Scrapbooking is a great way to preserve treasured memories. But getting started can be a daunting task. There’s all the pictures, not to mention any mementos you may be saving. And isn’t it expensive? Here is a guide that will get you on your way to creating a beautiful scrapbook to cherish for years to come.
First, gather all your materials. We’re not talking about cutesy stickers and colorful pages. Before you can decorate, you need to see what you have. Get together any memorabilia you may want to include. This can mean pictures, playbills, recital programs, newspaper articles, magazine cut outs, cards, or anything else you may want to save.
The next step is to organize. This is where many people get overwhelmed and give up. But by breaking this process down into baby steps and doing it in short bursts of time, you can get it done.
- First, organize by year. Put everything from 2009 in one pile, 2008 in one pile, etc, until this is completed. Some years it may make more sense to organize by school year. And you may have enough pictures from a single event, like a cruise or big family vacation, to warrant a separate book. The main point here is to do a rough division of larger chunks of time. Put each division into a folder or box.
- Next, take one grouping of items and further divide it into months. If you don’t have a ton of stuff, you could also group them into three month chunks. Do this until everything is in smaller groups within the larger category.
- Finally, within each smaller stack, arrange in order of occurrence. This will help you see how your book will flow and give you small pieces to work with.
Now that everything is organized, you can start your book. Scrapbooks are available at craft stores but these can be expensive. A cost-effective way to make a custom scrapbook is to purchase a three ring binder and page protectors. Binders come in a wide variety of sizes and colors. Clear View binders allow you to insert any picture or collage you want onto the cover for your own unique look.
Page protectors can do double duty in a scrapbook. After making your pages, simply slide them in to keep them from getting torn or spilled on. However, they make great pockets for organizing your items before you start. After the final division of pictures, you should be left with small stacks of pictures for each day or event. You can slide these into your page protector and store them with the rest of your scrapbook while you work on the beginning.
To make your first pages, you’ll need supplies. Be sure to get items that are photo safe and acid free; this will keep your pictures from yellowing with age. A great scrapbooking tool is a sticker maker laminator. These turn any photo or paper memory into a sticker that you can adhere to your page. The larger ones can also laminate precious items to preserve them. If using page protectors and a three ring binder, you’ll also want to invest in paper inserts. Heavier weights are generally better but you’ll want something lighter than cardstock to use for your backing.
Finally, embellishments. These can be stickers, letters, colorful pages, etc. Before you start seeing dollar signs, keep reading. A sticker maker allows you to turn any picture into a sticker. This can save you money by not buying premade stickers. Find a picture online to print out and add to your page. Scrapbook accessories can be expensive but they go on sale often. Many craft stores have weekly adds with coupons and also take competitors coupons. Be patient and get these things either with a coupon or on sale. You’ll save a lot of money by doing it this way. You can also find scrapbooking supplies online for less than retail cost.
This is just a quick overview to get you started. Once you dive into the world of scrapbooking, you’ll find hundreds of ideas and decorating techniques. But for now, get those pictures divided so you can get started! Good luck and happy scrapping!