December Daily 2010 | Creating A Foundation

Hello December Daily 2010.

I know many of you out there are thinking, "how can you even be thinking about Christmas?" I totally get it. Completely. I'm really all about my pumpkins and planning a Halloween party right now. But here's the deal: I also know, from a few years of experience, that planning ahead is really the key to enjoying the process of daily documentation during December.

If this is your first time embarking on the December Daily project or if you'd like a general refresher I recommend checking out my December Daily compilation page for many more details and ideas (and to see how its evolved from year to year with a complete listing of all the posts). You can also check out my past December Daily projects in a portfolio format here: 2008, 2009.

If you're here for round two or three or four, welcome back.

Today is the beginning of a series of posts about creating a December Daily album. The basic idea behind this project is to create an album that will hold your 2010 December stories. My album runs from December 1 through December 25th - some people choose to go through the end of the month but I've found that by the time Christmas hits I'm ready to move on to the next thing.

There are so many different ways to approach this project:

  • Some people make it a game to use what they have on hand (all those years of stocking up on holiday products and then making one layout is paying off). If this is you, your goal over the next week is to get all your stuff in one place.

  • Some people mix old products with new products (this is me).

  • Some people do all digital albums.

  • Some people do a mixture of digital and paper (this is me too).

  • Some people do big albums and some people do really small ones.

Today's post will be an overview of my 2010 album. Next week I'll post step-by-steps for a couple pages, go into more details about the cover options with step-by-step images, and include a couple video tutorials on how to work with the printable elements I'm using in my album.

After next week you won't hear much about this album again until it gets much closer to December. Beginning on the 1st or 2nd of December I'll post my completed page and include information on my process, the story, supplies, etc.

DIGITAL ALBUM: Wondering about a full digital album? I've got a new set of products in the works that should be in the shop next weekend. Look for another post on that coming soon.


Each year when I start thinking about my December Daily album I like to do things a bit different - usually nothing drastic but enough of a change to keep it interesting. This year the biggest change you'll notice is that I've keep all the pages the same size. If you take a look at my past albums (2008 or 2009) you'll see that the pages are a mixture of sizes. This year I decided to keep them all 6 inches x 8 inches.

Another change? I made two different album covers this year: one using the Teresa Collins Bracket Shape Covers and a second one using recycled chipboard. The Teresa Collins Bracket Shape Covers were covered with sticky back canvas, painted, misted, and embossed - I'll show the full step-by-step next week. The second option, the one with the white circles, uses a sheet of specialty paper (working on a source) adhered on top of a piece of recycled chipboard trimmed to 6x8. I'm still not sure which one I'm going to use but I'm leaning towards the white one.

In terms of the process for putting this album together, my biggest suggestion is to break it down into small tasks and tackle one thing at a time. One project is cutting the transparencies to size. One project is pulling out numbers to add to the transparencies. One project is printing + cutting out the hybrid pages. One project is punching holes. Get the idea? Are you seeing why I like to work on this part in advance?


The formula for my 2010 album is very simple: a printed transparent page with a date and/or embellishment + a . Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Each and every page is 6 inches x 8 inches.

Here's a look at all the transparent pages laid out on my table:

If you're interested in making one similar to my 2010 book here's the basics of what you'll need:

  • 13, 12x12 transparent sheets (see below for a supply list of the ones I used) that will be cut so you get 2, 6x8 inch pieces from each sheet.

  • My 2010 December Daily 6x8 overlay package from Designer Digitals for the photo and/or journaling pages. The package includes a PDF file for simple printing if you're not familiar with Adobe Photoshop. The PDF file includes days 1 through 31. Look for a video tutorial on working with this package to come next week.

  • A front and back cover.

  • A variety of numbers, holiday papers and embellishments.

  • A willingness to document the month of December and not stress about making it perfect or capturing every last detail.

  • A commitment to enjoying your holiday season and being present with your family and friends. I continue to find that the process of participating in this album actually grounds me to the here & now and helps me be more conscious of how I live my holiday season.

Here's a look at the 2010 December Daily overlays when printed on Bazzill Basics Cream Puff ( 12x12 | 8.5x11) which is what I used throughout my album. You can also view these foundation images via my portfolio (click on an image and then click the arrows to go forward or backward throughout the portfolio).

You could easily wait to print these out until December and add your journaling right onto the PNG file + print as you go. These could also be placed on top of photos in Photoshop before printing (along with your journaling).

OPTION: One way to adapt this album to your own working style or family stories would be to do all transparencies and skip the printable portion. Your photos could be added in as the additional pages. Or maybe you're more interested in focusing on the words + photos. If that's the case maybe only use the printables and skip the transparent pages. Lots of options. If this is your first time I suggest playing along with me and being open to adapting as you go.

