One of my favorite albums (and a freebie for you!)

Cathy ZielskeFree Downloads, Scrapbooking142 Comments

If any of you out there have read my second book, Clean&Simple Scrapbooking: The Sequel, you might recall this bad boy:


(Copyright CK Media on the above, and the following four images.)

This is my Halloween album. A simple themed album, with a basic design that is simply one of my favorite scrapbooks. Let me refresh your memory as to the contents. Above, of course, is the title page to my album. I know, ADORABLE.

Then we have the introduction (click to see all of these larger):

Next we have the dedication (thank you, Jerry Seinfeld!):


Followed by the album guts:




It’s just year after year of Halloween goodness, and such a visible way to document, OH MY HECK! The kids are growing!

Here are the pages you didn’t see in the book, including Aidan’s 2nd and 3rd and 4th Halloween, which for some reason, got the axe in the editing room:

2nd H

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t my finest moment in Holiday photography, stillโ€ฆ pretty friggin’ cute if you ask me.


And okay, I know it LOOKS like the same year, but trust me, she had grown.


(FYI: After the fourth installment, I walked away from the black and white film.)

And here are the ones that came AFTER the book was published:



Sure, the ink colors were slightly off from year to year on account of changing printers and levels of ink, but that’s not really the point of this project now is it?

I realized last week I hadn’t added to the album since 2007. Naughty little scrapbooker! So, I’m now working on the files to complete 07 and 08. Here’s 07 so far, in digital form:

2007 entry-2

2007 entry-1

And I would show you 2008, but I have NO record of my eldest child from last year. Needless to say, when I confessed to Aidan that I hadn’t managed to get her on film she was HORRIFIED. Who would have predicted that reaction?

No worries, I’ll figure out something to go with this picture:


I share this album with you because I’m always struck by how powerful a simple approach can be. A shot per year and a bit of journaling for a finite period of life. This is simple scrapbooking at its best.

I created this album in 2004 after Aidan had clocked in more than a few All Hallows Eves. My point: you can always go back and find a shot here or there and make a complete picture of a tradition or other memorable, continuing event.

AND NOW A TREAT FOR YOU: In the spirit of Halloween treats, I converted this album design into two layered PSD files for you, my template lovin’ blog readers. You can use them for a digital album or be like me, and go hybrid. The journaling page has been designed using Arial, which is simply a placeholder font. Feel free to add in whatever fontย  you like. My album you see above uses Gill Sans.

Here’s to simplifying the process!

(to download, click on links. PC users: right-click, and scroll to “Save Target As”; Mac users can just click on the links.)

Download CZ8x8TemplateA

Download CZ8x8TemplateB


Cathy ZielskeOne of my favorite albums (and a freebie for you!)

142 Comments on “One of my favorite albums (and a freebie for you!)”

  1. #1

    You, my dear, are awesome. I’ve been wanting to make an album like yours since I saw it in The Sequel!! Now I have no excuses!! THANK YOU!!!

  2. #2
    Jeanne Pellerin

    Cathy, THANK YOU! I have been wanting to make myself an album like this ever since your book came out! Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. #4

    Cathy- Thanks for the perfect timing of this post. I am taking your MTaV class, and have been lamenting about how much I love Halloween. This motivated me to put together an entire scrapbook about this holiday. I just gathered my Halloween related goodies and started planning yeterday. I was going for simple, and this is the perfect solution! Thanks again!

  4. #5
    Nicole Czarnecki

    Oh, thank you, thank you Cathy! This made my day! I’m taking your BPS class right now and loving it (Me: TAV) so this was another reason to cheer for scrapping today. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us and for keeping this craft fun and exciting and challenging and wonderful and so much more! (Can you tell I’m excited to do the Halloween album?)

  5. #7

    Cathy, I’m in your MeTav class, and am starting to see the possibilities of doing an album with a “pre-ordained” design for its pages. Like your Halloween album. It’s a concept I had never considered before (no, it’s just not ‘me’ …) but now … I’m truly enjoying. Your mind is free to focus on choosing the right photo and getting your story down just the way you want it.
    Thanks for these downloads. And for the MeTav class.

  6. #8

    As I was reading I told myself that I have to do an album like this. I make my kids costumes every year, and I have been meaning to put together a year by year album about them. Then I come to the bottom of your post and there is the template for me! Thank you, thank you, thank you! This may be an album I actually complete!

  7. #9
    Leora Henkin

    Thanks Cathy. I love it! Your album is great. I have been itching to work on a Halloween album for awhile now. Now, with my limited digital knowledge and your templates, I may be ready to give it a go!

