Beginners Guide To Creating A December Daily Album

Do you ever feel like December passes by in a blur? One minute it’s December 1st and then in a blink of an eye, it’s Christmas Eve. I LOVE Christmas and the magic of the holiday season. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. We are making so many fun memories during the month, why not do what we scrapbookers do best, and document!

December daily is a scrapbooking and memory-keeping project created by Ali Edwards in 2007. Many scrapbookers and memory keepers take on this project during the month of December. The album typically starts on December 1st and goes until December 25th, but many people (like me) document right up until December 31st. The week after Christmas & New Years’ Eve is such a special time to me, so I love to document those days as well. I have also seen many scrapbookers start their albums in late November on or after US Thanksgiving.

Whenever you decide to start or finish your December album is completely up to you. That’s one of my favourite things about being creative, there are no rules! Consider your holiday traditions, family, friends and special occasions, celebrations and things that you find special and that you would like to document. Don’t feel roped into certain dates, start and stop whenever you’d like.

The simple goal is to capture the spirit of December via one story per day

ALI EDWARDS
A photo of Amanda's 2020 December daily album, showing a page decorated in blue shades with stars overtop, the other page is aa photo of a Christmas tree and says Twinkle.
Left page: This was a project I created during December by watching one of Vicki Boutin’s Friday Night Lives on Facebook. I really like how it turned out, so I decided to add it to my album. Right Page: I printed a photo of our decorated and lit-up Christmas tree to 6×8 then added one of Ali Edward’s transparencies overtop.

Things To Consider When Taking on a Album In December

December daily is such a wonderful project that you will treasure your completed album for years to come. But before you get started there are a few things to keep in mind.

First and most importantly, it can be stressful. The pressure to complete a page every day, during the busiest time of the year can get overwhelming.

I’ve been there. I get to December 11th and regret ever deciding to start this dang album. But you know what I came to realize? It was less about finding the time to work on my album and more about the pressure I was putting on myself. I was suffering from some serious comparison syndrome and getting super frustrated with myself.

As I started looking at all the gorgeous pages being shared on social media and YouTube I quickly started to feel like need to be doing more and better. This is an easy trap to fall into when so many people are making a different version of the same project. Suddenly mine wasn’t good enough. womp, womp What a Christmas spirit buzz killer.

Try to remember why you decided to take on the project. I’m sure you started because you thought it would be fun and enjoyable. When it stops being fun or fulfilling it’s 100% okay to take a break. Keep taking your photos and jotting down the details of the day. But set it aside until you are ready to work on it again.

Tip: Have a notebook handy where you can make your plans, draw up sketches of page ideas, and most importantly have a dedicated space where you write in. Because we all know our memory isn’t as good as we think it is. Here is a super cute Vintage Santa Notebook from Amazon that you can jot your ideas down in.

Your Photos Are The Star Of Your Album

It can be so easy to get caught up creating beautiful pages and literal works of art that we forget that our photos are the reason we are creating our album. We put a lot of thought into what our pages will look like, a colour scheme, and the special elements we will use. But oftentimes forget put much thought into the photos we are taking for our projects.

Here are a few tips for making sure you get great photos for your album:

  • Keep Your Camera Handy!
  • Set your phone or camera up on a tripod, so you can be in those photos too!
  • Take LOTS of pictures. You might just want to snap one picture each day, but later when you sit down to create your page you will be glad to have some options. Plus, you never know when inspiration will strike.
  • Think about your photo orientation. Should I take this picture horizontally or vertically? Or maybe both?
  • Download Adobe Lightroom on your phone to edit your photos. (It’s free on your phone, but does have a cost to edit photos on your computer)
  • Use a high-quality photo printing service or invest in a good-quality home photo printer. I use the Epson PictureMate PM-400, it’s a great home photo printer that prints up to a 5×7.

Tip: I saw this great tip somewhere… set up your phone on a tripod somewhere where you can catch all the action and start videoing. You will have a great keepsake, plus you’ll be able to take photos from the video.

Make a plan but don’t feel pressured to have it all figured out. It’s about recording your life no matter how unexciting it is some days. Remember the simple things that give you small pleasures and document them. Sometimes the small things are what are the most special to us.

Tips For Preparing

If you purchased your supplies from Ali Edwards you might want to sign up for her Prep Day class. It’s only $5 and will help you get a few pages made in advance.

Think about activities you do each year, maybe you and your family decorate gingerbread houses each year. So you know you will need to dedicate a page in your album to this event. If you take the time to sit down and plan a few of your pages in advance it will help take some of the stress and overwhelm

our December To-Do List  that I created for my 2020 December Daily album.
I created our December To-Do List in Canva. I printed it on white cardstock and created a 3×8 page for my 2020 December Daily album. Please ignore my horrible handwriting. Yikes.

