How to Include Ephemera in Your Scrapbook

Scrapbook Ephemera Tips by Natalie Parker

I start each scrapbook by reviewing my time capsule box of ephemera and organizing it (more on that process here).  I won’t use everything but including ephemera is very important to me.

I’ve combed through my scrapbook archives and put together a bunch of tips in case you want to start including more ephemera in your scrapbooks!

Make it Part of a Cohesive Design

This is always my first choice: design the page around the ephemera and make it seamless.  I did this with one of my honeymoon pages.

Scrapbook Ephemera Tips by Natalie Parker

I designed it so everything on the page was the size of a standard business card, including the photos and text block.

Another example: Bay to Breakers (using my race bib).

Cut it Up

Sometimes I’m not too attached to the piece as a whole but I want just some of it on the page.

My favorite example of this is how I took a stack of college assignments and tests and cut them up into squares to make a layout.

Scrapbook Ephemera Tips by Natalie Parker

A single assignment on its own didn’t matter much.  I was trying to create a feeling of how much work I did and cutting them up did the trick!

More examples: Wedding Dress Shopping (cut up bridesmaid dress swatch), Big Game Week 2006 (cut up parking pass), New York Trip Title Page (cut up maps and luggage claim tags).

Make an Envelope or Pouch

Sometimes a piece can’t be glued down by itself.  Maybe it’s too fragile, or maybe it needs to be held together in some way.

For my wedding favors, I created vellum envelopes and glued those to the page.

Scrapbook Ephemera Tips by Natalie Parker

The favors were stacks of recipe  cards.  It wouldn’t have made sense to staple the cards together and it would have taken too much room to glue each card separately.  The envelope keeps them together and safe.

Another example: Big Game 2002 (creating a pouch to hold grass).

Scan It

This works great for items that are too large to go in the scrapbook.  I do this a lot with posters.

For Big Game Week my senior year of college, I scanned the Bonfire Rally poster.

Scrapbook Ephemera Tips by Natalie Parker

Another example: Football Season 2003 (scanned Homecoming poster and magnet).

Turn it Into a Backdrop

Similar to when I cut pieces up, using a piece of ephemera as a backdrop works if you aren’t too attached to it as a whole but want it on the page.

I used a map of the San Diego Zoo in this layout about our day there with my sister-in-law and niece.

Scrapbook Ephemera Tips by Natalie Parker

Another example: Golden Gate Bridge (with map of Presidio as backdrop).

Make a Collage

I love making collages!  This works very well when there are lots of bits and pieces.  Together they can tell a great story.

I created a collage with leftover bits of ephemera from 2004 and turned it into the end page for that book.

Scrapbook Ephemera Tips by Natalie Parker

I love how it shows little things that we were up to.

Another example: College Intro Page (collage out of course catalog pages).

Highlight It

Sometimes the piece of ephemera is the star of the show — it is the story.

I made this layout about the very first recipe we cooked together.

Scrapbook Ephemera Tips by Natalie Parker

More examples: Graduation Invitations, Wedding Invitations, Seeing Shows (programs + tickets).

Use Just Part of It

This works really well with magazines or newspapers.  In my college basketball layout, I included just the magazine cover.

Scrapbook Ephemera Tips by Natalie Parker

Another example: Football Season 2004 (magazine cover).

Photograph It

Sometimes you can’t take things home.  Sometimes things are three-dimensional.  Using a picture works well here.

I did this with my wedding favors page.  We gave away chocolate picture frames (totally not going to fit in the scrapbook), so I used a picture of them in the layout.

Scrapbook Ephemera Tips by Natalie Parker

This idea also works really well for foreign currency!  I like taking pictures of cash before we spend it.

If All Else Fails

It can be hard to work ephemera into a layout.  It’s a fixed size and sometimes it doesn’t play well with everything else on the page.

If that happens, ask yourself: is it important to the story?  If no, you don’t have to include it.  You don’t have to include everything.  If yes, then include it, even if the design isn’t great.  Remember my rules: the story is always more important than the design.

Scrapbook Ephemera Tips by Natalie Parker

I like to think of my name change scrapbook layout as an example.  I still don’t love it.  The design is blehhh.  But, changing to my married name was a big deal and I wanted to tell the story.  There was no way I was leaving out my Social Security letter (the first thing ever printed with my married name) or my old ID card (even if the picture isn’t flattering.

If all else fails, just go with it!

I hope this inspires you to add more ephemera in your scrapbooks!!

Putting a Lid on 2014

2014 Snapshots by Natalie Parker

Putting a lid on it.  Literally.

That’s my box of ephemera from 2014.  It’s everything from concerts to big trips to Europe.  Not pictured: the stuff from the trip I just returned from, but it’s going in the box.  You get the idea.

All of this stuff is safely stowed until I scrapbook it.  It won’t be for a while but I’m cool with that.  I like the hindsight.  A lot of good things happened in 2014.  I’m excited because even though memories will fade, I’ll get a chance to relive them because I’m a scrapbooker.

