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The Scrapbooking Basics PDF Print E-mail

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What is Scrapbooking?

The art of scrapbooking allows you to preserve your precious photographs and memories in an acid-free environment in the most beautiful of ways – a handmade album or book. The acid-free aspect is all important as this will ensure that the photos won’t discolour or detiorate.


One of the best things is that you cannot make a mistake in scrapbooking as there is no right or wrong way to do it! You are using the book to enjoy telling your story. Every scrapbooker is different, so everyone’s techniques will differ too.

What you need:

Scrapbook Scrapbook 2 Scrapbook 3
Some example scrapbooks

  • The first thing is a scrapbook either ready made for you or one that you make from scratch. The most common sizes are 12 x 12, 8 x 8 and 6 x 6 inches. Ready made books are great and come with a cover already completed or plain for you to decorate. Acid-free album pockets are used to hold the pages in the book.

Scrapbook 4
Scrapbook papers

  • A selection of papers both plain and patterned. Papers can be themed to suit the book you are making. Handmade papers work well as do vellums, velvet and embossed papers. However, whatever you use it must be acid-free.

Scrapbooking Glue
Marvy & ZIG Glue pens

  • Suitable acid-free glues are essential. A glue stick works well, plus a stronger, wet glue for adding embellishments. Vellum papers need an ‘invisible’ glue. Some form of mounting foam or glue dots also come in handy.

Scrapbook Colouring Mediums
Decorating chalks & pencils

  • As far as colouring mediums go, make sure they are all acid-free. You can use pens, pencils, chalks and some of the fancy pens.


On to the photographs…

The basic things you’ll need:

  • Large and small scissors. Fancy cut scissors are also useful.
  • Craft Knife and cutting mat.
  • A paper trimmer or guillotine
  • Your Photos

Scrapbooking Scissors Scrapbooking Cutting Mat
Scrapbooking cutting tools

Other useful bits and pieces…

  • Stencils – these can be used around the pages to add words etc.
  • Rubber stamps and acid-free ink pads are a great way of decorating the pages
  • Embellishments – memorabilia from a trip, for example, can be used to embellish the pages. As you may not be sure they are acid-free, don’t add them too close to your photos. You could place them inside an envelope you have made from acid-free paper. The embellishments are endless and can be pretty much whatever you like. Ribbons, fabric, fibres, peel offs and there ane hundreds of packs of ‘bits’ just waiting to fit onto a page!
  • Any and all of the stamping supplies that you have can be used when scrapbooking!

EmbellishmentsShape Templates
Queen&Co. embellishments & Fiskars shape stencils

Cropping your photos...

Once you start on the photos, don’t be afraid to crop, or trim, them. If you don’t want to cut up an original you can always scan and print or photocopy it and use the copy. Digital photography has made this so much easier. Cropping pictures allows you to remove parts you don’t want or make them into a specific shape to suit your page. For example a photo of a camping trip could be cropped into a tent shape or a birthday photo could be cropped into the shape of a cake. There are plenty of stencils available, but you can always do it freehand.

Having cropped your photo you can mount it onto card or paper and trim around it to echo the shape and give it a border. This is a great way of co-ordinating the pictures on a page.

This gives a very brief over-view of scrapbooking and once you start you will be adding your own ideas in as well.

Whatever you do, have fun! ssp


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