I'm embarrassed to say that I resorted to buying pre-made scrapbook albums. But after doing so, I have to admit they were harder then I thought. I mean How easy to just cut your pics and place them in the open spaces, right? OK, NOT SO MUCH! what if a page looks better with a vertical picture but you only have a horizontal that goes with the theme of the page? Do you embellish already embellished pages, or add your own words, or mat your photos, or does all that begin to look gaudy? Do you need to journal the pages, since everyone was there? or keep it simple and do nothing at all. Decisions, Decisions??? And the worst part was trying to get a picture of each person in to the album. Also realizing I didn't have any pictures of one of the people. UGH! That one is going to bight me, I'm sure!
It was actually a lot harder then I thought it would be...This is the deal... I couldn't nearly pay my Aunt & Uncle Back for allowing us to invade their house while in Florida. and I couldn't nearly pay my Brother back for getting us the plane tickets that got us to Florida.. And as for my Mom? Well I can never pay her back for just being so wonderful.. So I decided to do the next best thing. Print out 198 pictures and make each family their own scrapbook album from our trip. A giant Thank You card per say.
Taking shortcuts knowing this would be a daunting task, I decided to have the photos printed at a local drug store rather then using my awesome epson. And I bought pre-embellished and bordered 8x8 albums. The pictures turned out horrible in quality, I was very disappointed. My Epson printed some of the same photos 100 times better and almost made me want to reprint all of them, but do to lack of time and the amount of money already spent on this project, I decided to proceed on Schedule.
Get 3 complete albums done in a week and have them all shipped to their destinations.... That was my goal, until Lil'veg learned what I was doing. And then he wanted one too. He wanted an album with all his cousins in it. "what about me?" he cried! So now I needed to complete 4 albums, using poor quality photos and only the spaces provided in the albums. Which means finding the perfect pictures to go correctly on each page.
I did complete this task with a lot of late nights, and all will be shipped within my week deadline that I provided my self. But I'm not at all happy with the looks. I'm hoping Lil'veg will like his as a memory book, and that his little cousin will like to look through hers, because I don't think it will be anything the adults will treasure.. I know my Mom will like hers because she likes everything and this will probably end up in her family shrine anyway. As for my Aunt? I'm not sure on that one. I found her a little fancier cover that will match her library/office/study room, so maybe they will put it in there. At the back of hers I stamped the word "THANK YOU" so it's really just a giant Thank You Card and maybe she will not expect anything better then that.
Summary: This is a great idea for a family event or special holiday and I'm glad I decided to do it, if even for just the kids (and my Mom) to look back on. Especially since we don't see each other often, its a good way to keep family members close in mind for the younger members. If I were to do it again though, I think I would avoid the short cuts and give my self a longer deadline or buy the more expensive albums.
For those of you not yet scrapbooking and wouldn't be worried about all the little details, but your hoarding 100's of photos that need a home. Try the pre-made scrapbooks!! It will save you some time if your doing nothing more then cutting photos and sticking. And will be great for you and your kids to look at.
Recommendation: Hallmark has the best ones I've seen so far but they are on the expensive side (and they are not the ones I bought for this project, although I would have liked to) Their quality and page designs are well worth the money to save you the time and be able to enjoy your pictures for years to come. They also have great phrases and colors, so you don't feel like you need to add anything.
Or if you have tons of photos on your computer and don't want to bother with scrapbooking, go to one of the sites that you can upload your pictures too, then order a hard back book printed with all your photos in it. A couple weeks later, you go to your mail box and VOILA! An instant photo-album with professional quality! This is a HUGE time saver and worth every penny. I did this for a gift one year and it came out great. And I wish I would have done that this time... It didn't fit in to my budget and deadline though... As I said, next time I will do things differently......