of old letters, marriage certificates and other documents. Deckle-edge scissors cost $1.99. (800) 563-8679.

Big Memory Mats by Hot Off

the Press let you create a beautiful page quickly without cutting your photos. Just cut out the mat openings, mount the mat on cardstock and slip your photos between the papers. The 12×l2-inch acid-free papers have floral and holiday-themed embellishments and space for journaling, and cost $5.95 for 16. (503) 266-9102, <>

You know the value of adding names and dates to all your scrapbook pages, and Mrs. Grossman’s paper company has a lovely way to do it. Paper Whispers labels (starting at 25 cents each) are acid-free stickers with laser-cut lacy edges that look just right on wedding and baby pages and with formal portraits. Or use the metallic gold laser-cut letters for a striking title page. (800) 457-4570, <>


October is the time for little ghosts and goblins to roam the neighborhood looking for treats. Make your Halloween scrapbook pages suitably spooky with our spiderweb alphabet. Just draw crooked stick letters in white on a dark background, then connect them with webs. Make a spider by tying four threads into a large knot and trimming the legs. Draw more spider webs in the corners of the page and even add a vellum ghost or two.


A slipcase protects your album — and the photos in it — from those photographic archenemies: light, dust and pollutants. But don’t despair if your scrapbook didn’t come with a slipcase. It’s easy and inexpensive to make one yourself:

1. Adjust the template to the measurements of your album (add ? inch to each number). Transfer it onto acid-free board and cut out using a utility knife and a metal yardstick. Score along the dashed lines.

2. Glue a piece of glassine, a shiny transparent paper, onto the board. Trim the glassine ½ inch from the edges, fold the excess over and glue it to the back. This will reduce the friction between your album cover and the case.

3. Fold the board along the scored lines. Fasten the edges using acid-free hinging tape or strips of acid-free paper coated with spray mount. Secure with rubber bands until dry.

4. Glue a satin ribbon that’s double the width of the album plus a few inches to the inside edge of the opening. You’ll remove the album by tugging on the ribbon rather than pulling on the binding. To cover the slipcase, wrap a large piece of acid-free decorative paper around it and glue the edges inside the opening, then cut a separate piece for the back.



A purple mat echoing the graduate’s tassel emphasizes the subject, while a narrow white mat brightens the photo.

Q. The colors I choose for photo mats usually end up looking all wrong. Do you have any advice?

A Mats can enhance and draw attention to your photos, but the array of papers out there makes choosing a pattern or color difficult. Take your pictures with you when you shop and hold them against several papers that reflect colors in the photos. Notice what happens: Does the subject stand out? Is the photo overwhelmed? Also, keep these tips in mind:

• Look for an accent color, or a bright color that appears in a small area (such as the graduate’s purple tassel in the photo above). Accent colors often make great mats.

• Layering mats is fun, but follow the “golden rule” of matting — always separate printed papers with solids. The white mat above does this nicely.

• Lighten up a dark photo such as the one shown here with a light mat. Likewise, a dark mat can tone down a too-bright photo. But remember to keep the pattern and color consistent with the mood of a photo.

• Elaborately mat the best photo on a page to make it the focal point. Keep the other mats simple.

• If you’re still unsure, you can’t go wrong with solids and simple patterns. Study the pages in scrapbooking magazines, books and Web sites for inspiration.


Great Scrapbooks, from Memory Makers magazine. Elevate your scrapbooking hobby to an art form with help from this book of more than 100 inspiring ideas and beautiful layouts. Learn new skills from easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions on paper piercing, puzzle pages, photo kaleidoscopes, punch art, photo mosaics, layered paper cutting, paper folding, popup pages and 3-D photos. If these terms sound like hieroglyphics to you, the illustrated glossary of techniques will clear things up. Patterns and templates for the projects along with a directory of suppliers make this a useful book for all scrappers. 
From the October 2000 issue of Family Tree Magazine