Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

January 9, 2011

December Daily™ 2010 | Intro Page & Binding

Yesterday I took some time to finish up the last couple of things left to do with my December Daily™.

First up was figuring out what I wanted to do for the binding. On hand I had rings that were 2 inches, 2.5 inches and 3 inches (ordered from Amazon).

Here’s a look at the 2 inch rings. They worked fine but I wasn’t totally satisfied. I tried the next size up (the 2.5 inch rings) and they just looked way too big (the one in the middle is missing because I was hunting for it and couldn’t locate it).

Here’s a look from the side – you can see here that it’s pulling a bit on the top and the bottom.

Other than the ring binding, I also wanted to try running some baker’s twine and a piece of ribbon through the holes to see if I liked that better.

I did.

It takes a bit longer to get the ribbon + twine through all the pages but in the end I liked that option better.

Here’s a look at what I did with the intro page:

In Photoshop I created a new canvas that was 2 inches wide x 4.25 inches tall at 300 dpi.

From my photo management program (Aperture) I dragged and dropped the images I wanted to use into Photoshop.

I re-sized them to either 2 inches wide or 3 inches wide and layered them one on top of the other to create the strip.

I printed them here at home and adhered it into my album. The intro page was a free download available here.

Again, thanks so much to all of you that participated this year! For those of you who are continuing to work on your project, you can do it!

Look for information about December Daily™ 2011 to begin sometime in October.

You can view all pages about the December Daily™ project here.


  • 1.
    nicole said…

    your book looks amazing. I like the twine

  • 2.

    Nice to see the finished book! And I really like the simple bakers twine idea. I need to try that sometime!

  • 3.
    Betsy said…

    Finished mine up this weekend and was sooooooooo happy with the result! The best one yet. I really liked the consistency of the daily page and the clear pages. Thank you again for the inspiration for this incredible project.

  • 4.
    Arlyna said…

    My album is also almost done but have also been having a bit of problem with the binding… I have now ended up of getting rid the binder cover I used in the beginning and settled on a fabric covered chipboard and 3″ rings. But have problem similar to yours… With the twine approach you finally settled on, is it easy to flip thru the pages? Does your pages lie flat? How taut did you tie the twines?

    Thank you so much!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      They do lay flat – I gave it “room” so when you turn the pages they are able to lay flat. It’s definitely not tight.

  • 5.
    Alison Day said…

    Love the twine! I had to go to 3″ rings because it got so thick and I’m not totally happy with it. The holes ae slightly too small for that size of rings so it’s pretty cumbersome to turn the pages. Maybe I’ll try the twine idea too. I’d put it on a shelf and was hoping to forget about it for awhile though. Maybe in a couple weeks I’ll be ready …

    Thanks again Ali. I LOVED this project and will definitely do it again next year!

    • ….
      Beke said…

      you mean this year? :) :)

  • 6.
    Nancy Wyatt said…

    Love it! Did you use a needle to feed twine through holes? Thanks for sharing your DD with us and taking us along with you on you OLW! I’m taking your class :) hugs from Conroe, TX

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I didn’t but I thought about it :) . I think it would have made it easier.

  • 7.
    lisa truesdell said…

    loving this – i’m not digging the binger rings, so i might have to give this a try!

  • 8.
    LisaZ said…

    Still plugging along with my December Daily.
    Love the way yours turned out. ~Pino

  • 9.
    TracieClaiborne said…

    I finished up my 2009 album this past week and I just started 2010! LOL I have Page 1 done. I have all the pics printed and the journaling done and I even have it all sketched out and the papers/embellishments pulled. I’m keeping it simple so I think I can knock it out this week. I’m glad to see you post this – it helped me know I’m not alone on finishing mine up!

  • 10.
    Kelly G said…

    This was my first year completing a DecDaily album and I am so pleased that I’m nearly finished (considering I didn’t decide to start unitl 1st Dec!). I end my album on the 26th Dec as that’s when we had our extended family celebration. Would it be possible to for you to do a 26 title page just for me please? :)

    This has been such an inspiring ride, Ali. Thank you!

