The Best Summer Scrapbooking Ideas for Kids and the Family

Photo: Gentl and Hyers

Kick off your summer fun at home. These do-it-yourself crafts can bring the whole family together to create and help keep track of special memories.

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Raymond Hom

Summer is the perfect time of year to create new memories and piece your favorite ones together—quite literally—in a scrapbook. What better way to commemorate these moments than with a craft project that the whole family can take part in? To get started, make sure you have a few everyday supplies, such as cardstock paper and ribbon, to keep you and little ones busy with some do-it-yourself fun.

What's the key element necessary when compiling a scrapbook? Your favorite pictures and mementos, of course. Begin the summer by looking back on your child's achievements over the course of the last year. To that end, round up notebook paper and the collection of awards and artwork your child brought from school and come up with creative ways to display highlights from the academic year. Prefer to make a timeline of all of your family vacations from years gone by? Whether you and your loves ones have enjoyed worldwide travels or many short-distance road trips, a travelogue can capture the best experiences you had away from home, too. After gathering all of your memorabilia, such as business cards, hotel room keys, or café napkins, you can add a combination of decorative paper and your favorite photos from your getaways for an unforgettable scrapbook masterpiece.

Every member of the family should feel celebrated during the dog days of summer, including your pets. That's right: Plan to devote a few scrapbook pages to your beloved pets. too. Gathering mementos, like photos of when you met your four-legged family member or a pet collar, can help you always keep your pet close to mind. Other keepsakes that can serve as a treasured time capsule? A birthday memory box. Lend a hand and let your kids remember each year by simply stowing some items that are reminiscent of their special day.

Read on for more scrapbooking ideas your family can work on this summer. Capture cherished moments with loved ones and create your favorite new keepsakes with our help.

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Treasure Chests

Gentl and Hyers

Collections are easy to enjoy and store when they're glued to folded pages in a box. Accordion-fold a strip of paper, and glue the first and last pages to the inside of the box's lid and bottom. You can fill pages with items like photos, birthday cards, or postcards. This project is kid-friendly, allowing you and your child to brainstorm on prized pieces in need of safe keeping. Keep some pages empty so the collection can grow.

Shop Now: Martha Stewart Clear Glue, $7,; Recollections Cardstock Paper, 8.5" by 11", $6,

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Ring-Bound Books


Kids can capture their favorite memories in a custom scrapbook. It's easy to turn a traditional scrapbook into a sweet showcase—just remember to let them get creative with their collections.

Put together a scrapbook on the road with loose-leaf rings, and make the drive as much fun as the destination. Bring some supplies, such as a hole punch, along for the ride. Kids can draw vehicles they see on plain tags with pre-punched holes and record the day's highlights on postcards from every stop, creating picture-perfect pages. Otherwise, tuck souvenirs from a multi-city trip into envelopes color-coded by town: Have your child mark each city with a sticker on a map, and add a matching sticker to the envelope.

Shop Now: Kappa United States Wall Map USA Poster, $8.95,; Recollections Plain Postcards, 4" by 6", $5.49,; Recollections White Blank Envelopes, 3.25" by 3.25", $4.49,

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Books Within a Book

Gentl and Hyers

Kids can create small albums for their scrapbook, each with a story to tell—the ones displayed in this craft are devoted to family and summer friends. You can keep the theme going with photos from warm-weather days and vacations with loved ones to make it complete. Stiff paper covers along with paper spines and corners give them a fancy hardcover feel. The book on top has a closure made with a paper fastener and string.

Shop Now: Recollections Cardstock Paper, 8.5" by 11", $6,; Michaels Brass-Plated One-Inch Paper Fasteners, 39,; Celebrate It Jute String, $5,

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school scrapbook pocketbook
Gemma Comas

A travel scrapbook can showcase photographs from a recent trip as well as printed ephemera gathered along the way, such as business cards, café napkins, and sightseeing scraps. Using a utility knife and ruler, cut off covers of a used hardcover travel book, keeping 1/8 inch of spine intact; set covers aside, and discard spine. Cut out pages (we used a dozen) to use as backgrounds (you can also use store-bought scraps, such as maps). Attach photos and scraps to pages. Lay out six pages, right sides down. Join pages with photo adhesive tape. Back with remaining six pages, using photo adhesive paper. Use photo adhesive tape to attach left side of first page to right side of front cover. Attach decorative paper to inside of cover using photo adhesive paper to create an end paper and to hide tape. Repeat for back cover.

