Disney Scrapbooking: Keeping the Magic and Memories Aliveby Sara Franklin, Guest Columnist, Creative Writer, and All-Around Disney Collector
Ahhhh....Vacation! Who doesn't live for the moment when you can kick back and leave the hassles of everyday life behind? Some of the best memories are made during vacation.Unfortunately, vacations end, the suitcases are too quickly unpacked and the realities of everyday life return. I often find that although I'm back physically, mentally I relive those priceless vacation memories over and over again. As time passes, however, the excitement and memories fade. One of the best ways to keep the magic and the memories alive is by preserving them in a scrapbook - a combination of photographs, memorabilia, and decorative design elements. With just a hint of creativity and a shoebox full of vacation photographs and memorabilia, you can preserve those memories and the excitement for you and your family!
Each and every scrapbook is like a story -- except it's your story! When you look back through old photographs in an album, don't you wish that you knew a little more about what was happening in those pictures? Imagine if you knew what Grandma was laughing about. Or what your father felt like when that seagull pooped on his head and your mother was standing by, camera in hand, to capture the moment. A scrapbook is your chance to preserve those vacation memories for generations to come!
The first key to any great scrapbook is, of course, the photographs! Think of your vacation as an opportunity to tell the tales of your travels through photographs from start to finish. Anything and everything is fair game for a scrapbook. Be sure to include photographs of picking up the tickets at the travel agent, packing (overstuffed suitcases are quite photogenic and make for a great scrapbook page - hey you never know when it might be freezing in Orlando in July!!), arrival at the airport/hotel, etc. You might end up taking hundreds of photos, and I guarantee you'll be glad you did! My motto is take pictures first - gasp at the price of developing/printing the film later!
Try not to take too many posed pictures. For example, if Walt Disney World or Disneyland is your destination, taking photos with the characters is always a highlight. In addition to the posed shots, try to get some photos of your child (spouse, friend, etc.) as they approach the characters or the expression on their face as they receive their autograph. Often the "non-posed" shots turn out to be family favorites! One of my favorite photos was taken in Epcot. The characters had just gotten off the double decker bus near China in the World Showcase, and I made a beeline towards Smee (that stuttering sidekick to Captain Hook). Not only did my husband capture my trek towards Smee, but he also snapped photos of Smee and Gepetto (from Pinocchio) fighting over me. The expression on my face says it all - pure Disney bliss! So be sure to capture those unsolicited expressions - they make for a priceless scrapbook page!
Another key to any scrapbook is memorabilia! Airline tickets, brochures, maps, theme park tickets, menus, receipts, and postcards can all find a home in your scrapbook. A great place to store these items for safe keeping until you get home is in your PassPorter! You can also store mementos from each day in a plastic ziplock bag labeled with the date to organize each day's treasures.
Small trinkets can also be placed in your scrapbook. Craft stores typically carry various size memorabilia pockets in the scrapbooking section. Small seashells, seaweed, flat pebbles, pressed flowers or leaves, pressed coins, and various other trinkets can safely be stored in your scrapbook for future enjoyment.
Journal your journey! Don't wait until you get the pictures developed to write about your family trip. I like to keep a journal (or my PassPorter!) by the hotel bedside and write about the day's events prior to hitting the sack. Include highlights of the day, favorite events for each family member, first reactions to something new, quotes that come to mind, funny stories, etc. Journal while it is fresh in your mind. Record the good memories and the not-so-good ones! I recently completed a scrapbook page from our first Christmas trip to Walt Disney World. I had been anxiously awaiting Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. The evening arrived and it began pouring down rain. Most events were cancelled, and I was simply devastated. I wrote about my frustrations that evening in the journal as well as what we did to try to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. I then included these notes in my scrapbook next to a not so "zippity-doo-dah" photo of myself wearing a Mickey Santa hat, completely drenched from head to toe and trying my best to enjoy the complementary hot chocolate and cookies (that was about the only thing they didn't cancel!!). Including these notes really invites your family and those enjoying the scrapbook to relive those magical (and not-so-magical) memories.
Ok, so now you've developed the photographs, you've collected and gathered all of your memorabilia, and you've journaled your journey.....what's next? The final step is the design element. This will require a trip to your local craft store for the necessary supplies. Most craft stores (and even Wal-Mart) have a scrapbooking section filled to the brim with supplies. If you have never scrapbooked before, I recommend taking a beginner's class or purchasing a beginner's guide to scrapbooking. You will also need an album, some type of acid-free adhesive such as photo mounting squares or double sided tape, scissors, a black pen, various kinds of paper and cardstock, and any additional decorative element you find that strikes your fancy! The basic thing to remember is to use acid-free and lignin-free materials - this will protect your photographs from deteriorating over time. There are so many interesting elements to scrapbooking available today, you could easily get overwhelmed! Peruse the aisles of your local craft store for vacation-themed stickers, die-cuts, patterned paper, stamps, ribbon, etc. Disney-themed scrapbooking supplies are also available, both at the parks and in many stores. Be creative - maybe even "travel" outside the scrapbook section for stuff.
You now have all the key elements to begin your scrapbook: photographs, memorabilia, journal notes from your trip, and the basic supplies and decorative embellishments. Let the creativity begin! Set some time aside each week to begin preserving those vacation memories in your scrapbook. Organize your photos chronologically. As you begin to work on each page, lay out the photos you will be using. You can choose to cut your photos down or into various shapes, eliminating some of the irrelevant space, or you can leave your photos "as is." Select some coordinating paper to mount your photos on or to use as background. Arrange your cropped photos, background paper and selected embellishments and adhere them to your page. Add your journal notes and voila, you've completed the first page in your vacation scrapbook! Don't worry about things being perfect or how messy your handwriting looks. Creating a scrapbook should be a joyous, creative experience, and the vacation memories contained within will be enjoyed by all for many years to come.
Below are some great book resources to start you on your way to creating your vacation scrapbook adventure:
You can find these books at Amazon.com, MouseMemories.com, or your local craft store or check out some of the web sites below for online ideas and supplies: