My Thankful Album Project 2011

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life17 Comments


My second favorite holiday is just around the corner and this year we are hosting the Thanksgiving meal. Do you know what that means? It means as the host of the celebration, I get to keep this year's Thankful album.

For the past few years, using an inexpensive 4 x 6 photo album, I've created journals of gratitude that include everyone present at our Thanksgiving gatherings. (Here is my album project from 2009; here is the one from 2010.)

I designed a new set this year and you don't need Photoshop to use the files, just Adobe Acrobat, some cardstock, a bit of patterned paper and a small photo album.

First up, a cheap little album from Target.


I found this last week and at first I looked at the colors and thought, "Hmmm. I think I'll just re-cover this with patterned paper I like better." But once I saw that the paper I wanted to use worked just fine with these colors, I decided to scrap the covering idea. (The part I'm not really mentioning is that I had a bad Xyron adhering accident and the album covering attempt looked like ka ka du jour, but I digress. Good thing I bought two of these little guys.)

Next, a few sheets of paper from a new Echo Park set.


I also decided to include some of the green papers from this collection to match the greens of the photo album.

Then I printed out a title page. (Mine is in brown, but the set also includes orange.)


The files include crop marks to help you trim out the cards to the correct sizes. Here are the album cards that people will fill out.


Then you just print a bunch of them out and adhere small strips of patterned paper at the base of each card to dress them up.


For the gathering, I'll place them on the table in a tin with a pen and encourage people to fill them out. I'll also remember to take a photo of each person to use in my album.



My tradition has been to give the album as a gift to whoever is hosting the holiday gathering which means this is the first year I get to keep the album.

Over the past few years, I've also heard from blog readers who use this concept at  home, encouraging family members to fill out gratitude cards throughout the month of November and even into December.

It's a simple way to count (and document) your blessings.


Learn more about the set by clicking here.

Speaking of gratitude, I have two new templates (one in 8.5 x 11 and another in 12 x 12) that might inspire you to save and document what you're thankful for on a scrapbook page.



Cathy ZielskeMy Thankful Album Project 2011

17 Comments on “My Thankful Album Project 2011”

  1. #4

    I do these every year and I started about 5 years ago. In the beginning, I handmade the album, it was super elaborate and a piece of art in itself. Last year all I could handle was a blank chipboard album which I swore I would decorate elaborately later but never did. So I am thrilled to see this “kit” of yours….and the thing I’m most thrilled about is buying the cheap-y album from target and just SLIDING THESE SUCKERS IN THERE! πŸ™‚ so simple, I might actually be able to do it. And hopefully it will take me less than 12 months to actually print the pictures of all the guests to go with it! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much Cathy.

  2. #7

    this is SUPER cool and so easy! I’m jumping on the band wagon and doing this for our family as well!!

    We had a really big gathering about 15 years ago when we had just had our son and had a lot of friends like us who were going to be away from family for the Thanksgiving holiday. We asked each of our guests ahead of time to please bring something tangible that they could share with the group that would represent something they were grateful for. When it came time to sit down, before we ate, we passed a basket around the table and asked each person to place the item (or something that represented an item)into the basket and briefly share what they brought and why it was meaningful to them.

    It was magical what happened around that table. People who didn’t know one another well suddenly “knew” one another; stories were shared of great gratitude or appreciation; tears and laughter just abounded; hopes, dreams, and reflections just poured out of people…

    To this day, it is still talked about. Definitely wish I’d be into scrap booking as it would have been awesome to physically capture the images of that day. I still see them in my memory as clear as day!

    I LOVE Thanksgiving day… and can not wait to do this journal idea. Guess I’m making a Target run before I head home after work! Thanks for making the templates available, Cathy!

  3. #9
    Sharon Holesh

    I know you have mentioned this , but what white Bazzill paper do you use and how do you get the printer to print so nice on the textured paper?
    Thanks so much!

  4. #10

    OMG this page layout has ignited my scrapbooking passion again, I have not made a page in over 18 months and I can feel one coming on, thank you πŸ™‚

  5. #14

    Talking about thankful…Besides loving your project ( I always follow your blog), I wish I could tell you a little story…
    I’m from Brazil, and 4 years ago, when I was pregnant with my first boy, I discovered scrapbooking. I started with small baby projects, when a friend of mine, who was already a scrapper, suggested me I would buy one of your books. I bought them on Amazon and waited 60 days for them to arrive in Brazil. I loved your style so much, such clean and vibrant colors, that it inspired me to work more on different projects.
    2 years ago I decided to open a scrapbooking store in Brazil, that now has become an arts and crafts store selling other kinds of supplies, and I just started selling products online (, for brazilian customers.
    That’s why I wish you knew your work is one of the things I am thankful for, nowadays, because your inspiration was one of the reasons I do what I do today πŸ˜‰
    Love your blog and your books, and I hope you publish more of them!

  6. #16

    I’ve made your version of the T-day album for the past two years, Cathy. Thanks so much for making it available – nothing like an easy project! (And what I’ve done: I have everyone fill one out, then I photocopy each card and make two little albums, one for me, and one for the other family. Of course, the fact that there’s only two families helps. But even so, simple is the key to making multiples of anything! So thanks again!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *