December Daily 2011 | The Foundation Pages, Part One


Welcome to December Daily 2011!

Today I'll be sharing some of my foundation pages (the base pages that I set up in advance to simplify the process of documenting in December). I'm still waiting on a couple items from the Studio Calico kit - namely the letterpress number coasters and the American Crafts letter stickers. As soon as I get those into my album I'll share the second set of pages.

You can see the exterior and interior of my album cover here.

A couple things to note as we begin this year:

ONE | If this is your first time embarking on a December Daily project I highly recommend checking out my compilation page that has links to all my previous albums and posts.

TWO | There's no right or wrong way to approach this project. Find a groove for yourself and go with it. I liked my general design approach in 2010 (see below) so I'm repeating a lot of those elements again:

THREE | I loved the size last year which is why I'm repeating it again this year - well almost - this year my foundation pages are 6x8.5 inches. In looking back at my album from 2010 I felt like this size was really great for both the photos and the words. I definitely might be ready for a change up again in 2012. You can view all my pages from 2010 in my Flickr Gallery here.

FOUR | This project is always a great opportunity to use what you have at home. As in year's past, there is a kit available - this year it's through Studio Calico. As you'll see below I'm using a combination of things that I have on hand and pieces from the kit.

FIVE | This is a daily project. My approach is to highlight one story per day. Some days it's a holiday related story and other days it's something entirely not related to Christmas. For me it's about documenting our lives during the season. Maybe you want to approach it this year as a gratitude album - pick one thing you're thankful for each day and highlight that. Or maybe you just want to highlight specific special stories as they come up vs. daily documentation. Again, it's completely up to you. My hope is to simply encourage you to get some of these special moments and stories of the season recorded.

SIX | I'm planning to continue Project Life right on through December. For December Daily I usually choose just one story per day. Since there are definitely more than one story each day I know I'll be able to find some good bits of life to continue adding to Project Life over the course of the month.

SEVEN | Sometimes people see my foundation pages and say, "there's not a lot there." And you're right. There's not a lot. But what I've done is set myself up with a solid foundation to build upon during December. By having at least some of the work done in advance I'm not trying to do everything (printing pages, choosing products, etc) during December. I know from past experience that setting myself up in this way has lead to a much better chance of success in getting my stories told.


In thinking about my own album this year here's some things that were top of mind for me in terms of design:

  • Calm. Whites, creams, silver with a little bit of red and green.

  • Stitching. I love the look of both machine and hand-stitching on paper. This is the machine I use: Brother XL2600I. It was recommended by Mary Ann Moss who runs an awesome class called Remains Of The Day among other cool creative adventures.

  • Glitter/sparkle. I'm going to argue that glitter can still be calm. Think twinkle lights vs. Times Square.

  • Stars. I found as I was looking through my stash of holiday supplies that I had a bunch of star stuff I've been accumulating. It started to become a theme I was excited about and I'm going with it.

  • Photo & Story-centric. Just like last year I plan to include quite a few full page photos again. Looking back through my 2010 album it's one of my favorite parts.



One of the things I really liked in last year's design was having a transparent page in the middle of each daily spread. I allocate two pages (a spread) for each day, with the exception of Day One. This year I made them about 1/3 the size and used a total of 4 Hambly transparent 12x12 sheets (I used Hambly White Lattice, Gold Mini Brocade, Chicken Coop Silver and Chic Green Circles). Hambly has added a page to their site to make choosing some transparencies for December Daily easy - click here to view their selection.

From each 12x12 transparent sheet I cut 5, 3 x 8.5 inch pieces.


In addition to the transparent sheets I added in six We Are Memory Keepers 8.5x11 Page Protectors that I cut down to fit in the album. I cut each one so that I ended up with four pockets.

Basically I wanted 26 inserts.

Along the edges of each of the Hambly pages I added some ribbons/twill/lace from my stash or an Avery 2-inch plastic tab.


They ended up looking something like this.


I put them in order, starting with a 4-pocket page followed by one of each of the Hambly transparent designs. I repeated that throughout the album.

Here's a look at how the pages came together. Remember, today I'm just sharing some of the pages - the rest will come later this week when I get some additional items from the Studio Calico kit.



My album begins with a 4-pocket page with a variety of star-focused embellishments.

