Scrapbooking the News


Newspaper created with newspaper generator.

Have you ever thought about including the news on a scrapbook page? It’s easier than ever thanks to the digital technology we use for scrapbooking, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Most news stories and images are protected by copyright laws. It’s important to respect these laws, but it is also perfectly ok to use news content to enrich the stories on your personal scrapbook pages. There are also ways to find copyright-free images and articles to use so I (Katie) will cover those as well.


There are several reasons why you might consider adding some local, national, or even international news stories to your scrapbook layouts.

  1. News outlets provide unbiased and well documented reports of events. If you want to find a concise way to tell the story of a major event, getting some help from a news source will help you get the job done.
  2. The news can fill in details that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. It’s especially useful to see that older newspapers are joining digital archive files now. How else would we fill in the details of the lives and times of our ancestors? What about something that happened on the other side of the globe? See the list at the end of this post for some great resources.
  3. Even someone who leads an un-newsworthy life, will find useful materials to add to their scrapbooks. Have you ever wanted to save the obituary of a dear friend? Has a family member or friend won an award or had something printed about them in a news article? Have you written a letter to the editor? Has a news story had an effect on your own personal life? For me, the answer is “Yes” to each of these questions, and I have the newspaper clippings to prove it!

There are even some scrapbookers that use the news as the entire basis for some of their albums. I have created 3 such scrapbook albums. When the 2002 Winter Olympics came to Utah, the state’s biggest newspaper agency sponsored a contest for “Newspaper Scrapbooking” where the goal was to create an entire scrapbook using the newspaper stories of the Olympics as the primary ingredient. Out of hundreds of entries, I won an “honorable mention” award and ended up creating what I consider to be one of my family’s greatest treasures. I entered another newspaper scrapbooking contest a year before that where I focused on representing all of the decades of the 20th century. My 3rd newspaper based scrapbook revolves around sports and sporting events. A big portion of the album is about the Utah Jazz two trips to the NBA finals (and two failed attempts at winning the title – sigh).

All of these albums are paper based and I used actual newspaper clippings (and some photocopies) for the pages. I soaked the newspapers in distilled water, let them dry, and then ironed them (seriously!) before putting them on my pages. This has kept them from yellowing, but was so work intensive that I came to dread the whole process. Since that time there has been an entire digital revolution with how we receive our news and I have gained the software and skills needed to create digital scrapbooks. Sadly though, I’ve neglected my news based albums, but I now feel motivated and excited by all the great possibilities for incorporating the world’s events into my pages.


The obvious way would be the method that I used in my old paper based albums which is simply pasting the original article right onto the page. There are so many more options now though, especially with some digital tools and resources at your disposal.

  • Be the reporter. This is my very favorite approach to adding the news to a personal page. Grab your camera and document the events. Add your own personal journaling to tell the story. I love how team member Amy Wolff took the events from her own community and recorded them. A drunk driver took out a famous landmark so she took pictures of and explained the incident. This will be meaningful for her family for years to come and is actually an important historical document in it’s own way. It was probably somewhat therapeutic to get those frustrations out on paper as well.

How the news was used: Amy quoted the police in her own “report” which is information that could have come from a variety of local news sources. She also included her own memories of Mr. Bendo and her thoughts about this story. There was no need to use an actual clipping from a paper because she could create the content.

Layout by Amy Wolff credits

  • Express feelings. This is one of the most important reasons to include news stories in a scrapbook album – because they have an impact on our lives. These are REAL things that happen to REAL people. Writing down our own perspective of an event can help us sort through our own reactions. It is also a wonderful way to help others understand the significance of what happened. We can add our own voice to the historical record. Team member Karen did a fantastic job of sharing her personal feelings about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Even though she was not in an area that was attacked, her life was impacted and she even had to miss a beloved family member’s funeral.

How the news was used: Karen journaled about her thoughts and feelings concerning a major news event. She explained what had happened and included front page images from that day to support her words. The images are from the Newseum online archive.

Layout by Karen Credits: Krystal Hartley The Alpha Files No. 5 Freedom Festival papers; Lauren Reid Purely Cardstock, Old Trim Stamps, Bitty Stitchies Vol. 2 ; Bren Boone Independent Pride elements; Dani Mogstad Americana chipboard and tag; Font is Typewriter; Images are from the Newseum archive

  • Report the facts: Sometimes the best way to include the facts is to use them as they were written. News stories are written by reporters and are copyrighted material. However, just like you can photocopy a page from the newspaper and tuck it into your scrapbook, you can also include material from an official source and put it on a personal scrapbook page. I’m not going to sell this journaling or claim it as my own, it is simply a supplement to fill out the details of the passing of one of the great men in my state.

How the news was used: I used several paragraphs from the actual news story by Doug Robinson published in The Deseret News on February 21, 2009. I added a few lines of my own as well. I did not have a photo to accompany this story, but I really wanted to illustrate the impact this man had on our community so I looked for a copyright-free image on Wikimedia Commons and found this one of the arena that Larry H. Miller built.

katie remember
layout by Katie. Credits: Ali Edwards Remember overlay, One Little Bird beige paper, Shabby Miss Jenn Freedom button and star, colored cardstock by Katie the Scrapbook Lady, Century Gothic font, Image from Wikipedia commons.


I’m feeling motivated to add more news back into my scrapbooks. It’s a wonderful way to supplement journaling and to contribute your own experiences to the historical record. If you have some news based layouts you’d like to share we love to see them! If you upload them to The Daily Digi flickr group you can add the tag “news” if want to so they are easy to find.