    Thanks so much,

  8. #10

    Thank You Thank you!!! I absolutely love your album and have been planning on making a similar one ever since I saw it. Now I just have to get started ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. #11

    When I bought + read your book and saw this album – I had to make my own. It quickly became a favorite around here. I bit off your style with my own twists of course. I just wanted to write thanks – you’ve brought mucho inspiration to me, and you are the catalyst for many of the captured memories and creaed art in my home.

  10. #13
    Addie G

    Cathy, thank you for your generosity! The templates are great. I bought a small album for this project over a year ago….now I have NO excuse not to start it. Thanks!

  11. #15
    Terri Porter

    You are just amazing! And timely! I have been wanting to do something like this for my grandson (my boys were in the pre-scrapping years and the pics are horrible). Thanks so much for your generosity.

  12. #16

    You’re like the Mother Theresa of the scrapping world. You just give and give and give….and for that I am grateful.

  13. #17

    Oh, how did you know? I’ve absolutely coveted this album since I first saw it in your book. It’s like you’re reading my mind–spooky! Thanks so much for the early treat!

  14. #20

    Oh, thank-you, Cathy! We haven’t got much in the way of Hallowe’en stuff but I am already thinking of other ways of using these. You are so generous ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. #21
    Heather Crawford

    OH thanks so much Cathy..I started one of these albums back when your book came out, but then I lost my template for the journaling page!! THANK YOU…now I can carry on and get it caught up!

  16. #23

    I CAN NOT even begin to tell you how excited I am that you are sharing this with us. I have adored that album for years and wanted to copy it for my own version but never quite got around to it because I am not the most computer savvy person. You are so generous to share it with us. I literally want to get started RIGHT NOW!! Thank you, thank you!

  17. #24

    Thank you for the templates. I have just ordered both of your books and am just waiting for the postman to deliver them now…I can’t wait!!

  18. #26

    I loved your album when I first saw it in the book. Now I can use it for my own son. Thank you so much for sharing your templates with the rest of us.

  19. #27

    what’s perfect about this? EVERYTHING! and i’m totally using the idea (and possibly templates, too!) for a holiday-themed album i’ve been wanting to make for some time now. it’s the perfect look, exactly what i was hoping it to be, and with all the embellishments and such i’ve been picking up for it, i can make the cutest little hybrid albums EVER!!

  20. #30

    Thanks Cathy! I love this approach – very simple. Now, I just have to locate the Halloween pictures.

  21. #32

    I know the tag in that last photo says “FBI” but I think Dan looks a bit like Agent Smith from the Matrix Movies. Maybe it’s just the suit and glasses?

    THanks so much for the templates! LOVE your templates! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. #35
    anne leglise

    Bless you, Cathy for sharing the halloween template to us. Thanks a lot! Now, I have to work on my daughter’s halloween album:-)

  23. #36

    After reading your book, this little mini album was put on my project list. I cannot thank you enough for this extra little push to actually begin the project! You are a fabulous person! Thank you!

    aka ZoezMom

  24. #40

    I’ve done the same annual concept with each of my kids’ “first day of school” photos, standing next to my husband each year to show how much they’ve grown. These simple albums are some of my favorites! Thank you so much for sharing the templates, even though I’ve not yet done anything digital…. (one of these days I will get my courage up, right?) ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. #43

    I have admired that wee album in your book before, although we don’t really do the whole Halloween thing in New Zealand. This year though, we will have our first American Halloween – and now with that lovely freebie (thanks so much Cathy!)- excitement is growing! Now just to figure out the costumes…..

  26. #44

    Thanks Cathy for sharing with us. I had loved the look back then and I love it still. I did a mini last year for the pumpkins that we decorate every year but I’ve been itching to do one with the girls’ costumes. But may I ask what happened to the years 2002, 2003 and 2004??? I want to see your cute kids in their costumes. ;P

  27. #49

    Well even my grandchildren no longer trick or treat but I still think you are darlin’ for sharing those templates. A girl can always improvise.

  28. #53
    Julie S

    Hey Cathy! I read all the time and almost never comment, but I dug out my own Halloween album yesterday (inspired by you!) to work on 08 and set it out and it’s one of my favorites too! It just might have gotten me out of a big scrapbooking slump. Anyway, I haven’t done my title page and remembered how adorable yours was and was going to go dig it up today, but you did it for me! Thanks!

  29. #55
    Gutsy Mom

    Cathy, you are fabulous and I love your work and everything you share with us, your spoiled readers. (Your DYL class changed my scrapbooking life. LOVE YOU!)