I was inspired by this image found on Pinterest (confetti pockets) and wanted to do something similar with a few small gold stars (and also keep it in mind for things to add later in the month). After sticking the little goodies inside I stitched the pocket closed with my sewing machine.


Inside the bottom left pocket I included a Bingo Place Card from Jenni Bowlin. On the front I typed "Edwards 2011" and on the back I typed the following:



And yes, I literally ran it through my typewriter.


The Bingo Place Card isn't stitched in but the rest of the embellishments have a line of stitching about 1/8-1/4 inch from the top.



Since this is Day One I ended up with the 4-pocket page plus a Hambly insert. All other spreads have just one insert in between the pages (as you'll see below).


I ran the paper from the Avery 2-inch plastic tab through my typewriter. It's an old one I picked up at an estate sale - super fun to play with for projects like this.


For most of the days throughout the month I'll be adding pattern paper along the bottom in the space designated on the 2011 December Daily Overlay Package. I liked doing that during the month last year rather than in advance. Each of my days from 1 through 25 has a printed piece of cardstock ready to go. I'll add photos, ephemera and stories directly onto this cardstock throughout the month.

The 2011 December Daily Overlay Package includes 31 individual PNG files (dates and days of the week are customized for 2011), and print-ready PDF files in both black and red. As you can see above I'm using the red file this year. The PDF files include crop marks to show you right where to trim after printing. I printed my pages on Bazzill White 8.5x11 cardstock. These pages are 6 inches x 8.5 inches tall - sized to fit the album included with the kit from Studio Calico. I did a video tutorial on working with these overlays last year - the same steps still apply: Working With The December Daily Printable Overlays

Again, it's essentially the same format as last year - just a little taller and with the red option included in the package (and the days/dates correct for 2011). My plan is to also use the 6x8.5 December Daily Layered Templates as the companion page to these overlays. This is very similar to what I did last year.




Sometimes instead of an actual number I'm showing a certain number of something. In this case, three of the Jenni Bowlin Red Doily Flowers. This tends to be easier to do in the smaller numbers.




Canvas Corp Mini Canvas Star + Tim Holtz Metal Number.






I cut out the number 8 star card from the Jenni Bowlin Christmas Accessory Sheet, folded it over and stitched it onto the Hambly transparency.






For Day Fourteen I grabbed a small manila tag, adhered a couple of the Jenni Bowlin Red And Black alphabet stickers and used a Studio Calico Mister Huey (exclusive to the kit) to spray on top. After the ink dried I pull off the number stickers and stitched the tag onto the ribbon/transparency combo.




Canvas Corp Mini Canvas Star + American Crafts Hardcover Silver. I stitched around the edge of this one with red stitching. I also stitched the numbers in place with cream - a little more guarantee that those chipboard letters will stay in place.




Number tags from Bananafish Studio.






Red number tags from Every Jot And Tittle. I think I've used these circle numbers in almost every one of my December Daily albums. Love that I've been able to use them from year to year (different numbers in different years).




For this one I punched a 1.5 inch circle from white cardstock.


I placed the Jenni Bowlin Red And Black alphabet stickers numbers onto the circle.


Covered it with gesso/white paint. Let dry.


Peel off the number stickers and cover with Glossy Accents.




Maya Road Trinket Pin Stars (pulled the pin portion off the bottom of the star before placing inside the pocket), Jenni Bowlin Christmas Accessory Sheet, Jenni Bowlin Red Doily Flowers, silver stars from Prima, Authentique Wonder Diction Word Stickers.


Ali Edwards for Designer Digitals 2011 December Daily Printable Overlays
AE Holiday Boxes, November 2011 Studio AE Technique Tuesday Stamp Set (available November 1)
Jenni Bowlin Christmas Bingo Place Cards
We Are Memory Keepers 8.5x11 Page Protectors
Bazzill Basics White Orange Peel Texture 8.5 x 11
Fiskars Extra Large Twinkle Twinkle
Canvas Corp Minis
Gold Foil Star Stickers
Avery 2-inch
Hambly White Lattice, Gold Mini Brocade, Chicken Coop Silver, Chic Green Circles (click here to view a selection of recommendations from Hambly)
American Crafts Hardcover Silver
Maya Road Trinket Pins


A limited number of December Daily business sponsor spots are available for 2011 - both for giveaways and daily sponsorship. Please email me for more information.

