Sunday, November 9, 2008

Reflecting on Beginner's Scrapbooking

I've been scrapbooking for the past nine years, and love it. It's my creative outlet and a wonderful way to preserve our memories of past and present. My kids of course are my number one subjects, but I've also worked on a heritage album for my mom for her 75th birthday and a gift baby album for my sister. My next big project is my wedding album and growing up years. I am really excited to be tackling this.

If you want to start scrapbooking, where do you begin? What tools do you need? What are nice extras to have? We will cover these three topics this week and i will share some pages of mine that I've been working on recently.

Basic Supplies:

  • A paper trimmer is ideal (my favorite is Cutterpede), but if not, scissors or a craft knife and ruler can work too

  • An Acid Free Album... Those magnetic albums from the 80s will destroy your photos. The acid eats away at the photos and will deteriorate them in a few years.

  • Cardstock and patterned paper. It is nice to start with a coordinating package that has a variety of carstock and papers. If you want to start smaller and see if this hobby is for you, pick two to three colors of cardstock and one coordinating patterned paper

  • Acid free glue/tape. I prefer tape runner, which you can find at craft stores. They are double sided and make your pages go much faster.

  • Acid free pen for journaling about the event... telling your story

  • Coordinating sticker, embellishments, etc

Some nice extras... paper trimmer is my number one extra, some ink for distressing the edges, ribbon, brads and eyelets, and paper punches... These are all embellishments and are no way necessary, but nice added extras.

Where to Begin?

  1. First thing you need are photos. You don't want to start with something big like your wedding, because your taste will change and adapt over time. Pick a holiday or birthday, or some type of event that you are excited to do. You may have 30 pictures, you may have ten. Weed through those and pick out the best, usually between seven to ten pictures, unless you want to do more pages on that one event.

  2. From these photos you will have a starting point, or a basis to go on for your layout. What is the mood? Who is involved? What do you want to portray from these photos? This can give you a basis of two to three colors that you may want to start with. For example, my son's first birthday was Baby Einstein themed, so I am planning on primary colors for his layout with a nice geometric pattern. I would pick red, yellow and blue

  3. Take a look at your pictures and see what you can "crop" smaller. There may be a lot of wasted space on the photos, or background you don't need, so elminating that allows you to fit more on the page. To make your photos timeless, try not to cut in cutesy shapes such as stars or hearts... Squares and rectangles are ideal. Ideally you can have five full size photos and three smaller square photos on your layout without visual clutter.

  4. After your photos are trimmed, matte your photos that you want to stand out. Choose one to three based on how many you have on your layout, so you can identify what you want highlighted. By matting your photo, just give it a half or quarter inch border around all sides. So if the phot was 4x6, you would have a 4.5x6.5 matte that you can put the photo. For my son's layout, I may choose to matte the picture of him with the cake, one of us as a family and one with gifts.

  5. Arrange your photos on your page the way it makes sense to you. You want it to be visually stimulating, let it lead te eye across the page (which I will speak about more in the weeks ahead).

  6. Make sure you save room on your page for a title, journaling and embellishments. That's what makes it a scrapbook. That way when someone is looking at your page, all of the explanation is right there. A title can be as simple as the event, or a quote (take me out to the ballgame for a baseball game), just let your imagination be your guide. Titles can be made on your computer, be pre-made or with stickers, stamps and stencils.

  7. Journaling will give you a chance to express your feelings on that day. Take it beyond the who, what, where, when why and how, and talk about your feelings... How fast the first year went, and that you can't believe your son is already one... you get the picture

  8. Add some creative touches, some embellishments or stickers that relate to the event, maybe some wrapped presents or party streamers. Try to keep them in groups of three, as that is more visually appealing to the eye.

That's it! Most of all, have fun! Remember, it is a hobby and something that shouldn't feel overwhelming. You may have years of photos and not know where to begin... Start with what is most current and work backwards. Those events are fresh in your mind and what will be a wonderful starting point. Best of luck and let me know if you need any help!

I will be posting my pages later today when my little guy is napping. Happy Scrapping!

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