Getting Started with Scrapbooking

When you begin scrapbooking you may get overwhelmed by the many different supplies and techniques for laying out your pages.

There are so many options and it might be hard to decide where to begin or how many embellishments to use for your scrapbooking layouts.

There are so many different tips and ideas. I'll present a few simple techniques and suggestions for beginning scrapbookers here.


Layout Designs and Templates

One of the easiest ways to lay out a scrapbook page is to use a predesigned template or sketch. You can find many free page layout designs in books or online. Some designs are simple sketches that suggest where to place each major item on your page.

You're free to decide on themes, colors, backgrounds and photos, then you can add dimensional items like brads, buttons, stickers, ribbons and pockets as you go along.

Other predesigned scrapbook page layouts are created with a theme in mind and will include suggested papers, colors and embellishments. You add your photos and other memorabilia to the layout, using either digital scrapbooking or traditional cut and paste methods - or a combination of both scrapbook styles.

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Choosing Papers and Scrapbook Materials

Any materials you use should be acid free. This includes the papers and inks you use in your printer, papers, cardstock or chipboard as well as page trims, adhesives, stickers and other applied decorations.

If you want to design a layout from scratch, you have an unlimited number of supplies, sizes, style and materials from which to choose.

You can design a regular size page that uses 8.5" x 11" paper and a binder with standard sheet protectors, or you can buy special 12" x 12" scrapbook albums complete with plastic sleeves to hold and protect your finished pages.

If your scrapbook papers get wrinkled it's easy to flatten them by ironing with a dry iron. If you want give a new paper an aged look, crumple it up then smooth it out. You can wipe or sprinkle tea along the edges to give paper an aged look. This technique takes some practice, so allow a few extra sheets to get it right. Iron the paper slightly after it's completely dry to preserve the aging and wrinkles.

Tearing paper along the edges to create a rough shape makes interesting edges. You can add chalk or ink to torn paper edges, too, to give them a bit of accent color or to add an aged effect.

Adding Decorative Elements to Scrapbook Pages

The decorative elements you add to your pages include ribbon, papers, brades, clips, stickers, buttons, lace, photos, ticket stubs, badges and almost anything else that's the right size and is relatively flat or can be made flat, like flowers, leaves and fabric shapes.

You can add small packets, envelopes or tiny folders to your pages to hold special itemsyou don't want to glue into place. For example you might want to add a small envelope with a see-through window to hold a lock of baby's hair, a tiny shell, a bit of sand or a small card or photo. Picture corners are a nice way to hold photos without adhesive.

Other materials available for use include chipboard or card stock, specialty papers, foils and acetate. Any materials you use should be acid free and safe for archival storage so you don't damage your precious memory pieces.

Photo Tips for Scrapbooking Designs

You can insert photos into your traditional or hybrid scrapbook pages by using photo corners, ribbons, brackets, hinges or by making layered paper mats and frames.

Attaching Pictures, Tickets, Cards to Scrapbook Layouts

If you have an original photo you want to include in your scrapbook you may not want to glue it into place.

Try using a photo envelope, CD envelope or make a pocket with a window. Make a slide in frame or use photo corners with your original photos, cards or ticket stubs so you don't need to apply adhesive directly to the items.

You'll be able to remove these special items any time to look at them or change them in the future.