Elle’s Studio has some great items for your upcoming holiday scrapbooking - their numbers and journaling tags also work great with your December Daily projects! Use coupon code ALIHOLIDAY on any order over $45 and your order ships for free, today and tomorrow only! Also, today only, you’ll receive a free Halloween Tidbit, with any order, for their October special and some of their last call Halloween items are 30% off!

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155 thoughts

  1. Sarah M. says…

    Hi Ali--

    Do you have any digital December Daily kits at Designer Digitals? I'd really like to do mine digitally since I seeing how easy it was to do "A week in the life" digitally.


    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…

      Hi Sarah - I do. I have a few different sizes available too. You can see the current offerings here: I will have a new 12x12 one available soon as well.

  2. Colleen says…

    Wow Ali; these are awesome. I am doing December Daily for the first time this year and am SO looking forward to it. Thank you for sharing yours; it really puts me in the mood to celebrate - and record - Christmas this year! Have a great Halloween and week.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Tere (Marie) says…

    It's beautiful ALI!!!

    I've ordered the SC DD 2011 kit -- is it safe to assume that the supplies you've listed outside of the kit are NOT included in the kit?

    Much thanks!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Ali says…

      There are some I've listed above - the Jenni Bowlin paper, the Echo Park stickers, the Jenni Bowlin letter stickers, the Jenni Bowlin red doily flowers - those ARE all included.

    2. Tere (Marie) says…

      Thanks Ali.

  4. moi says…

    Hi Ali,
    Am I allowed to say ,I love you? well, I love you!
    You have changed my scrapbooking life.Everything you do is so classy and timeless.I have learned so much from you and I only started scrapbooking last year after I had my baby.
    Your decdaily pages ROCKS!:):)

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Katherine Aguilar says…

    I super excited to order this kit!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. rhonda says…

    Ali this is already stunning and thank you so much for including links to all the products you are using!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Ann Marie says…

    Do the page protectors being sold through SC fit into an 8.5 x 11 album or just the special album provided with the SC DD kit?
    It looks like the holes wouldnt match up.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Ann Marie says…

      Thank you!!

    2. Ali says…

      Hi Ann Marie -they do not fit in a 8.5x11 album. These ones have two holes and were made for this album.

  8. Ann-Marie says…

    So excited to see the start of this! I can't wait to play along! Is it December yet...? ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Karen Imes says…
    10/31/2011 are takes a lot of work to just do the pages...but then you take pictures and explain it! Wonderful! Thank you.....

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Julia says…

    ali... so, so, so excited about this. your december daily is something i now look forward to every year. i tried it out the past 2 years, and i always end up working on the project WELL into the next year... my goal this year is to take your advice and set everything up early. thanks for inspiring!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. MaryAnn Perry says…

    Hi Ali,


    I'm so excited to start working on my foundation pages!!! I can't wait for my studio calico kit to get here!! I'm wondering what I need to get that wasn't included in the I need to order additional transparencies? More stars? I'm a little confused on this one? What all do I need in addition that is not included in the kit? I want to make sure that I have everything ready to go!! I have everything from designer I'm mainly talking about the paper and embellishment stuff....=) oh.....and I love the way it looks....and I'm hoping with all the preparation this year that I can follow through and have a completed album....last year I was just able to complete a few I just put them in my project life album....they still looked beautiful.....but this year I want the full shibang!!!!! Thanks for answer the questions!!!!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Ali says…

      Hi Mary Ann - it really depends on you and what you might already have on hand at home. If you are wanting to make it similar to me you'll need 6, 8.5x11 divided page protectors (links above) and 2 additional 12x12 Hambly transparent pages (links above). You'll need some ribbons and plastic tabs for the edge (you could easily skip that and just add ribbon). Other than that I've linked everything else I could above if there were certain little things you wanted to include (some things might not be available anymore since I use things from my stash as well).

    2. jennifer says…

      Mary Ann, I love looking at your PL videos. You photos are so great and your pages just look so pulled together. I'm excited you'll be participating in DD. Do you think you'll post your pages to your blog? Thanks!

  12. celine navarro says…

    I'm getting all excited about this! and your DD album looks FANTASTIC!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Kate Ware says…

    I know you have company, but just a couple of questions -- this will be my first year doing the DD, and I'm so excited!! (No rush, answer when you have time!)

    On the transparencies -- are all the ribbons stitched on, or did you use adhesive?

