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How do I get Started with Scrapbooking?

By Matthew F.
Updated May 17, 2024
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The process of scrapbooking is an imaginative and creative one that begins with a desire to create and preserve memories. With scrapbooking, memories are kept fresh through pictures, words, shapes, colors, and stories. They can be of special days, special times, or special people, and are preserved through a series of tools used with the scrapbook. These scrapbooking tools include papers, stencils, colors, photographs, and scissors, and are essential in the making of a scrapbook.

To start scrapbooking, you must first buy a book or folder to keep your pages in. These books often take the form of bound notebooks with spines or spirals. They can be folders with prongs to keep pages in, or special notebooks with large pages and firm spirals to keep heavy photographs from ripping out. If the paper does not come with the book, the most popular scrapbooking paper is heavy construction paper, and can be many different sizes and many different colors.

After finding the book and pages, you can continue the scrapbooking process by figuring out what different things to scrapbook. After picking a person, group, day, or event, you can find as many photographs or memories from the day as possible. You can then sort the photographs and narrow them down into a group of the ones that you would like to use for your page. After this, the scrapbooking process is continued as the actual construction of the page begins.

The scrapbook page can be designed first and then finished with photographs, or the photographs can be laid and then designs can be made around them. This step of the process is where personal flavor and creativity can be added to the art of scrapbooking. You can cut pictures with specialized knives, giving them a curved or jagged design on the edges, or you can add additional background colors behind the picture or around the page. These can be added as a background to compliment the pictures, or to enhance the mood of the memory, like green and red colors for a Christmas page.

After the pictures are added, you can add many different things to a page to establish the page as a unique. A date and a description of the day can be added, such as “January 16, 1986- 5th Birthday at Disney World!” Things people said that day, inside jokes, or different anecdotes can be added by typing up small blocks of text, cutting them and pasting them onto the page. You can also add different pieces of clip art or stickers around the pages, such as pictures of balloons, or birthday cakes, or Mickey Mouse, to enhance the atmosphere of the day to people who will view the scrapbook.

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Discussion Comments
By uzumba2 — On Jun 17, 2011

I started a scrapbook album for each of my kids when they were born. Today I go to a scrapbooking club once every few months to get inspiration for scrapbook layouts.

My one tip: try to use what you have before buying more supplies. When you have used up most of your embellishments, then buy some only if you have planned pages. Don't just buy what you think you might use.

This can be a very expensive hobby; be wise and trade when you can, give away what you won't use, and buy in bulk if possible.

By indigowater — On Jun 14, 2011

I wouldn't buy anything at all to get started — First, I'd go to a scrapbook meeting where you can buy scrapbook supplies. This way, you can look around to see what other people are doing, get inspired and find your starting point.

Scrapbook clubs abound! I've been to many different clubs and a favorite one of mine was held once a month in someone's house or a church. There were so many different styles and products, I'd allow myself to buy one or two things each time. Otherwise, I'd be in scrapbooking debt by now.

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