December Daily® 2023 | Plan + Play with Linda

Hi everyone! It’s Linda and I’m so excited to be hanging out with you here on the blog all month as we get ready for December Daily 2023. 2023 is going to be my 12th year participating in this project in one way or another and, after doing it so many times, I can safely say that this project is one of my absolute favorites, but it can also easily get overwhelming, even if you’ve done it a few times.

So, whether it’s your first time or your seventeenth, I will be here on the blog every Monday in September, and over on the @decemberdaily instagram account, to help you plan out and get ready for this project.  

Looking Back: Albums

Before we even dive into this year’s project and products, it’s so important to look back on prior years’ projects. Looking through your projects from previous years can be so helpful in figuring out what stories, products, and styles you want to use in the year ahead. 

Even if this is your first year, this section is for you! I would suggest to look back on previous year albums from Ali Edwards and other creators in the community to get an idea of things you might want to include in your album this year.

When flipping back through your old albums or watching flip throughs of others’ old albums, here are some things to look for to take notes for this year.

Page Styles. 

Do you want to use divided page protectors? No page protectors? Do you like interactive elements? Simple or busier? Think about the various styles of pages that you use and like.

Small divided page protectors. I love the look of the 2x2 pocket squares filled with embellishments, photos + words. I want to make sure that I have some of the page protectors + elements that will fit in them for this year.

Interactive pages. There is a range of interactive pages you can create from simple flip-ups to some very complicated elements that I’ve seen in other’s projects. For me, I love simple pockets + flip-outs.

Interesting shapes & layered elements. I am someone who loves the look of layered pages of different sizes and shapes. I want to make sure to include some fun shapes in my album this year.

Design Elements. 

Similar to page style, but rather than looking at the overall page style, instead look at the elements that go into the design of that page. Do you like a lot of embellishments or more minimal? Do you like mixed media or clean lines?

Transparent overlays. I love transparent elements in my album! Whether they are fully transparent or vellum, I just love the look. I am going to make sure to include these in my album this year. 

Full page photos. I love the impact of a full page photo. Sometimes unembellished and other times with something small. 

Grid design. I love a grid, and this slanted grid was an incredible idea I got from Jennie Rey’s lesson in product play that year. If you love more detailed designs like this one, consider product play as a great jumping off point for your layouts.


We all love them, the products! But some products we actually love to use and others we love to just collect. Looking back on your albums can be a great way to see which products you’re actually going to use and get ideas for how you want to use product this year.

Alpha stamps. One of my go to designs is stamping large words. I know if I purchase an alpha stamp set, I am going to use it. 

Repeated shapes. I also really love to use a repeated shape element. In the past I’ve done circles, stars and hearts. From looking at this year’s products, I think I’m going to want to repeat tags in my project this year.

Embellishment clusters. I love layering embellishments in clusters, primarily around a label for journaling. I like having a mixture of flat + dimensional embellishments. This year, I want to make sure to have labels and a mixture of textures in my embellishments.


Do you do 25 daily stories or just stories? Do you number your pages? Do you want all your numbers to match or all be different? Do you want the number to be a prominent design element on your page or minimal.

I really love my mix & match numbers, these are some of my favorites through the years.


What stories do you want to tell?

The same story year after year. There are a few stories that I tell every year, and I love seeing how they change (or stay the same) as time goes on. I also love coming up with new (and similar) ways to document them. Here is how I documented my annual Christmas cookies in a few different years.

Non-holiday stories. Do you want all of your stories to be related to the holidays or just your December over all? For me, I love including various non-holiday related stories, such as what is going on at work, or end of the year recaps.

Looking back stories. Do you want to only document current year stories or do you use this project as an opportunity to just tell a story per day, even if it’s reflecting on older times? One year, I reflected on Christmas as a child. In 2020, I told the story of what was missing that year, because of the events of 2020, that had been in many of my previous albums.

“Filler” stories. There are some stories I like to tell that don’t have to fall on a specific day. I like having a list of these stories that I might want to include in case there is a day when nothing really happened to document. Some of these stories have included the music I was listening to, current favorites, my wrapping paper.

