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Do you have a drawer full of photos, stickers, and other mementos you’re not really sure how to use? While 2018 has already begun, you may want to consider making a photo collage diary documenting your adventures big and small.

Want to be able to look back on your year and all the memories you’ve had? Here’s how you can!

Read on to find out how to make your own photo collage diary.

Scrapbooking 101–Getting Started on Your Photo Collage Diary

If you’re new to scrapbooking, you may think that the hobby is all about picking out ribbons and colorful tapes and getting to use all the fun papers at the craft store.

And honestly, that’s not too far off. But, you’ll also want to put some thought into your source material. What are the highlights of your day or month? Are you sticking with photos only or ticket stubs and other reminders of fun times past?

Camera Stuff

If you’re going to make a photo collage diary, you’re going to need some photos, and as such, you’re also going to need a camera.

The type of camera you use to document the year’s goings-on really depends on the activity at hand and your photography skills. And while you can use your phone for just about anything, other types of cameras have their strengths, too.

Here’s a quick look at some of your options:

Smartphone

It’s always with you, so you don’t need to worry about buying anything new. Maybe download some apps to improve the quality of your pics.

VSCO is a good choice–it’s easy to use and kind of like an upgraded version of Instagram. Or Snapseed. The Point is, there are tons of apps out there designed to give your phone pics a professional polish.

Now, we get that we are talking about old school scrapbooking, not some sort of digital photo diary. What we like about using your phone is–it’s an affordable way to get some great pictures, especially for the impromptu moments you just can’t plan for.

And when you’re ready to start selecting the pics that make the cut–you can always download the images to a computer and either print them out or get them printed professionally.

Digital Camera

Whether you go with a SLR or DSLR, investing in a digital cam can help you develop your photography skills while giving you the freedom to take as many pictures as you want.

While you get many of the same benefits with a digital camera as you do with your mobile phone, the benefit of a separate camera is, you have more control over the features like F-stop, balance, aperture, and more.

Digital cameras are certainly an investment, but if you want something a little more hands-on than selecting filters on your iPhone, it might be a worthwhile purchase.

Disposable Camera

You might not get the best shots, and you certainly don’t get the fun filters and editing capabilities you’ll get with a phone or a digital camera. But, disposable cameras are cheap, and you can bring them on hikes or other adventures that might ruin your phone or a nicer camera.

What’s more? After you get these developed, you’ll love looking through the snaps you took–chances are, they’ll be funnier and more candid than your average selfie.

Go Vintage with an Old Point and Shoot

Another “wildcard” so to speak — you can find vintage cameras of all kinds at estate sales and Goodwills. The benefit of picking up an old school camera is, you’ll get that old school quality without any filters.

Vintage cameras range in price from the cheap and fun cam you can bring on a freewheeling vacation, to rare statement pieces that require some careful handling. Try out different types of film and practice your photography techniques.

Our favorite part of going analog? The surprise element in getting your film developed. In an era of polished selfies and carefully edited feeds, there’s something special about relinquishing that control–something that can take your photo collage diary to the next level.

Polaroids

Polaroids were basically made for scrapbooking. Whether you go with the small Instax film or keep things full-size, these instant photos come with the perfect border and always add an element of cool to any photo collage diary.

While the camera itself can get a little clunky, Polaroids are the perfect accessory for your photo collage diary.

Decorating Tips for Your Photo Collage Diary

Sure, it’s your diary, do whatever you want. However, if you want to create a cohesive reflection on your year, you might want to take some of these tips to heart.

Here are some of our recommendations:

Pick a Focal Point
The focal point may cover the whole scrapbook or a single page, but you’ll want to hone in on a few elements. For example, if you’re doing one theme per page, choose your strongest photo, then accent it with papers and other embellishments.

Use Embellishments that Compliment the Photo(s)
Consider the colors in the photo and bring them out by using decorative papers (a mix of patterns and solids). An image with lots of green can be enhanced with reds or burgundies and lighter neutrals. When in doubt, consult the color wheel and accent with complementary colors.

Give Each Page a Background
Before gluing down photos and accents, you’ll want to lay the groundwork for a powerful page. This could mean you do a subtle abstract watercolor piece to accompany your gorgeous beach pics or glue down a solid, deep red to commemorate that romantic Valentine’s date. Or use a pattern that makes you happy. Again, your diary, your rules.

Don’t Forget About the Junk Drawer
It’s easy to go super crazy at the craft store. We get it–so many tiny items, fabrics, paints, stickers, oh my. Do yourself a favor and see what else you’ve got on hand. Paper clips and pipe cleaners, magazine cutouts, tissue paper–all can be repurposed to highlight your year in memories.

