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Monday, June 11, 2012

Scrapbooking 101 Series

Scrapbooking 101

scrapbook (noun) a book or album of blank pages in which to mount newspaper cuttings, pictures, etc.

scrapbooking (verb) The creative art of taking books with blank pages and adding photos, memorabilia, journaling and embellishments. The primary purpose of scrapbooking is to preserve memories for future generation, but a secondary purpose often is to exercise creativity and display memories in a scrapbook.

You’ve got some photos of the kids (or the fish!) growing up, saved a few report cards along the way and a notebook with some random memories jotted down. Why not scrapbook them before the cute stories and memories of special events are completely forgotten?

Have you ever wanted to start scrapbooking, but didn’t know how to begin? Join us in an ongoing blog series called Scrapbooking 101. We’ll start with the basics and show you how to make it all a little less overwhelming.

It doesn't have to be overwhelming!
As a beginner, scrapbooking seemed a little overwhelming to me. I can clearly remember the day (11 years ago and 5 months ago) I first stepped into my LSS – Local Scrapbook Store. Actually it wasn’t even MY LSS at the time, I was on vacation in the state I would end up moving to 3 months later. I had been scrapbooking for only about a month at the time and I had been using a kit I purchased from a chain craft store. It was a very basic kit containing some cheap colored paper (not even cardstock!), a pair of zig-zag  (and boy did I take advantage of THOSE!) deco scissors and an odd assortment of cornea-bruising patterned papers (think small checkered patterns, tiny polka dots, zig zags and stripes.

Finding Inspiration
I soon discovered magazines like Creaking Keepsakes. As soon as the latest issue would hit the mailbox I was pouring over the "scrapbook-layouts-as-art" that filled the pages. With frustration, I would look at my own completed layouts - which had more of a “preschooler-gone-balistic” look to them and wonder where I went wrong.

Scrapbooking is a personal way to express your artistic side while archiving your  memories, so I’m not advocating a correct or right way to do this. I only knew the way I was doing it was not the way I wanted my memories recorded. 

The Right Tool for the Job
My disappointment came more from the little things – all the crazy cut edges on EVERYTHING, the photos that got lost in the busy patterned paper, the randomly plopped cut outs of shapes that had nothing to do with the memory I was trying to scrapbook and most of all the crooked photos where I had cut them down using scissors. Yes, scissors – I didn’t realize there was a better tool for the job -- the paper trimmer!! I didn’t know what purpose photo mats had and I thought stickers should cover your page as if the sticker fairy had sneezed them all out at once!

If you are just beginning this wonderful journey into scrapbooking, I hope these upcoming tips might help you avoid some of the mistakes I made when I started out.

No matter how you scrapbook, it’s an addictive hobby filled with nothing but goodness. However you choose to record your moments and tell your story through your words and photos is the right way.  There are no wrongs when it comes to crafting, creativity and getting your art on, but there are some techniques and tools that can help make your scrapbooking time a joy.

Next week: Scrapbooking 101 - The Basics


  1. Oh My this is the complete truth at first you don't even know where to start. This is a great way to give some step by step instruction then let the creative juices flow and go wherever you want. I love the comment that there is no wrong way to Scrapbook. YEAH- just do it.

    I also have some pages that look just like you said "I thought stickers should cover your page as if the sticker fairy had sneezed them all out at once!" Ha HA GIGGLES. I still love them and I always get a good giggle.
    Enjoy your creativity.

  2. Thanks Sarinda! You are so right about loving the pages anyway. It's funny because even though they didn't come out how I wanted at the time, they are some of my favorites because I remember how excited I was at the time just to be creating them. It was a whole new world of crafty fun opening up. ~Tracy