I hope this inspires you to look back through your albums + other people’s albums to prep for this year’s project. 

See Ali’s old albums here.

See flip throughs of some of my albums here.

See photos of some of my pages on instagram with the hashtag #lindalovesdecemberdaily

Looking Back: Supplies

Unless this is your first year doing December Daily, you probably have a box of supplies for this project sitting somewhere in your home. And, even if this is your first year doing this project, unless this is your first time scrapbooking, you probably have some other scrapbooking supplies that would work for this project. Before purchasing new products for this year, I encourage you to look back through what you already have!

When looking through your supplies, here are some things to think about.

What from your stash can you/should you purge? 

My first step is always to remove the obvious trash from my stash. These might be scraps of paper or notes that were related to last year’s album. Just getting this stuff out of the bin is helpful to move forward.

Next, select products that you no longer want in your stash that you can donate/get rid of. When determining what to purge from your stash, here are some things to consider:

  • Why didn’t I use this product? If you didn’t use it because your album last year was small, but this year your album is going to be larger, that would be a good reason to keep it. If you didn’t use it because it’s not your style, that would be a good reason to get rid of it. 
  • How old is this product? If it’s something you picked up last year and you haven’t gotten to using it yet, you might want to keep it. If it’s been sitting in your stash for five years, maybe it’s time to let it go. 

What from your stash is December Daily specific?

Keep in mind, your entire “December Daily” product bin doesn’t need to be purely December Daily supplies. If you have some beautiful red alphas that have sat in your December Daily bin all year without being touched, maybe now is the time to move those to your regular alpha bin so you can use them in other projects. 

Alternatively, if you feel like your December Daily is short on basics like stars or numbers, it’s worth looking through your non-holiday scrap supplies to see if you can find anything to pull in that would coordinate nicely with this project. 

What from your stash do you want to keep, but not for this year?

If you’re like me, you’ve already taken a look at the current year products and have ideas swarming in your mind. Basing your album around the new products that excite you is a great idea! But that doesn’t mean your stash has to get ignored. Think about what products from your stash would coordinate nicely with the products you plan to purchase this year. 

Everything else can get boxed up for another holiday season to limit your selections for this year. I stashed a lot of these products in the main kit box from last year and put them back in the closet so that they are out of my way while working on this project this year. 

What do you already have a lot of/too much of in your stash? What is your stash missing?

If you are still trying to narrow down your shopping list this year, going through your stash is a great way to determine what you should pick up. What do you already have that you don’t need to get? If you have a huge stack of various star shapes, maybe you can skip purchasing extra stars this year. 

Alternatively, what are you missing? If you are running low on numbers, you might want to make sure to pick up a few extra sets of those. Don’t forget about basics too, like adhesive and page protectors. 

What from your stash do you want to make sure to use this year?

Are there some large embellishments in your stash that you absolutely love, but never got around to using? What about some patterned papers? Look through your stash and pick out the products you want to make sure to get into your album this year. 

For me, I want to use a lot of the patterned papers I picked up last year. My album last year was only 4 x 5.5 so I didn’t have an opportunity to use a ton of paper and there are so many pretty ones that I missed out on using! I am going to make sure to keep those papers in my organizer for this year. 

How do you plan to store your supplies this year?

I like to have my products readily available during the month in a few different organizers. I will share a lot more about this later this month once I add the new products into the stash, but now is a great time to think about how you plan to store your supplies and how much space you have.  

In determining which products from my stash I wanted to keep, I organized them in my organizers, making sure to leave a lot of extra space for new products. During the month of December, these will live on my desk so I have everything on hand for when I want to create.

I hope this post helped encourage you to pull out your old projects & products and start prepping for this year’s project! If you have any questions/thoughts to add please leave them in the comments below. 

You can find me on instagram & youtube as @lindalovescreating 

I will be back next week when we will be focusing on selecting an album size & format for this year’s project. Happy crafting!

