Hand Lettered December Daily

My very first creative love (as an adult) was scrapbooking.  It started with a trip to Australia many years ago.  I wanted to save our memories so we could look at them and started with a single scrapbook.  I definitely pulled on my experience with doing some Creative Memories with my mom waaaay back in the day.  While I look at the album now and say, yikes, but I am so glad that I dropped them in an album.  There is something so magical about looking at the pictures in real life – instead of on a computer.  When I was teaching, I could take the album in and show my students real life pictures of the rainforest and our experiences with different plants and animals.

So, I started scrapbooking a lot and had a standing once a month crop day when we lived in Knoxville at Scrappin’ In The City (a very awesome scrapbook store).  It was an incredible creative outlet and gave me a chance to spend a little time with friends and doing something creative and productive.  I don’t get to scrapbook as much as I used to, but I still love it so much.  I have regular albums for our family, as well as vacation albums to do too.

Last year was the first time I did a December Daily and I struggled finishing it.  I promised myself this year that once my son went back to school, I was going to block off one day and do nothing but work on my December Daily album and I did.  It was a magical day for sure!  If you are unfamiliar with December Dailies, you can find a ton of information about it from its creator Ali Edwards right here.  I wanted it to be as soon as possible so I didn’t forget the little moments and memories.  I do jot down cute quotes and memories on sticky notes and stick them in a plastic bag with other things like ticket stubs as the month goes on.  Then, I just compile all the things when it is time.

This year, I really wanted to make an intentional effort to incorporate hand lettering in my album.  I knew if every piece of text was hand lettered, I would run out of space, my need for perfection would ruin it, and it would be hard to read.  Plus, there is something special about documenting my “real” writing for my family.  I would give anything to have just a little bit of my grandparent’s writing – I think it just gives you a little bit of a personal tie to them.  So, I decided to use just a bit of hand lettering to highlight a few key words on every page most pages.  I also made sure that whatever I was lettering, I had enough room on the journaling card to fit it in.  There is nothing worse that beautiful writing that runs out of room and gets squeezed in at the last moment.

To make the album look cohesive, I chose to use black pen only.  It helps the text read easily across the page and stands out, no matter what background paper you have.  For my hand lettering, I used a Tombow Fudenosuke soft nib pen.  For my regular writing, I used a Tombow Mono Drawing pen in a .03 size.  Using one pen really tied the entire album together from front to back and make it all feel like it belonged.

Another thing I love using my scrapbook is a roller date stamp.  I picked mine up at Office Depot for less than $5 a few year ago.  I stamp the dates in my album on journaling cards and tags.  It keeps me from messing up the date and it adds a little industrial touch that I really love.  Sometimes, I think it is just one more tiny detail that makes it really special.  I also use the date stamp in my regular scrapbooks, my planner, and in my bible journaling too.  It is an all-purpose tool that has been well worth the investment.


I picked a base kit from Elle’s Studio to start my December Daily.  It features a lot of hand lettered details and phrases, which I really love.  It is very different from my personal font, but I love how they play off each other and add emphasis to the big points on the page.  When I used a larger hand lettered embellishment, I tend to use just my hand writing so that the text isn’t competing fonts.

At the end of the day, I love how this album turned out and that my family has enjoyed looking at it.  It definitely makes the effort worth it!  And, it has inspired me to get my rear in gear to work on some other albums that have been hanging over my head.  The entire album is available for you to see in the album walk through below – along with some other tips and tricks!


If you want to know more about my process, just drop a comment below or send me an email and I will be happy to help you get started on your own journey!

Go get your letter on!

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