Get Inspired by Nature
Breathe some life into still photos and include pressed flowers alongside your images. A tangible reminder of that summer by the lake or Spring’s first bloom, a few petals here and there add some texture and interest to a page. Store dried flowers in wax paper inside a heavy book until you’re ready to glue them down.

Select Your Basic Supplies
This could be different for everyone, but, you’ll want to stock up on some go-to items that highlight the theme(s) in your photo collage diary, plus, you know, glue and scissors.

A few examples:

  • Acid-free tape and glue sticks
  • Pens, markers
  • Watercolors
  • Cardstock and patterned paper
  • Photos
  • A book or album

Either way, your choice of decor is a matter of personal taste. Keep things minimal or go all out–whatever you think best showcases your experience.

Choosing Your Photos

Less is more when it comes to photos. Think like a curator and select only the best options of the bunch.

Some guidelines:

  • Choose photos that highlight more than a basic happy face
  • Smiles are great, but your photo collage diary should capture some of the quiet, unscripted moments in your life
  • Skip the blurry shots unless the effect was intentional
  • Keep an eye out for good lighting and in-focus subjects
  • Matte photos work best, as glossy prints are prone to smudging and fingerprint marks

Deciding on a Layout

Figuring out how to best format all your photos and accents may well be the hardest part of scrapbooking.

Again, you’ll want to select a focal point before you go to town with your acid-free adhesive. Where do you want to direct the eye–if it’s a particular photo, limit the number of competing images on that page and keep the background simple.

Don’t be afraid to cut and crop! Cutting your images down or into interesting shapes can be a great way to both fit more into space and add visual interest.

Final Thoughts on Making a Photo Collage Diary

In the end, scrapbooking is all about telling a story. Your photo collage diary might tell the story of your year of traveling, or the course of your engagement, or just a year in the life of the little things that make you happy.

To recap, there are plenty of techniques you can employ, from mixing and matching digital and film photos to incorporating little mementos from the year’s best moments.

For more ideas on how to take better photos, check out our blog. We’ll look at travel destinations, selfie tips, and a whole lot more.

 

Despite our fast-paced world of emails and instant messages, stats prove that people still enjoy receiving a traditional Christmas postcard. Being the season for warm greetings and well-wishing, the card industry is thriving. But sending the same old festive Christmas postcards year after year might mean you’re running out of ideas.

Are you looking for inspiration for different types of holiday cards to send to your family and friends? Why not start your own tradition by sending one of the 7 styles of Christmas cards below?

With these ideas, you’ll make a creative impact and send Season’s Greetings all at once. Read on!

Festive Christmas Postcards Tip #1
Photo Postcards

It’s become a tradition in America to send out a holiday card with a photo of you and your loved ones during the festive period. This is the ideal opportunity to update your loved ones on how you are, using a cheery festive image.

A holiday card with a photo can be fun to create. You can style it in any way you want it. Some opt for a humorous image of themselves, while others go for a more traditional family photo.

Receiving a Christmas postcard during the holidays with a smiling picture of you and your family gives that extra burst of festive cheer. Put on a holiday sweater or pose in front of your Christmas tree or fireplace. Or go quirky with an image of you larking around with a Santa hat on.

Whatever you do… smile! ‘Tis the season to be jolly.

Festive Christmas Postcards Tip #2
Say It with Humor

Many people don’t think a Christmas postcard should be funny. But why not? It’s a time for merriment, after all. Use the opportunity to make your loved ones smile by going for the humorous option.

Comedy cards are available in droves and the Christmas card industry has caught up. You’ll find cards that poke humor at the craziness of the festive season. These cards put a fun spin on the time of year that usually gets a little hectic.

There are photo cards of families in particularly tense Christmas-themed situations, often with a caption or joke on it. Funny animal cards are also popular. Postcards with slogans such as ‘Get your fat pants out, it’s Christmas’ nod to the indulgence we all enjoy in December.

Or create your own Christmas postcard, writing your own joke or caption. A funny take on the traditional family card might be to involve the pets, but make them the stars of the picture. Allow your creative juices to do the talking for you.

Festive Christmas Postcards Tip #3
DIY Christmas Postcard

The holidays are about decorating a tree and getting inventive in the kitchen. So why not be crafty with your festive Christmas postcards too and make them yourself? It’s often a cheaper way to send out a card. Plus, the individual touch will hopefully impress your friends when they receive it.

