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The birthday scrapbook page:

Use vintage verse to inspire your journaling

A first birthday party is a big thing, but for Ella, the cake was the biggest thing she had ever seen.  Much of it made it into her mouth.  Much more was on her face, her hands, in her hair, and some they found later on the ceiling.  Still, it was a terrific day for the little princess and her family - and we tried to capture it for her birthday scrapbook.
There were so many pictures from the party that we decided to create a collage of photos on part of the page. A collage is artwork composed of portions of existing images such as photographs, arranged so that they join, overlap or blend to create a new image. For Ella's collage, we used six photos and cut them in both geometric shapes and silhouettes. The kaleidoscopic effect gives a sense of the exciting party atmosphere.

The vintage birthday postcard we found had a charming verse:  "May each moment make you glad that you're alive.  Isn't it the grandest thing to have Birthdays arrive?" That gave us our cue for Ella's journaled response - "It's all about the cake!"

This is a birthday scrapbook page for Ella to treasure.


  • Vintage image (Free PDF download).
  • Background paper: pale blue 12" X 12" paper.
  • Trim papers: light pink and dark pink.
  • Backing paper: white. 
  • Journaling pen.
  • Glue stick or other non-acid paper adhesive.
  • Decorative edge scissors
  • Small scissors, like manicure scissors.
  • Scissors or paper cutter.


  1. Print the vintage image on matte photo paper and trim it. Glue it to a larger piece of pink trim paper.  Trim the pink paper around the image with decorative edge scissors.
  2. Birthday scrapbook backgroundCut the white paper to 5" X 12" as a backing for your photo collage. Arrange your photos, trim them so the edges overlap to cover the entire backing paper, and adhere them to the backing (see Tips).
  3. Cut a 1" strip of light pink paper and trim one edge with decorative edge scissors.
  4. Cut out a silhouette of your birthday child for the left side of the page.
  5. Journal the who, what, when, where and why on dark pink paper, and cut it in the shape of a cartoon word balloon.
  6. Position all of your elements on the background, and adhere them with glue stick or adhesive.


  • Arranging a collage takes some trial and error. Be thrifty: Print a set or two of your photos on plain paper using your printer's low-ink draft setting and use them to plan your arrangement.  For your final page, use color copies or scans of your photos - preserve the originals.
  • A photo collage is most effective when the pictures are organized to tell a story.  Ella's collage begins at the top with a picture of the big banner announcing her party. Dad carried her in, and she was immediately mesmerized by the balloons on the ceiling.  There were party games. There was the fateful cake episode.  And finally, Ella opened her first birthday presents ever.
  • When trimming photos for a collage, vary your techniques to add interest. Begin by placing the larger, more important images, then fill in around them.  Use large portions of some pictures and details from others. Include some figures as cut-out silhouettes.
  • If some of the white paper edges are prominent on some photos, touch them up with a similar-color marker.  Go lightly because the ink will bleed onto your photo.
  • When cutting out silhouettes with fine detail, two techniques will help. First, hold the scissors at a 45-degree angle toward the back of the paper to reduce the white edge that will show.  Second, move the paper as you cut, not the scissors.
  • If you need to change the size of the image for your scrapbook layout, refer to the information in the FAQ on resizing a PDF image.
  • There are many different kinds of scrapbooking covers and bindings, so you will need to adapt your page design for your particular book.

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