A Simple Heritage Layout

old photo album isolatedSo many times, we don’t know where to start when scrapbooking our family history. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you are one of those lucky people that have a lot of photos of your relatives, start by making a page for each relative that simply pays tribute to their life.

Start by choosing a main photo. Make this photo larger than the others that might be on the page. This will be the focal point of your layout. Do not use the original photo, but make copies of all the photos you are going to use for your page. For a more antique look, think about cutting the photos in an oval shape. Matte the main photo on some coordinating cardstock.

Choose additional photos, but make them smaller in size. You can use these photos in a number of ways on the page. You can line them up on one side of the main photo, you could put additional photos overlapping the corners of the main photo matte, or you could line the smaller photos up along the bottom.

In a large font using either alphabet stickers, or your printer, or even your own handwriting to spell out the name of the person at the top of the page. Use their complete name. Matte the name of the person to give it a more finished look to represent the title of the layout.

Below the photo, consider using typical family history dates to commemorate this person’s life. These might include the birth date and death date of the relative. Other dates you could include are the date they emigrated to the United States, and their marriage date along with their spouse’s name. You could also include a baptism date if relevant. Adding these dates to your layout will give the viewer the essential information they will need about this relative when looking through your album.

If you have more information about this person that is interesting, you can always include additional journaling. Use tags, or write alongside the photo additional information that someone would definitely want to know about this relative.

Many times, when researching family history, we will run across a copy of the relative’s signature on a document. Think about making a copy of this signature and blowing it up into a larger size to include on your page. This will give life to the photo and to the person in the photograph. It will also make this relative seem more human to witness their handwriting on the page.

Heritage scrapbooking does not have to have all the bells and whistles, and sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to honor your relative.

Meredith Ethington is the author of this blog. To learn more about Meredith, and her history with Scrapbooking and Genealogy, go here.

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