Sit down on a chilly afternoon and get cracking with a variety of ideas. You can create a snowman card using old white buttons on a cardboard background, as one example. Use eraser stamps to print images of gifts and presents. Utilize your left-over gift wrap to cut out Christmas trees and paste them onto a contrasting backdrop.

Get the glitter out and go nuts with a sparkly design. Use crepe paper to make a pop-up card. Stitch your own front cover decoration for your holiday card. The opportunities are endless!

Festive Christmas Postcards Tip #4
Mini Wreath Christmas Postcards

This type of card can be bought or made at home. Either way, it really is a unique design.

With the wreath being the symbol of a long and healthy life, you’ll be presenting your loved one with a joyful message as well as a beautiful card. Use snippets of pine, myrtle, rosemary, or boxwood to craft elegant little wreaths for the front of the card. Not only does this look fresh, but it also gives off a delightful scent.

Form a ring with the sprig of greenery and secure it by attaching it to the card. Tie it with some rustic string and hang it from the top of the card, as you might do with a top-hanging door wreath.

Festive Christmas Postcards Tip #5
Give Them a Tune

If you have a flair for the creative, why not try verse? Compose a poem or rhyme to wish your loved ones a merry Christmas or happy holidays.

This idea is a nice take on run-of-the-mill cards that already feature words. If you can come up with your own verse, you can make it truly personal.

It’s a chance to touch the recipient of the card, as it comes right from the heart. If you’re looking for inspiration, look in books, songs, Christmas carols, or other poetry.

Festive Christmas Postcards Tip #6
Newsletter Cards

The holidays are a time for reflection. It’s also the perfect opportunity to keep in touch with your loved ones and send them good wishes. Why not combine the two and send a newsletter holiday card to your friends and family? This is the perfect opportunity to keep them informed of what you and the people around you have been up to during the year.

This kind of card can come across as a little self-serving, so think about how you’d like to update people. With social media so prominent, we can stay abreast of our friends’ lives news on Instagram and Facebook.

But this is your chance to be a little more inventive in the way you tell your news. You can reveal things you might not want to announce on your social accounts. Some news is best saved for your nearest and dearest, after all.

Catch Their Attention

Don’t type out rambling reams of paper for your letter. Keep it punchy and to the point, and no longer than a page. Make sure to keep it interesting too. Think about the kind of news you have and whether it’s worthy of telling your correspondents about.

One way of doing this is to select your “Top Ten Moments” from the year and write a list-style newsletter. This makes for an interesting DIY card too.

Include a sheet of paper with the card with this fun list and include a few photos. Or design it online and include the list in the body of your card, perhaps on the inside page.

Festive Christmas Postcards Tip #7
A Modern Take on Tradition

You might think holiday cards need to be one way or the other – modern or traditional. But why not design your own and go for a mixture of the two?

Find a vintage image and base your holiday postcards around it. Just give it a contemporary twist. When your friends and family receive it in the post, they’ll be pleasantly surprised with the originality.

Select a photo upload card and source a traditional festive image. Try an illustration of a turkey, a Christmas tree, or a vintage Victorian design. Use editing software to alter the image so it’s jazzier, colorful, and modern. Think Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych. Give the image that pop art vibe while using traditional Christmas pictures.

Pop Art

Upload more than one shot and create a Christmas postcard with several images lined up in boxes. Or edit the same picture in a variety of colors and feature them all in a vibrant burst. This idea is unique and gives you the opportunity to mix the old with the new. You could even take your own photographs or draw your own illustrations for this project.

If you want to send a holiday card with photos of you or your family, jazz them up with some fun editing. This will give you a photo card with a twist. If you do outsource images, make sure they’re okay to use (since you’re not selling these cards, they will most likely be fine).

Your Festive Christmas Postcards with MyPostcard

Many of these ideas can be perfectly created with the MyPostcard website or MyPostcard app. We have the ideal tool to create the photo cards mentioned in this piece. Use your photos or one of our own designs to send a unique card to your family and friends around the world.

Personalize your Christmas postcard or greeting card with a note of your own. You can make your own poem or newsletter card with our postcard designer. Then, send your card from our website or directly from your phone with our popular app. Let yourself loose on our site and get as creative as you like.

Choose from one of more than 10,000 designs, personalize the text, and create customized postcards or greeting cards for the festive season. Once you’ve personalized the perfect postcard, order a whole set and send it to anyone you’d like! Choose from lots of options–sets of 8 all the way up to 200.

What are you waiting for? Christmas is almost here, so get started today!