Using Calendar Grid Scrapbook Pages to Record Historic Events

I like to think of my scrapbooks as more than just a collection of photos that highlight our family events but rather as my own personal diary that tells the story of my life.   So I like to include mention of significant local and world events in my albums along with commentary of how the events impacted me and my family at the time.  This expands my role from memory keeper to history keeper.  Essentially my albums have become a snap shot of history in the making.



The Chimney Tops 2 Fire that ravaged the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Gatlinburg, Tennessee was a recent event that had a significant emotional impact on my husband and me.  We live close to the area that was burned, volunteer in the National Park, and visit Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas often.  These are places that are important to us, and the fire and its aftermath took an emotional toll.  It was a significant event that I wanted to record in the story of my life – my scrapbook diary.

A few days before the fire had spread to Gatlinburg, we had spent a lovely day hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  As the fire burned, we worried about the fate of some of our favorite areas.


(To create the border on the bottom of the page above, cut a 1-1/8″ strip from evergreen cardstock.  Cut a 1″ strip from designer paper and adhere to the cardstock piece.  Use Original Border Maker with Chevron Cartridge to punch a border from evergreen cardstock.  Don’t cut the border off of your cardstock.  Rather, use straight trimmer to cut down the center of the chevron border to reveal a “feather” border.  Slide over the remaining piece of chevron border in your trimmer and trim off of your cardstock to reveal a second “feather” border.  When adhering your border pieces, be mindful of the direction of your “feathers”.)

While the events are still current in my mind, I created the two-page calendar layout to introduce and chronicle the events of the fire.  I’ll use future pages to preserve our personal reactions and feelings as we visit and volunteer in the park.  Instead of devoting several pages of my album to newspaper clippings, I chose to briefly summarize the timeline of events on a two-page layout.  Our new calendar pages provided a great format to succinctly summarize the timeline.  The arrow stickers from the new Daily Docket Collection were perfect for directing the sequence of events on the pages, and the calendar squares allowed me to add journaling in the appropriate spots.

Since I do not have any personal photos of the fire, I used photos that I found from an internet search and printed the photos in wallet size and cropped them slightly.  This two-page layout is full of information with specific details and also contains 11 photos.


To make this layout, you’ll need:

Calendar Refill Pages
Daily Docket Paper Pack
Daily Docket Embellishments
Daily Docket Stickers
Brown Solid 12×12 Cardstock Paper
White Solid 12×12 Cardstock Paper
Gold ABC/123 Stickers
Foam Squares
12-Inch Straight Trimmer
Original Border Maker System with Zig Zag Cartridge
Tape Runner
Brown Dual-Tip Pen

  1. To make the top borders, cut two 1-1/4” strips from brown cardstock.  Cut two 1” strips from white cardstock and adhere to brown pieces.  Use original border maker to punch two zig zag borders from designer paper and attach to the tops of the borders as shown.  Add title with letter stickers.  Add die cut arrows with foam squares.
  2. For bottom borders, punch two zig zags from designer paper using the border maker.
  3. Crop and mat photos. My photos are 2-7/8” x 1-7/8”, and mats are 3” x 2”.
  4. Arrange photos so they illustrate a timeline of events. Add day of the week and number stickers for dates in the appropriate spots.
  5. Fill remaining calendar squares with journaling and 1-1/2” x 1-1/2” squares of designer paper.
  6. To make the sticker arrows stand-out, mount them on three squares of paper and cardstock. My squares are 1-1/4”, 1” and ¾”.  Added matted arrows to the pages with foam squares.


I would love to hear from other history keepers about the ways you incorporate local and world events into your albums!


Photo Credits:  Top to bottom, left to right
National Park Service, A. Harvel, Facebook, Incident Management Team,, Brandon Reese for The Tennessean, Associated Press, Bruce McCamish Photography, Paul Efird for News Sentinel, Brianna Paciorka for News Sentinel, Greenville Fire Department


12 thoughts on “Using Calendar Grid Scrapbook Pages to Record Historic Events

  1. Karyn, Where do you live in Tennessee? We were in Gatlinburg when the fires started, we came in on November 28th around 3:30. It was very smoky in Pigeon Forge but when we got to our place in Gatlinburg it had cleared up some. By 8:30 it was really getting bad where we were but when I called the office they said there were no evacuations at that time. At 10 PM we got that “loud knock” on our door to immediately evacuate. We spent the night at the Rocky Top Sports World. We came on home to SC the next morning since we couldn’t get back to get out belongings. When they said immediately evacuate I grabbed the keys to the car & of course, my scrapbook bag with my pictures :) & pages I had done earlier in the evening. So glad you are okay but we met many people at the evacuation center that had lost everything. Our resort, Mt. Loft, did not suffer any damage by the fire so we were able to go back up on Friday to retrieve our belongings. We have been praying for the people of Gatlinburg & surrounding areas.

    1. Hi Marilyn – What a horrific experience for you! I can only imagine how frightening it must have been. I’m glad that you were able to evacuate without encountering downed trees. We live in rural Blount County about 30 minutes from Gatlinburg. So we weren’t threatened by the Chimney Tops Fire, but there were several smaller fires burning all around that night with the closest to us only 4 miles away. With the wind as it was, we had a few stressful hours at our house. After the holiday tourists leave, we plan to take a trip over to check it out. We’re also lined up to help the National Park with some trail maintenance.

  2. Super idea. This connects so well the event and timing in our lives! Thanks Karyn. Can’t wait to start using those pages!! ✨😊✨

  3. I live in TN and our large family visits the Gatlinburg area in the fall of the year. It was so beautiful….we , too, are devastated by the destruction and thoughtlessness of the youths that set the fires…Your pages are beautiful…I have some photos taken by our local EMS team that helped out, plan to put them in my 2016 book as well…..thanks for your layouts, I will pattern after them.

    1. Hi Marlene – thanks much for your comment. I’m glad that you like my layouts and will find them useful for your photos! There should be lots of positive things to see when you visit next fall. The National Park has already started some restoration work in the park, and I’m sure that rebuilding in Gatlinburg will start soon.

  4. I have gotten these already made grids from a Creative Memories consultant. You might contact one near you.

    1. Thanks, Terri! Have fun using your new calendar pages!

      I should have mentioned in the blog, that the calendar grids are printed directly on white 12 x 12 plain pages. The calendar refill pages can be used in your albums just like a regular page. The Calendar 12 x 12 Refill Pages come with 12 pages printed with a calendar grid, 4 plain white refill pages and 16 page protectors for $29.50.

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