What to Save for Your Summer Scrapbook -- Think Beyond the Photos!

hand full of seashells

Of course photographs are essential when you're trying to document a moment in time. I certainly take a lot more than I print out, so just making the effort to have hard copies of my digital repertoire is a great start. What makes a scrapbook even more special, though, is including actual objects that you can hold and smell. Those are key for transporting you back to the beach, the grass, grandma's kitchen table with her berry pie ... all the things that signify summer for your family. Here are some suggestions for what you can save along the way to capture the season -- until it comes around again.


1. Pieces of nature. Shells and sand. Driftwood. Blades of high grass. Three- or four-leaf clovers (if you're lucky). Pressed flowers. Pine needles. A handful of the seeds that you planted around the house.

2. The front page of the newspaper. It's always interesting to reflect on what was happening in the larger world. At the start, middle, and end of the summer, save the front page of your local paper to give the memory a context. If you are a family of sports fans, save some of the back pages as well.

3. Recipes you tried. So much of summer is about the food -- grilling, taking advantage of berries any way you can. Write out a favorite recipe on an index card so you can save it old school-style.

4. Take documentary-style photos. Not just portraits, but a catalogue of the details that signify summer. Close-ups of blooming flowers, a plate of food you love, the bike your kids learned to ride on. In other words, all the seemingly mundane objects that are beautiful in their own right.

5. Maps. When you take a road trip or an airplane trip, get a hard copy of your destination so you can scribble on it, circle highlights, and trace your journey.

6. Small souvenirs. Gather up business cards from places you visited and bottle caps -- especially if you tried, say, a signature lemonade from a new spot. Pick up intentionally touristy keepsakes like key chains, pens, or mini license plates from local shops.

7. Restaurant menus. Circle what you ordered and write a review of the dish, plus notes like, "The first time she tried tomatoes!" Also, take a photo of your plate (see #4 above). Pocket paper place mats that the kids turned into art projects.

8. Quotes. Write down funny things, amusing back-and-forths. Record where you were, the time, and the date. When they happen, we think there's no way we'd ever forget. But we will.

What would you include in your summer scrapbook?


Image via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

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