December Daily™ 2013 | Cover And Title Page (Includes Video Overview)


December Daily™ is about celebrating the magic of the season.

My goal this year, as it has been every year, is to intentionally embrace the season in all it's wonderment and all it's imperfections. To be present. To be real. To pay attention to the traditions that have survived from year to year, those we have moved on from, and the new ones we continue to make. To be thankful. To be a witness to and to create magic during the Christmas season.

Each December I create a scrapbook album that documents the 25 days leading up to Christmas. Some people choose to go longer but I've found that by Christmas Day I'm ready to be done with the daily documentation. What you choose to do and the way you approach it is entirely up to you.

You can check out all my albums since 2007 here (including my process for making each one, the daily documentation, and additional thoughts on the process): December Daily™

Today I'm sharing my 2013 album cover and title page. Tomorrow I'll share my interior foundation pages - essentially things I'm getting ready in advance to prepare me for daily documentation in December. I needed a little more time and a little more daylight to capture my plans.

I've included a 30-minute step-by-step video overview of my process below where you can see me figuring it out as I go (playing around, making mistakes, changing my mind).

For 2013 I'm keeping some things the same and mixing up others:

1. I'm not completely planning ahead. GASP. I know some of you are freaking out and others are saying "finally." This means I'm not numbering all my pages in advance. This means I'm not sure exactly the order of my pages. This means I'll have more flexibility over the month as I want more or less content each day. I'll talk more about this tomorrow and show you how I'm laying out the pages and thinking ahead even if it's not all set up in advance.

2. The main collection of products I'm using for this project come from the Studio Calico December Daily™ kit. There are limited quantities of the kit still available at the time I'm publishing this post. The kit includes the album, page protectors, pattern papers, ribbon, and the majority of embellishments I will be using to document December. In addition I'll be printing journal cards I designed for Designer Digitals that are both 3x4 and 4x6.



Do you guys panic a bit about the cover each year? I do. Covers are not my thing. Well, I guess you could say that simplified covers are my thing.

Here's the how to:

1. Tape off the red linen portion before painting. I used some wide washi tape for this step and was able to paint right on top of it to get a pretty clean line where the red linen meets the chipboard.

2. Paint the chipboard portion of the cover using Martha Stewart Crafts Summer Linen. I did about three coats on the outside and inside and then let it dry overnight.

3. Use Gold Zing Embossing Glitter + Versamark Embossing Ink on top of the wood veneer letters and numbers. I went with "E" for our last name initial + the date. Use a heat gun to set.

4. Use 1/8 inch red line tape to adhere the wood veneer letters to the painted cover. This seemed to be the best solution for me after also trying a glue pen. With the 1/8 tape I added just a small strip to the back of each letter and trimmed off the excess with small sharp scissors before peeling up the red backing.

5. Emboss a few of the stars on the cover using a Zig Embossing Writer (pen) + Gold Glitter Zing + a heat gun. For this step I simply used the pen to color in each star, dump the glitter on top and set with the heat gun.



It's probably not much of a surprise that I'm a big fan of transparent pages in my December Daily™ albums. This year I want to continue to have see-through elements in my album but they will likely come from die cut pieces slipped into pockets.

For my title page I wanted to prominently feature the awesome "25" wood veneer piece and the gold "twenty-thirteen" banner and make it look like it was floating inside the 6x8 page protector.


Here's the how to:

1. Use Gold Zing Embossing Glitter + Versamark Embossing Ink on top of the wood veneer 25. I embossed both the front and the back since it was going to be seen on both sides.

2. Cut one of the 6x8 full page protectors so that you have two transparent sheets that will be able to slip into another of the 6x8 page protectors (or can be cut smaller to also float other embellishments in smaller pockets - you could do this with any extra page protectors you might have on hand in your stash). You could also use a pattern transparency here or attach the 25 on the outside of a page protector. See image below.

3. Attach the glittered 25 to the cut page protector with small silver brads using a Tim Holtz Craft Pick to first pierce a hole through both the wood veneer 25 and the page protector. Below the 25 adhere the "twenty-thirteen" chipboard piece.


