Start Scrapbooking: Tips, Tricks and What to Use

Scrapbooking is a great hobby that has become super popular, probably because it can be used for many different purposes. All kinds of photos and memorabilia can be collected and organized in scrapbooks. Compared to a jumbled box of photos or a haphazard collection of memorabilia, scrapbooks create an orderly story and a wonderful display for your memories, all in one place. Scrapbooks rescue mementos and pictures from dark storage corners and bring them into the light, allowing family members and friends to easily view and share in reliving those memories.

Scrapbooks can also take on an archival or even archeological role as they are an attractive way to display the results of genealogical research or to collect the history of a town or an event. Again, scrapbooks allow you to tell a story – not just display artifacts. The combination of photos, trinkets and other souvenirs, and your own handwritten or typed notes show others the results of your work and what it means to you.

If you have never assembled a scrapbook, it’s not hard to get started. Scrapbooks can be as simple or elaborate as you choose. All you need are some basic scrapbooking materials and a collection of photos and memorabilia you want to display.

Materials and Memories

Start a scrapbook by collecting the items you want to include. Archival quality storage boxes are a good option to collect and store items that you eventually want to put together in a scrapbook. You can use basic cardboard boxes, but archival boxes will better protect your photos and printed items if you aren’t able to assemble a scrapbook right away.

There are many kinds of albums available for scrapbooking, both with and without paper. Decide what level of archival protection you want for your scrapbook so you can choose an album and paper accordingly. If you want a scrapbook for a common theme, such as your baby’s first year, a vacation, a graduation, and so on, feel free to choose a pre-themed scrapbook. Otherwise, blank scrapbooks give you a lot of options to create whatever theme, mood, and story you want. Also, using the same simple, blank scrapbooks allow you to eventually have a cohesive collection; even if the contents vary widely, the books will look great grouped together on a shelf.

Basic supplies for scrapbooking include special paper, adhesives, and photo corners or photo tabs. You have a choice of whether to attach your photos directly to album pages with adhesives or to use photo corners to hold your photos. Remember that photo corners will let you remove the photos and put them back or replace them with new photos anytime, whereas a picture glued to an album page is there permanently.

If you have a fragile document or photograph you want to mount in a scrapbook, one way to give it some protection is to attach it to a thin piece of mat board before inserting it into photo corners. The stiffness of the mat board will support the paper and prevent it from disintegrating.

Assembling Your Scrapbook

Once you have your materials together, start assembling your scrapbook. Try laying out combinations of items on pages to see what looks good and feels right. If you have a large enough table or an open patch of floor, you can lay your pages out in order with the items arranged on top before using any adhesive, giving you a chance to change and rearrange items until you find the perfect order. Then simply attach all of your items to scrapbook pages, assemble them in your album, and you’re done!

Once you start scrapbooking, there are many tools and tricks you can use to create unique and beautiful collections. Make a habit of collecting interesting memorabilia such as pressed pennies, ticket stubs, or dried flowers and you can create albums for every kind of event. This will satisfy your creative side and display your memories for years to come.

About the author


Mark Rogers is an amateur photographer and the founder of Frame Destination, Inc. In 2004 Mark realized the framing industry was not keeping up with the evolution of photography via new digital technology and started Frame Destination in his garage. Now his company has thousands of do-it-yourself framing customers across the US that it helps with its 11,000 square feet production facility in Dallas, TX.

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