Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

October 28, 2013

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 3×4 and 4×6.



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 6×8 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 6×8 full page protectors so that you have two transparent sheets that will be able to slip into another of the 6×8 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.


  • 1.
    Anne Leglise said…

    The simplicity of your cover is amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  • 2.
    Mel said…

    I did indeed GASP about you not planning out the days of the month,. Lol. Loking forward to watching the video.

    Thanks as always for sharing.

  • 3.
    Lisa said…

    Thanks for sharing Ali. This year, I’m doing this. We have had lots of changes in our life but we still like some things the same at Christmas…time to document.

  • 4.
    amy said…

    Love the video. Has me excited to get my December Daily album started. For small and delicate embossing, I have some strong hold post it notes and use it to hold the item so it doesnt fly away.

  • 5.
    Brooke U said…

    This looks so cute! I can’t wait to see what you do with the interior pages tomorrow!

  • 6.
    Shanna said…

    Ok the whole thing is amazing but my favorite line is “just bring on the gold” LOL!! LOVE it!

  • 7.
    Sarah Giles said…

    Absoutely love that cover. Off to find my white paint…

  • 8.
    Vicky said…

    Amazing Daily December album. Can you please tell me where the twenty thirteen gold banner is from?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Vicky – it’s included in the Studio Calico kit (they are custom chipboard shapes manufactured by American Crafts).

    • ….
      Vicky said…

      Thank you. And I imagine I can only find them in the Calico kit.

    • ….
      TracieClaiborne said…

      Vicki – you can make something like this easily with an electronic die cutting machine by cutting multiple layers of kraft cardstock and then pasting them one on top of each other with a glue stick until they are thick like chipboard. Just an idea if you can’t get the kit!

  • 9.
    Erika Thomas said…

    Love the cover simple but elegant. Love that you are not planning out all the days. I had decided when doing last years that I would not plan all the days out, because some of the pages I would have done differently had I not printed out all my foundation pages ahead. It’s going to be another good album this year!

  • 10.
    Jasmine Ford said…

    It looks great Ali! I’m loving the gold and silver this year too, planning on using it throughout my DD as well. I also love the simpleness of this.

  • 11.
    Taniesa said…

    BEAUTIFUL. I love the simple clean design! The cover page is amazing!

  • 12.
    Jennifer said…

    Love the 3 stars. It’s my favorite part so far. Little details like that give your embellishments meaning beyond just being pretty.

  • 13.
    Alicia said…

    Love it! We’re doing the opposite this year, I usually am more flexible while going through the month, but this year I’m doing more prep ahead. :)

  • 14.
    Sandra said…

    That is just amazing, I’m raring to go with mine now.

  • 15.
    Leslie Harvey said…

    LOVE! I didn’t get approval to spend the money this year for the kit. Bummer… BUT, I love your idea of the embossed stars. May have to imitate that on my SN@P album cover. Can’t wait to see your digital files for this year! :D

    • ….
      Kelly libby said…

      Approval? You should allow yourself to spend on things that bring you joy. Life is short!!

  • 16.
    Kristina said…

    Love love love. The Simplicity is perfect. Thank you Ali.

  • 17.
    Brooke said…

    Super excited! Will carve out some time today to watch your video. Those stars are perfection.

    I didn’t do a foundation last year, just had a plan and I loved how it worked for me.

  • 18.
    Debbie said…

    I love the simple clean design. Looking forward to the rest of your album. Thank you for the video! It is so much fun to view your process.

  • 19.
    Megan said…

    LOVE what you’ve done with the wood veneer 25! I have never embossed but I am definitely going to start – so beautiful.

  • 20.
    Debby R said…

    Here’s a tip for embossing small pieces… Use a mini glue dot to stick your pieces to the craft mat before you heat them and they will keep from blowing away!

  • 21.
    Catherine said…

    Hi Ali- I’m really excited for DD. I’m wondering if you can share a list of the other recommend products that you’ll be using in addition to the DD kit from Studio Calico. I noticed there were a few extra items today- like the paint & the embossing powder. Just want to make sure I’m all prepared. Thanks!

  • 22.
    Melissa said…

    The symbolism of the three stars is not lost on me. You’re still doing a great job, too. :)

  • 23.
    Diane Downs said…

    Another tip for embossing small pieces is to hold them in place with some tweezers. Thanks so much for sharing your process. I can’t wait foe December to come!

  • 24.
    Jenny said…

    This is my first time making a December documented album. Since my kids are older now (16&18) we don’t do as many activities as we used to. I decided to break my album down into sections:traditions, deck the halls, deliciousness, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I’m looking forward to documenting my December this way!

  • 25.
    tere johnson said…

    WOW! Great minds think alike. I was thinking about painting mine white with gold stars but in a different technique! Love the way yours looks! Can’t wait to try mine! Had a different idea for the title, but you have me thinking. Can’t wait to see what I end up with! :)

  • 26.
    Lisa J. said…

    Thanks for the video. I love your ideas and being able to see your steps is a huge help.

  • 27.
    Anne-Marie said…

    So inspiring, Ali…this has become one of my favorite holiday traditions. I so look forward to your tutorials.

  • 28.
    Nancy said…

    Love the video! When your head was blocking the shot I found myself leaning over trying to see around you! Ha! Thanks for sharing your process; always fun to watch as you work.

  • 29.
    Krystal said…

    ali- i just bought this kit last night and am so excited to see this!! looking forward to more posts and videos. also- can’t wait to get the special package. yay.

  • 30.
    Lisa said…

    So excited to get started. My silhouette should be here this week and hope to use that in this project too.

  • 31.
    Bonnie said…

    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

  • 32.
    Jasmine Marie said…

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

  • 33.
    audra said…

    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!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I did three coats of the Martha paint.

    • ….
      Terri Porter said…

      Audra, I think you’re asking if one bottle of the Martha Stewart paint was enough to do three coats on the album cover and it was for me, so hope this helps.

    • ….
      audra said…

      Yes, Terri, I was referring to the bottle. Thank you! And Ali, thanks for your personal message as well letting me know. I’m going to attempt painting! Fingers crossed!

  • 34.
    Eri said…

    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!

  • 35.
    Sherry Eckblad said…

    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.

  • 36.
    janel said…

    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 project….do 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.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Yes! It’s on my list!

  • 37.
    Kathy P said…

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

  • 38.
    JulieE said…

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

  • 39.
    pam said…

    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

  • 40.
    Andrea Mette said…

    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?


  • 41.
    Gretchen said…

    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!

  • 42.
    Susanne said…

    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?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      For me December Daily is just one story per day (and it’s a project I’ve been doing since before Project Life that I want to continue). For Project Life I usually do a weekly overview and generally have more than enough stuff to go in there that might include multiple photos from the same day. I’m working on a post that compares my PL spreads from last year with my DD pages so you can see how I approach each.

  • 43.
    Megan said…

    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!

  • 44.
    Kathy said…

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

  • 45.
    Patricia Perez said…

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

  • 46.
    Song said…

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

  • 47.
    AnitaP said…

    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! :)

  • 48.
    Nancy M said…

    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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