Scrapbooking Stuff That Comes Home In His Backpack

Simon's backpack is a treasure chest.

At least once a week I find something pretty darn special inside that blue REI backpack he's had since kindergarten: handwriting samples (plentiful), drawings (few & far between), notes from teachers/aides, and sometimes wonderful little written or drawn sentiments that give a glimpse into his thoughts right now.

When I go through his backpack I
immediately decide to either keep or recycle the contents (and do it right then). Some days I
keep nothing and other days I feel like I have hit the jackpot in terms
of papers that can be used to tell his stories.

Last April I wrote a post called Organizing All The Stuff That Kids Bring Home From School (there were a ton of great ideas and suggestions in the comments of that post - definitely worth a read). In that post I talk about wanting to get to a certain place where as I go through the papers I immediately either add them to an album (just slipped into a page protector) or add them to a "to-make-something" pile on my desk. I'm still not quite there but I am getting closer. I have a to-make spot set-up (using a 12x12 Cropper Hopper Page Planner envelope to store the papers, artwork, etc I know I want to use) and I am making pages using those bits of life.

One of those bits of school life to make its way home on the bus last fall was the school-photo-option sheet you see in the layout today. I immediately knew I wanted to incorporate it into a layout at some point. I love that it has all those images (some of which are totally random), his name, etc. I knew that I wanted to pair it with different photo (something more "real life") and when I took this one of him working on his homework the other day it all clicked.

Here's a closer look:

On the right side the journaling was added directly to the photo in Photoshop and printed
here at home. You can do this same thing and have it printed at a

I did cut off the top of one of his returned worksheets and just used the portion with his name for the top of this layout. Don't be afraid to cut things up (most likely there is more where that came from) and on the flip side, don't be afraid to leave things whole just like I did on the first page.


Cosmo Cricket "The Boyfriend Homework Paper"
METAL #2 : Tim Holtz "Numerals"
CHIPBOARD "s" : American Crafts "Mustard Typo"
FABRIC BRAD : Sassafras Lass "Vintage Gems Brads"
RULER STICKER : October Afternoon "Report Card 12x12 Sticker Shapes"

Sponsor Giveaways coming early tomorrow morning. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

52 thoughts

  1. Jenny W

    2010-02-05 05:36:41 -0500

    Love this layout. Thanks for the reminders and ideas about incorporating everyday stuff :)

  2. Suzette Mahoney

    2010-02-05 05:52:59 -0500

    Hi Ali. Linked you in my blog today. :)

  3. [email protected]

    2010-02-05 06:37:55 -0500

    Hi Ali,
    Love the homework shot - what lens are you using?

  4. Yolanda

    2010-02-05 07:20:51 -0500

    Such an attractive layout. yet it feels so natural and real. I love the balance of candid shot with the collage of studio poses. But what I'm most impressed with is the color palette, the shades of orange sprinkled throughout. From the yellow-orange tape measure on the far left, the pale yellow Super Star note, the bright orange of Simon's shirt on the left, the orange stripes on the all works.

  5. Carrie P

    2010-02-05 08:53:31 -0500

    This came together so well, love it, and what a great way to capture the serious, staged and relaxed side of school.

  6. Tamara Nicole

    2010-02-05 09:48:27 -0500

    Awww what a good way to put a bunch of "things" together and keep them all organized! Lovely:-)

  7. Jean

    2010-02-05 12:44:10 -0500

    Fantastic way to weave in his handwriting and a terrific focal photo. Great story.

  8. Chelsea

    2010-02-05 14:21:26 -0500

    Ali, please do share what you do with things that Simon brings home that are odd sizes. I've thought about having them scanned at a local printing store and making them smaller to incorporate into a scrapbook, but I think the handwriting will be too hard to read. I've thought about framing it and not even adding to a scrapbook. Do you have any suggestions????

