SMASH Books: What Do You Think?

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

June 2, 2011

At the winter 2011 Craft & Hobby Association conference and trade show, the industry was all abuzz about a new product line from K and Company: SMASH books. I was instantly thrown back to my pre-teen years reading Sweet Valley High, where I envisioned Jessica and Elizabeth scribbling in their black and white speckled slam books.

SMASH books are themed, pre-embellished journals and come with a half-pen, half-gluestick attached. There are a variety of accessories, like paperclips and stickers, that can be added to the books. To understand their style and purpose, this short video explains it perfectly!

Here’s what each of the four original books looks like inside. (There are even more configurations today and SMASH books can be found at many major retailers!)

Retro Style

Mod Style

Doodle Style

Pretty Style

Need ideas? Simple Scrapper team member Allie Trumpower has an incredible Pinterest board that features more than 100 tips and ideas for using Smash Books!

I’m curious what simple scrapbookers think of the concept. Are they more than just a clever idea with excellent marketing? Can you envision using a SMASH book as part of your memory keeping?

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32 Comments

  1. Barbara

    I love this concept, but I’ve been doing a DIY version of a smash book for the past few month. I found Tangie Baxter’s videos on YouTube, showing how to make a Junque Journal. I was hooked. I had lots of extra scrapbook paper since going digi, lots of random bits and pieces of office supplies, and loads of ephemera. It’s a perfect companion to my digital pages, where it’s harder in include the original ticket stub, wrist band, etc. And, it just is FUN, a free-wheeling counterpart to my buttoned-up self!

    Reply
  2. Vickie

    I am looking forward to trying one. I have some fun odds and ends that need a home and I think that this book will be the ticket.

    Reply
  3. Kirsty D

    I can’t deny that I saw the video and decided I really wanted one! So without a doubt the excellent marketing, but I also decided that while the Mod & Doodle ones are cute, the others I do not like the backgrounds & could make one for myself. I may get one if I have the cash, but to be honest as much as I lusted after it, I could probably make a personalised one to suit myself 🙂

    Reply
  4. Rebecca

    I don’t have one, but think they look totally awesome. That said, though, I think you could make one that TOTALLY suits you yourself. But, this looks very, very cool!!

    Reply
  5. Candy

    I have to admit I don’t get it. It looks like a decorated composition notebook to me, the kind that costs 99 cents at Wal-Mart.

    Add to that, I just don’t keep lots of stuff that would go in a notebook like this? It won’t work for me, I don’t think. I am trying to 100% digital – so I scan or take a picture of memorabilia and then throw it away.

    Reply
  6. Katie

    I fell in love with these when I first saw the video (yes, GREAT marketing!), but as time has passed, I decided I wouldn’t really know what to use it for. Maybe if I saw how others are using it, I would change my mind. But they are SO cute.

    Reply
  7. Peggy

    I think it’s clever marketing to scrappers who don’t keep an artist’s journal. The concept is really based on what we scrappers used to do pre-Creative Memories “educating” us on how to keep our memories “safe.” I had old scrapbooks that I shoved all kinds of things in ala Smash book. I have a journal now that I keep things in where I try things, keep notes etc, basically what the Smash concept is. But I don’t put my ticket stubs & other memorabilia in because those are held for my scrapbooks. The difference? The Smash book is a guided artist’s journal really.

    Reply
  8. Lois H.

    I watched the video, thought it was cute and ordered one. Now that it has arrived, it’s been sitting on my desk for a week and I’m trying to remember what I thought I’d use it for. I do Project Life, so that is where all my ticket stub-type stuff goes. I am thinking I’m going to use it to store magazine clippings for inspiration and ideas and so I don’t have to save all these random torn out sheets of magazine articles in a messy pile/folder on my desk. I think it will evolve, but I’ve never been a journaler/art journaler so I am not sure yet how I will use it.

    Reply
  9. Cindy (aka Scrapcollectr)

    I think I’ve been heading in this direction for awhile cuz I like taking leftover scraps and adhering them to blank pages of a journal. So I’m curious to see what they’ve come up with. I think they’ll appeal to the long lost high schoolers in us all.

    Reply
  10. Heather

    I just got mine today and I love it! I have a journal addiction and the video totally sold me! I have a junk journal and a visual journal. I am not fully sure what I am using it for yet but I will and I think it will be a fun thing to have!

    Reply
  11. Terebene

    I bought one for myself and my 8-year-old daughter for a trip journal. She adores it! The video helped her “get” it and she uses it every day (before the trip even has started). They are a big hit and they are cute.

    Reply
    • Denise

      I also bought one for my dd, 9, and one for myself, through Big Picture Classes, to go with their Kidding Around class she & I will be taking together. I need a guided class to use a guided journal, apparently! LOL. I think my daughter will fill it up before the class even begins 😉 She’s artsy that way. I have a Cinch machine so I could easily make something more to my taste. I see they’re sold out already at scrapbook.com, just 4 days after you posted this, so obviously they are super-hot.

      Reply
  12. Helena c

    Clearly excellent marketing – I’ve been amazed at the buzz and how many blogs these have been featured on. But my thought was 1. I could make one of them easily with more stuff that is my style and 2. I think I would find the pen annoying – I like to use lots of coloured pens in my journaling and a gluestick is never far away

    Reply
  13. robin

    I bought one and really love it – for me it is low pressure scrapbooking at its best.

