A tribute album...like honey for bears!

Make someone feel special with a tribute album. Tribute albums - these are scrapbooks; not recordings - are like honey for bears. The person you give it to keeps going back to it again and again.

Rewarding moments as a scrapbooker

Some of my most rewarding moments as a scrapbooker have been when I have created an album to pay tribute to someone. What is a tribute scrapbook? It is an album that honors and celebrates the life, or a segment of the life, of someone you love.

Honor life

Tears came to my eyes as I read many of these loving tributes to an amazing man and wonderful teacher.

Watching someone open the cover of an album filled with letters of love is an amazing experience. I have had that opportunity several times in my life, and it always brings me great joy and satisfaction.

So when is a tribute album an appropriate gift? Let me share with you a few of the times that I have created this album of love and honor.

Retirement album:

Valerie was a wonderful art teacher and one that had given many, many years of her life helping young people explore their artistic gifts. I knew that when she retired I would want to make a scrapbook for her. I contacted family members, colleagues and of course, children who had been blessed to be in her classroom. The letters and pictures from all these people filled an album that she will never forget.

Birthday album:

I have a most wonderful father who will soon turn 86. To help honor his life and relationships, I wrote many of his former students and family members asking them to recall memories and experiences they had had with my dad. Tears came to my eyes as I read many of these loving tributes to an amazing man and wonderful teacher.

Recipe album:

My mother is a great southern cook. To celebrate her gifts in the kitchen, I scanned in handwritten recipes that she had made and placed them in an album along side photos of some her delicious dishes. Atthe end of this album, my brother and I wrote memories of growing up and eating mothers wonderful cooking.

End-of-life album:

My uncle, John Paul was battling cancer and in the hospital. To remind him of how much he was loved, I had people who knew him and loved him write letters that were placed lovingly in an album. Even though he could not enjoy it as much as I would have liked – because of his sickness – his daughter will always treasure the kind words spoken.

Graduation album:

When my niece graduated from high school, I made her a special album that included letters from her parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. These letters told my niece what a great person she was and recalled special memories. I also included scanned pictures of family members that have passed away – going back to her great-great-grandparents.

How to get started on a tribute album

You probably have your own ideas about how to do a album paying tribute to someone your respect and love. Here is what I have done...

  1. Write a brief explanation for others about your tribute album project. You could say something like this...
  2. I am creating a special album for Susie Jones and would love to invite you to be a part of it! In this album I would like to have letters from friends and family like you, that celebrate and honor Susie. If you would like to be a part of this very special album, please send me a card/letter telling Susie what you appreciate about her as well as memories of shared times together. Included with your letter/card a photo of yourself. If you prefer to e-mail your letter, please attach a digital image along with your letter. You can send e-mail to bpardue@yahoo.com or snail mail to: Jones Street, Rockaway, NC 27534. Please have your information to me by June 5.

  3. Collect cards, letters and photos and arrange them starting with closest family first.

Notice the "June 5" deadline in the note above. Without a deadline, I've found people don't respond as well.

Traditional versus digital albums

There are advantages of each kind of album. If you do a traditional album, you can put the original cards, children’s art work and handwritten letters in the album. If you choose a digitally produced album you will have the ability to print multiple copies for folks that might enjoy having one.