Learning how to make a scrapbook is a fun and rewarding hobby. In its most primitive sense, scrapbooking is the act of preserving precious memories and photos, placing them into an album, and passing them down through the generations. Memories include milestone events such as birthdays, graduations, and weddings, as well as holidays, family vacations, or the building of a new house.
There are two types of scrapbooking. A paper scrapbook is the age-old traditional type. Digital scrapbooking is a more recent innovation. Most people start with paper before venturing into digital. Some scrapbookers combine methods. Scrapbooking is an ideal activity for children. Children enjoy using their motor, writing, and artistic skills to create their own scrapbooks. Making scrapbooks is a hobby to be enjoyed and passed on to future generations.
The History of Scrapbooks
The hobby of scrapbooking and scrapbook creation is not new. Scrapbooks date back to the 15th century. Called “commonplace books“, the first scrapbooks were typically used to record weights, formulas, poems, and even prayers. Gradually, the addition of illustrations, newspaper articles, and recipes came in to practice. During the Victorian era, an offshoot of the commonplace book called Friendship Albums came in to vogue. Containing handwriting, poems, hair clippings, and, later, photographs, Friendship Albums were given as gifts.
Famous scrapbookers, also called scrappers, include Mark Twain and Thomas Jefferson. Mark Twain is noted for inventing the adhesive scrapbook. Thomas Jefferson scrapbooked during his presidential years. As interest in genealogy boomed, interest in scrapbooking also flourished. Scrapbooking is a way for people to tell their life story, preserve cherished memories, and keep the past alive for their children.
Scrapbooking Fun Facts
- The word “scrapbook” entered the English language around 1825
- Scrapbook Crops are events that bring scrapbookers together to work on their scrapbooks and share ideas
- There are over 25 million scrapbookers in the United States
- Scrapbooking cruises are offered by many commercial cruise lines
Getting Started With Scrapbooking
Scrapbooking is not a difficult hobby to learn or engage in. Starting small will give beginners the chance to experience the joy and satisfaction of creating that first scrapbook without being overwhelmed.
Learning how to make a scrapbook requires becoming familiar with common scrapbooking terms. Below are the most widely used terms and their definitions:
Acid-free and lignin-free: Terms refer to paper and products that contain no acid or lignin. Lignin is a chemical compound found in wood. Acid and lignin can cause photos and paper to disintegrate or become brittle and yellow over time. Scrapbooking materials must always be acid and lignin-free.
Cropping: Cropping refers to trimming or cutting out the non-necessary parts of a photo. Cropping is most often done when there is a lot of extra, unwanted space around a photo.
Embellishments: Embellishments are items that can be used to enhance a scrapbook page. Stickers, ribbon, eyelets, or mementos, such as ticket stubs, are often used as embellishments on scrapbook pages. Additional types of embellishments include various rubber stamps, die-casts, and hole punch shapes.
Journaling: Journaling is the detailing or description, in words, of the photos or memorabilia. Journaling can be hand-written or computer-printed and placed on the scrapbook page along with the photo or memento. Journaling is an important part of scrapbooking.
Learning how to make a scrapbook requires a few basic supplies. Supplies include photos, an album, scrapbook paper, card stock, acid free pen, and glue.
The albums come in various sizes of 8×8, 12×12, and 8 1/2×11. Albums should have page protectors and the ability to add additional pages. Card stock is used for making photo mats, journaling, and frames. Scrapbook paper is used for the background to which you will glue your pictures. This paper can be fun to experiment with, as there are many varieties available according to holidays, special occasions, and vacations.
The adhesive is important for gluing your photos to the background paper. The adhesive can be in the form of a glue stick or glue dots. As with paper, your journaling pen should be acid free to prevent degradation over time.
As you gain experience and become more creative, additional tools and supplies will make your scrapbooking experience more fun. A 12” paper trimmer, decorative scissors, paper punches, eyelets and brads, specialty inks, and stickers are additions that enhance the look and style of any scrapbook.
The startup cost for simple scrapbooking is minimal. Kits are available for purchase that contain everything you need to start a scrapbooking hobby and include a variety of embellishments. Costs range from $10 to $50.
How To Make a Scrapbook
Choose a set of pictures, mementos, and other memorabilia that have a central theme. The theme could be a child’s birthday party, a wedding, summer vacation, or other similar event.
Choose the grouping of your items. Each group will have its own scrapbook page. Keep the size of your album pages in mind and don’t overcrowd.
Once you have the pictures grouped together, choose your background paper. Set your grouping on various styles of paper until you find a look you like.
Get your photos ready. Perhaps the photo needs to be cropped. Maybe you would like to mat each picture with card stock. Mat colors can add an extra dimension to your scrapbook, but make sure mat colors compliment your chosen background paper.
Journaling for each photo or page should be written on scratch paper first. You can think about what you want to write and perfect it before adding it to your scrapbook. Include anything that weaves itself into the story that is being told on the scrapbook page.
Scrapbooking is the telling of a story with words, pictures, and creative elements. Add embellishments to your page if it enhances the look and fits in with your style.
After arranging the photos, mementos, and embellishments to the desired position, adhere them to the page.
Scrapbooking Tips And Tricks
Get the most out of your scrapbook hobby with these helpful hints…
- Purchase storage boxes for your scrapbooking supplies. Photo boxes are ideal for holding and organizing photos. Compartmentalized plastic boxes are great for stickers and other embellishments. Accordion-style folders work well for storing paper.
- Photocopy old or treasured photos and newspaper articles, using the photocopy in the scrapbook in place of the original.
- Invest in a scrapbook magazine to get creative ideas, tips, and supply sources for your scrapbooking hobby.
- Scrap photos as the occasions occur. It is too overwhelming to scrap 10 years worth of pictures all at once.
- A paper trimmer is a useful, though not necessary, tool for cutting paper and photos to desired sizes. A trimmer eliminates the crooked lines that can be created by using scissors when learning how to make a scrapbook.
Getting More Out of Scrapbooking
Learning how to make a scrapbook is only the first step. If you are like most scrapbookers, you will look for ways to be even more creative. Below are a few ideas for growing your hobby:
- Enhance your handwriting skills by learning calligraphy.
- Join a local scrapbook crop.
- Attend a scrapbooking convention.
- Teach scrapbooking workshops.
You can learn more about how to make a scrapbook by visiting the following online resources…
Scrapbooker Online: A community of scrapbooks with layout ideas, tips, supply sources, and forums.
RAKScrap: An online digital scrapbook community with galleries, tutorials, forums, and freebies
Memory Makers Magazine: Scrapbooking magazines, layout ideas, books, and forums.
Scrapbooking and Beyond: Magazine, tips, contests, and project ideas for the archival and creative scrapper.
Scrapbook.com: Scrapbooks supplies, ideas, classes, videos, forums, and gallery.
Related YouTube Videos
Check out the following videos to learn even more about starting this hobby.