    Reply
  14. Candace

    Archives included videos in their promotional email. I love the concept. I may purchase two for my grandkids when they make their annual trip to Wisconsin. I have an Epson 4×6 printer and we can complete a theme book for each while they are here. Great marketing.

    Reply
  15. White rabbit

    Love it! Great news – let me share with my ​​friends?

    Reply
  16. Michelle M.

    Funny, i made something like this years ago. I took a journal and embellished with ribbons, jewels, added stamped images and vellum quotes. I covered both sides with decorative cardstock. It came out really cute and i used it for decorating and designing sketches, paint colors, wish lists, etc.

    Reply
  17. Kiki

    Love it. Great marketing video too….but I think I’m going to make my own hybrid version using digi goodies. Is anyone else doing that? What have you been using?

    Reply
  18. Irma P.

    I’m just getting into Art Journaling, so seeing these at my local Archiver’s really piqued my interest. In the end, I opted out of purchasing one…my reason? It’s not personalized enough. I can’t deny that they are cute, and a great marketing gimmick, but I don’t like the idea that hundreds-1000s of people have the same book. So I bought the journaling cards, the tape, and the stamp, and will be using these to make my own unique book.

    Reply
  19. Kelli

    I saw the Smash concept and It was hard to find the books when I started mine. I picked up a large journal book on clearance at B& N and found ribbon to match and it’s been crazy ever since. I love it becaus eI am scrapping about me!

    Reply
  20. Jenn Serrano

    I bought the retro one and used it as my vacation scrapbook for disneyland, it was awesome, so fun. I will have to take pictures and link to them! I think I will buy one in the future for another travel/vacation scrapbook/journal.

    Reply
  21. Christina Patterson

    I finally found one in a store.. For almost 2 months I have been looking for one at A.C. Moore, Michaels, and Jo Ann’s and have not been able to find one and today I happened to walk into A.C.Moore and go to the scrapbooking section and there was 1 left!!!! aaaahhhhhh

    Reply
  22. Amberlyn Barrett

    They are cute, and very well Marketed. Me and my BFF have been keeping similar journals/notebooks for years and years, I currently have about 6 full ones. We put in left over stickers, temporary tattoos, quotes we liked from TV shows, movies and friends, movie ticket stubs, receipts, poems, pictures, on and on. We eventually learned to pick notebooks that were spiral bound and had heavy paper. We never had themes really, just added stuff as we went along. I wouldn’t buy a Smash book for myself as I have learned how to do my own through trial an error over the last 10 years but I think as a gift for someone who has never done one it would be cool. My friends love looking through them to read quotes from themselves and to reminisce.

    Reply
  23. Alyssa Brunson

    Wow! I just love being messy and crafty! I am a teen and I started making my own. I absolutely love how easy it is. Just find something you wanna keep and smash it in there and adhere it with a peice of tape and maybe add a cute sticker or two. So much easier than scrapbooking. And it was easy to make y own. I hope that all of you take the chance to make/buy one of these. I like them much better than just a written journal because it almost means more because it’s visual.

    Reply
  24. Susan

    i have to say they are very cute but I have been doing this for some time now. I bought a pretty note book from marshalls for $5.00 and hve been filling it with stickers, ticket stubs. quotes I like etc. etc… Ist personal to me and unique.

    Reply
  25. Cecilia

    This reminds me of my old scrapbooks I used to make from over 20 yrs ago! It was a large book with the covers & pages held together by 3 strings. I had pasted greeting cards, postcards, love letters and dried flowers from my husband (boyfriend back then), ticket stubs, etc. It’s an old concept in a miniature version! Love it! I wouldn’t buy it, but I would make my own one of these days when I get caught up with my scrapbooking!

    Reply
  26. Rachelle

    well evidently i have been *smashing* for a couple of years and didn’t even know it! i started an 11×14 album very similar to this for all of the notes, cards, drawings, etc that my boyfriend and i have given {and still give} each other. i scrap our photos but wanted a different book for all that extra *stuff*! these books are nice and i kind of wish they were around when i started our book but i love the one i made. i think people should get or use whatever makes them happy! a composition notebook may be cheaper and may work for one person while this book may offer more inspiration for another. to each her own! <3

    Reply
  27. Miriam Meserve

    Cool concept. I have lots of things I want to save but I don’t know where to put them, so I end up throwing them away. This would work very well for that purpose. I think I would make my own, with pockets on the left page and an open page on the right.

    Reply
  28. Phyl

    I bouught some of the journaling cards and other accesories for 12 X 12 cards I make (with Cricut mostly) when we have a birthday, illness or retiring teacher or staff member. I make them so all can sign and I think these will be cute on them. Sometimes people do not know what to say. These might give them an idea.

    Reply
  29. Kimberley

    I tried but never really got into scrapbooking, so when I happened upon the video for Smash Book on Pinterest I decided to try one. In about a month I have almost finished my first book. It has been so much fun. I had no plan or theme and just went for it. I put in old letters, vintage greeting cards, pages from old books, pictures from magazines, and lots of other stuff. I journaled on some pages, let pictures tell the story on others, and left some pages blank. So whether you buy one or make your own, just go for it and have fun with it and remember that perfection is not the goal.

    Reply
  30. Anony Mouse

    I, like a lot of other people that have commented here, have been doing this for years. it’s a cute idea though for people who haven’t and don’t know where to start. watching the video gave me the idea to start working on my own book using a composition notebook I bought years ago and never used.

    Reply

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  1. Tips for Scrapbooking Travel - Simple Scrapper - [...] Maddern says: Large-sized SMASH books work great for an extended road [...]

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