10 Creative Ways To Scrapbook Your Story Without Photos

Scrapbooking is a great way to preserve memories and document important moments in our lives. In an earlier post, I discuss the importance of documenting your own life and I’ve even got tips on finding the perfect photo for your scrapbook pages. But what do you do when you don’t have pictures of yourself or your family to add to your scrapbook? While photos are nice to have, they aren’t absolutely necessary! There are still plenty of ways to illustrate your personal stories and make your scrapbook pages come to life. In this post, I have 10 suggestions for what could take the place of photos on a scrapbook page to illustrate personal stories.

Options for Scrapbooking Layout Focal Points

1. Memorabilia: Collecting and including special items from your life such as tickets, postcards, letters, and other mementos can be a fun and meaningful way to illustrate your personal stories.

2. Quotes: Adding inspirational or motivational quotes to your page can help convey the emotions and feelings surrounding a particular moment in your life.

3. Use your favorite search engine to find images relevant to the time period you are scrapping about. You might find one that fits perfectly and — even better, whatever you find might spark even more ideas for pages to create! For this page about my younger self’s obsession with Elvis, I used internet images of his movies and songs.  I have some early memories about our years in the early ’60s in Brooklyn, New York, and found images to help me tell the story.  The image are linked so you can see more information about them.

My Life Story for Brooklyn New York by Vicki Robinson

4. Song lyrics: Song lyrics can often evoke powerful emotions and memories associated with specific times in our lives. Consider including lyrics that have special meaning to you.

5. Maps: If you have traveled extensively or moved around a lot, including maps can be a unique way to document your experiences.

6. Silhouettes or Sketches:  Silhouettes of people (or even animals) and sketches, such as these, are great substitutions for photographs because they help to create a visual, yet generic representation of the subject of your page. 

7. Use typography: Instead of relying on images, you can use typography to tell your story. Experiment with different fonts, sizes, and colors to create a visually appealing layout. Using pre-designed word art can be an effective focal point.

8. Use stock photos: While they may not be your own personal memories, you can find high-quality stock photos online to use in your scrapbook pages. Look for images that match the theme or mood of your story.

9. Handwritten notes: If you have notes or letters written to you by loved ones, adding these handwritten notes can be a touching way to remember them. Even excerpts from your personal journals can be the basis of your layout.

10. If you like using templates to scrap, replace the photo spots with your journaling and choose scrapbook kit elements to add visual interest to your page.

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  1. Jana Holden

    A lot of great ideas! I’ve used several and will have to try some more. TFS

    • Vicki Robinson

      I’m so glad, Jana! Thanks for stopping by website!

  2. Barbara

    Wonderful ideas! Most importantly you validated, for me, that it is OK to use internet images or free photos to scrap a page. I always feel like it is not a “real” scrapbook page or that I am not being “honest” about the subject of the layout!

    • Vicki Robinson

      Hi Barbara! I know that many scrappers have that same sense when scraping without their own photos. My take on it is that the most important thing is to record the story. Any focal image you can use to draw attention to the story is perfect. Of course, if you happen to have photos you don’t mind sharing with the world, by all means, use them. But when circumstances are different, use your imagination and get that story told! Thanks for stopping by my website!

  3. Jeannette

    Great post, I love the ideas you give here.
    Thank you for posting!

    • Vicki Robinson

      Thanks, Jeannette! Glad you enjoyed the post!


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