    Now, is there anyone reading this who can give me free techie advice to go with my free templates from Cathy? I am a PC user. I right-clicked and saved the targets into my documents. I then went to open the documents, and they were automatically opened by my photog-sorting software, ACDSee. Normally, with a template, I can just click on it and type over Cathy’s filler. But, with the docs opening in ACDSee I can’t click on anything or change anything on the template. Should I save the docs some other way? (email addy is below for anyone who can help)

    Sorry to stick my annoying tech question into the middle of the Cathy-is-awesome Fest. Let me get the good mojo flowing again:

    Cathy, you rock for sharing your templates with us. Seriously rock.

    Margaret, aka Gutsy Mom

  30. #56

    Maybe her friends’ moms have pictures? Seems like all my Halloween pics were of me with friends.

    Thanks for the templates.

  31. #57
    Laura L

    I’m having trouble too Margaret except I am trying to use Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 on a Mac. I can get the template to open in PSE6, but cannot manipulate and of the text. Can this only be done through Creative Suite since that’s what it was designed on ???? Please help!!! Laura

  32. #58

    I’m still using the files & sketches you gave us last year in Design Your Life. I love your layouts. Thanks so much for these templates.

  33. #61
    Renee Travis

    Holy lovin’ scrapgirl!

    I literally threw my hands in the air and screamed “YES” when I read that you are letting us use this template, thus waking my 14 month old from his slumber.

    I have poured over those pages of your book more times than I can remember while in the bathroom. (don’t look at me that way, i have two small kids and a husband to hide from…where else am I supposed to read?)

    I’ve dreamt of putting together an album like that. Dreaming of my kids and their future wives giggling about how damn cute they were, and what a great mom I must be to spend the time to make an album like that. But of course putting together an album like that takes time and planning, two things I don’t have nor am I good at.

    So thank you from the bottom of my heart! (and my future daughter in laws)

    As always, you rock!

  34. #64

    Thanks for the templates. I have admired this album ever since I purchased your book. I have used the design as inspiration for a couple of albums of my own. I KNOW that I will enjoy and put your templates to very great use. I also wanted to say that I loved the items you created with the Cricut. I purchased a Silhouette about 6 months ago and have LOVED all of the possibilities…. I chose the Silhouette because I can use ANY True Type font I have downloaded on my computer (which are lots). Have a great day.

  35. #65

    That is very cool. Thankyou for sharing. Of course, I will probably never celebrate Halloween in my life, but it is such a great design that I could use for something else.

  36. #68

    you are so awesome! i’ve loved this book since first laying eyes on it! i want one…i’m going to have one…thanks so much for sharing!!:) you make me so happy!!

  37. #69

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I made a very similar album for each of my kids last year. The left side of 8×8 album contains one 4×6 photo of said kid in costume and the right side of album contains small 2×2 photos and a small journaling spot. So simple yet so wonderful to look back on. Thanks for sharing your template.

  38. #70

    Laura, this will work in PSE 6 no problem. You will get a type message that says you don’t have the fonts. Just click okay.

    It’s not a locked template in any way.

    Reboot PSE and try again!

  39. #71

    You rock Cathy! Thanks for sharing those additional pages. I always want to see the “rest of the album” when I see a mini-album in a mag. My friend and I were just talking about you and your Bee costume the other night while trying to decide what to wear to a Halloween crop. I still can’t decide!

  40. #72

    I bought some Halloween stickers at a Scrapbook Expo last April and I had in the back of my mind to do a book like yours. But of course I never did it. The template may prompt me to get going on it…

    Thanks for your generosity.

  41. #74

    You rock my world Cathy. I’m all about Simple Scrapbooking and have been a fan of yours all my scrapbooking life. Thanks for sharing.

  42. #75

    Cathy, You are such a sweet and amazing woman! I feel like I know you and your family! Such great stories you have shared with us all.
    I picked up both of your books a couple years ago and have “scraplifted” several of your LOs and projects! My favorite by far has been this Halloween book! My next project is making a book for the kids with their bday invites and cakes (always a favorite at my house!!)

    Thank you tremendously for being so generous!
    Your friend, (even though you don’t know me =)

  43. #78

    Wow! That was so totally cool and generous of you. I am LOVING the template. Thank you SOOOOOOOOOO much.

  44. #80

    Thank you so much for sharing your templates and your book with us. I love the simple idea and the fact that it will only take me a few minutes to do each year!

  45. #81

    Will you share some of your Christmas album. I would like to see how you set yours up and what goes in it.

  46. #83

    This was by far a favorite of mine from your book. I have been waiting patiently for you to share your simple yet oh so stylish goodness with. I have been wanting to do this album since reading your book. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your file with us. I look forward to putting this sweet album together. You’re awesome Cathy, THANK YOU!

  47. #84

    Here I am barely plugging along in your Big Picture class and I download this and start dreaming of another project! You are the best!