  9. Deb

    2010-02-05 14:22:41 -0500

    I like how you used his name for the top of the page. :)

  10. Mary A

    2010-02-05 14:54:21 -0500

    This is fantastic... I love when you do posts like this! Wondering about the details of the layouts, and how worried you are about acid-free qualities and etc. in the stuff Simon brings home. That is, for the proof sheet, for example -- did you just incorporate that directly into your layout, or did you use a scan instead? Same for the yellow note -- is that incorporated into the layout directly or by virtue of the magic of digital scrapbooking? It's hard to tell what's "real" and what's part of the blog post. As always, thanks for all the inspiration!

  11. michelle

    2010-02-05 15:01:33 -0500

    LOVE it...more more school stuff----LOVE it...this is the one area in scrapbooking that I feel overwhelmed and I keep too much---school. Really love this inspiration to toss and also to create. Beautiful!

  12. Teresa

    2010-02-05 15:26:39 -0500

    Great another idea! I always need another way to work with shcool work. I have a ton of it.! Thanks!!!!

  13. Melissa Mann

    2010-02-05 16:10:40 -0500

    love it!

  14. Ginny

    2010-02-06 04:14:10 -0500

    I thought about using that sheet this year w/ my 3rd grader. I thought it was so cute w/ all the different looks. Lifetouch has come a long way in pictures haven't they? Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. BJ

    2010-02-06 05:02:25 -0500

    Thank You I'm not sure how I got here, but glad I did. I love what I have seen. Thanks again.

  16. Tanya

    2010-02-06 10:03:53 -0500

    This is great!! What a wonderful way treasure the little everyday things most people take for granted!! It's recycling in a way, really...taking that which you might have thrown away as nothing special & used it to create art!! I love it!!!
    This weekend, I'm participating in the Create it Green Valentine Blog Hop, everyone on the Hop has used recycled items in their projects! I made a card using a scrap of Grungeboard & a coffee sleeve and created my own lettering from a cracker box for my LO title- it's good fun!!
    Have a great weekend!

  17. Monique

    2010-02-06 13:08:58 -0500

    this is an absoloutely STUNNING way of using that backpack "stuff" .. you inspire me to look at things in a new way..
    thanks for all you do..

  18. Irma P.

    2010-02-06 13:50:15 -0500

    thanks Ali for the great idea about using the photo proof sheet! I'll be lifting this ;)

  19. glee

    2010-02-06 16:56:24 -0500

    fabulous page, enjoyed hearing you on the podcast the other day (week??? i've lost track, too!)

  20. Cat

    2010-02-07 02:20:45 -0500

    thanks for sharing your ideas. even though i don't have young children and school pages to scrap, your descriptions make it easy for me to use your ideas for other events.

  21. Nancy

    2010-02-07 07:54:34 -0500

    Thanks for the ideas! I don't get to scrap as often as I'd like, since I'm the mom of 3 and a full-time teacher. Today's post not only gives me ideas for managing my oldest daughter's school "stuff"; but the shining star note is an idea I will begin using in my classroom! Thanks for the ideas and inspiration!!!

  22. jennifer

    2010-02-07 12:17:59 -0500

    Thanks for the idea! I haven't seen that type of option from our photographer, but if I ever do I'll definitely remember your ideas. Great tip to get rid of school papers RIGHT NOW. They really build up if you don't.

  23. Alicia

    2010-02-09 05:30:55 -0500

    I LOVE the extra special touch with the top of his paper as the top of this! His handwritten name from a school project is a natural and fabulous embellishment!

  24. Hanna

    2010-02-09 21:28:36 -0500

    What a wonderful thing the teachers/staff is doing, writing small notes of "shining star". A boost for the kid (and parents). I wonder if they do so here in Sweden? Don't think so :o( I would love to save those little notes of what my son is like in school.

  25. Philippines property

    2010-02-17 12:40:30 -0500

    “I LOVE your style and your post. Your blog makes me realize everything every time I read because it comes from her heart...and that makes it beautiful.”
    Deirdre G

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