May is National Scrapbooking Month! We think scrapbooking is awesome – it’s one of the reasons why we do what we do here at Craft-e-Corner. We know that preserving your memories is one of the most important things you can do, not to mention how much fun it is! Are you just getting started with scrapbooking (or trying to?) – read on for 15 tips that are bound to get you going in the right direction! And what would National Scrapbooking Month be without a giveaway!? All the details about the giveaway are at the bottom of this post!
What do you want to scrapbook?
What is your theme going to be? Did you just go on a vacation, get married, have a baby, adopt a dog? Do you want to record your every day life? Knowing what you want to scrap is the first step.
What type of album will you use?
Once you know what kind of things you are looking to preserve, you can determine what type of album you want to use. There are 12×12 hard covered scrapbooks that you can really use for anything, they are great for wedding albums! There are Smashbooks and Sn@p books for the daily scrapbooking – when you just want to get down what is going on and don’t want to take a lot of time to do it. Then there are pocket scrapbooks, like Project Life, that you can just pop in your photos and some notes about them and pull together a page in no time flat. Your personal style will steer you towards the right book for you!
How will your scrapbook be organized?
Will you put all your trips to the beach this summer in one layout or will you scrap in chronological order? Many scrapbooks go in chronological order, but you can choose to “break tradition” and organize your book however makes the most sense to you!
Crafting can be a time intensive activity. Just like anything in life, you may have to schedule time to do it to make sure you have time to do it. Set aside a block of time when you regularly plan to scrapbook. The more often you can scrap, the easier it will be for you to pull a page together. Crafting is part skill, it pays to hone your skills regularly!
Get your photos ready!
Print your photos and keep them organized so you can pull them out when its time to scrap and get to work! Decide how many photos you think will work well for your chosen scrapbook and style then pick your favorites to print off. If it’s going to be a while before you get to scrap your photos, jot down some information about the photos (dates, names, something funny that happened that day, etc.).
Don’t trim too soon…
Don’t trim down (“crop”) your photos until you are ready to scrap! It might be tempting to trim off the extra background you have on your photo right away, but wait until your scrapbook layout is coming together before you trim. Sometimes a layout needs a larger photo than your crop job would leave behind. Tip: A good paper trimmer is worth its weight in gold, and you’ll use a trimmer for your papers and photos so its a worthwhile investment.
Choose your materials & adhesive carefully.
Remember, memorabilia isn’t acid free!
The Disney Park Map that you brought home from your last family vacation can certainly go in your scrapbook, but remember that is is not printed on acid free paper. You’ll want to protect your book and use an acid free pocket or envelope to store it in. Same goes for coins, locks of baby hair and movie ticket stubs!
Watch out for embellishment overload!
Take a look at what events you have to scrapbook and THEN shop for embellishments. Embellishments can really pull a page together, but there are SO many options, it’s easy to get carried away. If you have a birthday party you’re scrapbooking, for example, think of embellishments that will compliment your party theme or photos. Try not to go overkill with embellishments, you want your photos to take center stage, not the page they’re on.
Select your embellishments carefully
Being selective with your embellishments can really pay off. Stray away from bulky embellishments if you have a page protector to consider. Also keep in mind what the opposite page will have on it and plan accordingly. You don’t want a metal tag rubbing against your photo on the opposite page, even if there are page protectors!
Title away, but don’t get carried away!
When you’re planning your page layouts, it can be tempting to put a big title on every.single.page. Sometimes a title really makes the page stand out, but don’t feel like every page must have a title. Pages without a huge title can be nice too!
Journal, journal, journal!
Storing your works in progress
Scrapbooks are often not made in a single setting. Often you end up with pages half finished. You’ll want to store your scrapbook pages in a safe place until it’s time to scrap again. Remember to look for an acid free storage box!
Storing your finished album
Keep your album in a temperature controlled room with low humidity (that rules out most attics and basements). You’ll also want to store it out of direct sunlight. If you have a large 12×12 album, store it flat to keep the pages from bending or pulling on the binding. Take care of your scrapbook and it will last for generations!
Don’t get overwhelmed
If you’re just starting out, it can be hard to not get overwhelmed with so many options. The best thing to do is to start with a recent activity, add a few embellishments and get your feet wet! Once you get the hang of it, you can always backtrack!