Paper Crafts,  Scrapbook Crafts

It’s all elementary: scrapbooking school pictures

Punching holes in the hand-made scallop border for scrapbooking school pictures.
It’s time to get creative for scrapbooking school pictures.

Scrapbooking school pictures aren’t really my forte but it’s important to include them in the kid’s scrapbooks. As adults, we often look back on our school days, whether it be with fond memories or not-so-fond memories, and I feel a need to include them in my scrapbooks.

My oldest son turned 50 in 2020. I’m still in shock! I have no idea where the years have gone but I’m determined to have all his photos sorted and scrapped this year so I’m happy to start with scrapbooking his school pictures.

Gather photos you want to use

I store my photos in two very large Rubbermaid tubs, an old cardboard turkey box, two photo storage containers, as well as in some zipper baggies here and there. So first I took a few hours and opened one container at a time and gathered photos of my oldest.

I sorted the photos into events and found I had a group of school pictures and none had dates. OK then, the perfect collection for a two page spread! So I divied up the school pictures and mixed up the sizes because I had plenty in the stack to choose from.

Trim and prep before starting the layout

After selecting photos and sizes to use they all get a nice even trim on the paper trimmer, slicing off any white edges. I ink all the photo edges with Jet Black Archival Ink using a Tim Holtz Ink Applicator with foam pad. I lay them out flat to dry or use a heat tool to speed up the drying time.

Beginning 2-page layout featuring hand-cut scallop borders for scrapbooking school pictures.
It’s easy to find papers in your stash to work with. They don’t need to be from the same paper line. Pull several papers out and lay them over each other until you find some to work.

Gather papers and supplies

Using papers from my stash I found this line called Recess by Basic Grey. It’s most likely eight to 10-years-old, if not more. I like to mix patterns and use very little solid so I dug through and found a dark green checked and a lined-type paper that coordinated pretty well. I’ll cut these into borders and embellies. These papers will be perfect for scrapbooking school pictures!

I also used a paper trimmer, border punch, Archival Jet Black Ink and applicator, piercing tool and brads, alphabet stamps, a variety of die cuts by QuicKutz, tape runner, foam pop-up tape, Dries Clear glue, black marker, ruler, pencil, detail scissors, along with black and cream cardstock for photo mats.

Now the fun begins!

*Note: Edge all the cut and punched elements with Jet Black Archival Ink so they’re ready to go when you start putting them in place. I’m not one for measuring; you’re building a scrapbook page, not a house, so it doesn’t need to be precise. Dry fit before adhering it permanently in place.

Begin by laying your two background papers side-by-side to work on.

Right page:

Completed right side of two-page layout with photos and embellies.
Adding bits and pieces, inking edges, and using dimension adds a lot of detail to your pages.
  • Cut the green paper 4X12 as a border on the right page (place about 1/2 inch below top of page
  • Cut the line paper 4X12. Flip it over and grab something that you can outline for a small circle on the backside. I used the inside of a tape spool. Use a ruler to draw a straight line about one inch from an edge. On this 1-inch space lay the tape spool so you can see the pencil line through the circle. Trace the circle with a pencil creating a random circle edge. I really wanted a large circle border punch but don’t have one so this is how I make the circle-edge border strips. Grab those detail scissors and do some fussy-cutting to create your border. Lay this over the top green-paper border.
  • Cut the line paper 4X12; border-punch bottom edge and place about an inch above bottom edge on right page.
  • Cut a 1X12 inch strip of green and place under the punched edge.
  • Cut another 1/2 inch strip of green and place about 1/2 inch above the lined-paper border.

Left page:

Completed left page of two-page layout with photos and embellies
Using the silver brads adds a bit of masculinity and pretty shiny stuff to your page!
  • Cut the lined paper 1 1/2X12 and place about 1 1/2 inches from left edge of left page.
  • Cut a 2X12 inch strip of the green paper. Flip it over and grab something that you can outline for a small circle on the backside. This looked so cute on the right page I decided to use again on this page. I used the inside of a tape spool. Use a ruler to draw a straight line about one inch from an edge. On this 1-inch space lay the tape spool so you can see the pencil line through the circle. Trace the circle with a pencil creating a random circle edge. Grab those detail scissors and do some fussy-cutting to create your border. Tuck this very cute edge under the line-paper border.
  • Cut two 1/2-inch strips of green. Tuck one under the right side of the line-paper border. Tear or cut the other strip randomly to use as filler details here and there.