    • ….
      beth lo. said…

      hi kelly g,

      if you bought the december daily 6×8 pages from designer digitals, the whole month of dec. is included: dec 1-31. i did a page for the 26th too-one of my out of town girlfriends and i always get together the day after and i really like to include that.


    • ….
      Kelly G said…

      Thanks for your response Beth. I did buy the layered template pack. I’m after a 26 for the title page. Are you saying that you made your own 26 title page using the template pack?

  • 11.
    Angie Blom said…

    I love the twine ribbon mine is just beyond huge.. I will have to try this to see if it is good for mine, I am getting pulling with my rings too! Thanks for another great year.. I so love this project!

  • 12.
    Brooke said…

    Hi Ali,

    I bet it feels wonderful to have it all done! Just one question though, will you post a “reflections on the process/what I learned” like you have in previous years? It’s one of my favourite things to read once your album is done.

  • 13.
    Michele H. said…

    This looks fab Ali! I only have 9 pages to go and am definitely going to make this a priority:)

  • 14.
    Laci M. said…

    I’m wondering the same thing as Arlyna comment #4 would like to know if you can still flip through the pages just as smooth as using binder rings. I’ve got 3″ rings right now but they’re not big enough and I’m only half way finished with my album. Might have to the twine thing and next year not go so big!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Not sure it’s as smooth – but mine was not really feeling smooth with the rings. You do have to handle it differently – a little more carefully most likely. It does lay flat – I gave it enough “give” and extra space to make sure it could open just fine and lay flat.

  • 15.
    Tere (Marie) said…

    Looks great. I was waiting to see what you used for binding, mine is so thick.

    This was my first and I am almost DONE!! still have some time to put into it. But as I reflect, I need to write down what worked and didn’t work for next time. For example, wanting to type on a page after I have adhered the paper and picture and it’s hard to roll in my typewriter when it’s thick. Or when I tell my story, sometimes I’m not consistent in whether I’m talking to the person in the picture or to the reader. I got confused sometimes. And lastly, I have 4 children…I need to make sure that one of them doesn’t dominate the pictures more than the other.

    Do you take time to reflect for next year?

  • 16.
    Kathy said…

    It looks fantastic and it’s lovely doing a project that so many people are doing at the same time even if (i) I don’t personally know them and (ii) I will never meet them. I’m just waiting on the supply of photo paper from the shop to come in to finish printing my final pages. I only got half way through completeing mine last year even thought I took photos and notes everyday. This year doing your digital template helped me keep up in what seems to be a busy month. Thanks for leading us to complete a timeless piece of history for our familes. Kathy, Brisbane, Australia

  • 17.
    Susi from Germany said…

    With this post I want to say “Thank you!” This was my third December Daily, but without knowing, it became a very special one: My spouse, and Dad to our two kids (5 and 2) suffered a heart attack on January 2nd. After the docs had almost given up on him (chance to survive: 5%), he made it. He is now comatose, being on the ICU right now. They do not how, whether he will recover, neither in which state he will be. We’re going baby-steps. This December Daily now is a photojournal of our last regular family month. It is so sad on the one hand, but I am so glad and thankful I have this evidence right there.
    I wanted my word for 2011 to be “serenity”. I think it has changed to “forward”.
    Thank you, Ali, for your inspiration.

    • ….
      dawn said…


      I’m sorry to hear about your husband. Sending out prayers,strength, hugs for you and your family.

    • ….
      iowajewel said…

      my heart hurts for you and please know that even though i am half way around the world, my thoughts and prayers are with you!

    • ….
      RobynS said…

      Susi – Sending prayers to you and your family during this difficult time. Keep your faith and hope strong for your husband. He knows you are there. Forward is a beautiful word. God Bless.

    • ….
      Heather Smithson said…

      My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for the reminder that it is a treasure to record our ordinary moments together.

