Monday, April 20, 2009

Teacher Appreciation Gifts!

One of my favorite pastimes is making albums for other people. And when I am hired to make albums for others, it is even better! In my former career, I did quite a bit of desktop publishing and publication design. I did so much, in addition to my regular job, that colleagues started asking me to design their flyers, invites, and brochures. I loved it! I found great satisfaction in tailoring the graphics, layout, and fonts to fit their personality and the event or program they were promoting.

When I began scrapbooking 12 years ago, doing custom albums for hire was a natural progression. It has truly been my joy and my honor to be entrusted to create special albums for others. It has always been fun for me! I have one client who commissioned 20 albums over the course of two years. Other clients have had me create special gift books to commemorate a special anniversary, or a child's high school graduation. Wedding books and baby books are always especially enjoyable. In the beginning, everything I completed was with traditional scrapbooking techniques. But for the past few years, I have been doing lots with digital books and pages, too.

Many of my clients are people who love the look of scrapbooks, but do not feel inclined or able to make them for themselves. Almost all have been only too happy to leave all the creative details to me. I consult with them to determine style and theme, as well as the goals and purpose of the project. I am usually working with photos, so I make sure I understand how they all fit together and who the principal people are. But then I am on my own to create!

I find it very interesting when people who actually scrapbook, and enjoy scrapbooking, ask me to do albums for them! On one hand, I am happy to have the work and love a new project. On the other, it is a little intimidating to scrapbook for a scrapbooker! I am always learning and adapting ideas from my scrapbooking buddies, so I definitely don't claim to be the best page designer ever!

I am a very project-oriented person. I throw myself into each project... become fully immersed in the process... and have the ideas flowing even when I am away from the work. I find inspiration in the pictures, or the materials I am using, or the person for whom I am creating the book. I love having a new project by which to be inspired!!!

Recently, I was finishing up a commissioned baby album (which I still haven't shared -- but will soon!) when I was contacted to create end-of-the-year gift albums for the teachers of a client's children. For this project, she wanted predecorated albums. She plans to add the photos and the finishing touches herself .

These are 8" x 8" books, with 24 sleeves each to hold the layouts. I used an Elementary Power Palette Kit. While an 8x8 Kit is available in this design, I didn't choose it. By opting to use the 12x12 kit and trim it down, I ended up with enough supplies to complete two albums from one kit! I just had to supplement with 16 additional sheets of extra card stock.

When I trimmed the 12x12 sheets of decorated papers down to 8x8, I first trimmed off a 4" x 12" strip. Next, I cut a 4" x 8" strip from the largest piece, to arrive at an 8x8 piece of paper. I used the trimmed "scraps" to decorate a complementary page for each two-page spread. With two albums finished, I still have lots of scraps left over!

These books will be from the class to the teacher, so the children's names will be added. I made up some title blocks with the names of each child... some cute lettering off my computer printed onto nice cardstock, and matted with a bit of black cardstock. I left these off the pages for now so that they can be added with the photos.

It really is kind of hard to visualize what these pages will look like when they are finished, with photos on them... but I think they will look great! At least two photos will fit on each page. More pictures can be added if they are smaller.

I just know that these teachers are going to love these gifts!!! But not because of my layouts. These albums will be treasured for the faces, the stories, and the memories they contain. Because that is what it is really all about.
Who can you bless with an album?


David said...

What a great idea for a teacher appreciation gift. It is so personal and the teachers will be able to cherish it for many years.

Husband and Father said...


This is wonderful! I am a lucky man.

Executive Momma said...


Thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself. We really do have so much in common. I love what you said in your bio about loving to be organized, but having a hard time keeping that up. Wow, that is me to a T. It has already become evident that I am going to have to find some outlets for my energy while staying at home and I can't wait to see what I get into. You albums are adorable and such a great idea. You can never have too many photo albums! :) I look forwarding to getting to know you more.

Executive Momma

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