Prepping and displaying photos

Matting my two larger photos makes them a bit more prominent on the page. Thin mats are my thing, but feel free to make them to your liking. My first mat is cut from cream cardstock, about a 1/8 inch larger than the photo on all four sides. I cut the black mat 1/8 inch larger than the cream cardstock on all four sides.

I edge my photos with Black Archival Ink so I don’t feel the need to mat the other photos and, besides, it would take up too much space on the pages.

Once you’ve decided which to mat or leave, play around with your placement. Your photos will most likely be different sizes than mine so your layout for scrapbooking school pictures will probably be a bit different.

Snapping a quick photo with your phone, once you have a layout you’re happy with, helps you get it back together when applying adhesive. Trust me – I forget things in about 30 seconds!

It’s time to adhere the background and photos!

Remove the photos and begin adhering the papers as shown. Don’t think about embellishments at this time. I get my layout down and the photos in place first. Then I can see how my theme is coming along and where I need some embellies to help balance out the layout and tell the story.

Create interest and dimension on pages by mounting some photos with dimensional foam pop-up tape. You’ll see on the left page, the little photo in the upper right corner is popped up, as is the large bottom right matted photo, and the small blue-background photo next to it. On the right page, only the little bottom left photo is popped up.

Picking and choosing which embellies to use

Those who know me know I prefer to use my stash so that means creating a lot of my own embellies. How do I do this? What’s the process? When my background is complete and photos are mounted, I take a look at my theme and decide how to further tell my story for these photos.

Photo showing mixture of QuicKutz dies used for this layout
I haven’t used these QuicKutz in years! It’s time to get my money’s-worth from them!

With these pages I know I’m scrapbooking school photos. For me numbers immediately came to mind – that was all I could think of! So I checked my QuicKutz alpha sets and Carousel was a pretty large font. My vision was just random numbers in the background to signify grades (because I had no idea which grades these photos are from). I die-cut the numbers from black cardstock because I used black to edge my photos and my papers. In my mind, it’s staying cohesive.

I discovered several dies for cutting arrows, tabs, tags, and a library pocket for journaling while sorting through my QuicKutz folders. Yeah! It’s been like eight years or more since I’ve pulled them out only to find so many dies I have never used – how sad. I vow to use more of my stuff!

There was also a round die and the center made those cute little paper reinforcers – even more fun! So I grabbed my leftover scraps from this layout and just started cutting tabs, tags, arrows, and circles. And, the title! I thought this font, Honey – with it’s bit of playfulness, was perfect for school photos.

It’s not done until journaling and title are complete

The title is rather common but my brain just wasn’t coming up with much of anything else. ‘School Days,’ how exciting is this for scrapbooking school pictures? Not very original. Ha! Anyway, I pulled my die-cut letters through my Xyron 150, gave them a good rub then stuck them down in the reserved space.

Next, any die-cuts that wouldn’t be popped up got passed through the Xyron and stuck down as well. I added dimensional foam tape to the others to add some more interest. Those random circles were the perfect thing to fill in between the black numbers.

Wrapping the library pocket with black twine and adding a cute little die-cut tag really makes it stand out on the page and tiny alphabet stamps are perfect for adding words to the tag! The journal tags are really old – 7 Gypsies; from a friend who just gave me a whole bag of tags. I messed up writing on one so used a scrap of the green paper to cover it and then added one of those cute circles and a brad – looks like I planned it that way!

Close up of library pocket to hold journaling cards on this two-page layout scrapbooking school pictures
This library pocket is the perfect holder for journal tags.

Making it look pretty

This is the fun part! It’s the part when I can play and fit and try a variety of different embellies to see what tells the story the best.

I felt something was missing, something a little masculine. Ah ha! Brads – silver brads! I took a paper punch and punched holes in the green paper that had the hand-drawn circles then added the silver brads. It looked so cute I continued to add the silver brads to the other random circles on the page.

I didn’t use everything that was die-cut. I like to have choices so cutting the extras gives me that. Continue to tuck and glue bits here and there until it feels done.

At the last minute I decided to outline the title with a black marker and used a fine-tip Faber-Castell to slowly outlined each letter. I think it makes them pop a bit and that’s a good thing.

Completed two-page layout with photos and embellies for scrapbooking school pictures
I’m happy to get so many school pictures on this two-page spread – and it’s cute!

So how do you feel about scrapbooking school photos? I find the background color in the school photos is just weird and makes it hard to find papers to work with. In this spread, I opted for a neutral-type pattern paper and a couple of sheets to coordinate – one dark so it would really stand out and the other more neutral but sticking with the theme. Plus, it’s all from my stash!

Another way to scrapbook school photos is in a mini-book. Check out my sample here for more ideas.


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