by Andrea SteedWe all have birthdays, at least once a year (they’re kind of un-avoidable), so it’s inevitable that birthday layouts will be found in all of our scrapbooks. Some scrapbookers may love working on birthday layouts, but I find them very challenging—especially when I want them to be different every year.
Since it’s not my specialty, I brought in the experts for some advice. I asked a group of scrapbookers what they do when they’re faced with another birthday layout and got some fantastic tips that I’d like to share with you!
A birthday theme can help direct your scrapbook page. For instance, a Barbie birthday party would naturally lend itself to a Barbie scrapbook page! Here are a couple of tips and ideas from different scrapbookers on themed parties and layouts.
Have theme parties! That gives you something to work with other than the traditional cake, presents, and candles kind of layout. —Gayla Feachen
For Brandon’s first birthday we did a Time Capsule. I sent a note with the b-day invitation asking everyone to bring something to put in the capsule—it could be a photo of their family or a news article or a newspaper etc. I asked the grandparents and great grandparents to write Brandon a letter and seal the envelope. We will give him this when he turns 21. — Martha Crowther
Must Have Birthday Photos
Sometimes simply taking some strategic photos can make creating a birthday layout fun and easy! Below are some fantastic ideas for must-have birthday photographs.
I usually take a photograph of the cake from overhead. I often silhouette it and use it as an accent/embellishment on the page…especially on the topper or in a journaling block. — Laura Linda Rudy
Take a photos of the cake (candles lit) turned towards the camera, so you can read or see the decorations. — Linda Porter Jones
Take one of the birthday boy/girl blowing out the candles (at our house, this is done with all the lights off, so I’ve gotten a few really cool photos, just the candles and flash) — Linda Porter Jones
Opening gifts. Try to get photo of birthday person, with gift and person that GAVE the gift. — Linda Porter Jones
A “group” shot…birthday person with ALL their gifts around them. (or on table) — Linda Porter Jones
Birthday person getting their birthday ‘spanks’. We started doing this tradition this year…Have a photo of Mike bent over Dad’s knee, getting spanked!! Too funny! — Linda Porter Jones
We usually have a balloon bouquet, and I try to get a close-up of just the balloons. — Linda Porter Jones
For little kids’ birthdays, take a photo of them holding up how many fingers old they are. — Linda Porter Jones
A special birthday photo that I always try to get is of us measuring Matt’s height. He tracks his height on a wall in the garage. And, yes, I took one of these photos on his 20th birthday! — Jill Winholt
One of the things I make sure I do now after many years of birthday parties is get a good group shot of all the guests. I would have pictures of them as they were involved in the party but it always seemed like someone got left out. Now I have a record of everyone there in ONE picture. I also get a picture of my child with all their gifts arranged around them after the party so they can remember when they got certain items. I do this after opening presents on Christmas morning also. — Alaine, www.scrappingbyalaine.com
Take a photo of the birthday boy/girl’s face being illuminated by candlelight. — Briana Fisher
Take a photo of the birthday boy/girl’s face puffed up blowing out the candles. — Briana Fisher
Capture the reaction of someone that is touched by a gift you gave (perhaps Grandma crying at a special gift you made) or your kids throwing their hands up in joy for something they received. — Briana Fisher
Take photos of the guests playing games (like pin the tail on the donkey) — get a photo of someone trying to put the tail on the donkey (and got it wayyyy over, not even close to the picture!) — Briana Fisher
If you make your own birthday cake, get a picture of you (or your child) making it or decorating it. — Briana Fisher
Make sure YOU get in the photos! Have a picture taken with the birthday person. If it’s your birthday, then give your camera to someone else for the evening! You need to be in your scrapbook pages too! — Briana Fisher
Every year, get your child to stand in a certain place, say next to a tree in your garden, and photograph them. Not only will you see how much your child grows but you’ll see how your garden and/or the tree has grown with them. — Lynn McCorry
Journaling and Layout Ideas
What really makes scrapbook layouts meaningful is the journaling. Birthdays are a fantastic opportunity to reflect on how a person has changed or grown in the past year. Below are some great tips from scrapbookers for different information that would be interesting to include in a birthday layout.
Ask the child questions every birthday about their favorite color, song, hobby, etc. and use the same questions every year. — Martha Crowther
What I love to do for some variety with kid birthdays is to do an interview page. I just use fun shots of them, not necessarily birthday party pictures. I ask them some of their likes, dislikes, what they want to be when they grow up, and if they had three wishes what they would wish for. It’s really fun to see how the answers change through the years! — Heather Uppencamp
Do a page detailing specific things about the month they were born (that month’s flower, zodiac, and/or birthstone) and how you resemble those traits. — Briana Fisher
Journal about (20) reasons why you are glad to be you…and the (20) can be your age… — Briana Fisher
If your family has a tradition you do for birthdays then journal that so the tradition can be carried on and include a photo or photos of the tradition. — Briana Fisher
Do you have a special song that you sing at birthdays? My family is Polish and sings a song that means, ‘May you live to be 100 years’ in which my grandma has taught everyone in the family. Journal special songs that you may sing (even the silly ones your kids always sing!) — Briana Fisher
Make a checklist of things that happened for your journaling and number them (ie. Invited friends, lit the cake, sang the birthday song, blew out the candles, gifts!). Then number your photos to match your checklist. Use paperclips or circular clips to attach the numbers to the photos. — Briana Fisher
Make a timeline and use photos from different birthdays and journal the age you were for each. This will help take some miscellaneous photos and use them in a unified way. — Briana Fisher
At the party, have your guests sign their names on a scrapbook page. Use the guest list as a part of your birthday layout. — Briana Fisher
Journal a list of the presents they asked for (and received). You’ll see how much the things they want change over the years. — Lynn McCorry
Include actual memorabilia or scans of things like party hats etc. in your birthday layouts. — Lynn McCorry
All sorts of birthday themed scrapbook products are available in scrapbook stores.
Use a theme from pre-made products centered around birthdays. That makes creating a birthday layout easy! — Jill Winholt
Use die cuts and get the guests in on the action. Have each person at the party write their good wish (one word) on the candle die cuts. These then make up the border for the page. Words like happiness, love, health, fun, zest, chocolates, humor and wonder and the person’s signature are on a candle. You can also put them all on a cake paper piecing. Very fun idea and I hope to use it some time myself. — Rockester
Jolee’s by You has a lot of birthday embellishments that are fun to use, including a HAPPY BIRTHDAY string banner, wire balloons and more. Some are in primary colors, others are in silver and gold to use in adult birthday pages!! — Briana Fisher
Pebbles, Inc. recently released a whole line of die cuts with a birthday theme!
About the Author
Andrea Steed is the author and creator of Scrap Tutor, a web site and CD-ROM that teaches you how to create scrapbooks and how to perform many popular techniques used in scrapbooking. For more information, visit www.scraptutor.com.
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