Journaling is my favorite scrapbooking subject. I’ve mentioned it before. It is a piece of yourself you can pass on for generations, and it tells about who you are and what you were doing in your lifetime. I always encourage scrapbookers to include journaling on all their layouts. Often times though, people are stumped on how to get started, or are looking for ways to make their journaling better. Here are five easy ways to improve your journaling.
Write from Your Heart
This has to be the single best way to improve your journaling. Just let your pen flow and you will find that the words just come to you. Look at the pictures you want on your layout and close your eyes. Let the images evoke memories and put your pen to paper. Think about what was going on in the photos, how you felt, or how they make you feel now. Writing from the heart is actually the easiest way to journal, if you just let the words come.
Use Fun Fonts
Using fonts is so much fun. With all the free fonts out there, you can find something that will match every emotion imaginable for a layout. You can use fonts for titles, journaling and embellishing your layout. However, it’s important to remember, to only use two or three different fonts per page. Too many fonts are distracting and can take away from your journaling, rather than enhance it. I always say, basic is better. When you are just starting out, begin with only one or two.
Use a Poem, Song or Quote
This can make journaling fun. I think I probably use more songs than I do anything else, but I love quotes and collect them. I’ve used them many times on my layouts as well as poems others wrote, and poems I wrote. A couple of years ago, I did a layout about my son who was struggling with some issues at the time. The photos were just fun semi-portrait style candid shots of him. I grouped them together and used the song “The Facts Of Life”. I placed the lyrics on the page and then journaled about why I chose the song.
I did the same thing with some candid shots of my father and me, from when I was a child. I used two songs actually because they had been songs that I had played for him before he passed away. I also did hidden journaling on that page, so that I could say what I wanted to say and not feel that everyone else had to read it.
Use Your Own Handwriting
Using your own handwriting really ads a lot to a scrapbook layout. I get warm feelings when I read handwritten letters from my mom or dad. When I see their handwriting I recognize it immediately. My grandma, who has been gone for awhile now, left me most of her possessions when she passed on. I love looking through old photographs and letters and seeing her handwriting and instantly recognizing. Include letters to loved ones on your scrapbook pages. You could even do a scrapbook page about the feelings you have when seeing certain loved ones handwriting.
Use Hidden Journaling
This can be useful if you have a lot to say, or it’s private. I sometimes have things I want my children to read someday, but would rather for now it remain “unsaid”. I use hidden journaling on my pages to keep those words hidden. There are so many things I feel my children should know and understand when they get older, but for now at age 11 and 8, it’s too soon. But what if something happened to me? Some of those things would never be shared with them. So I include them this way. It allows the pen to flow freely, saying whatever is on your mind, but not having to share it with anyone until you are ready.