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I don’t know about you, but I am an intentional scrapbooker.  I always intend to do it, but I don’t.  I have lots of scrapbooking stuff, just not the time.  Actually I think it’s more of a space issue.  If I had a place where I could leave everything out so that it was ready for me to work on when I had a free moment, I would probably get some pages done.  I did finally get tired of developing pictures and having mounds of photos still in their envelopes or worse – having tons of undeveloped pics on my digital camera.  So when I saw this idea in a Southern Living magazine, I jumped on it.  It’s very simple and anyone can do it.

First you need to pick out a basket. Not too deep.  Something nice that can sit out on a coffee table or bookshelf.  I like to get baskets at Michaels when they are 50% off.  If you like things very orderly, you might want a nice square or rectangular basket where you can stand your albums up.  If your more organic, you might prefer an oval shape where books can be casually tossed.  I like both – it just depends on what mood I’m in 🙂


This basket was both the perfect width for my shelf and for the photo books.



Next pick up several of the little photo albums – some people call them brag books.  These are the 99 cent variety that are clear and have the little cardboard insert in the cover that’s removable.  I also usually get these at Michaels and if you watch the sales, you can pick them up for about 60 cents.


Some snow day photos


Get your pictures out from wherever they’ve been hiding.  Sort by event or theme – for instance, a birthday or holiday, or pets, or a trip.  Take the cardboard insert out of the book and replace it with a photo. I like to pick the best photo, or one that sums up whatever is going in the book.  Then just fill the book.   Repeat this until you have several books filled.  Now you can fill your basket with the books and place it somewhere that allows family and guests to browse.  Keep empty books on hand, so that each time you get pics developed, you can fill one up and toss it in the basket and Voila! – an instant ‘scrapbook’.


Basket filled with memories


The kids love to look at these all the time, especially toddlers.  They just love faces and this is a fun way to teach them names of loved ones.

These also make great gifts, particularly for parents & grandparents. I did it for all the grandparents a couple of Christmas ago.  I found cute baskets for about $5 and put one filled book in with several empty books.  Now, they can put loose pictures people send right in the books or I can just send them a filled book and they can add it to the basket.  They’re easy to mail and it keeps us connected.

It’s also great for all the school pics people send that go on the fridge for a while and then you don’t know where to put them 🙂  After Christmas, I also cut all the photo cards to size and put them in the book with the Christmas photos.

It’s one of those simple ideas that I get all excited about because  1 – it’s easy, 2 – it’s cheap, and  3 – it involves the organization of our families memories. Now we can enjoy looking at them somewhere besides the computer’s screensaver 🙂

Hope you like it, too!