August 01, 2011

Scrapbooking Tips for Beginners

Graduation from OSU

These last few weeks instead of taking photos I have been scrap booking photos from the past 2 years.  I took a long hiatus from scrap booking simply because I wasn't in the mood for it.  But now I have renewed interest in it and have been cruising through putting layouts together. 

I have a few friends that also like to scrapbook and know a few people who would like to learn how but have no idea where to start.  So, I decided to put together a little tutorial about basic tools and tips on how to start scrap booking.

My scrapbooking stash.  Charlotte hidding in the background.
Scrap booking is a hobby that isn't hard to do but it does take a lot of time to do.  Mostly time is spent thinking of how to arrange photos and picking backdrops and embellishments.  Set aside at least a whole afternoon to get started.  Don't feel disheartened if you don't get very far when scrap booking.  Sometimes I will get all my supplies out and be ready to get to work and then sit there for hours and haven't made one page.  (This usually happens when I don't really want to scrapbook or because I haven't printed out all my photos I need).  Or sometimes I get together with friends and all we do is chitchat or look through each others stickers instead of working on our own projects.

The first step is picking out your photos.  Choose photos you really love.  I have a tendency to print more photos than I actually use.  Its nice to have a variety to choose from.  And don't feel like you need to put every single photo in your scrapbook. I like to use the ones that have the most meaning.  When selecting photos make sure to take the time and adjust any red eye or to crop any photos that are too distant.  Photos look best when the subject takes up most of the picture.  For example:

As you can see there is a big difference between the two photos.  The difference between close up photos is very apparent after you print them out so make sure you adjust them before you pay the money to print them.  When you are ready to print I usually print mine 4 x 6 inches.  Or when I really want to emphasis a particular event or a favorite photo I print it larger, sometimes making it take up most of the layout on my scrapbook page.

If you've never scrapbooked or haven't done it for a few years it might seem daunting with what photos to start with.  If you like to keep memories in chronological order (like I do) start with the most recent events first because they are still clear in your mind, and then work your way back in time.  Or, if you like to jump around and like looking at photos in random order, work on the photos that inspire you the most. 

Now that your photos are ready you will need some basic supplies.  Scrapbooking doesn't have to cost a fortune and you don't need fancy equipment.  Start with a few basic supplies and add more as you go.  Buy items that you can use for multiple layouts and stick to the necessities. Choose paper and embellishments not just because they are pretty but because you have a need for them.  I have countless supplies that I bought because I liked the design but I have no idea when or how I will use them (not a good money saver).  My scrapbooking stash is large but I've been adding to it over 8 years so over time I have accumulated a lot. But even when I first started out I enjoyed being creative with my pages using simple items.  Here is a list of very basic supplies:

  • Paper, 12 x 12 or 8 x 10 depending on what size album you want.  You can buy packs of coordinating pages in solid or printed patterns.  They can be somewhat expensive this way, but if you are just starting out they are a great way to get inspired and they have enough variety to make multiple layouts with.
  • Scissors or a paper cutter.  A paper cutter will give you nice clean edges every time but scissors always work too!
  • Glue stick.  There are many variations of how to adhere your photos such as glue dots or glue strips but they are costly and I use them quickly so a glue stick is my favorite way to stick on pages and photos.
  • Scrapbook and clear page protectors.  Michael's and Joann's craft stores always have cute scrapbooks and they are usually on sale.  Page protectors come with the scrapbook but not very many so be prepared to fill it with more at some point.
  • Embellishments.  You can spend a fortune on stickers and peel on thingys...or you can use what you already have.  Some ides include:  buttons, wrapping paper,sea shells, ribbon,colored paper cut into shapes, stamps, you can cut out cute decals you printed off the Internet, magazine photos, and don't forget items from your trips like ticket stubs, pressed flowers, invitations, etc.  Even the dollar store has adorable stickers and paper.
This page is one I did several years ago about my 6th grade talent show.  I used construction paper and photos from the Internet to create a stage and emphasis that the photos are about our class dancing to music from the movie Grease.

After you have your photos and supplies you are ready to scrapbook!  It is always fun to get together with other people who enjoy the same hobbies you do.  One idea is to have a scrapbook party and get friends together.  Its nice to have the company and you can get ideas and tips from those around you.  (You might be able to use some of their supplies too!)  This is how I started scrapbooking.  In highschool I went to a friend's house whose mom did scrapbooking parties and had a blast.  I had no idea what I was doing but I really enjoyed it and still do now. You can also look online for ideas on layouts and how to pick photos.  The main thing to remember is to have fun.  And don't be afraid to experiment. 

A few last tips:  Be sure to add captions to your photos.  I always forget this part but it is nice to look back and know who was in the photo, where it was taken, etc.  If you don't like your hand writing you can always print out captions. Also, if you have paper that is double sided, meaning there is patterns on both sides, use both sides to save an extra piece of paper. 

I will leave you with some inspiration.  Below are some of my pages I've done of different subjects.
Christmas 2009

Cocoa Puff's first week home


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