Scrapbook Ideas

Tips & Tricks. Ideas & Inspiration. Resources for Scrapbookers.

Paper/Traditional Scrapbooking 101

What is Scrapbooking?

Scrapbooking has been around since Victorian times, and has evolved into as many different forms as there are personality types.  Basically, it involves the preservation of information by compiling photos, memorabilia and written words into a book in order to to tell a story or relay memories.

How is Scrapbooking Accomplished?

Scrapbooking almost always involves photos and written words (journaling), but it can also include as many other components as the creator desires.  Some common scrapbook additions include memorabilia (like ticket stubs, news clippings, maps, etc.), specialty papers and other decorations like ribbons or buttons – the possibilities are limitless!

Once all of the elements needed for the scrapbook are gathered, they are assembled in a pleasing way and adhered to a scrapbook page.  Journaling is then added to relay information about the contents of the page.  Finally, pages are included in specially designed albums or sometimes they can be displayed in other ways; like in a picture frame.

What Supplies are Needed to Get Started in Scrapbooking?

Most scrapbooking starts with photographs that have meaning behind them (although, a story can still be told even if there are no photos). It is also great if there are other keepsakes to include along with the photos in the scrapbook (a first place ribbon to go with the pie baking contest photo, for example).

Next, there needs to be something to preserve the mementos in, which is usually in the form of a scrapbook album.  There are countless styles of scrapbooks on the market; some are completely blank and ready to be decorated and some come already decorated and just need photos added.

Once an album is chosen, the memorabilia can be arranged and adhered in the album in a way that appeals to the scrapbooker.  There are vastly differing approaches to this step, because what is appealing differs from person to person. Some take a very minimalist approach, while others use many embellishments to decorate their pages.  The very minimum supplies needed for this step are the pages and an adhesive (there are many types of adhesive on the market that are specifically designed for scrapbooking). Take a stroll down the aisles of the local scrapbook store (LSS), and it will soon be discovered that there are plenty more options available as well!

Now all that is left to be done is the journaling.  This often includes a title for the page (like: “Tom’s First Day of School”) and some words to provide further information (like the date and a description of the day’s highlights).  There are several ways to add the journaling; from simply writing it on the page by hand to using stickers with words or letters on them or even printing out journaling that has been typed on a computer.  Depending on the method of journaling, the supplies needed can vary.  The most basic supply would be a pen specifically designed for scrapbooking, which resists fading and won’t damage photos.

Are Acid-free and Lignin-free Supplies Best?

Because so much time and effort is involved in the process of scrapbooking, it is recommended that you choose supplies that are safe for use with photos and memorabilia. Many scrapbookers consider it very important to make sure that albums, papers, decorative elements and adhesives used are acid and lignin free so that they will preserve, not destroy the scrapbook contents, especially if the items on the page are irreplaceable.

That being said, I often find it very freeing to use all kinds of things that inspire me on my scrapbook pages; many of which are not considered safe for “archival” purposes. This allows my artistic, creative side to take over and not be stifled by limited options.  I am usually using photos that I have digital copies of anyway, which can easily be reproduced if something were to happen to my scrapbook page. I also often photograph my final scrapbook page, so that I have a digital copy, in case the original fades or is damaged in some way in the future. So, just be sure so think carefully about what you use on your pages so that they will stand the test of time!


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