Preserving Family Memories With Digital Scrapbooks


In addition to talking on the phone, we’re lucky to have FaceTime, Skype, and other methods to virtually visit with loved ones who are sheltering at home or assisted living facilities. Indeed, the technology we have at our fingertips today allows for any number of fun activities, especially compared to pastimes enjoyed by previous generations. Even so, if you’re among the growing number of people working from home and practicing social distancing, you may be looking for entertaining activities to do from home. Decidedly low-tech activities such as baking, getting fresh air, and spring cleaning can help you pass some time. And of course, you can always binge-watch your favorite streaming shows, visit museums virtually, or exercise at home with online videos. Read on to discover a unique project that involves the entire family and fulfills your nagging desire to spring clean!

A Fun Low- and High-Tech Way to Stay Busy

During this extraordinary time, some people are turning to old-fashioned leisure activities like jigsaw puzzles, coloring books, and board games. And talking about nostalgia, we can’t think of a better family activity than creating a digital scrapbook to while away the time while preserving and sharing precious family memories. It’s also a great way to declutter photos – one of those projects put on the backburner indefinitely because you’re always too busy! While you’re all at home together, this intergenerational project provides a creative way to take a virtual nostalgic trip down memory lane!

How to Start a Digital Scrapbook

The best way to delve into this project is to organize and cull digital photos. Chances are you have thousands of photos, many of which haven’t been cropped, retouched, or organized. We know this isn’t a fun part of creating a digital photo book, but it’s an essential first step. After you’ve discarded mediocre images, consider playing around with the following techniques to enhance them: 

  • Adjusting the brightness and/or contrast
  • Increasing or decreasing the saturation
  • Realigning the photo angle
  • Color correcting
  • Cropping and/or resizing
  • Adding fading or a vignette feature
  • Blending or blurring an area
  • Incorporating creative filters

Once you’ve accomplished the above steps, it’s a wise idea to back up images stored on your smartphone and/or computer on a standalone hard drive. Or you might consider burning the images to DVDs or USB drives and labeling them. If you wish to undertake the scrapbooking project yourself, you’ll need software (e.g. Adobe Photoshop Elements). But many websites offer all sorts of colorful layouts and decorative elements to make it easy to create magical scrapbooking memories.

Creative Ideas for Digital Scrapbooking

Papers: Choose patterned or solid color papers for backgrounds 

Decorative details: Add ribbons, bows, frames, stitching, or flowers to add a 3-dimensional look to layouts 

Doodles and illustrations: Incorporate hand-drawn elements with transparent backgrounds to simulate paper stickers and add depth and character to pages

Stamps/line art: Use digital stamps to create patterns on plain backgrounds or line drawings in layouts (e.g. a suitcase or airplane for travel-themed pages) 

Templates: Personalize page layouts and create complete scrapbook pages by combining paper choices with your photos 

Themed books: Choose specific themes that reflect and enhance your photos (e.g. warm colors for summer travel albums, pastel colors for baby books, old-fashioned stamps for vintage family photos)

If you have hard copy photos and no method for scanning them, no worries. At ScanCafe, it’s easy to digitize photos with our pain-free, cost-effective service. By converting your precious old photos to digital images, you’re preserving them for posterity and you’ll be able to get started creating a unique scrapbook the moment we send the digital files back to you.