MY CURRENT PLAN WITH THE PRINTABLE PAGES: Above is a look at a sketch of the printable page and a completed page (using a photo from 2009 as a sample). My plan is that those two blocks of space will be used as a home for a photo (or a collage of photos), and/or journaling, and/or pattern paper.

I like that I'm creating a specific foundation for myself that has a bit of structure but will also be flexible when it comes to documenting each day. On some days I envision using that large block of space exclusively for journaling. On those days I might use the small block for a photo that captures the essence of something - a piece of the whole. On other days I might fill the large space with a photo and use the back of the cardstock for my journaling.

NOTE: Two 4x6 inch photos would fit perfectly on the back for those of you that don't print at home and find it easier to use a photo developer to add your photos once a week or at the end of the month.

My goal with these foundation pages was to keep it simple. One or two accents and a number on top of each transparency. There's nothing earth-shattering here. It's a matter of picking out a few things and sticking them down (or stitching them as the case may be) and creating a home for your December content. A couple days don't have numbers (all the printable pages have both the number and the specific day of the week for 2010). Little bits of red machine stitching is the main way I attached elements to the transparencies - staples are always another good option.

You can do this.

Here's a look at the entire foundation:


Anna Griffin Georgette Holiday Collection Double-Sided Cardstock Pack (inside cover)

Teresa Collins Star Transparency

K&Company Yuletide Chipbox

AE for Technique Tuesday Good Cheer Stamps

Red Stitching


Art Warehouse Hollyberry Transparency (green is sold out but here's a red one on clearance at

Studio Calico Mister Huey Apple Jack Color Mist

Making Memories Number Stickers

Vintage Wallpaper

Shipping Tag


Fancy Pants Tradition Flocked Transparency

Tim Holtz Silver Numerals: Two Peas |


White Circle Paper

Maya Road Sheer Clocks

Jenni Bowlin Vintage Christmas Chipboard Buttons: Two Peas |


Every Jot & Tittle Red Number Tags

Hambly Chic Circles Transparent Overlay

Ormolu Christmas Tag (circle-punched)


KI Memories Lace Cardstock Numbers

Hambly Clearly Heavy Overlay


Hambly Grey Doily Decor Overlay: Two Peas |

Making Memories Number Stickers

(I think the oval with the tree is from a K&Company chipbox from 2009)


Hamby Red Vintage Plaid (looks like there's no more red, but other colors are available)

AE Christmas Boxes from Designer Digitals

American Crafts Playroom Thickers (in green here)

Claudine Hellmuth Studio Paint Dash of Red: Two Peas |


8.5x11 Baseball Card Page Protectors cut to fit

Bazzill Basics Star Chips (painted red)

Making Memories Metal Rimmed Tags

Tim Holtz Silver Numerals: Two Peas |

Claudine Hellmuth Studio Paint Dash of Red: Two Peas |


Teresa Collins Noel Collection Christmas Transparency

The Girls Paperie Eclectic Chipboard Alphabet: Two Peas |


Teresa Collins Red Number Transparency

Maya Road Grosgrain Pleat Ribbon: Two Peas |


Maya Road Scroll Frames Chipboard

AE for Technique Tuesday Good Cheer Stamps

Claudine Hellmuth Studio Paint Dash of Red: Two Peas |

My Mind's Eye Lost & Found Union Square Moments Seamstress Paper: Two Peas |

Hambly Clearly Heavy Overlay


Teresa Collins Star Transparency

AE Christmas Boxes from Designer Digitals

Jenni Bowlin Red Kindergarten Alphabet Rub Ons

Claudine Hellmuth Studio Paint Dash of Red: Two Peas |


Art Warehouse Hollyberry Transparency (green is sold out but here's a red one on clearance at

Elise Joy Wish Tag

The Girls Paperie Eclectic Chipboard Alphabet: Two Peas |


Fancy Pants Tradition Flocked Transparency

Jenni Bowlin Mini Bingo Cards Christmas


Hambly Clearly Heavy Overlay

Tim Holtz Silver Numerals: Two Peas |

Picture It Pageframe Large 8 inch Acrylic Star


Hambly Chic Circles Transparent Overlay

The Girls Paperie Christmas Ribbon Trims


White Circle Paper

Every Jot & Tittle Red Number Tags


KI Memories Lace Cardstock Numbers

Hambly Clearly Heavy Overlay


Jenni Bowlin Christmas Printed Tickets

Hamby Red Vintage Plaid (looks like there's no more red, but other colors are available)

Jenni Bowlin Red Kindergarten Alphabet Rub Ons


8.5x11 Baseball Card Page Protectors cut to fit

The Girls Paperie Tinsel & Twig Christmas Sticker Pad

AE Christmas Boxes from Designer Digitals (available on Saturday)


