The Complete Guide

Scrapbooking your family history is a great way to be able to pass on information from one generation to the next. Also, depending on the information you’re able to gather, it can become a valuable tool in identifying common family traits, health history, etc. The following provides suggestions on how to create family scrapbook layouts that will be appreciated for generations to come.

Our top family scrapbook ideas

Determine your starting point by asking  How many generations?

The first step in creating your family tree scrapbook is to decide how many generations you want to include.

scrapbooking family history
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Are you thinking about creating an album of you, your spouse and children, or hoping to go back a generation or two? Putting together history scrapbook layouts can be overwhelming if you decide to include multiple generations.

Chances are you’ll find old black and white photos that don’t have names and dates written on them. You might also discover that even though you know lots of stories about Uncle Fred, you don’t have any photos of him. Thus, if you’re going to scrapbook multiple generations, be prepared that you may have little information on some of your relatives. That’s okay. Include whatever information you’re able to find.


If you plan on including past generations as you work on family scrapbook ideas, begin by sorting out your photos.  Place maternal-side photos in one pile and fraternal-side photos in another pile.  As you sort through them, use post-it notes and write down information about each photo, such as full name, relation to you, age of person in the photo, etc. Attach the post-it-note at the bottom of the photo.

In preparation for scrapbooking your family’s history, use a downloadable family tree or one that you design by hand, to list the relatives on your mother’s side of the family (i.e. siblings, parents, aunts, uncles). For each relative, on a separate sheet of paper, write down as much of the following information that you’re able to gather. You might need to contact relatives to find out some of the information.

  • Full name (first, middle, last)
  • Was the person named after anyone in particular?
  • Any nicknames?
  • Date and place of birth
  • Relation to your mother
  • Diseases and health concerns
  • Education (i.e. completed 8th grade, graduated from college)
  • Marriage (to whom, when, where)
  • Employment
  • Special honors or awards
  • If deceased, person’s age when he/she passed away.  Burial information.
  • Special memories about the person

Once you’re through gathering information about the relatives on your mother’s side of the family, do the same with your father’s side of the family.

Compile family history scrapbook layouts and  Let the fun begin!

Now you’re ready to begin your family tree scrapbook. Come up with a title for your album, such as “Generations of Love”, “The Smith Family”, “Family Roots”, etc. For the initial history, design a family tree. Include a circular cropped photo of each family member/relative along with his/her name. Depending on how many people you’re including, this might be a spread (side-by-side) layout, or it may need to be done in two layouts.
Once your layout is completed, create a page layout for each member/relative. Include a photo when possible and the information that you gathered about the person. You might want to consider typing the information and using a pretty font.

Embellish each page with vintage items, such as old buttons, an old coin, stickers of antique toys, a partial love letter, an ID tag… anything that fits in with the information about that person.  At a craft store or online, you’ll be able to find background paper with a family history theme.


This is one of the most important family scrapbook ideas there is, because it makes sure that you’ll have enough information on your current family in the future. Even if you’re not ready to start scrapbooking your current family history quite yet, at least get into the habit of documenting things as they occur. It’s a lot easier to take a few minutes to jot down information as things happen, than it is to try to recall specifics five years from now. What kind of information should you collect? The following is a good starting point.

Information about you and your spouse:

  • Full name
  • Were you name after anyone special?
  • Nicknames
  • Date and place of birth
  • Childhood illnesses
  • Schooling
  • Hobbies
  • Employment
  • Adult illnesses
  • Marriage

Information about each child:

  • Full name
  • Named after anyone special?
  • Nicknames
  • Date and place of birth
  • “Firsts” (i.e. first word, first baby step, first haircut)
  • Graduations
  • Hobbies/sports

Online you’ll find a lot of great, free family history scrapbook layouts that will make it easy and fun to create your album.  Scrapbooking your family history will most likely be a work in progress; enjoy the adventure!