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December Daily® 2023 | Plan + Play with Linda 03

Hi everyone! It’s Linda and I’m back again for the third segment of the Plan & Play December Daily series. This project is tons of fun, and there is no “right” way to do it, but it can also be intimidating because it is a lot of work. That said, there are things you can do before December to get yourself ready for the project and make it more manageable. 

Last week we discussed how you can organize your products and come up with a plan to collect your stories/ideas during the month. Today we are going to be diving into creating with the products and setting up some ideas for your album. This is where the play really comes in!


One way that you can really set yourself up for success in this project is by creating foundation pages in your album. Before you say “foundation pages aren’t for me” and skip this section, I want to say, just like this project overall, there is no “right” way to create foundation pages. In this section I am going to go over 3 “levels” of foundation pages, from the most prepped to the most minimal.  And, even if you decide that foundation pages in any form truly aren’t for you, some of these ideas can be adapted for your album during the month of December as well! 

Before we dive into some ideas for foundation pages & using the supplies, let’s go over some basics.

What is a foundation page? The concept of foundation pages is the idea of creating a base page using products or other ideas that will serve as a starting point for you during or after December when you go to put your album together. 

Why create foundation pages?

  • So you can have fun playing with products now when you’re excited for it! 
  • To make putting your album together easier/quicker if your holiday season gets busy. 
  • To make putting your album together easier/quicker if you start feeling burned out by this project towards the end.

One way to create foundation pages is to completely design and create a page so that all you have to do during the month of December is add in your words + photos. This can be great if you expect to have a super busy month and/or you want to play off your excitement for playing with the products now. 

Creating a Full Foundation Page

In the video below I put together a full foundation page so that, in December, I only need to come back and add words + maybe photos. This will be a great one to put together on a day that I am busy and/or don’t have a day specific story. 

For this page I used the ornament pockets + some papers from the main kit to create flip up inserts for 3 of the ornaments. I added alphas from my stash as tabs for each flip up that represent the initials of my family members. During the month of December, I can use this page on a busy day when all I want to do is add a number + some words. Or, if I have more time, I can print photos to add under the flaps. 

For a lot of people, foundation pages like the one above don’t work because you don’t want to be so constrained when it comes to telling your story because you don’t know what is going to happen yet on any particular day. Personally, I can only do a few fully prepped foundation pages and instead prefer to work with loose foundations. You can see that, even with the page above, I didn’t glue the number down so I have some flexibility as to when I use it during the month. 

Creating Loose Foundation Kits/Pieces

If full foundation pages are too much for you, or you don’t want to make a ton of them,  you can also use loose foundation kits or pieces to help get a head start on your album without being too constrained.

To create a loose foundation, I will pair products together, collect ideas, and slip them into a pocket to store in my album or with my supplies. You can also premake pieces, especially if you want to work with something that will take more time/effort, like mixed media. Instead of a premade page, this is similar to making myself a kit to work with. When it comes to the day I plan to use the foundation kit, I will already have a page idea + products to work with, which will cut down on the time/energy it takes to put it together.

In the video above, I put together a few loose foundation ideas that I can work with in December. I also saved some inspiration images from Ali’s project last year that I can use to work with the products for this year.

Loose Foundation #1: Tags

For the first page, I am using this image from Ali’s 2022 album as my inspiration.

I am going to adapt it to my 6x8 size and this year’s products. Because the tags this year are a variety of shapes I plan to stagger them in a more random pattern. I also have a smaller album to work with, so I will do a full spread rather than just one side, so I have more space to work with. Here is the “kit” I put together. When I am ready to put this spread together, I will pull from these supplies instead of my entire stash to streamline the process.

Loose Foundation #2: Charms

For this idea, I started with this image from Ali’s 2022 album as my inspiration.

I love the cluster of charms that Ali added to the top of her page. I decided to create a cluster of charms from this year’s kit/my stash as a foundation piece. During the month of December I will decide where to adhere it in my album.

