Scrapbook Ideas for ABC Scrapbook.

Here are some fresh scrapbook ideas for your ABC album.When I first started scrapbooking, I wasn't really interested in doing an ABC album. I had several years of general family pictures that needed "saving", so I just dug in and got those in order. Then I completed 2 family albums and 1 vacation album, and I was looking to broaden my knowledge into new avenues.

This stage in my hobby happened to coincide with my 5-year-old son's learning of the alphabet. His preschool had been highlighting one letter a week, and he could now recognize his own name in print. So he started coming to me and asking "What's this letter for?" meaning "What letter does the word for this object start with?" What better way to show him than to create a book for him that illustrates words that he already understood? So began the process of creating a singularly personal book for my family.

In looking for items to go the each of the letter pages, I thought about our days, and what things are important to my kids, what things they come into contact with frequently. Since I was actually using this book as a teaching tool for my pre-kindergarten son, I wanted to include things that I knew he would recognize. This is what makes my book so personal. No one else on earth will have a picture on their "C" page for "Cheese Mia", a recipe my son created from his own imagination. Nor will they have the same combination of favorite TV shows, games, and books. My ABC book is be a perfect portrait of my kids as they are right now, right down to phrases they say frequently. Use your ABC book to portray the same importance, and place in your family history.

Things to consider when choosing letter subjects:

• Favorite TV shows and characters: I included stickers from Blue's Clues, coloring art for Bear in the Big Blue House and Sesame Street, paper-piecing for Pooh, and images from web pages for Scooby Doo and Pokémon.

• Habits, mannerisms, or phrases: I included a picture of my son with his stuffed bunny, punchart of a baby with a binky, and several quotes from my kids -- "U is for Uh-Oh!"

• Favorite toys: I went to E-Toys website and saved several images to my computer of my son's favorite toys, and also used pictures of my kids playing with favorite toys.

• Important People in your life: grandparents, godparents, family friends, school friends

• State where you live/have lived/where relatives live

• Favorite foods - I used pizza stickers, and small circle punches for M&Ms.

• Favorite books - I scanned an illustration from The Wizard of Oz for "O".

• Favorite computer games - I went to the manufacturer's website and saved an image to my computer.

• Halloween costumes - "T is for Tigger" in my case!

If you can't find a picture for something you think should be included, have your child draw a picture of it for you! I gave my son small pieces of acid-free paper cut to the size I wanted to include on my page. Then he used my scrapbooking colored pencils to draw what I needed. It's a great reminder of his drawing ability at this age, and he feels really proud of contributing to the book. He drew me a rainbow, a treasure chest with an "X" on it, and colored in several clipart pieces I had chosen. I feel like we made this book together.

Talk to your child(ren) about what they think should be included - I don't think I would have thought of "P is for Pokémon," but he did! And he chose which Pokémon went on the page (because there are over 150 of the little buggers!)

Finally, numbers. "T is for two."

I used a Creative Memories 8x10 red Kids' book. This size is just perfect for a smaller book like this, and it's a size the kids can easily handle. Plus, you don't have to drive yourself nuts trying to fill a 12x12 page for "X"!

My album came in a box (a wonderful friend mailed it to me), so that was my starting point in collecting my goodies. My back was out as I started on this project, so I couldn't just sit down and start scrapping. In hindsight, however, this proved to be a boon. I was forced to simply collect things - stickers, photos, clipart, punchart - for weeks, without scrapping a thing. But this forced me to be able to make sure that I had a full array of items for each letter. I was surprised at how often during any given day that I would think, "Oh, 'K is for kisses'" when I kissed my daughter's cheek, or whatever letter popped into my head as I began this project.

Had my back been healthy, I probably would have started scrapping straight out of the shoot, and missed a lot of things. As it was, I collected each letter "goodie" in a separate sandwich baggie for each letter. I stacked the baggies in alphabetical order in the album box. That way whenever I ran across a picture I needed, or my son drew me a picture, I could just slide it into the corresponding baggie. It worked wonderfully.

I also did a lot of research on the Internet, looking for different scrapbook ideas, styles and formats of ABC albums, as well as pictures to go on my pages. I used the Internet to find pictures from TV shows, videos, toys, a paperdoll, and clipart and coloring pages. See my links for sites I found helpful in my planning process.

I decided to give my ABC album a look of continuity by making the top of each page look the same. I used a 1" by 7" strip of acid-free paper, trimmed with ripple-edge decorative scissors. Then I placed the letter at the left corner of that strip. I formatted each letter's page this way, from A to Z, before putting any pictures (etc) on, so they would all have the same amount of border space, and just look the same. Then I went back laid out my page with the photos, et al. I labeled each item with very simple lettering, and double-underlined the first letter in each word, like this: Superman.

I learned a lot about my children. I learned what is important to them, and to our family. I learned to step back and let my son make decisions and color choices that I may not have made, so he would be included in this project. I learned to take my time, setting items aside for weeks, and waiting till a certain picture was developed, before actually putting the album together so I could have letters that fully represented my children.

I learned that the best way to prepare to put together an ABC scrapbook is to put everything in baggies as a collection point, one for each letter, and keep those baggies in a box. I learned how to do paper-piecing and punchart for things I couldn't find pictures of, as well as requesting artwork from my son.

And I learned just how fast my kids are growing up, from looking at all the older pictures of them I included in my book. That’s what will make this book so special in 5, 10, 15 years from now - how distinctly this book captures my kids are they are at just this time in their lives, with a few glimpses at how they got here. Consider these scrapbook ideas.
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