Albums

When you decide to take on a December daily project one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is deciding what size of an album to use.

There are a few common albums that are often used for December Daily albums. The most commonly used 6 x 8. Also popular, are 3 x 8 or travellers notebook albums, but any size of album you prefer works great!

In 2021, Ali Edwards introduced a new album measuring 10 x 8. Of course, you can always work in your larger album.

Other album options you might be interested in trying are:

My advice would be to choose to work in something that you’re comfortable with. If you’ve never made a mixed media journal before, you might not want to try for the first time during an especially during a busy month such as December.

My Album recommendations for December Memory Keeping:

A december daily scrapbooking page featuring Elf on the Shelf

Want to see how I made this page for my December Daily album? You can see the post here 👉 Elf On The Shelf Divider Page

Embellishments & Papers

There is no end to the beautiful papers and embellishments available to scrapbookers. Here are a few of my go-to shops for finding supplies for your December Daily Album. Of course, always stop by your favourite local scrapbooking store to see all the new and fun Christmas products they have in-store!

If you are nervous about starting from scratch, why not get a mini-album or travellers notebook kit that will get you an album that is *mostly* done. Two of my favourite online classes that come with a kit full of supplies are from Vicki Boutin and Layle By Mail (mini-album kits and Travellers Notebook Kits).

A page in Amanda's 2020 December Daily album with 4x6 flip pages featuring our family decorating our Christmas tree.
A page in my 2020 December Daily album with pictures of us decorating our Christmas tree.
A page in Amanda's 2020 December Daily album with 4x6 flip pages featuring our family decorating our Christmas tree.
I used Simple Stories 4×6 photo flips to create a “waterfall” of photos.
A page in Amanda's 2020 December Daily album with 4x6 flip pages featuring our family decorating our Christmas tree.
I used a few different trees die cuts to decorate the background. Yes, that is Harry Styles on top of our tree.

Where To Find Inspiration

Like scrapbooking supplies available there is no shortage of inspiration out there.

You can start by checking out our list of December Scrapbooking & Journaling Prompts. We have a list of prompts one for every day in December to help give you a few ideas.

Of course, the number one person to follow for December Daily albums is Ali Edwards. You can check out her blog, or watch her create on YouTube.

YouTube is such a great resource for finding inspiration for December Daily pages. Simply search “December Daily” and TONS of videos and ideas will be available for you to view at your leisure.

A page from Amanda's 2020 December Daily album showcasing our families advent calendars.

Ideas For Your December Daily Album

  • Advent Calendars
  • Traditions – Old & New
  • Wrapping Paper, Ribbons & Gift Tags
  • Your House Decorated (Inside & Out)
  • Light Displays In Your Town or Neighbourhood
  • Christmas Concerts
  • Community Dinners
  • Church Service
  • Special Festive Drinks
  • Starbucks Cups
  • Favourite Christmas Movies
  • Hallmark or W Network Movie Watch List
  • Favourite Christmas Songs
  • Our Christmas Card
  • Letters To Santa
  • Wish Lists
  • December Bucket List or To-Do List
  • Holiday Cocktails
  • Festive Meals & Christmas Foods
  • Calendar Of Events
  • Seasonal Events In Community ex) Festival of Trees, Light Displays
  • Christmas Jammies
  • Company Christmas Party
  • Recap Of The Year
  • Yearly Reflections
  • New Years Resolutions
  • How COVID has changed the holiday season for you
  • Recipes – Traditions & New Ones You’re Trying
  • Christmas Baking
  • Cookie Decorating
  • Decorating Gingerbread Houses
  • Getting or Setting Up Your Tree
  • Decorating the tree
  • Favourite or Special Tree Ornaments
  • Christmas Shopping
  • Photo With Santa
  • Elf On The Shelf
  • Carollers or Going Carolling
  • Volunteering or Charity Work
  • Your Pets
  • Crafts You Are Doing
  • Working On Your December Album
  • Christmas Themed Books You’ve Read
  • Ugly Christmas Sweaters
  • Family Photo
  • Polar Express Train Ride
  • Winter Solstice
  • A December or Christmas Childhood Memory
  • Then & Now
  • This or That
  • Party Games
  • Winter Activities – Skating, Sledding, Snowmobiling
  • Build A Snowman
  • Special Events- Ex) the Christmas Star on December 21st, 2020

Are you ready to make your December Daily album?

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