Updating school albums for another year

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking43 Comments


Holy krakatoa! Only one more slot for his 6th grade year and this boy's elementary experience is history. Where does the time go?

With Cole's final day of 5th grade being this week, I decided to bust out the old school templates and get busy documenting his 5th grade year.

Let me just start by saying I love this album concept. I wish I could say I invented the idea, but no, that honor goes to my good friend and scrapbooking mentor Stacy Julian, who came up with the School of Life concept in her book, Simple Scrapbooks. I loved the idea of using just a handful of pages to capture the highlights of the year.

I approach this project by opening up iPhoto, gathering a few key photos from each month of the school year, and then plugging them into the the template. The photos don't have to be directly related to school activities. They're just to provide a snapshot of Cole's life in the 5th grade. I include sports stuff and there is a pocket page for report cards and any other memorabilia from the school year.

It took me an hour and a half to crank out the following pages.







I will upload these pages to an online printer (I use ScrapbookPictures.com) and then they'll get tucked safely into Cole's "It's Elementary" album.

The pocket page looks like this:


Switching over to a digital version of Cole's album has really streamlined the process for me.

If you'd like to read my original post where I outline this concept in more detail, and show you the hybrid approach I used for Aidan's album, click here.

Until then, here's to getting the school year scrapped before the new one begins!


SUPPLIES:  8.5 x 11 School Album Set (Cathy Zielske) • Just Linens No. 4 (Michelle Martin) • Krafty No. 7 Paper Pack, Notebook Paper Pack (Katie Pertiet) • Avenir font • brads (American Crafts)


My school templates album sets are available in both 8.5 x 11 and 12 x 12.

I also have an add-on word pack with PNG and ABR files to cover 7th through 12th grade, as well as overseas and UK school titles.


Cathy ZielskeUpdating school albums for another year

43 Comments on “Updating school albums for another year”

  1. #1
    Kendra B

    OMGosh I’m so behind on documenting school (or anything for that matter lol)!!! Really need to get stuff together and then use this template! LOVE the pics you chose 🙂

  2. #2

    Cathy, I absolutely LOVE this concept!! And I love the templates you’ve designed for it. I’ve been admiring from afar for way too long. I need to do this myself NOW. I haven’t ventured into digital scrapping yet and I’d like to start hybrid scrapbooking. Can I use these templates to print out onto paper and then adhere my photos? Thanks so much for your never ending inspiration!

  3. #3

    Susan, you could definitely print out the title strips right onto paper, but youd have to have a printer that can print edge to edge. My hybrid version, which is Aidans album, basically does this. I print out pieces onto different pieces of paper and cardstock, and put it all together. You just have to turn off and on layers to access what you want to print out!

  4. #4
    Damon Crawley

    I had a startling realization the other day that, as Jackson starts 7th grade (we started him early), 1/3 of middle school is gone. Holy crap! When did this happen and where was I? Not helping my 20 year reunion is tonight. Sigh….

  5. #5

    Wait. His *last* day is this week? In Aug? Our schools here are already starting back for fall …. are you guys on some kind of nine weeks on, three weeks off, year round schedule?

  6. #6
    Heather Buchwitz

    Great concept! Do you write down the names of all the kiddos in his class/team pictures? Seems a bit silly, but at 35 I found some of my old ones & I’m horrified that I don’t remember everyone! I put them on Facebook & not even all of my friends can name the people I didn’t remember…. some but not all. I have a few fully labeled (kindergarten in my teacher’s handwriting.. ahhhh), but not all.


  7. #9

    I wish when my kids were in school (youngest just graduated) I had used this method. I love the clean look and way it is so easy to document. Just one question, why no photos of you and Cole??? After all, you birthed the boy 🙂

  8. #11

    Kristie, he goes to a year round school. They have 3 sessions of 3 weeks off in during the school year (fall, winter, spring) so it all balances out to the same number of days. Its been a really good fit for my kids and for us. Aidan went to the same school. By the time she left, she was back on a regular school year. Cole has one more year at this school, then they will be on a regular school year. It has helped so much with kids not getting bored in the summer. Believe it or not!

  9. #13

    Heather, i LOVE seeing this! So fun! Where do you print yours? At home? Or an online service? Do you mind if I share your post via a Tweet? and if so, do you have a Twitter name so I can include that as well? Let me know!

  10. #14

    I know. Thats weird. I know last year there were pics of me and him in his school pages. Wait, there is one of me and him and Dan after his play he did last year, but I didnt post that page! Whoops! Might have to add it!

  11. #16

    okay, I added the page I forgot to add. Youll see me in the shot. But I really did overlook shots of me and the boy. Duly noted!

  12. #18

    Cathy- I bought these templates when you released them and I absolutely LOVE them!! Clean, simple and just all around awesome just like you 🙂

  13. #19

    Fantastic!!! Cathy, when you order from Scrapbook Pictures.com, what option do you choose? (Meaning matte, glossy, pro matte…) And, what kind of an album are you using? You may have answered these questions in earlier posts, if so, sorry for the repeat!

