Scrapbooking is a fun and rewarding hobby that combines the best of journaling, photography, and visual arts, and while it can appear to be an easy outlet, there’s a lot more to it than gluing down shapes and stickers.

Crafty Hacks For Beginners

Scrapbooks are visual anecdotes, and the tips below will get you started on how you’ll be an expert storyteller.

Tools and Embellishments

Scrapbooking is one of the ultimate avenues for creativity because you can do just about anything! From gemstones and stencils to your own drawings and paintings, there are no limits on what you can do. However, there are certain standard items you’ll want to collect before you get started. These include an album or book, adhesives, photos, paper, pens, and cutting tools.

Other things you’ll likely want are stickers, stamps, punches, die cuts, sheet protectors, and interesting items like ribbons and string. You can also keep souvenirs like concert or plane tickets, invitations, dried flowers, coins, menus, and coasters; anything that can help tell the story and keep you reliving the memories.

Stocking Up

One of the most exciting parts of beginning your scrapbooking career is to gather the supplies! It can be very tempting to run into your local craft store and buy every eye-catching stamp, stencil, and sticker, but this is an easy way to put a fair-sized dent in your wallet. Beyond saving the moolah, there are many benefits of a curated cart. You have yet to discover your style and maybe even your direction for this first scrapbook. 

Before you make your way to the craft store, sit down and map out a rough idea of what you’d like this scrapbook to be. Will it capture your honeymoon? Baby’s first year? An unforgettable trip? What memories do you want to preserve?

Having a rough idea of the direction you’ll take will help you to focus on finding those special items that will make your scrapbooking come alive!

Journaling

One of the key differences between a photo album and a scrapbook is that the latter allows for journaling. Having space to write – literally and figuratively – allows you to share more of the story.

What funny joke was being shared in your wedding photo? What were your husband’s first words when you found out you were pregnant? Who had a little too much fun at the family reunion? These are some of the common milestones in a person’s life that should be preserved and the crafter from ScrapbookingCoach.com encourages new scrapbookers to journal these little stories as they help to draw you further into the page, the photos, and the memory.

Being that it is a scrapbook, there are no rules on how to include your writing. You can write it around the border, have it flow in and around the decorative elements, write on photos (using special pens), write in shapes; there are so many creative ways to use your text.

Photos

Photos are the star of the scrapbook. After all, they’re a literal snapshot of the story you’re telling. However, not all photos are equal. When choosing your prints, you’ll want to consider a few things such as clarity, content, and size.

It’s much easier nowadays with digital cameras and printers, and photo editing programs. Photos that are unclear, too dark, unfocused, or just busy don’t typically make for good scrapbook content. 

It may be worth doing some quick research into photography principles to learn what makes a good photo (ex. look for the rule of thirds.) If you really like a part of a photo but can’t crop out the part you dislike, you can often add dimension and interest while also hiding those unwanted parts by collaging with stickers or die cuts.

Remember, photos for scrapbooks are best printed on matte paper rather than glossy so fingerprints are less visible.

Workspace

When you’re just starting out, it can seem like a good idea to set up your crafting space at the dining room table or on the coffee table. Yet, scrapbooking involves a lot of ‘moving parts’ and can get messy!

Establishing a system beforehand will help keep things more organized and tidy. You’ll want a solid surface to work on and a cutting mat, a recycle bin for scraps, and a system for storing and keeping all of your tools and embellishments organized.

If you have the room, think about setting up a dedicated workspace. If real estate is more valuable in your home, a wheeled cart for your supplies can be easily stored away when not in use.

While there are a lot of components to think about in scrapbooking, the most important thing is that you have fun! Following these tips, you’ll be able to create your own masterpieces and relive the best of your memories for years to come.

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