    • ….
      Michelle D. said…

      I don’t usually read through Ali’s comments section but I did today and spotted this…and I am praying for you and your husband and family right now.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Sending you you a ton of love and peace as you begin to move forward.

    • ….
      Susi said…

      Susi, I am also sending prayers for your husband’s recovery as well as comfort, support and strength for you and your family.

  • 18.
    zewa said…

    I can’t believe you’ll start your DD in October 11…oh my gosh, that’s really early. Have you ever considered preparing/designing your dd right after finishing the current year?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      That’s just when I start thinking about putting it together. I think starting ahead is what makes the project do-able throughout December.

      I never start on next year’s right after December – I am so DONE with the project at that point. But give me another 10 months and I’ll be excited and ready to go again.

  • 19.
    dawn said…

    Hi Ali, so glad you had this post today. My album is done and is being passed around in our family/friends. Just want to thank you again for this idea and sharing it with us. This is now my favorite album and it was so fun to make. Will you be doing a post on your thoughts for next years album, I love reading those you’ve done in the past. I’ve actually made a list of what I will do and not do for next years album. I love the twine that you used, cool idea.

  • 20.
    Dorothy F said…

    Your album is beautiful, Ali. Thanks for all the inspiration and sharing of your life. I have finished my first December daily and am so happy with it. I also liked your advice of packing it away with Christmas and will enjoy seeing it again in a year. Can’t wait until next year to start a new one. Just curious, won’t the bakers twine come undone with handling? It just looks like the rings are more secure.

  • 21.
    Joy G said…

    I did Dec Daily this year for the first time. I ended up buying your templates and doing it as a digi album (that’s just easier for me right now, having some of my stuff packed away due to lack of space, and I can just save and come back to it if my two little ones need something). All my pages are done, I just have to get them printed. I’m not necessarily in love with each page on its own, but I love the memories from the whole album put together.

    • ….
      Heather H said…

      Joy, I feel the same way about my pages. I used a lot of the digital templates, and at heart I’m just not a digital scrapper. Learning to love my book as a whole entity, rather than for each page. I’m sure that will come easier in the years to come. :)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I totally know what you guys are saying :) . I always feel the same way each year – it’s the whole of the album that I love.

  • 22.
    Dawn Nikol said…

    Thank you so much, Ali. This was my first year participating as well and I looooved it. You were absolutely correct about the House of 3 binder getting way overstuffed!! Even in my attempt to keep it very simple, it ended up being so full, that I have it tied with a big piece of fabric for safe keeping! :) It’s probably my favorite album I’ve ever made though! October should be fun!

  • 23.
    madeline St onge said…

    OK Now I think I like the string/ribbon for binding mine instead of the rings. Need to see what I have here to do that. Thanks Ali

  • 24.
    Angela H said…

    This was my first time with the DD and I love how it’s turned out, Thank You for your inspiration. I’ve got about 3 pages left to finish and every time I walk away from it someone in my family starts flipping through and looking at it. I think one of the things I love the most is having a place to put all the little treasures I collected through the month.

    Will definitely have to try the twine the original rings stopped working, and the 3 in ones don’t turn as easy.

  • 25.
    Elizabeth H. said…

    Looks great! I like the ribbon better too! This reminds me, I’m enrolled in the OLW and YT classes and while working on my YT last night, I randomly came across a (free) download of yours in a folder at home. I was wondering, do you have the downloads (like the DD one here) linked on your blog anywhere? Now that I’m dabbling in digital I will keep the files better organized!

  • 26.
    Beke said…

    HI ali.
    Thank you so much for your inspiration and guide in this project. As my first year I had a lot of fun, and I learnt alot during the process and I can’t wait for this year to try it all over again. I know its very very early days yet, but have you had any ideas on what you’d like to do this year? I would really like to use the templates this year (as I didnt have a printer last year) and make it for 2011?

    hope all is well, Beke x

  • 27.
    Lora said…

    Another idea for binding is using cable ties. You can get very long ones and snip them off at the appropriate length (black and white are easily available but I have gotten colors). I used this method last year. It’s a little sturdier than ribbon but very adjustable. When trying to get the size finalized,I always stick a marker or ruler in the binding to give me a little extra bulk while I’m adjusting and then I can just slip it out when I’m done.