  14. #20

    Love the striking title page LO and the use of the lined paper. I guess you guys don’t have middle school – in a lot of places 6th grade is no longer elementary school, so the kids grow up even faster!

  15. #22

    Cathy, your school pages rock! These pages will be treasured for generations of Zielske’s! I started doing my daughter’s school pages traditionally and I am finding that it is so overwhelming that I stopped at 3rd grade – she is now going into 6th. I haven’t even started my son’s who is going into 3rd grade. I think I will definitely use your templates for my son and am seriously considering switching over my daughter’s but that thought is overwhelming to go back and “redo” hers! Sigh, it all goes by so fast.

  16. #24

    Jewel, you know, Coles first three years (PreK through 1) are hybrid, traditional pages. And they look slightly different than his 2 to 5 years, but I figure, no biggie! Hell still have a title page that ties all the years together. I wouldnt worry about going back to do anything over. Think of as an evolution of a scrapbooker! Be proud of those first school pages!

  17. #25

    I just love when you share these album sections! It’s a joy, motivation & inspiration to see how you capture a slice of his school year and put it all together. Thanks for sharing Cathy, off to do my pre-k layouts . : )

  18. #26
    Tamie Spears

    Cathy – Do you print out the entire page as a finished page? Or are you trimming out the photos and mounting them to the colored stock traditionally? I’m a Photoshop/InDesign user (graphic designer) but I still scrapbook traditionally and it take FOREVER. I have to figure out how to do this faster!

  19. #27

    These ones, I print out as a fully digital page! I used to do hybrid on the school albums, but no more! I printed out the title page and it looks great, but Ill probably send the others to an online printer. Cheaper, great quality and saves ink!

  20. #29

    My son will be starting Kindergarten and I’d like to have a plan so I’m “ready to go”…so you must be scanning in all of his school photos to do this digitally?

    Love the jazz hands comment…he’s so funny.

  21. #31

    Cathy, I bought your templates last year and I am loving the ease of putting these pages together. My daughters are 24 and 26 and I have just finished grade 6 for my eldest (I am reliving a lot of memories). I plan to print duplicates of everything so we each have copies. Your simple style really appeals to me and taking your Design Your Life class has made such a big difference in the way I scrapbook.

  22. #33

    I’ve been resisting getting started because I just felt overwhelmed but I think this is the way to go for me. Love the templates. Curious if you print out a new cover page each year as you add in the newest school picture or are you just waiting until all is complete. I’ve kept so much of their school papers, art work, test, etc. Do you scan and incorporate this in regular page protectors? Cathy, thank you for all your inspiration with scrapping, diet and just real life 🙂

  23. #34

    I LOVE this project. I started one for my eldest son when I first read your ‘sequel’ book, he was in pre-school then. When my youngest son started pre-school I started an album for him too. My albums aren’t digital, love the idea but printing 8.5 x 11 over in England isn’t an option, such a shame. I’ve been thinking about updating the albums recently, definitely a project I look forward too.

  24. #35

    I will wait until its all completed! : ) And there is pocket page piece that you assemble with a piece of matching cardstock of your choice, and thats where i keep some of his papers, drawings, report cards. Or, you could scan some of the work and drop them into the digital page photo placeholders as well!

  25. #36
    Ellie A.

    Super Love this! My oldest son is graduating this coming year. How is it possible I am about to have 13 yr.old sigh. Time flies. I plan on making him a month by month album of the 8th grade. Back in the day I didn’t scrapbook. GASP. So although I have pictures of him in school its not as many (or digital for that matter) as I would like. I want to make him a digi album & give it to him at his graduation. Thank you for the idea Off to purchase your kit I’ll just chance the grade to the month 🙂

  26. #37
    TImeless Creations

    LOVE this!! Nothing is better than watching the transition from little boy to young man…adorable!!

    Love your blog, Cathy! Trying to start a scrapbooking blog of my own, would love the support of you & your followers!


  27. #38

    Cathy, would you consider adding a word set for Canadian students? (Unless you already have one and I just didn’t see it….) Our grades are referred to as “Grade 1”, “Grade 2”, etc.


  28. #39

    Hello Carmen, yes! I would totally do that. What are your Kingergarten/Primary years called? Let me know and ill add it to my list of sets I want to make!

  29. #40

    The template is very nice and organized. It doesn’t look at all messy, which I love. Because when you go back and look at it I for one would like it to be all in order. 🙂

  30. #42

    Question about your school album kit- Do you have a title page for grades 7 through 12 that I can see? Wondering if you just deleted two photo boxes from the it’s primary main title page? I am working on my son’s title page now for 7th grade and up.

    Thanks so so much!

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