Shop Now: Kappa United States Wall Map USA Poster, $8.95,; Recollections Adhesive Tape, 1" by 5 yds, $8.49,

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School Scrapbook Pockets

school scrapbook
Gemma Comas

Summer is a perfect time to organize—and proudly display—the steady stream of photographs, artwork, awards, and other keepsakes that accrue during a child's school years. Begin by taping together two pieces of notebook paper (ours is 7 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches), short end to short end. Trim width if necessary to fit scrapbook pages. Fold paper up from bottom. Make pockets in desired depths. Stitch sides to scrapbook pages with a sewing machine to secure, or glue.

Shop Now: Norcom College Ruled Filler Paper, 8" by 10.5", $2.64,; Martha Stewart Clear Glue, $7,; Target Cork Photo Album, 4" by 6", $15,

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Birthday Memory Box

birthday memory box
Gemma Comas

Have kids fill a box with birthday mementos to savor a special birthday. You can't keep your little one from growing up too fast, but by filling a box with birthday mementos, you can at least capture a moment in time. Buy an acid-free photo-storage box to preserve pictures and cards, snippets of ribbon and wrapping paper, the invitation, candles, and more. Even better than a photograph, these keepsakes will recall the day in vivid detail; create a box to mark the first—or every—birthday.

Shop Now: Walmart Decorative Nesting Storage Book Boxes, Set of three, $12,

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Add-On Envelope Books

Bill Steele

These envelope books keep coins, stamps, and other small collections in order, and they expand easily. Decorate a variety of interesting envelopes, such as those used for CDs and airmail, with rubber stamps, vinyl lettering, or labels. Stack envelopes of the same size, and punch a hole in each (for thin paper, reinforce the corner with a plain round sticker before punching). Insert a key chain or loose-leaf ring into the hole, and add more envelopes as needed.

Shop Now: Recollections White Blank Envelopes, 3.25" by 3.25", $4.49,; Bead Landing Long Nose Hole Punch Pliers, $21,

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Summertime Scrapbooking

blue summertime scrapbook
Gemma Comas

Summertime festivities are made best when you document the moments. To begin this craft, arrange and lay out souvenirs on archival pages before gluing them down. Cut out paper shapes. Lift up the page and place your photo behind the cut-out shape. Position the photo where you want it, cropping out any parts you don't want to include. Once you have positioned the photo, turn the page over and mark the photo's final position with a pencil. Apply glue around the perimeter of each cut-out and stick the photo onto the glue. Repeat the process for any other photos.

Shop Now: Target Cork Photo Album, 4" by 6", $15,; Martha Stewart Clear Glue, $7,

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Pet Scrapbook

green and blue pet scrapbook
Johnny Miller

Make your memories with your pet last for a lifetime with this craft. For each page, begin by developing a layout, selecting a dominant item, and experimenting with the placement of the surrounding memorabilia until you achieve the desired effect. Be sure to choose background colors that complement your items, and don't be afraid to crop your photographs to create a better composition. In general, it's easiest to work from the bottom up, so be sure to start with the background elements. Here are some ideas of items to place in the scrapbook: Adoption papers; any photos from the breeder or shelter—or even a classified ad; photos of the parents and littermates, if available; ID tags; that tiny first collar; a piece of a beloved but chewed-up toy; memories of your first meeting, written on the page itself or on an attached tag; the box top from a favorite food or treat.

Shop Now: Home Essence Cork Photo Album, 4" by 6", $15,; Recollections Primary Cardstock Paper, 8.5" by 11", $6,

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Party Album

Dana Gallagher

Preserve tokens from the last year in a first-day book or a party album. The resulting collection of written messages, photographs, and other mementos will serve as a tangible record of any celebration; to create an unfolding narrative, leave your book unfinished, and continue to add to it throughout the coming year.

Shop Now: Target Cork Photo Album, 4" by 6", $15,

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