  • 28.
    Michelle L said…

    What’s funny is that as I was making my book I didn’t really like my pages. I thought they were to plain. I wrote all of my journaling because it was quicker that way and I only had about 5 or 10 minutes here or there to work on it so I didn’t go into to much detail with the embelishments. But now that it’s all finished and we were able to look through the pages together I simply love it! I imagined what it will be like a few years down the road when we look at this and it makes me happy!
    It was my first year doing it and I”m so glad I played along! Yours is absolutely beautiful, btw!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Awesome Michelle – I think that’s a big part of the process :) .

  • 29.
    Silvia said…

    I love the photostrip for your intro page and absolutely love the ribbon/baker’s twine for the binding.

    I still have four more pages to go- the end is in sight!

  • 30.
    Jan B. said…

    That’s how I ended up binding my book, too! (It’s linked on your Day 25 page – Jan Barlow finished book). My book turned out so fat, no ring would suffice! :)

    And thanks for the reminder about the opening page! I was going to do a photo collage and totally forgot! I’ll have to add that to my project list.

    Thanks for all your info, resources and especially inspiration!

  • 31.
    leslie cannon said…

    perfect timing! my rings weren’t large enough either, and i was frustrated because i want this project COMPLETED! i will try the twine and be done!! great way to finish this as we are snowed in in Atlanta! thanks, ali!

  • 32.
    Judy Webb said…

    LOVE your solution for binding!!

  • 33.
    RobynS said…

    Ali – Your book turned out so nice. I just love it. Which version of Photoshop do you use? I want to buy it and learn how to use it this year. I signed up for your classes in an effort to help me learn. There are four versions on the Adobe website. Thanks for the advice.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I use both Photoshop CS3 (which the new version now is 5 I think) and all my tutorials are done in Elements 6 (new version is 8 or 9). I think Elements is perfect for most of what you’ll want to do with digital scrapbooking – you can always upgrade later if you get really into it (or designing products) and want to spend more money.

  • 34.
    Melanie L. said…

    I don’t usually comment but I wanted to get on here to thank you for doing this project and telling us step-by-step how you did yours. I’m almost finished with mine and although I wish I could have been more creative, this way was more do-able for me and I’m happy with how it’s turning out. I love your binding solution too. I tried the binder rings and I wasn’t happy with it either. I’ll have to use your method when I get it all finished. Thanks so much!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      You are more than welcome Melanie!

  • 35.
    Deb J said…

    I finished my December Daily album and have not been happy with the rings I used at all. I love the binder twine and ribbon idea. I’m going to do that.

  • 36.
    caro said…

    Hi Ali, I also ended up changing my binding from 3 rings to an A5 “lever-arch” file, which I’ll paint.
    Using this 6×8 format has taught me:
    -I love the economy & availability of using a standard stationery file to house the pages.
    -Full frame photographs can be printed at 4×6 or 5×7.5, eliminating the crop factor. Awesome effect of enlargements!
    You mentioned that you would let us know how to adapt the “day of the week” on your templates for using in another year; this whole project was a winner, Thank you again!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Great feedback – I’ll put that on my list to address in a future post too.

  • 37.
    candy said…

    Use a small crochet hook that will fit thought the holes easily. Make a loop (I don’t tie it just make a loop with a long tail), catch it with the crochet hook and pull it through…….so much easier than trying to thread through all those holes. Maybe this is not new to you and maybe you have tried and didn’t like doing it that way. Just thought I would pass it on.

  • 38.
    Pam said…

    I don’t like how the rings look either. I’ll have to try the twine. I finished mine up this weekend. I did a summary page at the end with some reflections on doing the DD this year. Thanks for sharing this with us each year.

  • 39.