Teresa Collins Noel Collection Christmas Transparency

Studio Calico Mister Huey Apple Jack Color Mist

Making Memories Number Stickers

Shipping Tag


Teresa Collins Red Number Transparency

K&Company Handmade Collection Fabric Art Lace Frames


Hambly Grey Doily Decor Overlay: Two Peas |

Elle's Studio Vintage Christmas Flash Cards

Every Jot & Tittle Red Number Tags


Hambly Brown Brocade Overlay

Making Memories Metal Rimmed Canvas Tag

The Girls Paperie Eclectic Chipboard Alphabet: Two Peas |


Anna Griffin Georgette Holiday Collection Double-Sided Cardstock Pack

And there you have it.

You can do this.

Start now. Start simple. One task at a time.

Whenever possible, don't make it more complicated than it needs to be. Adapt it for your family, your lifestyle, your situation. The real joy comes from getting yourself to a point where you are ready to record the little moments in December - those little bits of life that happen so fast but that build on each other year after year. This album is a place for those memories.

Don't worry if you don't do something holiday related everyday in December. The stories and photos you include don't have to be holiday related - all of my previous albums contain non-holiday entries that document simple daily stories. I include what I feel like including from one day to the next.

Again, be sure to check out previous December Daily project posts on the compilation page. Feel free to include your questions here in the comments section.

Again, you can do this.


You're also invited to share and communicate with others about this project. Here's some links to get you started:

FLICKR GROUP: 2010 December Daily (view past galleries here: 2008, 2009)


BANNER: Last year there were some requests for a blog banner. Feel free to add this to your site (the code is listed below):



This year I'm offering daily sponsorship spots throughout the month of December on December Daily posts. Please email [email protected] for more information.

For a full list of December Daily posts go here.

Elle’s Studio has just released their new designs for the holiday season. They have the perfect tags for your December Daily projects, advent calendars, scrapbook pages and more!

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  1. Erika

    2010-10-28 23:38:58 -0400

    I have always admired your work and style and I'm so excited to learn about December Daily. I'm jumping in with both feet on this project, attempting to move from a scrapbook supply collector, to an actual supply user! I've decided to format mine similarly to yours as this is my first year (plus your design is gorgeous), but since the transparencies are proving a little hard to find locally I think i'll do some patterned paper in place of a few. Thanks for all your hard work and help! Can't wait to get started :)

  2. Danni

    2010-10-31 09:44:11 -0400

    Hey Ali;
    this will be my first DD project and I have one question. Do you have any tips on how to make sure all the holes we punch align with each other? I do not have a crop a dile; just a stand alone hole puncher (with the hammer ;))

  3. Beke

    2010-11-01 03:13:11 -0400

    I really love this idea. I found out about you in the middle of last December and really wanted to do your album with you some day, this year is this year.

    Id go with the white cover its really lovely :)

  4. Beke

    2010-11-01 11:41:27 -0400

    I had to add another comment..

    I a always amazed how many people are out there who are so creative likde yourself. Just little everyday people with bright ideas to share with everyone around the world.

    I am from Queensland Australia and I try to let people know about you when ever I can. Though we have summer at christmas time I though I might show you what I come up with and let all you White Christmas countries (i would love to have a white christmas oneday) just a little bit of what its like over here at that time of the year :)

    I havent read all of your comments so I was wondering,,, do you plan on adding anything to the backs of your transparent pages? Or will you keep them free to show the next page through?

    Once again, I cannot wait to get started!!

  5. sara mcgee

    2010-11-03 19:06:46 -0400

    Hi Ali, really loving this project and am intending on following yourlead closely! I have a couple of questions; is it possible to get 2 daily overlays on an A4 page? I bought the overlays and your 'all is bright' etc embellies. My computer will not open tyhe PNG file (says too many bytes). the adobe files are black or brown where I would like red & green. Can you help? i am so not a photoshop user!

  6. sophie

    2010-11-07 03:20:17 -0500

    Ali, this is my 1st time visiting your blog, and i LOVE it! this is my 1st time doing a December book. do you have any advice for a newbie? i'm looking forward to stopping by everyday to see what's new. thanks, + keep up the great work!

  7. Sandra June

    2010-11-08 08:08:13 -0500

    Just about done with my book. Ali, this is awesome! It's so pretty! I can't wait to start filling it up. (of course, now I'm thinking of doing one for my daughter-in-law!)

  8. Beke

    2010-11-09 01:49:21 -0500

    HI again ali.

