Scrapbooking is an art that creates a deep personal keepsake for generations. Scrapbooks are fun, meaningful, and nostalgic. Each album means something different to each individual. The content for each layout is personal and not a "cookie cut" method. Scrapbooking is an expression of emotions from memories and allows the memories to keep telling a story over and over. Scrapbooking is an investment of the heart, talent, and pocketbook. If you have the ambition to learn, here are 5 items to help get you started. Once you start, then you can then determine what your niche is.
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BEGIN YOUR SCRAPBOOKING WITH THESE 10 ITEMS
- The first task when beginning a scrapbook album is to capture and print your photos. This may seem obvious to some of you, however, many people start by buying a ton of scrapbooking and art supplies before they have their pictures printed. Pictures are the story and the motivation behind a scrapbook. We are fortunate to be in digital age where we can take pictures instantly, then sort, delete, and edit our photos before printing them. If you start out buying a random amount of scrapbooking supplies first, this is a sure fire way you will be overwhelmed and probably financially remorseful. I can't emphasize enough...DON'T BE THAT PERSON!!
- From my 20+ years experience, choosing a scrapbooking album after your pictures are printed and organized will ensure the theme, story, and presentation you are seeking will be accomplished. I've many times seen individuals begin layouts and then try coordinating a scrapbook album later. Often times, if a scrapbook album is chosen as the last step, the difficulty lies with the colors not matching, the patterns don't coordinate, or the scrapbook album doesn't "speak to them". Then disappointment and frustration transpires because you have invested your time and money into your scrapbooking layouts and can't put them together in scrapbook album. Choosing your scrapbooking album before beginning layouts prevents all that discouragement. Plus you will be able to insert your scrapbook layouts as you finish them keeping everything safe, clean, and organized.
- One more point about choosing your scrapbook album is don't get too skimpy here either. Your scrapbook album "sets the stage" before beginning to view your scrapbooking layouts and will be the mechanism for archiving your scrapbooking layouts. You want a scrapbooking album that is made to last. This is a time when we do "judge a book by it's cover"! The scrapbook album is a big deal and shouldn't be minimized. Make sure it's a good quality scrapbook album and that you really like it when you see it.
- When choosing a paper trimmer, it's important to know paper trimmers and paper scissors are NOT one size fits all and to be perfectly honest, they are non-negotiable in the crafting world. If you don't have a good paper trimmer, you will not be able to make clean cuts or proper measurements.
- The first step to picking out a great paper trimmer is noticing the maximum size scrapbook paper it will cut. If you plan on creating 12x12 scrapbook layouts, don't mistakenly buy a trimmer that will max out at 8 1/2 x11. Likewise, if you plan on making smaller scrapbook albums, you don't want to necessarily buy more than you need.
- The next thing to notice when choosing a paper trimmer is what kind of blade is installed. Is it rotary or guillotine? Can the blades be changed? How much are the replacement blades? How many sheets of paper can be cut at a time? What weight of paper will it cut? When scrapbooking, you will be cutting thick weights of paper. A cheap blade will wear out fast and unevenly cut and tear your pictures and scrapbook paper. It's best to invest in a good paper trimmer from the beginning that will last you a long time and provide you with quality cuts.
- Another important feature you want on a paper trimmer are the grid marks. Are the grid marks printed or etched on the surface? It's important to know you don't want a trimmer with printed grid lines because the lines will eventually rub off over time. It's ideal to get a trimmer that has well etched lines and easily read sizes.
- One last consideration to make when buying a paper trimmer is how much space will it require? Is it portable if you plan on traveling with it.
- Just as a paper trimmer is non-negotiable, same goes for Paper Scissors. Don't go skimpy and buy inexpensive scissors as they will loose their sharpness, strength, and hurt your hands.
- You want a pair scissors that are ergonomical and easy on your hand. If you don't take this important step, your hand will cramp, develop blisters, and it will also deter you from completing your scrapbooking project.
- Make sure the blades have a fine tip for detail cutting. You will be "fussy cutting" quite a bit when creating embellishments and silhouettes.