  48. #86

    I loved your album when I saw it in C&S – thanks so much for sharing it with us. This will be my son’s 2nd Halloween and I’m definitely making this album!

  49. #87

    WOW! I have always wanted to do this album as well! Even bought the little black album and some fun ribbon, just awaiting the perfect ‘inspiration’ (all this time). Thank you so much for sharing this!! I can’t WAIT to get started.

  50. #89
    Rebecca W

    Thanks so much, my kids are just getting old enough to do the whole halloween thing. This is a great way to get ready before the actual event!

  51. #93
    Kathy F

    Cathy- Thanks so much for the freebie templates! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am sure they will be put to good use here! ๐Ÿ™‚ I just loved your kids’ Halloween Pics! ๐Ÿ™‚ How adorable they were and are (would Aidan not die if she knew someone was calling her adorable or darling?). Such a fun blog post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  52. #98
    Lara Dodds

    Hey Cathy….you sooooooo ROCK! Since returning to work after 9 wonderful years at home with my kids scrapbooking has taken a back seat, actually it isn’t even in the same car….or on the same highway….actually, not even on the same continent! Thanks for this great inspiration and the fabulous downloads, I am going to make this album and take some much needed ME time. Keep blogging, you are my sanity break!

  53. #101
    michele t

    Thank you! I remember when I first saw you darling album. I have been wanting to make one for years!

  54. #102

    Than you SO much for these great templates!! I LOVE them and can’t wait to put them to good use ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for mentioning on Maegan’s blog that these were available. I do believe I have a new blog to follow ๐Ÿ˜‰

  55. #103

    And just like that, easy peasy thanks to Cathy, I’ve got my own little Halloween treasure finished.

    This was so much fun, thanks again, Cathy!

  56. #110
    kim in Cambridge, UK

    Thanks for the templates Cathy! I loved this beautiful, simple layout when I read your book, and this is a little tiny dream come true, treat! You are a very generous star of the templates, lady!

    Love the blog, thanks for that too,

  57. #111
    Michelle Smith

    You SO FRIGGIN ROCK!! My girlfriends and I were talking about getting together for a little book making about this very thing!! AWESOME!!

  58. #116

    Thank You, for sharing this with us! I loved this album in our sequel. Your books inspired me to jump into scrapbooking.

  59. #117

    p.s. too bad BPS does not have (or I have not seen) an iTunes-like template store on its site. I would gladly pay $.99 or $1.99 for your templates!

  60. #121

    I started a similar album for my son after his second Halloween and am now adding my second son’s photos. On my oldest’s 3rd Halloween, he REFUSED to let me get a photo of him in costume (he was a ghost). So I used a ghost sticker where my photo would go and included the story in my journaling. It’s still perfect!

  61. #122

    Thanks for the goodies-will have to get crackin’ on that when I am done with ME, the abridged version…which I am loving, by the way. Thanks for a great class!

  62. #123

    YOU SO TOTALLY ROCK!!!! yes i was shouting ๐Ÿ™‚
    thanks for the great templates.

    question – for the photo part on a hybrid would you crop both pictures into that photo layer, leave the background transparent and then order it printed as an 8×10? i usually use costco; don’t know if they have an 8×8 option.

  63. #125

    Wow thank you, I have your book and since reading it cover to cover I purchased an album and enough pages to go through 18 halloweens or more for my kids… it’s been laying around but now I have a great reason to finally get started! Thank you THank You!!

  64. #127

    You know… this was one of my favorite things in this book! And as I looked at the photos, I wished I could see every page of this fabulous idea of an album. So… needless to say, I’m ecstatic that you posted the whole thing! AWESOME! Thank you SO much! Such a grand idea. Perhaps I could find photos of the Halloweens at my house growing up. May take a while… LOL.

    And maybe Aidan could dress up again like she did last year? Just for a photo shoot. And you could add that in your journaling. It’s definitely worth mentioning… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  65. #130

    Call me crazy…but would you consider sharing the “boo” page for the rest of us pretenders? I’ve taken 2 of your classes now but I absolutely do NOT claim to be a design/digi superstar like the infamous CZ. Come on…pretty please! :o)

  66. #134

    Thanks for the great freebie! I am going to go back and scan all those adorable Halloween photos and play catch up. My youngest is turning 29 in August so it’s about time. I now have adorable Halloween pics of grandchildren!

  67. #141
    Kim Burnette

    Thank you for still having this available! I had started this when you first offered it, completed a few years and then fell behind. I went to find my files to continue the project and it seems they’ve been lost to a long forgotten crashed hard drive. So, thanks for keeping it on your blog so that I can finish this much loved little album.

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