Scrapbook Layouts: Changing Jobs

Changing Jobs Scrapbook by Natalie ParkerChanging Jobs Scrapbook by Natalie ParkerChanging Jobs Scrapbook by Natalie ParkerChanging Jobs Scrapbook by Natalie Parker

Two layouts today!

The Story: When I left a job to take a new one.  Sounds simple enough.  I had a bunch of ephemera in my 2006 box related to the job change so I decided to make matching layouts.  Changing jobs is always a big deal in life, but it was a bigger deal here because I made the move a month before my wedding day.

Thin Letters: I wasn’t sure cutting letters this thin would work on the Silhouette — it barely did.  Gluing them was even more fun.

Street View: The picture of Mervyns Headquarters I grabbed from Street View.  More info on how to do that here.

Changing Jobs Scrapbook by Natalie Parker

Changing Jobs Scrapbook by Natalie Parker

Fonts: Bebas, Ostrich Sans | Tools: Epson Stylus R2000 (photos), Silhouette SD (headline & banner) | Supplies: Fancy Pants Designs/All My Heart, Recollections Blue Wag Pattern (papers) | Ephemera: Business cards, greeting card, employee discount card.

Ephemera Roundup: Refrigerator Magnets in my Scrapbooks

Football Season Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Fridge magnets are a unique type of ephemera, to be sure!

Where magnets pop up in my scrapbooks: In my scrapbooks, fridge magnets are usually commemorative and are often giveaways from sports teams I support.  They document the schedule from the season and often that season’s “theme.”

Why you might want to save magnets: you may see some for sports teams like I do, and non-sports organizations use them to brand.  I used to print my own magnets years ago for student organizations and hand them out to members.  Magnets have become popular “save the dates” for weddings and I definitely like to save those!

Are they acid free?  Probably not.  However, I err on the side of including them because I think the story is more important than worrying about having one non-archival item on the page.  Ask me again in 10 years and I’ll report back if they degraded other items on the page.

How I attach magnets to my scrapbook pages: I use the same Scotch double-sided scrapbooking tape and Avery glue stick that I use on everything else.  While these magnets have more heft than tickets or newspaper articles, I have not had any problems using my regular standby adhesives.

Have you ever included fridge magnets on your scrapbook pages?  Please share in the comments!  Links to your pages are welcome!

Saying Bye to 2005

2005 Ephemera Box by Natalie Parker

I finished another scrapbook.  You know what that means:  my ephemera box and all the leftovers are going.  Whatever does not make it into the scrapbook gets tossed.

I’m glad this box is going because it was a big box!  The maps and ephemera we brought home from our trip to New York were huge!  Here’s what it all looked like when I started.  It seems like I have a lot leftover and I do.  I over save and then get very choosy when I actually make the pages.

2005 Ephemera Box by Natalie Parker 22005 Ephemera Box by Natalie Parker 2

What’s next?  On to 2006.  2006 was all about our wedding, but there are still bits here and there that I want to put together in their own book.

I don’t think chronological scrapbooking is for everyone, but I really do love celebrating ends and beginnings.  As always, onward!

Scrapbook Layout: 2005 End Page

Scrapbook End Page by Natalie Parker 1Scrapbook End Page by Natalie ParkerScrapbook End Page by Natalie ParkerScrapbook End Page by Natalie ParkerScrapbook End Page by Natalie Parker

The Story:  I love making end pages for my scrapbooks almost as much as I love title pages.  It’s just so fun to take a step back and sum up the year.

Squares, Rectangles, & Leftover Ephemera:  This is a squares and rectangles layout very similar to the end page for my final college scrapbook.  I went through my leftover pile and picked out some interesting things.  I added a bit of patterned paper and a picture of my niece.  The pink “M” button is actually our Metropolitan Museum of Art Ticket.  It didn’t make it into the Museums layout from our vacation but looks super cool here!

We’re Engaged: Mr. P asked me to marry him in 2005.  That story is told in my wedding scrapbook.  I included a note here just to give a bit of context on where we were in our lives this year.

Earlier: Final College Scrapbook End Page, 2004 Scrapbook End Page

Scrapbook End Page by Natalie Parker

Fonts: Ostrich Sans (2005), Mufferaw (The End) | Tools: Epson Stylus R2000 (photo), Silhouette SD (headline) | Supplies: Crate Paper On Trend Swanky (patterned paper) | Ephemera Included: Lots from my 2005 leftover pile – Ticket stubs, our return address labels from that time, a football mailer, Metropolitan Museum of Art pin, New York bus map, brochures.

Scrapbook Layout: Bonfire Rally

Bonfire Scrapbook by Natalie ParkerBonfire Scrapbook by Natalie ParkerBonfire Scrapbook by Natalie ParkerBonfire Scrapbook by Natalie ParkerBonfire Scrapbook by Natalie Parker

The Story:  Mr. P and I helping students build the Big Game Bonfire, the big culminating event of the rivalry week (aside from the football game, of course).

Previously: I’ve been attending this event for years and I take a differing amount of photos each time and save varying levels of ephemera.  See prior year’s layouts here and here.

Ephemera on the left, Photos on the Right: There was just so much stuff to include here.  I made a collage of ephemera on the left.  On the right, pretty much in a diametrically opposed style, I went with a photo grid.

Walking Bear Logo:  I traced and cut the walking bear logo with my Silhouette the same way I do other sports logos.

Varying the Font Size a Little: Laying out this event year after year, coming up with something interesting is challenging.  I experimented with cutting the headline out of two different font sizes and colors and put it in a box instead of having it float by itself.  I like how it adds a clean line to the collage page.

Do you ever scrapbook recurring events?  Any tips to keep it interesting?

Bonfire Scrapbook by Natalie Parker

Fonts: Bebas | Tools: Silhouette SD (headline & bear), Epson Stylus R2000 (photos) | Supplies: Epson Semigloss Photo Paper (photos) | Keepsakes Included: Backstage passes, parking pass, program schedule, poster.

Scrapbook Layout: Hockey Game

Hockey Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerHockey Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerHockey Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

The story: A trip to a college hockey game to watch our alma mater play her rivals.

On an angle: This was a bit of an experiment.  I thought having everything in a horizontal row would look boring so I used a slight angle.

Stripey boxes: I made the box with stripes painstakingly by hand.  I used long eighth-inch strips and glued them carefully with tweezers.  I love how it turned out.

More stripes: I had more eighth-inch stripes leftover from the football season pages, so I repeated the theme here.

Hockey Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Fonts: Bebas | Tools: Silhouette SD (headline), Epson Stylus R2000 (photos) | Supplies: Epson Semigloss Photo Paper (photos) | Keepsakes Included: Hockey tickets.

Scrapbook Layouts: 2005 Football Season

Football Season Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerFootball Season Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerFootball Season Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerFootball Season Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerFootball Season Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerFootball Season Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerFootball Season Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerFootball Season Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

The Story: Another year and there’s another football season to document.  It’s challenging to come up with ways to display season tickets, a fridge magnet, photos and other bits of ephemera.

Previously: See my 2004 football season layouts here and here.

Stats: I designed a little card with the season win-loss record, the name of the coach, and the names of the quarterbacks.  I’ve been including this information on my football pages since I started going to games in 2000 and it adds great context.

Lots of Newspaper: Every year I decide to save different things.  This year I had a lot of newspaper articles to work with.  I spaced them throughout the pages and they cover some very key events.  Hindsight is always fabulous because I already know that these articles would have big implications a few years later.

Write in the Dates: When I use newspaper articles, somewhere around the article I’ll write the date in very small writing.  It’s probably the archivist in me, but I like to have record of when the piece was published.

Vertical Stripes: I added some flair by cutting eighth-inch stripes out of blue, gold, and white cardstock and glued them down the side of the page.  I like how it adds a little something without being distracting.

That’s it, a whopping 4 layouts for the season (not including the Big Game, that will come later!).

Football Season Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerFootball Season Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Fonts: Bebas (yellow headline), Nevis (white headline, photo captions), Ostrich Sans (tall thin letters), Microsoft Yi Batiti (short thin letters)| Tools: Silhouette SD (headlines, logo), Epson Stylus R2000 (photos) | Supplies: Epson Semigloss Photo Paper (photos) | Keepsakes Included: Season tickets, magnet schedule, newspaper clippings, parking permit, pocket schedule.

Scrapbook Layout: Et Cetera, Et Cetera

Et Cetera Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerEt Cetera Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerEt Cetera Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerEt Cetera Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

The Story: Four things! 1. The release of the sixth Harry Potter book, 2. When Prince Charles came and gave a speech at the building where I worked, 3. A Concert, and 4. The Premiere of Star Wars III.

4 Events, 1 Page: I wanted to remember all of these, but didn’t want separate layouts for them.  This was an experiment to see if I could put disparate things together.

Inspiration: I was inspired by magazine layouts, specifically the first few pages of a magazine where they tend to cover lots of bits and pieces on one page.

Printing Text on Page: I worked again with my wide format printer to print the text directly on the page.  I drew the dividing lines by hand.

Movie Poster: I got this one off the good ol’ internet.  Again, since I was printing it very small, it didn’t matter if the quality wasn’t optimal.

Remembering the Little Things: The best part about documenting each of these events is remembering where we were in our lives when they happened.  For the Star Wars entry, I summarized the very different places I was in my life when each of the three prequels premiered: the first was when I was in high school, the second while I was at college and Mr. P and I were just friends, the third when Mr. P and I were engaged and living together.

Et Cetera Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Fonts: Book Antiqua (headline), Century Gothic (text on photo) | Tools: Epson Stylus R2000 (photos) | Supplies: Kaisercraft/Save the Date/Invite (patterned paper) | Ephemera Included: Harry Potter passes, concert tickets, movie tickets.