Crafts: Personalize a photo album

Add embellishments to a photo album for a more personal look.

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Themed embellishments give more detail to photos.

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Need creative ideas for personalizing your photo albums? If you want the look of a scrapbook without all of the time and expense, try embellishing your photo albums with one of these easy tips.

My husband and I recently returned from celebrating our tenth anniversary in Hawaii. We took lots of pictures and I wanted to throw something together quickly and easily to show all of our pictures to friends and relatives. I didn't have time to create a scrapbook for our trip.

I went through all of our trip mementos and trimmed down the information I wanted to keep, just like I would do when preparing a scrapbook. Instead of going ahead and creating a scrapbook, I decided to place our vacation memories in a photo album.

After collecting all my photos and mementos, I arranged all the photos in chronological order. I then tucked the mementos in between the pictures, placing them with the photos I wanted to display them with.

My mother-in-law had given me some cute Hawaiian scrapbooking embellishments for Christmas last year, in anticipation for our trip, so I arranged them in the first photo sleeve in the photo album. I then placed the photos in the photo album, arranging the mementos in their own photo sleeves alongside the photos.

The photo album turned out great, and received lots of compliments! It is the perfect combination of photo album and scrapbook.

Here are some more tips to get you started:

* When going through your mementos, just cut out the most important things you want to keep, like parts of a tour brochure. We went on a sunset dinner cruise and I cut out of the brochure the name of the cruise ship and the menu we were served. I also saved brochures that described tours we took. These descriptions go along great with the photos you take of the places you visit.

* Ticket stubs fit into the photo sleeves well and are a great photo accent.

* I used scrapbook stickers to label the front of my photo album. I bought a photo album from Target that already had a palm tree on the front! I just added the name of the album and the date.

There are many ways you can embellish your photo album. Anything you can tuck into a photo sleeve will really accentuate your pictures.

These albums aren't just for vacations. They would also be great for preserving holiday, baby or school memories. Use your imagination and you can create a photo keepsake in only a couple of hours.

About the author: Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For scrapbooking, card making, gift-giving ideas, and more family memory-making activities, visit

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