December Daily® 2017 | Foundation Pages + Video Overview

Let's get this party started! 

Today I'm sharing my December Daily® "starting place" with you for 2017. My "starting place" - what I also call "foundation pages" - often includes some numbered pages, some story ideas/story sparks, some product play, and just generally laying out an initial flow for my album. 

  • Do I know what every single story and day will become? Nope. 
  • Does that stop me from playing before December and taking some time to set myself up for storytelling success? Nope. 
  • Will I move things around during the month and change things up from how they look right now? Probably. 
  • Are there December Daily® rules? Nope. 

As I worked on my foundation pages this year I found myself thinking about a few things: 

1. I still LOVE this project. After all these years now it's still so fun to embark on the season. I love focusing on ONE STORY PER DAY which is what I'll be doing again this year. I do not approach this project in the same way I approach Week In The Life™ - I am not trying to document everything or even most things we do daily during December. What has worked for me is looking for, capturing, and then documenting one story each day from December 1 to December 25. 

2. So much of what I love about this project are the photo enlargements I end up including throughout the month. I'm looking forward to doing that again this year using the Canon Pixma MG7720 for printing my 6x8 photos onto 8.5x11 photo paper. This is also the printer I use for printing out digital products. 

3. My intention/reason why this year has everything to do with being + creating "coziness." You can read more about this below.

4. Every year I find myself getting "looser" with my foundation pages. I have fewer things stuck down which allows me to focus on the story I may want to tell for any given day. I still love having something in the pockets - having something gives me a starting point. Some days it simply gives me a direction to head vs. a completely blank slate. I totally get that some people love working ahead and other people don't - again, as always - find what works for you (and really, you won't know if one way or the other works better for you until you actually try it). 

5. I am totally loving creating a bunch of pages outside of my page protectors. It's such a nice reminder that there are lots of options for how this project can come together for each one of us based on what we'd like to play with and create this year. 

6. This is not a competition or an opportunity/invitation for you to get trapped in any kind of comparison game. Own your own story. Own your own way of documenting this season. My story will look different than your story and that's part of what is beautiful about telling our own stories. 

Here is a look at what's inside my December Daily® album before December begins:

First page of my album is one of the 6x8 Transparent Pages. I added one small gold sequin star to the "i" in "brightly."

You can get this design digitally and print onto an ink jet transparency or onto vellum as well. 

For the last few years I've been starting my albums with either an "intentions" or a "reason why" page. This year I designed a "reason why" page and included it with the December Daily® 6x8 Layered Template No. 4 set and created it to go along with the cards included with the 2017 Main Kit. 

You can access past years download for "intentions" here and "reason why" here

My "reason why" for 2017 is as follows: 

A very big warm & cozy welcome to December 2017. Emphasis on the word cozy. In fact, I think that’s what I want to focus on this year as my reason why. Cozy moments around the fire in the living room. Cozy moments around the table. Cozy moments doing stuff together like watching Christmas movies and drinking hot cocoa and playing games and doing puzzles. Cozy moments creating and celebrating the magic of the season. Cozy moments enjoying old traditions and creating new ones. Cozy moments around the twinkle lights of the tree. Cozy moments embracing who we are right now and not wishing anything away for some other experience. Yes. That sounds just about right for our second year all together as a family of seven. I’m so thankful for our life here in this house - this life that we get to share together. I want us to enjoy one another and find our own rhythm for this season in our lives. Bring on these simple joys.

Around the edges of the page I added some of the gold glitter chipboard stars

Behind my "reason why" page I slipped in one of the 1/2 circle pieces of paper (Main Kit item) with a cork #1 adhered on top. Most likely I'll be filling this pocket with an enlarged photo. Across I've added in the "peace and joy" 4x6 card and that will either be an extension of Day 1 or Day 2 depending on the stories I'm telling. 

I am super excited about these 1/2 circles and plan to add them to photos, pattern paper, etc. They are a great home for numbers or journaling. 

Next I added one of the large tags that were a Main Kit bonus item this year. Everyone that purchased the December Daily® Main Kit this year also received these as a digital file and you can find that under your My Digitals section under your User Name in the top right corner. I'll probably add something on top when I tell my story. 

For Day 3 I created a fun page playing with hearts + transparencies + small heart embellishments. I'll most likely pair this with an enlarged photo and/or journaling on the back of the large tag. 

Full details about this page and a cut file is included in my Product Play workshop (registration open into December). 

Day 4 happens on a weekend so I used that opportunity to add in the "weekend stories" card from the Main Kit. I also added a large white #4 sticker to the pocket as a place holder - I cut around the sticker sheet to add it here and will stick it on something once I know the story. 

For now I just slipped one of the black chipboard numbers into the pocket. 

Something new I decided to play with this year was creating interview tags for each member of my family. Last year I had everyone write out a wishlist on the back of a tag and slipped all those together into a pocket. This year I decided to make everyone a tag again but this time I would spread them throughout the album and I would have specific things for them to answer. 