    Where do you journal on your pages -- or is your DD mostly photos?

    Ok -- that's it for now . . . have a spooktacular Halloween with your family!!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…

      Hi Kate - the ribbons are all stitched. As for the journaling - I do quite a bit. Some of it is on the photos and some of it is on the opposite page (some with photos). Take a look at my pages from last year to get a better idea:

  14. Leah Burgett says…

    Beautiful as always! Love your work. Have a great Halloween!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Ellen Coker says…

    Thank you for the inspiration! I am anxious to get the binder--as I spent too much time ruminating over that last year. I was inspired with the full page photos all this year--they are just so special.

    In Seattle this past August, I spotted the lovely white circle paper that you used on your cover last year. It was a little delight from a chance stop at an art store. It will add to the fun of incorporating it into December Daily 2011.

    Enjoy the day!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Diana McGraw says…


      I have been looking for that paper everywhere... may I ask what store you got it at in Seattle?


  16. Sandi says…

    Your album already looks amazing! I can't wait to get started!

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Marisol says…

    Hi Ali,
    You stated the overlays would be available in 12x12...any chance you will also provide us with 8.5 x 11? PLEASE! With a cherry on top:)
    I used the ones from last year but am using 8.5 x 11 this year because I need the 'real estate'...I have 5 kids (yes 5) and I don't always get them all in one pic and need the space to add more pics.
    Thanks for taking this into consideration.

    Reply 4 Replies
    1. Raylene says…

      I got the 6.5x8 templates and am going to resize them to 8.5x11. It is pretty easy to do in your photoshop elements or photoshop. I'm doing my project digitally. (I had 62 pages last year and just couldn't see printing them all out at home! Too much paper & ink use!) I chose a red/white striped background paper and mounted my daily page in the center, then uploaded all my pages to my publishing site. Turned out wonderfully! Red linen hardcover! My plan again this year.

    2. Toni From says…


      I came up with my own 8.5*11 inch page for december daily. It is not exactly the same as Ali's (she is too good to copy,) but I like it and I made it just by tweaking around with textbox sizes using microsoft word for mac. You are welcome to use it if you would like.
      Just send me your e-mail and I will attach it for you. My e-mail is

    3. Ali says…

      Thanks for asking Marisol - I'm not sure I'll have the time to do that but I can add it to my list.

    4. Marisol says…

      It sounds like a beautiful album.
      I don't have photoshop...sorry I didn't make that clear in my first post. I used the PDF file Ali created last year and was hoping she would offer the overlay in 8.5 x 11.
      I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed;)

  18. Jacque says…

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful December Daily 2011. I love what you have shown us so far and I love, love, love your November Studdio AE stamps. They and you are an inspiration!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Jen D says…

    So excited to see your foundation- it's like Christmas morning for me :) always gives me the inspiration I need to start my own. This one did not dissapoint- just gorgeous! Thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Suz says…

    I've begun gathering my goodies so that they are ready to go when my DD ships to me. TFS Ali! Tis my favorite season to scrap! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. kelly says…

    it looks great, ali. i am just at the point of gathering supplies...picked up an american crafts 8x8 album today. thanks so much for inspiring me every year. this will be year six and i cannot wait to unpack my albums from past years so i can look at them again.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Veronika Mayer says…

    it is great, fabolous and fantastic again. You have allways super idea. This is why i love to read your post. Thanks for sharing your idea! best regards, Veronika

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Amy Albert says…

    Its a beautiful DD and its not even full yet! I do have a couple of questions for you: How are you attaching the ribbons to the transparent designs? Also on the transparent designs are you also sewing the edge on left closer to the binder side? Is that to protect the transparent designs paper edges? Thank you!! Happy Halloween!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…

      Hi Amy - all the ribbons are stitched on to the transparencies. I didn't sew any other edges.

  24. Annette says…

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love how you stretched those overlays. Last year was my first time using them and it got expensive. So thrilled to see how you used them smaller but still made them special. Thanks for all your inspiration. I'm going to beg for that sewing machine for Christmas!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. lee says…

    How exciting to see the foundations of your December Daily album! Everything looks lovely and creative!

    I've been trying to decide what kind of album I wanted to plan...and then, on Saturday, I found a delightful cookbook kit that can be easily modified into a scrapbook. Can't wait to begin playing with it.

    Happy Halloween! =)

    Reply 0 Replies

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