Barneblad: Make your own Syttende Mai scrapbook

Brought to you by Lori Ann Reinhall


Photo: Lori Ann Reinhall
Editor-in-chief Lori Ann Reinhall has many found memories of this year’s 17th of May celebration in Seattle, so she decided to preserve them with her own personalized scrapbook. It’s a time-honored tradition that is both fun and easy, and everyone can take part in a scrapbooking party.

Scrapbooking is a popular hobby both in the United States and Norway, and it offers many benefits. Above all, it is a great way to commemorate an event. It’s also a fun outlet for expressing your creativity, and it doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. After all, it’s about putting “scraps” together to preserve precious memories.

The term “scrap book” goes back to England in the 1800s, when it was defined as “a book with blank pages for pasting items into.” But the concept is actually much older, going back to the “friendship albums” of the 1500s. Guests in a home were invited to sign their names in a book with a special message. Some people got creative and wrote a little poem or made a little drawing. Some hosts even wanted to keep other “scraps,” such as letters, recipes, poems, and quotes from a special afternoon or evening.

Before the onset of the digital age, many of us made our own scrapbooks with photos, event programs, magazine cut-outs, or whatever we wanted to keep.

But these old-style scrapbooks somehow do not compare with the scrapbooks of today. Scrapbooking has become a multi-million-dollar business that has stocked craft stores with a variety of materials to use. In fact, the choices can even seem overwhelming for a beginner.

Fortunately, scrapbooking has become a social activity, and it’s not uncommon to get together for a scrapbooking party, where participants share ideas and learn from each other. It’s a great way for both children and adults to socialize and have fun. Some even say that it can have a therapeutic effect.

I cannot think of a better way to document your 17th of May celebration than with a special Syttende Mai scrapbook. Remember, in the end, there are no rules; you just need an album or notebook, your “scraps,” some glue or tape, and a good dose of creativity to have fun.

Some things to save for your Syttende Mai scrapbook:

  1. Printed photos from the day
  2. Sløyfe, 17th of May ribbons
  3. Postcards from Norway
  4. Greeting cards
  5. Rosemaling drawings
  6. Event programs
  7. Menus
  8. Souvenir pins
  9. Song texts
  10. Stickers: flags and hearts
  11. Flag toothpicks
  12. Flag garland
  13. Table flags
  14. Speech texts
  15. National anthem texts
  16. Norwegian candy wrappers
  17. Country auto decals
  18. Red, white, and blue confetti
  19. Friends’ signatures and greetings
  20. Clippings from The Norwegian American newspaper

This article originally appeared in the June 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.