The lazy mom’s guide to scrapbooking (Or how to set up a private blog for your kids)

I had it all planned out.  I was going to be that mom who made a scrapbook every year for each child.  I’m not sure what happened, but Joe’s “First Year” album is in a box in the closet, and it looks like this.

For a while, my failure as a scrapbooking mom paralyzed me.  I thought about trying to catch up, but the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to do it.  Not to mention the fact that I’ve never been creative in a scrapbooking-kind-of-way to begin with, and I hate spending tons of money on the supplies.

Then I realized, hey, it’s the digital age!  All of our photos and videos are on the computer or on a hard drive somewhere, I just need a space to pull them all together in a chronological way.

I started looking at all of the blogging platforms and found Tumblr.  Honestly, I’ve never understood Tumblr and still wouldn’t be able to run my own blog on there, but have found that it works perfectly as a digital scrapbook.  The layouts are simple, and you can choose the date of each entry so everything is organized chronologically.  I can add pictures, videos and quotes from my computer or iPhone, and the sites are password protected so no one sees them but me (and the occasional grandparent with a password).

If you’re a scrapbooking slacker like me, have no fear.  This is something you can actually keep up with (and catch up with).

Go to and set up an account.

Once you’ve signed up, click on your user name on the right hand side.

This will open up a drop down menu.

Click on “Create a new blog”

Once you’ve filled out all the information, make sure to click the box under Privacy that says “Password protect this blog”.  That way, when someone tries to access your child’s blog, they will have to enter a password.

To customize your blog, click on the “settings” icon on the top of the screen.  It’s the one that looks like a little wheel.  Find the blog you want to customize on the left side of the screen and click on it.


Click on “Customize Theme” and choose the theme you want.

I went with the “Simple Things” theme because it’s nice and clean.  Once you have your theme picked out, you’re ready to start adding to your blog!

Choose the blog you want to work with by clicking on the drop down menu on the right.  Then click on an icon along the top (photo, quote, video, etc.)

I add photos, videos and quotes most often.

Tumblr also works well for keeping school papers without having to keep the actual paper (hooray for less piles!).

If you want to play catch up from your years of slacking in the scrapbooking department, simply enter in the date and Tumblr files it in the right spot for you.

Ready to see your blog?  Click on the blog address right under the blog name on the right hand side and enter in your password.

To see all of your posts in order, click on “archives” from the blog page.

Look at that, it’s like a virtual scrapbook!  And you can add to it whenever you want.

Download the free Tumblr app on your smart phone to add photos, videos and quotes as they happen.

A note on adding videos: I’ve found that if my videos are under two minutes, Tumblr can condense them straight onto the blog.  Any longer than that and I have to upload the video to YouTube first.

I’m still working on going back through old photos and videos to put in the Tumblr archives, but I’m excited to get closer to having everything in one place.  Periodically, I plan to have these blogs printed into books, and I’m crossing my fingers that sites like Blurb will support Tumblr very soon.  If you know of any Tumblr –> book services that are available now, please let me know!

This post took me a while to put together, so I hope I didn’t leave anything out.  If you have any questions, please ask and I’ll do my best to answer.

I hope this tutorial helps you out and maybe even takes away the mommy guilt if you’re a lazy scrapbooker like me.


How about you?  Are you a scrapbook pro or a scrapbooker-wannabe like me?



  • Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily October 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    You said it perfectly, took the thoughts right out of my head Alysa, :}
    I have 2 huge wonderful (paper) s.b. of my oldest son that I will treasure forever but honestly, it wore me out and like you it really wasn’t my forte’.

    Now, 3 kids later my time is super limited and technology is a gift….. once I learn how to use it 😉 I’ve played around a bit w digital s.b. and am eager to learn more. Thanks for the great tips! I am bookmarking ie pinning this for l8r. 😉

  • Regan @ The Professional Palate October 15, 2012 at 8:54 am

    You’re a genius. An absolute genius.. and a bit of an angel b/c I think this may be God-sent for someone like me 🙂

    Did I miss in the post whether or not you’re doing just one for both kids? Assume so, but wasn’t sure.

    • inspiredrd October 15, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      So glad you like this idea! I actually have a separate blog for each kid. Sometimes I post the same pic on both, but it’s nice to have some things separate too.

  • Bean Bytes #11 October 21, 2012 at 9:00 pm

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  • Carrie @ Season It Already! October 23, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Wow! What a great idea. I don’t have kids, but I may put all of my travels organized here so that I can share them with people when they ask. Scrapbooking stresses me out. I tried it once and was overwhelmed by all the options and decisions to make. I think digital is the way to go!

  • Stephanie October 30, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Good idea, Alysa! We purchased our daughters’ domain names about a year ago and the plan is to make each one into a “secret” place to document quotes, photos, etc.

    That said, maybe this tumblr way would be even easier. Thanks for sharing your smarts.

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  • Trish April 17, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Hi Alysa,

    Some great ideas here! I wanted to mention another alternative, a Photozini! I am the mom of 2 kids, as well as the CEO of Photozini. We offer another corner cutting alternative, for those who want to just get their photos printed into a full bleed magazine. We like to think of it event by event. If you go on vacation, come back and make a Photozini of just that vacation. It doesn’t take long at all once you get about 100 pics into a folder. Also great to give to the grandparents!