    I have (today) just started shopping for my overlays and I have come to a bit of a sad delema. As i have said I am from Australia and in my town we are limited to some over seas stock some times.Though I was stocked to find the Hambly Chic Circles (in green like yours) and almost half price to what we normally have to pay here because of shipping, i was also able to get 2 other hambly (i think i have fallen in love with them) including a really pretty one called "swashes and swirls".

    but so far thats all. :( There are so many vellums around, but I love your use of the clear. I am hoping that I can find some more in the other shop here soon, with some many places sold out online here. So for me, it looks like its going to be a mix of your new style and a mix of the older ones you have done. :P

    Lets see how that goes hey? :)


    Ps....I am so in love with your site, your projects (just did my first "weekend in the life" project.) and just love your way of thinking towards SB :)

  9. December Daily 2010 Q&A Responses | Ali Edwards

    2010-11-10 15:45:37 -0500

    [...] I wanted to point out to you (you might not know this) but all the products I used and showcased in the posts that show the album include links to the products whenever available (normally in orange type). You can click on the [...]

  10. maree

    2010-11-14 22:42:38 -0500

    I love this Ali.. I am right on to this this year. I made my book last year and I was very naughty and never used it so I am ready to go this year. I have the album I just need to take pics and journal in it

  11. What Scrapbooking Classes Are You Taking This Holiday Season? | Into Scrapbooking

    2010-11-17 10:34:01 -0500

    [...] Ali Edwards’ December Daily – Now this isn’t a class, but it’s an annual project that has become an Ali tradition.  She walks you through her process of creating an album for each day of December.  You can even go back and look at her albums from previous years.  If you need a shortcut for your December Daily album, she has created digital templates for your album available at Designer Digitals.  December Daily has become a holiday favorite throughout the scrapbooking community. [...]

  12. Anastasiaelena

    2010-11-18 12:32:26 -0500

    I did it! I finished my December Daily today!It was very interesting, but some things i did absolutely in another way (sorry for my English :))).
    Thank you for your idea, again.

  13. Valerie

    2010-11-18 15:40:19 -0500

    I'm now offically in, just cut all the transparancies, punched the holes. I love this project. I debated the size as well, but in the end decided to go with the 6x8 and just do it!

  14. My december daily 2010 — La casa di nessun luogo

    2010-11-24 11:09:06 -0500

    [...] Here’s a photo of some of my transparencies. I couldn’t find any of the ones that Ali Edwards used in her album. So I’m making my [...]

  15. kellyjp29

    2010-11-28 16:14:19 -0500

    A friend did this for me last year, but now it's my turn to reciprocate. Very nice!

  16. Carla Cavellucci Landi

    2010-12-01 08:58:50 -0500

    just FYI - is sold out on Danelle Johnson - 12 x 12 Christmas Transparent Sheet, but I just found them at Danelle's website.

  17. December Daily 2010 | Day Two | Ali Edwards

    2010-12-03 09:53:37 -0500

    [...] The foundation for this page can be seen here. [...]

  18. December Daily | windy willow

    2012-07-12 02:54:25 -0400

    [...] you can see, I followed closely Ali Edwards’ design for 2010, although I set my own files up in InDesign and used my own fonts. This album sticks [...]

  19. December Daily 2012 | windy willow

    2012-12-06 21:54:32 -0500

    [...] small. The last two years I’ve used 6×8 books (the same size as Ali Edwards did). I have had a plan to make blank mini books and sell them on Etsy for people who don’t [...]

  20. Project : December Daily |

    2013-03-02 12:00:20 -0500

    [...] you ever done Ali's December Daily project? This is the first year I participate. I followed the first prompt and am getting my [...]

  21. Happy New Year

    2014-01-07 01:48:38 -0500

    Wow, this post is fastidious, my younger sister is analyzing
    these kinds of things, thus I am going to convey her.

  22. December Daily – cover + creating | Elle's Studio Blog

    2014-03-10 23:30:51 -0400

    […] year I’ve wanted to make a December Daily album, but over the years, when December 1st came around I felt really overwhelmed and ended up not […]

  23. Happy Weekend! | Elle's Studio Blog

    2014-03-10 23:31:19 -0400

    […] feeling so excited and inspired after reading Ali Edwards post about her December daily. Every year I want to make one, but always run out of time. This year, […]

  24. Thankful Thursday | Elle's Studio Blog

    2014-03-11 00:04:09 -0400

    […] DAILY DECEMBER PROJECT: I finished the base of my album (will be posting soon) and when I was done I realized how thankful I was for Ali’s idea to get this part done before the holidays began. Now, all I have to do is insert the pictures and journaling… and maybe some extra embellishments and it’s complete! Also, I’m thankful for Ali’s project because it’s my nephew’s first Christmas and I can’t wait to document it! […]

  25. sumit

    2016-09-29 10:50:13 -0400

    make me happy who says this rusefel was said that every thing is right but it possible when you agree then possible...

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