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26 thoughts

  1. Niabeasmith says…

    Wow! Going through this blog post and at first glance I can already tell Linda put a lot of thought and guidance together perfectly for the whole DD community. The tips, videos and photos are super helpful. I know there's more awesomeness to come with the Plan + Play series but well done Linda!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. JoniG says…

    Loved this! Thank you, Linda, for all of this work and it is so helpful!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. CraftyCat says…

    Thank you Linda for all the time and effort and THOUGHT you put into the videos and post. It was so, so, so helpful! Look forward to more of your posts.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. carrieW says…

    Wow, so much in this post. I'm going to have to set aside a hunk of time to go through it all and absorb all the goodness you are sharing. Lots of food for thought here, awesome job Linda!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. rachaelgiallongo says…

    What?! This volume of content is BLOWING ME AWAY!!! Thank you so much for all the incredible tips, Linda! 🎅🏼🤶🏼🎄

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. scrappinjam says…

    Thanks so much for all the great tips. I already have a list of ideas and To Dos!!

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  7. geostroski says…

    This is super cool! Thanks for all the tips. I will definitely consider the story ideas!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. juliepaule says…

    I love this post. And the Cuomo page is pure gold! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. eaw1976 says…

    I watched your videos, thank you so much for sharing your approach to December Daily. I have a question and I don't know where to go to have it answered...but I have several 6X8 transparencies that I haven't used because I just can't figure out how to remove the film overlay on them. Please share any tips you might have. I would appreciate any help you have in this situation, Emilie

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. lindalovescreating says…

      Hi! I usually just scratch at the corner of the film overlay with my fingernail and am able to peel it up. If that doesn't work, maybe try some strong tape? You could stick it to the film overlay and pull, hopefully that would peel it up. If you're really struggling to find it though, there is a chance that your transparencies don't have a film on them, they don't put it on all products and sometimes fall off in packaging. Good luck!

  10. mathea_x says…

    This post is so helpful! Thank you so much for Sharing all your tips with us Linda!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. bookemper says…

    Thanks so much for all the time, effort and information that you shared! So much good inspiration in this post.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. robindd20first says…

    This post/video was so helpful. I now have a few new styles and stories to tryout for 2023. Thank you Linda!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. ElenaPS says…

    Me encanta!!! Gracias.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. ahiggins83 says…

    Thanks for this in-depth kick-off to the series! I'm excited to dive into my past albums and supplies to start thinking about this year!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. suzeq18 says…

    thank you so much for your insights. I’ve never really gone back and looked at my albums through design sense and I’m excited to do that now.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. jstock17 says…

    Great lesson Linda! Your past albums are beautiful and so creative - definitely stealing a lot of your ideas! Thank you.

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  17. sewestgate says…

    These are incredible tips and I love your style. Thank you for sharing! I am wondering about flat lays...I can never get mine to work or look nice. Is this something you could tackle in another post or do you know where I can go for tips? Your cookie spreads are amazing! I decorate cookies each year and can never capture them properly. Thanks again!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. lindalovescreating says…

      I can add this to my list of ideas for youtube videos for the future! But the most important tip is to use natural lighting from a window, but not direct light where you can see the rays hitting the ground/table/etc.

  18. mjacchina says…

    So many good ideas here! Thank you for including your digital album for us digi girls. Where do you get your wrapping paper?

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. eaw1976 says…

    Thank you so much for your help...using tape help to remove the film from the transparencies.
    I love your organizational containers from all different sources, very festive.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Kgibsonseb says…

    So much great content!! Thank you for all the great page and organization ideas.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. jillgaxiola says…

    Loved this so much! Thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Jodi1980 says…

    Hi Linda! This is my first December Daily! I have been looking at your albums and noticed that you inserted a QR code on the back of page; so brilliant!! Did you use a website? I have a Samsung, just in case it's something done on i-phone. Thanks for any advice!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. lindalovescreating says…

      Hi! I've actually never used a QR code in my albums, but I know a lot of others have. I have an iPhone so I don't have any tips for using a Samsung, but I'm pretty sure it's something that can be done on any phone with a special app or via a website. You can probably find some tutorials on youtube!

  23. hgelowitz says…

    So many wonderful ideas...thank you! On one of the pages you showed, you used a digital element "Are You Ready". Would you mind telling me if that was part of a kit? It is a great story prompt! TIA

    Reply 0 Replies

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