Christmas Card Scrapbook

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I love getting Christmas cards.  Each year, I hem and haw at spending the money to buy and mail our own Christmas cards, but then I remember how much I appreciate that others spend their money to buy and mail me theirs, so I should do the same.

A few years ago, I started hanging our Christmas cards on the wall and making a Christmas Tree shape out of them.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was a fun way to display them.  They hang on the wall until, at least, January, sometimes later, and then I take them down.  Taking down Christmas cards used to be a sad day for me.  I didn’t want to get rid of them, but I didn’t want them on my wall forever and I didn’t know what else to do with them.

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Then I got the idea from a friend to put them in a scrapbook.  She had started putting hers in photo albums years ago and her daughters loved looking back through to see what people used to look like.  My friend used those old albums where the entire sheet is sticky and you adhere the picture anywhere on it, then lay the plastic sheet over the top.  I’ve done enough scrapbooking to know that that is not the best preservation method for photos – and I’m pretty sure that no one sells those any more – so I decided to go with a scrapbook.

I purchased the cheap scrapbooks that are the front and back covers and don’t come with a binding.  Each set of pages you add comes with extenders which allows you to make the book as thick as you want.  I bought the cheap plastic sleeves and 12×12 Christmas scrapbook paper packs after Christmas when they were on clearance.  And that’s all I needed.

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I start by sorting the pictures by size and orientation as I take them off of the wall.  This will be helpful as you’re figuring out how to arrange the cards on a page.

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Once the pictures are all sorted, I grab a piece of paper and fit as many cards on a sheet as I can.  Some people may want to embellish them or matte the photos to make it look more scrapbook-y, but my purpose is solely to have them in a book, so I just try to get as many on a sheet as I can.

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I do this until all of the cards are on paper.  Then, I put the pages back to back and slide them in the plastic sleeves and put them in the book.

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Voila.  Done.

Depending on how many cards you have, it takes about an hour.  We have our Christmas card albums on the shelf with our other family albums, but I pull them out and put them in a more prominent spot at Christmas time.

One other thing that I do is I put our family’s Christmas card on a page by itself, and because we often have double-sided cards, I put two on there with each side showing.  If the year isn’t printed on the card, I cut out numbers on my cricut die-cutting machine to make the year and put that at the top of the page with our family’s card.  Because I have multiple years in a book, I use the page with our card as the marker for where one year ends and the next begins.

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You don’t even have to use Christmas scrapbook paper.  Last year I was out, but I had a bunch of another type that came in an array of neutral colors and had a subtle print, so I used that.  What kind of paper you use and any embellishments that you choose are totally up to you.

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