Smash Book Ideas

A smash book is a creative organiser. A place to collect and store the ephemera from our everyday lives and to journal our thoughts, feelings and ideas. 

It can be used to store mementos and record the moments from your day.

You can also use it as a place to collect ideas and inspiration about a theme you love e.g. fashion, animals, interior design, nature, travel......

smash book

It is like a crossover of modern scrapbooking and the traditional scrapbooking the Victorians practised. It is similar to the type of scrapbook you may have made as a child, where you stuck in clippings, pictures, cards and photos however you wanted to.

A smash book gives you more freedom to play and experiment with your materials and journalling than modern scrapbooking does. Some smash book pages I have seen are very close to art journalling, they allow for more freedom of expression.

Starting to Smash

smash book

Most of us have a stash of paper work and other bits lurking in a drawer or box – you can start 'smashing' with those.

If you are already a paper crafter you will have scraps of paper, unused embellishments, stickers, lettering, tapes etc. that you can use on your pages.

You can keep and record the small details of your life on each page and the pages build up to become books that tell the stories of your daily life.

Stick in photos, drawings, poems, lists, receipts, notes from friends, images from magazines, small maps, brochures, theatre and cinema tickets etc.

Then on the page tell the story of these items. Why have you stuck them in your book, what happened, how did you feel? Of course you can choose not to journal and your smash book can be purely a visual record. It can be whatever you want it to be.

You can buy K&Company Smash Books and kits, or you can make your own. 

You can adapt a shop bought note book or journal by sticking paper to the covers, and adding pockets to the inside covers and some of the pages. Buy or make journalling cards and tags and store them in the pockets.

smash book

You can make a book from scratch either by using a binding machine (I recommend the Zutter Bind It All) or by punching holes in your papers and covers and using book rings to bind it.

I like to make these books by using different types of paper – patterned, lined, plain, colored, bright papers from children's books and faded vintage papers.

I also start some of my books off by sticking in random pieces of ephemera and images from magazines and brochures. 

smash book

I can then take inspiration from these pieces rather than being faced with a blank page.

Ideas and Themes

Your books can be a mix up of anything and everything or you can choose a theme:

Travel Journal

An ideal use of a smash book is as a travel journal – you can take it with you on your trip and journal as you travel. Collect and smash photos, tickets, boarding-passes, brochures, maps, coasters, menus, postcards, sketches, doodles and timetables. 

smash book

You can create a travel kit. Find a zip-lock bag that your book will fit into and add your supplies – glue stick, pens, washi tape, journalling cards, mini envelopes, a small pair of scissors are useful (but they will have to go in your hold luggage if travelling by plane).

Interior Design Inspiration

Are you going to remodel or redecorate your home. Create a book to store your ideas and inspiration.

Stick in magazine pictures of furniture, styling, accessories, colors and the products you would like to use. Make to do lists and a plan and jot down details of tradespeople you might employ and their estimates.

Remember to take before and after photographs.

Wedding Plans

Similarly a smash book is a fun way to record your wedding plans. Keep the book in your bag and you are ready to jot down thoughts and ideas as they occur to you.

Smash in pictures and ideas for dresses, venues, cakes, decorations, stationery, hairstyles, flowers, rings etc. Keep notes and lists of the preparations and details of your venue, caterers, entertainment etc.

After the event smash in some photos, invitations, table plans and cards, a menu, guest lists, copies of speeches, order of service.... I think you could probably fill a collection of books for a wedding.

Smash Book Ideas > Handmade Books > The PaperCraft Room