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Yes, Even the Hard Things.

Updated: May 29, 2023

Scrapbooking is a wonderful way to preserve memories, but often we tend to focus on the happy and positive moments. However, we live imperfect lives. So it’s equally important to document the difficult times in our lives, as they shape who we are and help us grow as individuals. Scrapbooking the hard things in life can be therapeutic and provide a way to process and honor these experiences.

I want to share some tips tonight on how to scrapbook the hard things in life and hopefully it will make it easier to get those memories, too, down on paper.

First I want to share that I have a hard time with this part of scrapbooking, too. Let me share a few pages I’ve made. The first page was I am showing was started over 3 years ago at a Close To My Heart album retreat. It was less than a month after losing my Mom, and this is all I could finish while I was there.

I have journaled in the circles and finished it now but it took me a little over two years to do it. And that was just okay. This page waited for me and so did the memories. I didn’t share the finished page because it is very personal and usually the hard pages are like that. If need be, you can write your story on the back of the page or in hidden pockets.

Here’s another angle to think about. Our son had a difficult time growing up and suffered a lot of bullying. When he was 23, I created this page.

This layout tells of how hard life was for him into his 20s. The journaling reads, “Now that Shane is 23, it’s a great joy to pull out unscrapped little boy pictures. This was a pretend dinosaur so it was easy for Shane to laugh and be carefree. As he’s grown, he has learned that sometimes life BITES. My prayer is that he find joy among the dinosaurs of life.” I’m a big believer in scrapping the good and the bad, but I’m also a big believer that creating with paper brings love, laughter, and hope. That’s the kind of feeling I wanted to share in this fun—but still honest—page.


When it comes to scrapbooking the hard things in life, choosing a focus is essential. This can help you stay on track and make the process more manageable, especially if the experience you’re documenting is particularly challenging or emotional. Here are some tips for choosing a focus:

  1. What life event or situation do you want to document? This could be anything from the loss of a loved one to a difficult period in your life. It doesn’t have to be a difficult experience for anyone else – just you.

  2. Consider your emotions: Once you’ve decided what you want to put to paper, think about the how this has affected you. Are you angry, sad, melancholy, or have you made it through all of this? Understanding your feelings – no matter what they are – makes it a lot easier to follow through on this process. It also helps you choose your paper and the type of embellishment you want to use. Tell your story directly from your heart.

We put our soul into these types of pages, and that is why it is so important that they make their way into our books. Even if I don’t necessarily think that my future generations will be interested (but I bet they will be), my older self will want to read these pages. A life well-lived is made of the good, the bad and the funny and the hard. If you are a scrapbooker, I know you will want to make sure you record it all.

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