- A cutting mat is SO important. You have to protect your work surface. Many kitchen tables have been accidentally scratched and dented beyond repair. Even if you have a dedicated craft table, a cutting mat is a must. What do I mean by cutting mat? A cutting mat is designed for items to be placed on the mat and then cut without going through the other side on the table surface. Many cutting mats are self-healing, meaning you won't see the cut marks. A cutting mat also helps your blade make even cuts on your photos and paper.
- Ya'll, I can do an entire blog post just on scrapbooking adhesive. Adhesive is the arsenal of your scrapbook layouts!! It is the most important item, as it will be adhering everything. Your scrapbook layouts are relying on you to choose the proper adhesive to gel everything together. And just to set the record straight...glue sticks have their place!
- Adhesive is NOT one size fits all! Contraire to what many may think...tape is not "just tape"! Adhesive may be called glue, cement, tape, mucilage, paste, etc. but are VERY DIFFERENT! So what kind of adhesive does a scrapbooker use? MANY!
- Regardless of the adhesive you choose, you must make sure it's photo safe, archival safe, acid free, lignin free, and long lasting. Most of these key words will be on the packaging.
- The most common adhesive in the a scrapbooker's stash is double-sided adhesive with an applicator known as a tape runner. This type of adhesive keeps your hands free of adhesive, the adhesive is stored in the applicator and remains free of dust, fingerprints, and accidental tearing. Most tape runners are refillable and you can control the amount of adhesive used. I have one tape runner with repositional adhesive and one tape runner with permanent adhesive always ready to use when needed.
- Oh my...where to begin regarding cardstock paper. It's the heart of scrapbooking. And who knew there was so much to know about scrapbooking and cardstock! Scrapbooking paper needs to have a slight heaviness to it, also known as the weight. If you think about it, if you were to put all your photos and embellishments on a thin piece of paper, the paper wouldn't hold. Likewise, a strong weighted scrapbook paper is needed to hold all the embellishments and photos creating your scrapbooking layout. A weight of 80# or higher is recommended as a base for your layout or to make embellishments. This is similar to most business cards. A weight of 60# or higher is more suited for patterned paper accent on your scrapbook layout. This is similar to drawing paper.
- A necessary component is making sure your cardstock is "archival safe". This means it is free from lignin and acid. Why you wonder? Because lignin and acid compounds will breakdown the fibers in the paper and anything it touches, such as your photos, embellishments, and keepsakes. Have you ever looked at an old newspaper and noticed it was yellow looking over time? Or a very old color photograph which turned red and lost it's original printing? That's all due to lignin and acid.
- There are many types of scrapbook paper on the market. It's easy to get overwhelmed. When beginning to scrapbook, stick with solids and a few accent pattern pieces and then build your stockpile as learn the trade.
- When scrapbooking, you want a "draft and cut" ruler. It's a ruler that is a few inches wide and has grid marks and measurements from beginning to end. Why is this important? Because you will be able to determine if your lines are straight and your placements aren't crooked.
- Scrapbooking pens are entirely based on preference. Just like everyone has that one type of pen they like for taking notes or a certain pencil they prefer for sketching, same goes for scrapbooking. There isn't a "best" pen, however it's good to consider precision tips when scrapbooking. Precision tip pens will help with journaling in small spaces or adding detail to handmade embellishments. And one other thing to note about scrapbooking pens is most pens don't write on vellum paper. If you want to write on vellum, you will need to use a special alcohol based pen or marker. Why? Because vellum is non-porous, therefore requires ink that will air-dry.
- Scrapbooking embellishments are the "eye candy" when making your layouts. Always remember, your scrapbook layouts are all about the photographs. I must chant this all the time because it's so easy to loose sight of your mission and buy so many accessories, stickers, stamps, diecuts, etc. and then you end of having a plethora of items that you will use "at some point". Embellishments are so much fun and truly the crux of the scrapbooking addiction. Just remember to make sure they are archival safe and stay disciplined...yah I know...good luck!!
Scrapbooking is an art and there is much to know about purchasing items, creating items, and designing layouts. Start small and build as you go. If you have an appreciation for scrapbooking and want to learn more, please make sure you are on our email list or following us on social media. If you love scrapbooking but would rather have someone create one for you, click here to learn more about our Custom Scrapbooking Services.
I hope you have found this top 10 scrapbooking tips helpful. Please comment below if you have any scrapbooking tips or what you learned from this article.