Download the PDF of the tag template here. The PDF includes 2 of these tags for you to print as many as you might need for your family. 

After printing out the interview portion I adhered them to pattern papers from the Main Kit and from the December Daily® 6x8 Pattern Paper Pack. 

I used this 6-hole punch to punch holes in these tags so that they would fit in the middle of the 6-ring configuration of the album. This paper punch works great with papers, cardstock, and vellum. 

For the title on each tag I printed out everyone's name and then used a heart punch to create the heart shape. 

After punching out the hearts I ran each one through my sewing machine with red thread and then stamped and embossed (using Ranger gold embossing powder) "stories" from the December Daily® Weekly December Stamp Set. After that I just adhered each heart to the pattern paper side of the tag, added some ribbon/trim from my stash and spread them out throughout my album. 

I love that each person will be highlighted. I don't plan that each one of these will take the place of a story (but some might). I'd like to pair these tags with a current photo of each person as well. 

After Anna's tag I took one of the 4-pocket page protectors and cut it in half (love doing this for page size variety) and added an Avery Index Tab along the edge. Most likely this will hold stories to go along with my page design for Day Six. 

Playing with vellum circles + messy stitching for Day 6. The background cardstock is simply cut to the same size as the page protectors.  

More details about this page is included in my Product Play workshop.

Most likely I'll cover up the back of that circle page with a full page photo or maybe I'll use those circles as a jumping off point for a page. 

Next up is Isaac's tag (again following the same formula outlined above). 

For Day 7 I decided to add in the "on repeat" card from the Main Kit - love the invitation to document what I'm listening to and/or watching in December. 

For the number on this page I simply cut a piece from one of the page protectors (you can easily use the ones you cut in half or cut down for this purpose) and stapled one of the rubber wreaths on top and added one of the white number stickers from the Main Kit.  

Love having see-through options.

I slipped the cork 8 into the pocket as a holding place. 

Next up is another page from my Product Play workshop playing around with a strip of hearts. On this day I'll be writing down a few things from the morning, afternoon, and evening. Such a simple way to document little things I loved about the day. 

Audrey's tag. These are making me so happy. 

After Audrey's tag I added in the tree transparent page followed by one of the 2x2 inch page protectors. For now I just added in a cork 10 plus one of the 2x2 gold foil squares. 

"Choose Joy" is a half-circle page idea + cut file that's included with the Product Play Workshop. This page opens up to create a full circle page and the workshop includes PNG and PSD files for masking photos into a 1/2 circle and easily journaling on the opposite side of the 1/2 circle. 

Next page is currently holding one of the felt hearts from the Main Kit + a 12 cork number (not adhered just yet) and a "bring on the merry" card. 

I slipped in the number 13 black cork number into the 4x6 pocket. 

And a tag for Aaron. 

Next up is a full 6x8 page protector and I just added all the diamond plastic shapes from the Main Kit as a reminder to play with those in some fashion to go along with whatever story I decide I want to tell on this day. 

I'm looking forward to playing with those!

Next up is an enlarged heart adhered to a full page transparency. 

My process for creating the heart "storybook" is included in the Product Play Workshop

Day 16 will be a story about our tree this year. Slipped into the pockets are a cork number, a wood star, and the twinkle tree transparency. 

Just sliipped in a 3x4 card on the back. 

Next up I added in another one of the large gold foil tags. This time I punched the holes on the other side so that the gold foil "stories" would be facing the pocket page. 

I'd like to play with using one of the 1/2 circles on the pocket page. I'm not sure yet what kind of stories/things I'm going to include in there. Might be our Christmas card. Might be more tags. Might be photos. All kinds of options. 

For the next day I added in the "story" card from the Main Kit + the 2017 transparent from the December Daily® Paislee Press Mini Kit + another one of the rubber wreaths stapled onto a piece of page protector cut and slipped into the pocket. I'll add more white stickers for the date when that's established. 

Simon's tag. 

I cut up another one of the 4-pocket page protectors and slipped in the "19" black chipboard piece and a card from the Main Kit. I also added an Avery Index Tab along the edge and will fill that with a title once my story is established. 

Using repeated shapes to create other shapes is another thing that's covered in my Product Play Workshop. I'll most likely be telling the story of something I love about right now on this day. 

Next up is a stitched star list - creating homes in advance for stories in December is a great way to play with your products in November. 

The large stitched star is something I was just messing around with and now I want to find a way to include it in my album. Right now I just have it sitting in a 4x6 pocket. 

Another page that's included in Product Play. On this day I'll be documenting something about our everyday life December routines and will add some additional circles and potentially an insert that includes words and photos. 

Elliott's tag. 

A pocket created to hold some gratitude tags. The full how-to for this page is included in Product Play

For Day 24 I added in a full page 6x8 page protector and slipped in the cork merry and a "24" black chipboard piece. 