    My book just came in the mail from Shutterfly this weekend, and it warmed my heart to look at it all together. Thank you so much for the inspiration, and for bringing us all along for the ride. I absolutely love this album and look forward to making one each and every year!!

  • 40.
    gscrapbooks said…

    Gorgeous! Love the binding, I might have to change mine to something similar because I’m not loving the rings. I finished mine yesterday:

  • 41.
    Heather H said…

    I’m not near finishing yet but I’m happy to report that I placed my 2nd-to-last photo order yesterday (I still have some still-life shots I haven’t taken yet!). My goal is to be done by the end of January. So far I am liking the size of the binder rings on my album, I just don’t like how plain and utilitarian they are. I think I might try spray-painting them with a paint made for metal.

    Love your album, as always! Thanks for sharing with us! :)

  • 42.
    Brooke said…

    Hello Ali,
    Love the binding. Great.

    LG Brooke

  • 43.
    Jenny said…

    This was my first year doing the album and I had problems with the binding size of my album, so I had my husband help me rip off the 3 ring part of it to just use ribbon. It was still really big. All I had to do was the journalling, but we had a house fire on thursday I it was a victim of the flames. I am disappointed, but everything lost was just stuff and everyone is safe. I am really looking forward to next year and getting the binding done right.

  • 44.
    Kathy said…

    My album was also too thick for rings. I resorted to red shoelaces. I figured shoe laces last for years in shoes so it should stand up well to flipping pages. My goal this year is to find red and white candy striped shoe laces for next year!

  • 45.
    Kris said…

    I love the bakers twine and ribbon as well. Mine is digital, I just need to print the pages and bind it. I’m so glad I finally decided to do a DD album, it was so much fun! Thanks for all of your inspiration, you rock!

  • 46.

    Love how your album has turned out, but like you, I didn’t like the bulging and how the 3 inch ring stuck out….then I had an internet friend tell me about her album which is thick but uses sets of rings instead:

  • 47.
    Sharon said…

    Hi Ali, Great project once again. This is my second year doing your DD album and this year my album is so thick, about 5 inches. I will be trying to play around with ribbon to bind it. I think I prefer doing the album with pages that are all the same size. It looks neater to me, but then again, I am a clean linear kind of scrapbooker. Well I do have one question. What did you put on the inside of your front cover and the inside of your back cover? I think I will be pasting my day 25 page with the frames to the inside back cover, but didn’t really grasp what you did with your front cover. Could you mention it in an upcoming post please? I know you are so finished your DD and are ready to move on, but I am a bit confused.

  • 48.
    SusanC said…

    Another year that I did not do this project! I always have high hopes but they never lead to fruition! I’m not a digital girl so that won’t work for me… Any suggestions for 2011? Would you consider selling a kit? I love the idea and love looking at yours! Thanks!

  • 49.
    LisaAnn said…

    I had so much fun doing this for the first time this year! Thanks for the inspiration along the way! I absolutely love our finished album. I ended up still using the rings that I started with and they worked just fine. That is a nice tip, to use the twine. I’ve used ribbon before and like the feel of it. Thanks again to everyone who posted their albums, you al provided so much inspiration and drive to finish my own! And thanks, Ali, for hosting and keeping this going!

  • 50.
    Raylene said…

    Right now, I am waiting for a box of sheet protectors I ordered on Dec 21 to arrive. I am in Canada and the company is in Oregon, not that far, really. The box left Oregon on Dec 22, then they left Chicago on Jan 5th . . . did they think there’s terrorist material in the box??? Are they taking the scenic route? I really loathe UPS!!! And they’ll probably charge me $50 for fees & customs! The whole box was only $48!!! Did I mention I hate UPS???
    I have to wait until I get the sheet protectors so I know exactly what size to print off my pages. I did the 6×8 size, but the only sheet protectors I could find were 6×9, so I might have to adjust or add a strip! Let’s hope I can finish up before next October rolls around, eh? AAAACCCCCKKKKK!

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