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Creative Journaling:

Do you struggle with journaling?  Do you want to go beyond the who, what, when, where, why and how in a plain journaling block?  The following article will provide a few journaling ideas to get you started scrapbooking with more creative journaling.

Journaling is a part of scrapbooking that is so necessary, but so overlooked. Some of us dread the thought of having to write down our thoughts on a subject. It reminds us of those long and boring papers in high school. Others have a natural flair for journaling, but are tired of using just a standard block format in the corner of the page. My goal in this article is to get those that avoid journaling excited about this process, and those that love journaling inspired to take their words to new heights.

If you fit into the first group of people, journaling may seem intimidating to you. Its important though to make a few notes on the page about what is going on in the pictures, and what the event or time was like for you and your family. If you are worried about writing lengthy paragraphs, try simplifying the salient information into bullet points. For example, on a layout of a child’s music recital you can use the following format:

  • Angela, age 7, Kay’s Music School
  • First recital on the piano
  • Played “Fur Elise”
  • Daddy, Mommy and Grandma were in the audience – we were all so proud!

This simple format can help you get over journaling jitters but still allows you to write down the most important points. 

If you’d like to dress up your journaling, try using a themed die cut instead of just a cardstock block. You can journal in an apple for a first day of school layout, or choose a bone for a layout about your favorite dog. The possibilities are endless. Choosing die cut for journaling helps extend the theme of your page and adds flair to your layout.

Creating hidden journaling is a fun way to make your pages interactive and draw the viewer into your layout. To create hidden journaling, use tags, envelopes and other elements that need to be removed from the page to be read. A common practice is to journal on one side of the tag, and then put a title on the other side. One or more tags are attached to the page with thread, or stored in a pocket on the page with the title facing outward. To read the journaling, the reader flips over the tag and gets insight into the pictures and your layout. You can also use the same technique with flaps that are flipped over to reveal your words.

Finally, try writing your journaling directly on the page in unorthodox ways for a fun and interesting look. This does require some planning to begin with. Write out your journaling in pencil around the edges of pictures or in a fun linear pattern across the breadth of the page. Once you’ve got your spacing down, rewrite the journaling with an acid free pen and erase the pencil marks. Try writing in a spiral, or let your journaling lead the reader’s eye in a line through the layout.

Try incorporating some of these creative journaling techniques to dress up your pages. Journaling, whether you love it or hate it, adds a personal and important dimension to your scrapbooking.

More Creative Journaling resources...

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