Bring on the photos and the stories. 

My tag. 

Another one of the large gold foil tags added in here on Christmas day. I can't wait to add a photo or words to the back of that tag. 

And for now I've just slipped in the 4x6 Merry Christmas card from the Main Kit. I'm just keeping additional page protectors in the back right now and will pull them out if I need them and remove them in the end. 


I'll be back with daily posts starting on December 1st as I document my days. 


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58 thoughts

  1. peanutshell says…

    Thanks for sharing the interview tags PDF. I've realized my reason why this year is all about celebrating my family and these are going to be a fun way to document some things about each of us. We're in the midst of an IVF cycle so our family composition may or may not be changing and we'll probably be dealing with that news early in December. I'm looking forward to this year's album helping me celebrate that result whatever it happens to be. Getting some simple foundation pages like this set up is going to help me feel ready :)

    I especially like that #7 in the rubber wreath. I love those rubber element but usually have a hard time figuring out how to use things like that.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. JeanetteE says…

    Quick question - the last circle page (before Elliot's tag) wasn't discussed in Product Play for circles. Will it be.

    BTW. this is my first time doing December Daily and so far I am loving it. Getting me ready for the holidays!!!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      You'll see that one in the Star lesson :)

  3. kerrytrujillo says…

    I have followed you since the very first December Daily. I have yet to ever complete the project myself, but it is always so comforting and gets me excited for the season just checking in everyday and following along. So thanks! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. megaroon477 says…

    What size circle punch do you use? I love the idea of using the circle stamps on punched out pieces of cardstock or patterned paper.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. meowic says…

    Thanks so much for sharing this Ali. Just wondering, with the hole punch, does it work well if you want to punch out 6 holes to match your album? I’ve heard that there is a punch you can get at michaels that works really well with your album but we live in Australia so can’t get things from Michaels. So if this works well with your album, that’d be so great.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. sophikins says…

    Love your pages and the video. I have been doing Dec Daily since 2009. My three kids are now grown and out of the house, but they all know to message or email photos to me to incorporate in our family Dec Daily. It is actually easier now that I am not the only one who takes the photos, and there is no problem having something for every day (sometimes too much for one day!)

    I assume by now someone has told you that Dec 4 is a Monday, not the weekend. (Good to have flexibility!)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Yep! I'll move things around!

  7. Kirby says…

    Thanks for this, Ali. So many great ideas - I've already made the tags and am loving the projects in product play! Quick question - the 2x2 'merry & bright' gold foil square you used on your potential day 10 - is this from a DD kit?? Thanks!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Hi! There was a 2x2 gold foil card set offered during the first release of DD products - it went fast!

  8. PrinzessinN says…

    Dear Ali,
    Thank you for showing us your foundation pages. I am so in love with all of your ideas and tips. How generous of you.

    I keep watching your post over and over again.

    Normally, I only do the reason why page and wait for December. I need the specific picture in order to know what story to tell and what paper will match.

    This time, I could not wait. I alrady worked on some pages and tried to implement your ideas. Unfortunately I do not have all the products and tools you use. But this encourages me to be creative and find ways to do it on my own with my supplies.

    Can't wait to work again on my album. It is so much fun. I love it. Also I am so excited for December.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Hugs from Switzerland!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. katie1980 says…

      The best bit of this project is that even if we have exactly the same supplies, we all do different things with them! It is great to have some bits of Ali's, and mix it up with past years' leftovers and stamps, as well as other items which you have and love.
      I am glad that you are already having fun with this! I have lots of plans for my album this year, and am hoping to get a chance to do a bit more prep-work before the month starts!

  9. jenriley says…

    Hi! I can't seem to open the link to the 'reason why' page or the 'intention' printables. Also, I ordered the December Daily class but cannot access the downloads (the digital printables.) The message said they were moved?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      What is happening when you try to open the printables? And are you talking about Storytelling With December Daily®? The Downloads for that class are accessible via the Download section of the classroom here:

  10. jenriley says…

    I think the problem may be that I don't have the proper software? I can open pdfs but I guess not .png files...

    I was specifically referring to the 'reason why' and 'intention' free printables you had linked to from last year.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Lissette_Pellegrino says…

    Please advise where I can get the black chip board numbers?

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. groszekjm says…

    This is my first year doing December Daily. While nervous since I am not crafty nor am I a scrapbooker, I think I'm ready. My question is do you follow the days chronologically (Day 1 is December 1st) or do you play around with the dates (i.e I put up my tree before thanksgiving but that will get a number or elf on the shelve happens everyday but he'll just get one number). I know everyone is different in how they set it up, but just looking what the majority, you think, does.
    Thanks so much for reading and any feedback.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. paigejustine03 says…

    What kind of sewing machine do you use?

    Reply 0 Replies

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