Scrapbook Journaling with Your Handwriting

Last week I wrote about the importance of including journaling on your scrapbook layouts.

Well how about this for a scrapbook idea…

Increase the heritage and nostalgia value of your scrapbook layout by including your own handwriting in your journaling!

Now I can hear all the paper scrapbookers saying ” No no no! My handwriting is terrible. I don’t want to ruin my scrapbook layouts by scrawling all over them. And what if I make a mistake? I’ll be ruining my supplies trying to get my writing to look good.”

Meanwhile all the digital scrapbookers are sitting back smugly saying, ” Well I scrap digitally so I can’t use my handwriting (phew, thank heavens for that). The most I can do is use a handwriting font on my computer.”

Well I have the perfect solution for you, whether you’re a digital scrapbooker or a traditional one. Read on.

Why bother with journaling in your own handwriting?

First of all let’s think about why it’s important to journal in your own handwriting anyway.

If you are seeking to leave a legacy for your children in your scrapbook layouts then examples of your handwriting is an important part of that legacy. Unlike with previous generations, we are no longer a society that does very much letter writing. Especially handwritten letters. When we do write a letter we usually do it on the computer, or more likely we’ll just send an email.

But your handwriting is very much a part of who you are. And your children will cherish the few examples they have of it in years to come.

My Mother passed away nine years ago. I still miss her. She wrote herself a short affirmation on a scrap of notepaper which she kept stuck on the fridge.

As you can see it’s a scrappy piece of paper, the writing is fading fast and they’re not even words that she made up herself. But you know what? It’s one of my most treasured possessions.

And that’s how your kids will view examples of your handwriting, which will probably end up being rarities in their own right.

So here’s a fail-safe method for incorporating your handwriting into your scrapbook layouts.

Scan your journaling

You may remember June’s article on scanning objects to use in your digital and hybrid scrapbook layouts. Well the same thing can apply to your journaling.

And the big advantage to doing this is that you can practice writing what you want to say as many times as you like until you’re satisfied with the look of it.

Just write on a sheet of plain white paper (Tip: If you’re worried about keeping your writing straight, put your

paper on top of a sheet of lined paper so you can see the lines through it. You might need to rule over the lines to make them darker.) Write what you want to say and then scan it into your computer.

For those without photo editing software such as Photoshop Elements, you can import the JPG graphic into your Word program (or equivalent wordprocessor) as a picture and resize it to fit your journal tag then print it out. Cut it to size and glue it in place.

If you have a graphics editing program it’s even better. Scan your handwritten journaling into your software and then remove the background using the Magic Wand tool (or whichever is the equivalent in your own software). You now have your handwritten journaling with a transparent background.

You can layer it on a journal tag and resize it to fit the tag as I’ve done here in my You’re the Best layout of my daughter. Or you can put it straight on your scrapbook layout background.

Whichever method you choose, I hope you’ll give some serious consideration to including some examples of your handwriting in your scrapbook layouts. It adds and extra level of personality to them and I believe that it will increase their value to your kids enormously.

What do you think? Do you include you own handwriting in your scrapbook layouts or do you avoid it because you don’t like the way it looks?

If you don’t like your own handwriting, I think this scrapbook idea is well worth giving a try?

Let us know in the comments below how you go about your own journaling, or even whether you do it or not.

Credits for the elements used in my Your’s the Best go to Cheryl Barber’s Etcetera Kit from Scrap Girls.

Other related Articles:

Why Journaling is Important on your Scrapbook Layouts

Top 10 Scrapbook Ideas to Rekindle Your Scrapbooking Inspiration

What’s the Best Software for Digital Scrapbooking

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8 Responses to Scrapbook Journaling with Your Handwriting

  1. cellobella July 10, 2008 at 11:33 pm #

    That is so true. The other day I found my Mah Jong set. Inside it was a score sheet which recorded the scores of the last game I played with a dear friend of mind who died suddenly.

    Those score sheets are precious.

    So yes, scraps of handwriting are worth scrapbooking.

  2. Antoinette July 14, 2008 at 11:52 pm #

    I will definitely give this a try. I’ve been struggling to write something using a Wackom tablet, but that is impossible (at least to me it is), so this sounds like a great solution!

    Antoinettes last blog post..Pre-London

  3. June Campbell July 15, 2008 at 2:37 am #

    Excellent points. I confess to being one of those who shys away from using my own handwriting because it is so bad. However, I think I am going to start changing that. Handwriting is definitely more authentic and personal for those who will perhaps want to remember me in the future.

    One tip I could add — is to suggest using a Wacom art tablet and pen mouse — a tool that is often used by graphic artists. I have a small Wacom pad about four or five inches square. It comes with a “pen” that is actually a mouse. You hold the pen mouse like any pen, and by moving it on the art tablet, you can perform regular mousihg activity. It gives you a lot more control over your photo editing and with it you can do much finer, intricate work than you get with a regular mouse. You can also use the Wacom to create handwriting in an image file. I have used it to create an image file of my signature. I insert this signature image in a Word document whenever my signature is needed. I also use it to add my signature to photos or digital elements that I may be making.

    One word of caution: if you do use this method to produce an image file with your signature, do not post that image on the Internet. It is your authentic signature and could be used by persons with mischievous intent.

  4. FightCellulite July 15, 2008 at 9:52 pm #

    I love handwriting for scrapbooking! And I don`t think computer writing should ever replace it! Great article ;)

  5. Debt Free or Bust - Sherri July 16, 2008 at 1:01 am #


    With all the work and writing I do on the computer, I still keep a handwritten journal. It’s the only sure way I can lock it up and keep everyone out of it. My son wants to know what I write. I told him he’s free to read everything after I’m gone.

    I also hand write letters more often than most people I know, though not nearly as often as I used to. It’s easier to keep up with an email address than physical addresses. Some of the people I correspond with regularly move frequently all over the world and getting a physical address from them is tough if not impossible.

    Great article! I still have a few letters from my grandmother and father. I hope my mother still has something handwritten from her father. I don’t have anything from him that I know of. I have a lot of handwritten stuff from my mom, and I keep them. Her handwriting is particularly different. It’s like she uses calligraphy every time she writes. It appears drawn and always has. Odd…


  6. karooch July 16, 2008 at 8:34 am #

    Thanks for sharing all these great thoughts ladies. I think once we stop and think about it, we all value handwriting snippets from those who are no longer with us. i guess it’s because it’s like a little piece of them that we can hold. That’s why i think we owe it to our kids to leave something of us for them to keep in the future.

    Email and other electronic communication has made life so easy and, unlike Sherri, few of us write letters anymore. It’s so easy for it to slip away.

  7. erin December 9, 2008 at 9:35 am #

    i am also a keen scrapbooker, and feel that the computer should never over take the purity of handwriting. Because it gives it a real personal touch. By the way great article :)


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