Scrapbooking Your Memories That Aren’t Photos

I recently came across a binder that I have kept for many years now. This caused me to begin to think about putting the contents into a scrapbook album. This binder is dedicated to all of my memories from my courtship with my husband, and it is packed full.

Our relationship while dating was long distance. I lived in Missouri, he was a soldier in the Army who was stationed in upstate New York. As you can imagine, I have a lot of memories that are not pictures in my binder. There are many cards, letters, poems, drawings, dried flowers, and the list goes on.

Even though I have loved to scrapbook for years now, I have never put together a scrapbook with as many memorabilia as this scrapbook will have. So, I set out to do some research that I would like to share with you today about scrapbooking your memories that are not pictures.

What Are Memories That Aren’t Photos?

Memories that are not pictures can be basically anything. It could be the napkin you got from your significant other with his/her phone number on it, a ticket stub, cards, maps, bingo cards, coins, clothing tags/scraps, newspaper clippings, a lanyard or anything else you can imagine saving to remind you of those special moments in your life.

For this post, I will call these type of items memorabilia or ephemera, items meant to be disposable such as ticket stubs, napkins, bottle caps or maps.

Non-valuable Memorabilia vs. Valuable Memorabilia

The first thing you should do is decide how valuable each piece of memorabilia is to you. This will help you decide how you will put different items in the scrapbook.

Some pieces may be historical, collectible or irreplaceable to you. Other items may be special, but not as valuable to you.

For example, the concert ticket you saved from your last birthday may not be as valuable as the $2 bill given to you at birth by your deceased grandfather. You may want to take different considerations into account when putting them into a scrapbook.

For items that are not as valuable to you, you might consider gluing/taping the items down directly on the scrapbook page.

Whereas, more valuable items may call for a different approach such as using photo corners to fix the items to the page.

My point is to be careful and thoughtful while preserving your memorabilia. I say this to prevent any accidental damage that could be caused by gluing items down to the page, cutting, or altering items in any way that you may regret after the fact.

Memorabilia Scrapbooking Techniques and Strategies

If the aforementioned photo corners do not seem like a good way to put your valuable memorabilia into your scrapbook, you may want to try making a decorative pocket to put things in. These pockets could be made in different sizes to add interest to your page. Using extra brochures/maps to make pockets is another way to add interest to the page and scrapbook your memorabilia.

An alternative to using pockets, is to use sleeves. These can be bought premade at a craft/hobby store or you can make custom sleeves to perfectly fit your items with a Photo Sleeve Fuse Starter Kit.

You can also make or use a premade envelope – make sure it is acid free – to put memorabilia in. If you make dividers for your envelope, you can use one envelope to organize memorabilia from multiple events on a 2-page spread.

Here are some more ideas to use/preserve your memorabilia.

  • Substitute a post card for a photo in your layout
  • Use a lanyard as ribbon
  • Layer ephemera with papers and photos to create an interesting look
  • Make a collage of ephemera to use as a background
  • Frame pictures with ephemera (e.g. cut the center out of a Bingo card and use as a frame)
  • Use memorabilia as embellishments
  • Create journaling spaces out of ephemera
  • Use memorabilia as thematic accents for your layout

What about those greeting cards you saved? How can they be preserved in a scrapbook? I’m glad you asked because I have thought of a few ways that may be helpful.

If you do not mind cutting your cards, you can cut them in half on the seams and affix each half on the page so the whole card can be seen through the page protector without having to open the card.

Another option is to show the front of the card and share what the inside of the card says in a journal entry.

A third option is to make a plastic sleeve that will allow you to look at the card without having to remove it from the sleeve. This can be done with the aforementioned Photo Sleeve Fuse Starter Kit.

Putting the cards into pockets or envelopes is also an option. Just make sure that the pockets or envelopes are acid free.

What If My Memorabilia is Too Large?

Sometimes memorabilia can be too large or awkward to fit into a scrapbook. If you run into this problem try scrapbooking a photo of the item or make a photocopy to size the item down.

You can also use file folders to extend the scrapbook page outwards in order to fold out the larger piece of memorabilia. A twist to this solution is to add fold out pages.

Final Thoughts

Scrapbooking is not meant to only include pictures because memories come from many items other than pictures. As a matter of fact, scrapbooking was originated in the 1800’s and began with just preserving scraps, not pictures.

It is important to preserve all of your memories whether they come in the form of pictures or not. Challenge yourself to preserve all the items that serve as remembrances of your past. I know that I will be preserving my long-forgotten binder of memories from the courtship of my husband and myself.

Do you have any ideas on how to preserve memorabilia? Did this article spark any interesting thoughts for you? I would love to hear about it. Please share in the comment section below.






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