Scrapbooking for Beginners

Scrapbooking as a craft has been around for ages.  But recently it has experienced a sudden surge in popularity. People have discovered the joys of creating albums to showcase treasured photos and keepsakes. But with all the new scrapbooking techniques and variety of embellishments available, getting started can still be intimidating.

The truth is, anyone who uses scissors and glue can scrapbook. And you don’t have to spend large amounts of money to create interesting pages. With basic supplies and just imagination, you can create books that will be treasured for years to come.

What You Need

You can scrapbook on a small budget. Here are the things needed.

  • An album – They come in all shapes and sizes with the most popular being 8 1/2″ x 11″ or 12″ x 12″. And fortunately, they can be found at any craft supply store if you don’t have a scrapbooking store nearby.
  • Paper – Scrapbooking paper exists in a variety of solid colors and patterns. Pick wisely for each page. You may also use your paper for journaling, photo mats or embellishments.
  • Cutting tools – You can get by with a good pair of scissors, but an Exacto knife makes photo cropping easier. Also, if you’re not good at cutting straight lines, you should invest in a paper cutter.
  • Adhesives – There are many different adhesives one may use for scrapbooking. Glue sticks or double-sided tape are often used. Some scrapbookers also use rubber cement. When you’re getting started, I suggest you use what you’re most comfortable using.
  • Photos – Scrapbookers often begin with old photos that they’ve accumulated over the years. Of course, taking new pictures for your scrapbook can be fun. A digital camera and photo printer make scrapbooking easier. Neither is required, however.  Photos that are taken by a film camera work also.

Be sure when purchasing scrapbooking supplies that they are acid-free. Acid-free keeps them from harming your photos.

Basic Techniques

One doesn’t have to know a lot about scrapbooking techniques. Knowing a few simple techniques will be enough to create an impressive album. 

How to map photos is one of the first things to learn. Do this by simply cutting a square or rectangle that is both a half inch longer and wider than the photo you want to mat. The next step is to glue the photo to the center. A picture can be made to stand out by double matting it.  Simply cut out a shape a half inch longer and wider than the first mat, and center the matted photo on it.

Journaling gives scrapbook pages a nice personal touch. Simply write a note about the photos on a page, telling what was happening or sharing your thoughts on the subject. Use paper that coordinates with the background, and be sure to write with an acid-free pen.

Adding borders to your pages gives them a finished look. You can make them out of strips of coordinating scrapbook paper. You don’t have to border all four sides. A strip along the top, side or bottom will do. For easy embellishing, use some stickers.

There’s no need to throw in the towel if you don’t have the time, money or know-how to create elaborate scrapbooks. Just start off simple, and learn new techniques as you go.