Monday, May 19, 2008

Senior Albums

I know many of you out there are mothers to high school seniors. And right about now, you're excited for them, but also a little more than stressed out about everything going on in your son's/daughter's life. Here is an album idea that you can implement--it's not too late. Set aside some time, get a ton of cardstock (a neutral and the school colors) and keep it simple.

A few years back, I taught a weekend class and we managed to make an entire 12x12 album on one person's senior high school year. I'd like to share some of the layouts from that class with you today.First off, every person's album was unique to them, depending on the school's colors. There were a couple of pages, like the one above, that varied from the general theme. For example, if the high school's colors were blue and gold, most the entire album used those colors. Please keep in mind, the following are just samples, and not all in the same book--your album would depend on your school colors.

The above layout is a 2 pager that is titled, "What I want you to know... Words of Wisdom by...MOM" and then the other page would say "...and DAD." They are all mini envelopes with tags tucked inside, and each parent is to write personal memories and words of wisdom specific to that child graduating. The little spots on the envelopes are numbers, although you can't see it that well--sorry! The red mattes are spots where you can put a photo of mom & dad along with the grad.

The next page is an "All About Me" page. Straight and to the point. A list of favorites in little boxes all over the place. Easily a 2 pager here. Topics could include: Favorite store, website, movie, car, school subject, all-time teacher, sport, saying, beverage, celebrity, color, junk food/fast food, hangout, reality TV show, daily ritual, i pod tune list, etc. I also included on the right, a spot for them to write in--who makes me laugh, places I'd love to travel, what I know for sure, most embarrassing moment, stuff I never leave home without, and personal stats (name, nickname, height, weight, age, address/phone).
This one is a single paged layout, but if there is more to this story, it can be expanded easily. On here list: My future plans, my dream job, places I'd love to live, where they want to be in 5, 10 and 20 years. You may also want to include acceptance letters here.
This is one of the favorites. That was then. Go to under time capsule (or click here) and put in the child's date of birth. Print it out and trim it. It will give you a run down of the price of gas, who was president, favorite song that year, etc. So fun to look back! Ideally, take a baby picture and a current picture and place them both on this page for reference.
Be sure to take a picture of the senior's school. I went to this high school, and 23 years later, it looks totally different now, so you'll want that point of reference in the future.
General school layouts. Encourage the senior to take a camera to school, photograph their lockers, favorite teachers, the office, etc.

Be sure to do at least one graduation layout too, so you can just add pictures quickly later on.
You may want to include an overview of all 12+ years of school on a 2 paged layout. Start with pre-school or kindergarten and go through the years on a layout like the one below.
Other possible topics you may want to cover in this album could be:

A layout on their friends.
Photograph their bedroom.
Include their class schedule and a page on their typical day at school.
Do they have a job? Photograph their uniform/place of work.
Did they play sports, participate in extra-curricular activities? Do a 2 pager on that.
Spring Formal
Senior Pranks/Senior Skip Day
Senior Pictures
Graduation party
An autograph page to layout out at the graduation party for others to sign
...and the list goes on and on...

When an album uses a simple format--you really do focus on the photos and story. Go light on the patterned paper and embellishments--they aren't needed, and you'll drive yourself crazy trying to get "the perfect one." If you insist on doing something a little extra, make your own patterned paper using Microsoft Word. All the patterned papers with the school names above I created in a Word document and printed at home on my computer--I didn't buy any of them.

I am an aunt to a graduating senior this year, so I feel your pain, but only slightly. I'll post finished photos of my niece's senior book when I finish it up on the blog.

Congrats to all you moms out there who have raised those seniors.

Enjoy your Tuesday everyone!


princessteach said...

Thank you for the inspiration. I have been wanting to make an album for my son, but I start crying when I think about it. He is the baby of 4 and the most involved in high school.

Ady said...

I love this Trish, I'm actually working on my son's cub scout album this weekend and I'll be implementing some of these layout in that album. I want the album to flow using the same
style and just focus on the ideas. THANK YOU SOOOOOOOO MUCH... This will help the process...

~Shirley said...

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing! Lots of ideas and ways to go with this!
My DS turns 18 on Thursday and then graduates in 3 weeks...I need to slow those sands in the hourglass down, just for a bit!!

avidreader said...

Great idea Trish! I don't have time to do it before graduation, but maybe this summer. I will definitely get my son to answer those questions on his future. I still have an essay I wrote as a senior on what I would do in the predicitons are/were uncanny! Predicted I would have 3 kids, which I do. Predicted I would be a Physical therapist...I'm a nurse. Predicted I would work part time...which also came true. So cool! :)