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What is Scrapbooking?
Scrapbooking is a hobby where people create compilations of items; photos, keepsakes, clippings, articles, etc., into albums. There are as many different styles of scrapbooking as there are people. Some people like to create layouts using 3-D embellishments while others prefer their pages to lay completely flat. There are also different ways to scrapbook; chronologically, by subject, or a combination of both. No matter what your personal preference, everybody needs to know the basics in order to create albums that will last throughout generations.
How do I get started?
If you are completely new to the hobby you will need to educate yourself on the terminology of scrapbooking. Download this Terminology PDF to learn all about it. Next you need to find a place to call your own, preferably a large table that you don’t need to clean up all the time. Make sure that it is a table that can get messy with glue and ink and is away form pets and children. Some of the tools & products you will be using are not child friendly. Now you need to organize yourself and your photos. This is a crucial step in getting started. If you skip this step you will find yourself frustrated and spending much more time than necessary creating your layouts. You will need to decide how you’d like to organize your album pages, chronologically, by subject, or a combination of both. Most people choose the latter.
Now you will need to organize your photos. If you are arranging your albums in the popular way, you will begin by separating your photos by subject. If there are group photos decide who the main focus of the picture is and whose album you want the picture to be displayed in. You can always get another print if you want the group photo in more than one album. I highly recommend Photo Storage Boxes to help you in your organization. HINT – Once your photos are all in albums you can use the boxes to store your supplies! Now it’s time to make a trip to your LSS (local scrapbook store).
What supplies do I need?
Choice of papers
Photo labeling pencils
I’ve got my supplies, now what?
Now that you are organized, have a space to call your own, and have your supplies, you can start having some FUN! A general rule of thumb is to start with your most recent photos / events and work backwards. The theory behind this is that the current events are most fresh in your mind. As you journal about these things your older memories will awaken and it will be much easier to recall those events. Now choose the photos you will be using in your layout. Arrange them on your album page in a way that is pleasing to you. Keep in mind that a larger album has larger pages and you can fit more pictures on one page. Larger albums can be daunting to a new scrapper because there is so much space to fill. Some other album choices include 8x10, 9x9, 8x8, and 5x7. When experimenting with how to layout your photos consider what
is in the photo. Can it be trimmed or cropped? TIP – Do not crop out the background when it is historical or crucial to the photo (such as a person standing in front of the Eiffel Tower). It is also important never to cut a Polaroid photo. The chemicals inside can leak out and cause skin and eye irritation as well as ruin the photo. Once you have you r pictures arranged you can begin to adhere them to the page. The adhesive you use must be acid/lignin free. I recommend Dotto Dots Permanent dispenser. It is convenient and simple to use.
Once your pictures are secure you can begin to journal. There are many different styles to journaling. Read this Journaling PDF before you continue.
The last part of the process, and the most fun, is to embellish! Embellishing your layouts will show your unique style. Download this Color PDF to help you coordinate your designs. There are many products available to complement any design style. Use whatever you heart desires as long as it is photo safe. Most everything you purchase in the scrapbook section of your LSS will be photo safe. Of course, anything you purchase from Scrapbooking101.com is guaranteed photo safe. Be sure to check out our Clearance section to find some great deals on accessories. NOTE – Newsprint is not lignin free.
If you add clippings to your layout they will eventually turn yellow and brittle.
Once you’ve finished your payout, slide it into a page protector. The protectors will prevent fingerprints from ending up all over your photos and, in case you did use a product that was not photo safe, it will prevent it from affecting other pages in your album.
What comes next?
Now that you have the basics it’s time to take it to the next level. Sign up for our newsletter to learn more advanced techniques and see some examples of professional layouts. If you’d like to get in touch with local scrappers, check out your LSS. They will usually have classes or cropping nights and you will be able to see many different styles. There are also magazines specifically on scrapbooking that you can find at your local grocery store. One of our favorites is Creating Keepsakes Magazine.
As with anything, the more you practice the more proficient you will become. Remember that this is a fun hobby and your future generations will be grateful for all your time and dedication in preserving your memories.