Collecting Inspiration

Finally, if creating anything before the month begins is too much, I encourage you to collect ideas. As I shared in my last post, I have a craft planner where I am collecting inspiration that I see online + sketching out some ideas. In the video below I talk through some ideas for using some of the pieces from the main kit.

And here are my sketches in my planner so far. I will also share more ideas for using the main kit in my post next week as we wrap up this series. 


Whether you want to create foundation pages or not, there are still some things you can do before December gets here. Namely, there are a few pages you might want to include in your album before you get to the daily documenting.

Title Page

In the video below I am creating my title page for my album this year.

In some past years I have included a family photo as my title page and in others I have played with products to create a decorative title page. This December will be a little different for me. Although my daughter is a big part of my life and holidays, this album is going to be primarily just me because she won’t come home from college until more than halfway through my album. So, instead, I this year I wanted to create a decorative start for my album. 

If you want to include a photo, you can always create the rest of your title page and save a spot to insert the photo later.

Reason Why

Many people also include a reason why page in their album. Last year I included one with alpha stamping and I intend to make something similar this year closer to December. This is a great way to dig into your products and start playing before December! Here is my reason why from last year.


Last year, Ali created an index in her album where she stamped out the story for each day as she put the album together. This was a fun way to tie the album together. Here is a picture of her index from last year.

You could create a similar set up this year with the circles from the main kit. Then, during the month, go back and add a note to each circle about what happened that day.


Similar to an index, but slightly different is a sampler page. Instead of being a collection of your stories, this is a collection of the products/design you used in your album. Last year, I created a sampler page, and I intend to do that again this year. Instead of going in the album, this was a stand alone scrapbook page to basically document the fact that I was creating December Daily, which is a huge piece of my holiday season. 

To create the sample page, I added extra embellishments or pieces to a grid everyday that represented the page I had created for that day. Here is a picture of my sampler page from last year.

This year, I plan on using the circles from the main kit to create a sampler page. I think it will be a fun challenge to work with the circles and I hope to keep the numbers visible most days. Here is my set up sampler page this year. 

I used one of the papers from the main kit as my background and this page is 8x10. I plan to take a letter sized page protector and use my sewing machine to alter it to fit. I added a few embellishments to create a fun title and I adhered the circles down in a grid using temporary adhesive. The circles aren’t perfectly straight because they are temporarily glued down in case I need to lift them up when adding my design for that day. Once the day is completed, I will glue it down with permanent adhesive. 

I hope that this post gave you lots of ideas for ways you can begin setting up your album before December. Next week I am going to share even more ideas for using the main kit + adapting ideas for various album sizes. 

You can find me on instagram & youtube @lindalovescreating. I will also be over on the @decemberdaily instagram account LIVE today, September 18, at 3 PM EST to answer your questions and chat about the things we talked about in today’s post. Hope to see you there!

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10 thoughts

  1. jillgaxiola says…

    Omg, I LOVE what you did with the ornaments!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. gr8scraps says…

    Thank you so much, Linda for all of your inspiration. I am just starting to work on last year's DD and am using many of your suggestions of getting organized and playing with product. Also printing those photos! I hope to be finished before Dec! Thanks again for your wealth of wisdom!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. JolieFleurs says…

    So, so, so much help and inspiration! Can't thank you enough.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. anotheramanda says…

    Great ideas. I love these series. I can’t wait to play too.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Donna_Clements says…

    Linda, I am SO enjoying your presentations! Thank you for your insights and inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. robindd20first says…

    The Sampler page is a unique idea! Love it!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. chibouki68 says…

    Great ideas! Just a little tip : you could rub the sticky side of a chipboard, sticker, etc. with a small amount of baby powder, so it's not adhesive anymore. It's faster than backing the piece. ;-)

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. TaunX2 says…

    I love your ideas. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. ScrappinMyHeartOut says…

    I'm really enjoying all the creativity you're sharing, thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. mem186 says…

    These ideas are amazing! Thank you for taking the time to make these videos. I love them. I am having so much fun putting these on while I do some DD crafting!

    Reply 0 Replies

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