My tip is to use your memorabilia on your pages. They can be used as design elements or as accents. If you are worried about your pages being acid-free, then be sure to spray your memorabilia with acid neutralizing spray. Other fun memorabilia types to use on your layouts could include plane tickets, emails, movie stubs, menus, drawings, programs, maps, receipts, clothing tags, shopping lists, stickers/labels etc. Use your imagination and see what you can find around you that helps complete the story you are telling with your pictures. The best part is that these items are usually free and have the appropriate logos or names already on them.
On the Neuhaus layout, I punched the circles from a box that the chocolates came in and added them to my layout as accents. The pamphlets that came with the chocolates showed what types of chocolates were included in the box, so I glued it down at the top, then popped the circles up with foam squares so the pamphlet would easily tuck behind the circles to keep them closed in my page protector. The smaller squares were actual tags that were wrapped around some other chocolates we purchased from the same shop, and the green ribbon with the name “Neuhaus” on it was the ribbon that was wrapped around the box to keep it closed.
On the Kinder Egg layout, I used the actual foil wrapper from the chocolate egg and the actual paper that came folded up inside the egg with my toy car. I wrapped the foil around a piece of cardstock to keep it sturdy, then cut it down to the size I needed. The paper with the smart cars on it was glued directly onto an orange piece of pattern paper to help it stand out and coordinate with my layout.
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Also, check out the January Gift Challenge - deadline is Sunday. See details below.