December Daily

#donebydecember: December 2-7, 2019 (aka. A Super Awesome Pop-Up Mini Book!)

#donebydecember: December 2-7, 2019 (aka. A Super Awesome Pop-Up Mini Book!)

Hey friends, I am SO HAPPY to finally be sharing days 2-7 of my December Daily 2019 album with you! This was a fun challenge to figure out, because these December days were anything but ordinary. We decided to pull a little “Christmas with the Kranks” scenario and opted for a family trip instead of Christmas gifts for each other. (Of course Santa promised to swing by on Christmas Eve, so the kids were cool with this plan too). On December 2nd, we hopped on a plane and flew to Orlando, Florida to spend 6 days at Universal Studios.

This was an AWESOME trip, which has been very thoroughly documented in 2 full 6×8 albums with Ali Edwards 2020 Travel Collection. You can check out my albums along with 9 process videos in Ali Edwards  “Start to Finish: Travel” class. (I may be biased, but this class is an EXCELLENT value at $20! There are lessons from Ali, Laura Wonsik, Morgan Beal, Tazhiana Gordon and myself that walk you through completed travel albums from a variety of approaches and perspectives. It’s awesome, and I think there’s something for everyone there!)

So having completed these albums already, I definitely didn’t want to recreate them in my December Daily. But I DID want to include a few favourite photos and stories from those days in a creative way. My first thought had been to  create an advent calendar inspired spread with flaps that lift to reveal a photo and story for each day. When I’m in need of some visual inspiration, I often head to Pinterest and let my eyes wander. And that’s how I stumbled upon some REALLY COOL pop up paper craft ideas! (I started a board… go check out these amazing works of art!).

One of the things Ali talks about on the subject of design is becoming a “translator”, taking an idea and making it work for you/your story. I love that term, “translator”, because it really captures the spirit of the creative process, acknowledging that the inspiration for every design comes from somewhere or something, it doesn’t just materialize out of thin air! 

So back to this pop-up scenario. I stumbled across these amazing little paper houses, that were crafted very simply from paper and tape and I was TOTALLY HOOKED! My mind is whirling with all kinds of possibilities for how to apply this technique to this coming December Daily season. It would be SO COOL to make one of these paper houses to tell an “around the house” story” in December! This is definitely on my list to try for 2020. And then I thought, “I wonder if I could use the photos from our trip to make little scenes or dioramas”, which would come together to form a little pop-up mini book. And that’s how this idea was born 😊

Side note: I have been a book lover my whole life, and I think that’s part of the reason I love scrapbooking. It’s all about telling stories. And the beautiful thing is, there are LOTS of different ways to tell your stories, just like there are lots of different styles of books. From children’s picture books to novels, they serve a common purpose of sharing stories with words and/or images. Translate this to mean, there are lots of different scrapbooking styles. Some focus heavily on the imagery with photos, creative art techniques and embellishments, while others focus on the words. And there’s a whole slew of amazing styles in between. They’re all awesome! There is no right or wrong way to tell your stories. This project, which is made up of pictures, paper, and tape/glue and almost no “product” is a good example of that!

I’ve put together a video to share the process of creating this pop-up mini book right from the beginning. It includes the type of paper I’m printing on, how to pick the best photos for the backgrounds, some VERY EASY editing techniques in Photoshop Elements to create the super cool backgrounds, the techniques I used to pop-out the extra elements in the pages, and how I made/assembled the cover. This video is quite lengthy, but broken down into 6 parts. Here’s a run-down if you’d like to be able to skip to a particular section:

Part 1: The Plan

Part 2: Making the background scenes (9 minutes in)

Part 3: Adding in the “pop-ups” (30 minutes in)

Part 4: Assembling the mini-book (45 minutes in)

Part 5: The cover (50 minutes in)

Part 6: Completed mini-album flip through! (1 hour)

And here it is! It’s hard to capture how awesome it feels to look through these pages with still photos, but here’s how each completed page turned out 😊

One of the things I haven’t talked about yet was the journaling. For each day of our trip, I wrote a little bit about the highlights of the day, prompted by the phrase “I want to remember…”. This is a great technique for getting started when you just don’t quite know where to start.

The other thing I had to think about was how to get my mini book IN the album. The dimensions of our family photo didn’t quite fit in the 14 inch space across the spread without some weird crops/chopping everyone’s legs off. So I made it as big as I could (I believe this is about 12 inches wide), and created a cut file with the 2019 digital number stamps to make a border that fills in most of the gap. I added some stamping and gold embossing to the numbers for a little more life. I was worried that the die cut number strip would be too flimsy as a border on it’s own, so what you CAN’T see in this picture is that the photo and number strip are adhered to a clear transparency to lend some additional support. The felt Santa hat stickers were a Michael’s find, and just add a bit of fun and whimsy to a photo that otherwise has no sign of “Christmas”, ha! And the chipboard banner is from the 2019 Paislee Press mini-kit (not currently available, but the digital version can be found here).

The mini book then sits inside a plastic envelop from the 2019 December Daily collection, trimmed down to create a pocket.

And with that, I can officially say December 2-7 are DONE in my December Daily 2019 album! Thank you SO MUCH for stopping by today, and feel free to leave your questions in the comments below 🙂



  1. This is so incredibly cool!! Thank you for the super detailed video, it’s very helpful! Also love the pocked trimmed down to hold the book at the end.

  2. Pam – this is incredible! Thank you so much taking the time to show all the technical steps you took to make this project. It’s so well done. I always enjoy your projects. Great job!

  3. My almost 12 year daughter saw me reading your blog post and she said, “MOM, that is amazing please tell me you are making that, taking that class, or buying one from our trip.” (I’ve been in a major rut lately, but her enthusiasm and your project is just want I needed!!)

    Pam this is the most amazing project!!! It makes my heart smile!

  4. Wow! I love it! Thanks so much for your great video walk through. Beautiful memory keepsake! I’m already thinking of a project to try it on!

  5. Wow! This is so amazing! You are the Willy Wonka of scrapbooking techniques and I love it. I am always so blown away by your creativity. I can’t wait to try this out – thank you for the detailed video

  6. Wow Pam!! This is the most creative thing I have ever seen. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain the details and film your video. Amazing work!

  7. So so incredible. Wish I had a trip plan for an album like this. So amazing and so inspiring

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: