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12 Tips on Finding and Using Templates for Family Stories - Treasure Chest of Memories

Templates for family stories finding and using them 12 tips graphic

Whether you’re working on adding stories to your scrapbooking layouts or wanting to dress up your narratives, finding templates for family stories or family histories can be a chore. This came to mind as a fellow blogger, Carol Kostakos Petranek of Spartan Roots, emailed me asking about templates for embellishing the family histories she’s compiling. I realized that though I’ve blogged about scrapbooking memories, I didn’t cover how to go about finding and customizing templates for family stories.

If you’re new to this site, and are interested in how storytelling (with words) works with scrapbooking, you can see my previous posts at  I use Photoshop Elements to put my layouts together, but the techniques hold true for Creative Memories, Artisan, or other software programs.


Searching Online for Templates for Family Stories


Tip 1: Use the words “journaling” or “journal” in your searches besides “Stories,” “Storytelling,” and “narrative.”

Tip 2: As you page through template options, focus on the layout, not the colors, papers, or embellishments.  You can always adapt these to your choice in background colors or papers.

For instance:

I used a layout called “Getting Grungy” (which sadly seems to be no longer available) to tell a story about my mom. The gray scale colors and feminine embellishments worked well for this.

a family story template I used for a story about my mom

However, it needed some customization to work for a story about my husband’s grandfather. I added different backgrounds, i.e., digital papers, to achieve a totally different effect for this story.

A customized version of a template for family stories

The same template used for my husband’s engineer grandfather.

Tip 3: has a tutorial on customizing templates at

Tip 4: Although it’s great to find a template or layout with space for narrative, remember, you can delete a photo layer and add text in its place. This is what I did in my You’re my home layout.

The layout originally had no text space.

I added a text box in lieu of the bottom strip of photos.

What June Means to Me

Tip 5: You can also adapt a 12 x 12 template to 8.5 x 11 or A4 size.

With most software, it’s very easy to adjust the image size.  You can set your guides for your target size, move any embellishments you want to keep into that area, then crop your image. You can save these as an image to use as a background image in MS Word, or save them as a pdf file for printing.


Found: Templates for Family  Stories (or Easy to Adapt Journaling Layouts)

(Tip: 6)

Marissa Lerin, formerly of Pixelscrapper, now called, has great layouts that accommodate narratives along with your photos. (I have no affiliate relationship with her. I just like her designs and the affordability of her website.)

One of my personal favorites is Layout Template 778 Journal. (I used this on my COVID-19 Journal layout.)

Scrapbooking pandemic example of template for family history stories

This comes in a kit of similar layouts that would work well as templates for family stories.

You might also like Layout Templates Kit #42 – Template 42d or Layout Templates Kit #42 – Template 42c.

I also like these kits of multiple layouts that would work great for family history storytelling

khadfield Storyteller


Tip 7: Don’t forget to check out Etsy designers as you look for templates for family stories.

For instance, AnnieCDigitals has family history templates for both 8.5 x 11 and 12 x 12.


You can also find templates for MS Word

Some family storytellers just want a little decoration for narratives, which they have compiled in Word. I was pleasantly surprised to find that MS Office 365 offers a template for family history stories and books.  (Tip 8)

Tip 9: If you’re interested in setting up ancestor profiles, this template, found on Etsy, looks promising:


Tips for Other Software Users

Tip 10: Forever’s Artisan scrapbooking software users can find templates for family stories and family trees.  Several of these have generous space for narratives. According to Sandy Wirth, a Creative Memories advisor and a lead ambassador for Forever, Artisan makes it easy to take your stories, “pretty them up, and print them.”

Tip 11: Adobe InDesign users can find beautiful magazine templates at

Tip 12:  Bloggers can use a blog to print products to turn their family story posts into beautiful books. Your blog is your template!

Your Turn

What is your favorite template for family history stories? Where did you find it and what software does it require? Please comment!

Note: This post will be part of the National Photography Month Genealogy Blog Party.

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