I’ve tried scrapbooking a few times. Several years ago, I made a small scrapbook for my best friend when she graduated high school; that year also marked a decade of friendship between us. Her mom was awesome and sent me a CD with tons of pictures of us over the years. I had some of my own, and I assembled all those memories into a scrapbook.
That was the last scrapbook I made.
While I love saving memories and pasting them onto blank pages, sometimes scrapbooks are just too much. They’re too fancy, or too structured, or too intricate, or too time-consuming. I appreciate really well-put-together scrapbooks, and I was definitely proud of the scrapbook I made for my friend. If you have the patience to sit down and assemble a full-fledged scrapbook, then I’m jealous.
Lately, I’ve become more of a “smash book” person. A smash book is similar to a scrapbook, except it’s more whimsical and not as organized. I really enjoy the whimsicality (is that a word…?) of smash books; it’s a more accurate expression of my personality, I think.
I’ve always been a “keeper” of random items: ticket stubs, newspaper or magazine clippings, photos, cards, keychains, candy wrappers (especially Dove chocolate wrappers)… you name it, I’ve probably got it hiding in a drawer somewhere in my apartment. But I don’t do anything with those items; they end up in a box at the back of my closet and I only look through them when I clean out my clothes. What’s the point of keeping little mementos if I never look at them?
When I moved earlier this year, I started my own smash book to record and remember my first year living in Tennessee and all of the amazing adventures I was sure to have. This is a wonderful time in my life and I wanted to remember it through more than just my pictures on Facebook and Instagram. While I love sharing special moments from my life with my friends on social media, there’s something really nice about being able to hold a book with photos and ticket stubs and newspaper clippings and to be able to show that to my friends and family. I guess I’m kind of old school in that sense.
To make your own smash book, you will need:
- A blank journal (preferably with unlined paper, but whatever works for you!)
- Glue and/or tape
- Pens and markers
- Any other decorative embellishments
- Ticket stubs, mementos, photos, notes, cards, etc.
Another great thing about smash books is they’re cost-efficient! I spent a grand total of about $10 on my book and any supplies. There are “official” smash book journals, but I just went with a black artist’s book from Michael’s for $4.99. I already had a nice collection of pens and markers, stickers, tape and such, so I saved some money there.
The process is really simple: decide how you’d like to structure your smash book, gather the pieces to include, tape or glue the items to the pages, and decorate as you wish. It’s totally up to you how you put your smash book together.
Smash books are so much fun, and I definitely encourage everyone to try making one. It doesn’t have to be fancy or well-thought-out, just a collection of your favorite memories and moments smashed into a book. It doesn’t matter how big or small or important or significant the memories in it are, as long as they mean something to you and make you smile. The smash book is a keepsake for you, so make it what you want it to be!
What do YOU do with your favorite mementos: do you keep them in a box or a book? Are you a scrapbooker or a smash booker?