I wrote this post for this’ year’s Document Your December at The Lilypad. Disclaimer: this post contains some affiliate links to Amazon where I purchased many of my supplies (I purchased them all at full price, but if you use my links I’ll get a small commission towards future purchases).
I have been making a December Daily album since 2010, and have always mixed in hybrid and physical products. Over the years, I’ve experimented with many different sizes and systems, and I’d love to share my experience with you! Of all the projects I’ve embarked in, this is definitely my favorite and that’s why I’ve kept at it for close to ten years now.
Here are the eight albums I’ve completed so far, 2010-2017.
Yes… I am a year behind! And that’s OK. Most of the years I complete my album in December / early January, but for the past couple years I’ve ended up putting together the album almost one year after the fact. But I always get it done, because of how precious these albums are to me.
If you haven’t done any hybrid projects, I recommend you warm yourself up to this month-long project by making some cards first. But be forewarned… it’s how I got into hybrid myself, and it’s a slippery slope! 😀
First of all, figure out if you want to outsource your printing, or if you want to print at home. The latter is what works best for me, as I like to get things done in one sitting (i.e., design on my computer, print it out, and put it together). I use a Canon Pixma printer. It has a letter sized paper tray, as well as a smaller tray that fits 4″x6″ paper, which is super handy!
Essentials supplies include: printed digital designs and photos, scissors or trimmer, a ruler, and your adhesive of choice. I use a Fiskars Procision trimmer, as well as a Tonic Studios mini guillotine, and Tonic Studios Tim Holtz scissors for cutting. My Tim Holtz ruler is my favorite since it’s clear. For adhesives, I love Gunglider pro tape for larger things, and a glue pen for small embellishments and sequins.
Gather other supplies you may want to use, which can include physical scrapbooking products, stamps, paint, washi tape, cutting machines, sequins, glitter… the sky’s the limit!
TIP #1: Find the process that works for you
There are 3 options: 1) prepare your foundation pages ahead of time; 2) work as you go, in December; 3) put together the album after the fact. I’ve done all three, and that has helped me figure out my preference.
In 2010, my first year, I made the album in advance, since I knew I’d be traveling for most of the month. I used a 6”x4” ring binder, and used my digital cutting machine to add fun borders to the pages. However, since I was traveling, I didn’t have a chance to put together the album until after my trip. This experience taught me that options 2 and 3 are more suited to my style (I like to match each page with the day’s photos).
TIP #2: Choose the format that works for you
I have tried many formats over the years, because I like to switch things up.
I have used ring albums, either by making the pages myself, or by using page protectors. And I have also made some albums from scratch.
Here are a few examples of all of these options. In 2010 I used a ring album, and made my own base pages. In 2011, I made my album from scratch (this is still a favorite out of all the albums I’ve made!), and in 2012 & 2013 I used ring albums with page protectors.
Having a set format with page protectors helps me speed things up. It is also very easy to use the 3”x4” and 4”x6” journal cards from the Document Your December products.
TIP #3: Choose the layout
Do you want to dedicate a single page to each day of December, or an entire spread, or just base it on what content you have for the day? … this brings us to my next tip.
TIP #4: Choose the content that you want to include
Everything that happens in December, or only holiday events? I have decided to only include holiday related events my albums.
TIP #5: Make it cohesive
You may want to stick to a particular color scheme throughout your album. Monochromatic albums always have a striking effect. In 2016, I made my album using a black traveler’s notebook, with metallic accents throughout, and adding a touch of color with printed digital designs.
But overall, while I admire the classic elegance of albums with a cohesive color scheme, I usually end up mixing different colors throughout the album. If you prefer to switch things up like me, you can add a common element throughout the album, such as a date element, to give continuity.
In my 2017 album, I used the December Days No 4 (Numbers) by Sahlin Studio throughout, and applied the DYD 2018 | Glitter Styles by Mommy-ish to change the color to match each page.
Whatever your preference may be, the best part is that the Document Your December products will make it possible for you to fit any theme you choose!
TIP #6: Add memorabilia!
One of my favorite aspects of making a hybrid album, in addition to the customizability, is that you can add memorabilia in your album! I’ve saved holiday themed paper supplies, gift wrap, and paper coffee cups to add into my albums.
This is an example of how I included a paper bag and pieces cut out from a coffee cup in my 2015 album.
TIP #7: Embellish!
The fun part is to add physical embellishments to add interest to your pages.
And don’t forget to decorate the cover and spine of your album!
OK, now that we’ve covered the basics, I’d like to show you what I have started putting together with the newest Document Your December supplies.
I decided to use a small 4”x4” ring binder that I purchased years ago. I also have acetate numbers to go with it, and I measured them to figure out the size of my digitals.
Since I love incorporating different textures in my albums, I printed a few designs from The First Sign – Kit by The Committed Crafter and from the Lumi Collection by Lynn Grieveson onto vellum paper. (Note: when printing onto vellum, make sure to use the vellum setting on your printer, or use the quick draft option).
I used an 8.5”x11” sheet of vellum so I also used some older DYD pieces to fill up the whole page.
Here you can see my Fiskars Procision trimmer in action. I love it! And it also folds up to half size if you are cutting smaller things, or for storage.