In scrapbooking, the term ‘journalling’ means documenting information to accompany a photo. This could be in the form of handwritten notes or computer generated text. It is the thing that some find brings the most meaning to their books.
It is a good idea to include text of some kind on your scrapbook layout. This could be in the form of a matted panel explaining who people are what is happening and giving dates (you may wish to design your layout with a panel of text in place of a photograph if it takes up too much room) or it could simply be accent words placed across the page.
If you have neat handwriting, then this is a good way to personalise your page. Generally scrapbookers prefer the more intimate nature of handwriting because it is their album and their memories. By writing in the album they are contributing to the history. Use calligraphy pens if you can use them or any kind of special pen such as gold or silver. Why not use glitter pens for a truly sparkly finish. When choosing a colour to write in look at the photos and the page colours and then choose a pen colour accordingly.
Don’t use ball point pen when journaling. Use pens, pencils and markers that are fade proof, waterproof and use pigment ink. If in doubt go to a scrapbook store and purchase a journaling pen.
If you are not confident about your penmanship then you can use a computer to print out a variety of different fonts. You can even use one which looks like handwriting.
There are a variety of peel-offs available specifically for journalling. These can be words such as ‘anniversary’ or even whole phrases, such as ‘bride & groom’. You can also buy individual letters and numbers, perfect for birthday or celebration layouts.
Rubber Stamps & Die-Cut Letters
A set of alphabet rubber stamps or die cut letters are a good way of writing a name or title under which your journalling can continue.
What do I Journal?
Essential Information – who, what, when, where and why
Dates – the date a photo was taken at an event such as a wedding might be obvious to include but remember this album is for the next generation who wasn’t there and may not even have been born yet!
Each photo has a story or a memory attached. Scrapbooking is about recording these in as much or little detail as you wish.
How much Should I Write?
There is no limit on how much or how little you write but the whole page layout should be considered before starting. Don’t try to describe what is happening in the photos in your journalling. If there is a long story or a lot of details you may decide just to have one photo on a page to allow for a lot of writing. Alternatively if there is a sequence of photos which clearly show an event you may only want minimal journalling. Do think about who is going to read the album. If you are creating a page for a circle journal you may not want to get too personal with your journalling.
Ideas/ Why not?
Include a poem or reading. Often at a wedding, christening or funeral there are special readings which are ideal to be captured by journaling.
Children are frequently the focus of many scrapbooks and it is the funny things they say which we like to remember such as “do ladybirds have birthdays Mummy?”
Not all text or writing has to be horizontal. Get creative and write at an angle or around a photograph.