4. On the back side of the transparent page adhere one of the other matching banner chipboard pieces. I went with the light blue one that says "joy to the world."


I put together a video that walks you through my process for the cover and the title page. Hope it's helpful as you begin the process of putting together your own album!


Click on the images to link to the products.

55 thoughts

  1. Bonnie

    2013-10-28 23:16:54 -0400

    I am so excited to see your video and I couldn't wait to find out how you were going to use the kit, which I have right in front of me! Love the "25" on a transparent page. TY Ali. I cherish this project every single year! XO

  2. Jasmine Marie

    2013-10-29 00:07:21 -0400

    Thank you for sharing the video of your process! Looking forward to more. :)

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  4. audra

    2013-10-29 00:54:39 -0400

    Ali, I know you mentioned you used several coats of paint to cover the album, was one of the Martha Stewart paints enough?

    Thanks so much for doing this video, it was so fun to watch your process! Looking forward to your inside pages!

  5. Eri

    2013-10-29 04:31:18 -0400

    Thank you so much for sharing the video and the explantions. I won't do December Dalily but it helps me with my Project Life!

  6. Sherry Eckblad

    2013-10-29 07:21:05 -0400

    Love the video as always it looks like your 2013 will be an amazing book. I wish I had that 25 wood piece but am off to Michaels this morning to try and buy some small wooden numbers if they have them.

  7. janel

    2013-10-29 10:00:26 -0400

    Wonderful inspiration for this very special project...thank you for all the time it took, and for getting over the bumps in imovie. I appreciate how much time and effort it takes to do. Great job!

    ? about another you think you will be making the digital calendar for 2014 like you have in previous years (at DD).... I am trying to figure out my "year" project for 2014. I have used your templates every year, and am crossing my fingers that you will design another calendar template for 2014. Thank you.

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  9. Kathy P

    2013-10-29 10:45:53 -0400

    Thanks for sharing all these great ideas, Ali! Can't wait to see the inside pages too!

  10. JulieE

    2013-10-29 11:29:19 -0400

    I always love seeing your creative process, especially when you change your mind.

  11. pam

    2013-10-29 13:03:19 -0400

    those three gold stars...perfection. super excited you're not planning as much ahead this year; not thinking "finally" ;), just looking forward to seeing your creativity respond to that approach

  12. Andrea Mette

    2013-10-29 15:46:03 -0400

    Hi Ali,

    Outside of the Studio Calico kit, would you mind sharing what other items/embellishments you are going to use on your December Daily?


  13. Gretchen

    2013-10-29 16:44:28 -0400

    I am so excited to get started now, but unfortunately I have to wait until Nov. 1 to order the kit... I hope there are still some left!

  14. Susanne

    2013-10-29 17:39:49 -0400

    Love your album cover and title page. Looking forward for the inside. I am not sure if I will do a december daily besides the project life. How to make a difference between these two kind of albums?

  15. Megan

    2013-10-29 17:58:46 -0400

    I had a very similar idea with the cover using ribbon and coloring in some of the stars. You gave me some great tips with the embossing pen. I love what you did with your title page. It turned out great!

  16. Kathy

    2013-10-29 19:30:24 -0400

    Looking forward to another year of December Daily....this will be my 4th year. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  18. Patricia Perez

    2013-10-30 12:07:49 -0400

    Love it Ali! it is awesome to see you working on it, make it more doable ;)

  19. Song

    2013-11-01 08:55:06 -0400

    So excited - just ordered the kit. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it :)

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  22. AnitaP

    2013-11-04 09:15:03 -0500

    Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing this video and your process. I think I might actually paint my cover after watching this! Can't wait to see the rest of your book! :)

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  24. Nancy M

    2013-11-06 18:37:30 -0500

    I adore what you've done Ali! I painted the cover with some white acrylic paint I already had and sadly it was a bit thick...I lost some of the star detail. Ugh. Live and learn I guess.

    I'll just need to work harder at making in the inside beautiful!

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