Digital scrapbooking is the perfect medium for displaying your family heritage. It will probably be an ongoing project that will take many months to complete but it should be great fun! You can create it for yourself or for a gift for a family member. It can also be an interactive project for all the family. You can plan tasks for individuals to complete and make it into a fun game!
These kind of projects take a bit of planning so before you start, grab a pen and paper and do some brainstorming. Write down all the information you know about your family.
It’s best to start with the current generation and work backwards. So start with yourself and your immediate family, then work backwards from there.
List your parent’s full names, dates of birth and death if applicable. Where they were born, the dates of the marriages. Can you list all of their children’s full names?
Create a layout that you can continually add to as you find out more information. Also, keep the layered file in a folder on your desktop so you can add to it as you find more details.
Choose some papers and brushes with a vintage feel or with a green colored theme, to emphasize that it’s a historical project.
Collect Physical Items
Next, gather together as many photographs as possible, from boxes, attics, old albums, and relatives. These photos can include pictures of old houses, vehicles, local towns. Anything of historical value to your family. At the heart of most heritage scrapbooks are the photos. Pictures of your grandparent’s wedding, your great-grandfather at work in the fields, family celebrations etc. Pictures from slides and old 8mm films can be made quite cheaply through your local photo store too. Include any hand written notes, old letters, family recipes, pocket watches, old jewellery, which you can either pop into plastic bags to add to a printed version of your book or you could scan or photocopy the items.
As you begin to accumulate photos and materials, organize them by sorting them into photo files and boxes. You can use labeled file dividers to keep things in order. It’s also a good idea to perhaps number each photo and item and make relevant notes for each. If you don’t know many details about the items, ask your family members and set up interviews, so they can share their stories with you. You could even record them, to play back whilst you’re working on the digital pages. It might provide you with some creative inspiration!
Find a suitable scrapbook album. They come in a variety of styles, with post bound, expandable spine and 3 ring albums being the most popular. Choose one with acid free pages.
At some point you’ll probably need to search on line for family records, so here’s a list of helpful sites to browse:
- Family Search
- National Archives (U.S.)
- Ancestry.com (free trial period, but this site is a paid membership site)
- Helpful video - How to search for historical records on Ancestry.com
- World Vital Records (free trial period, but this site is a paid membership site)
The everything guide to online Geneology
Family tree template (at the begining of this article) is available from designerdigitals.com
The perfect kits for your heritage projects you find here at Digidesignresort, e.g. our kit “Vintage Treasury” – just perfect for these photos!