One of the greatest things about taking up scrapbooking as a hobby is that anyone can do it. Not only is scrapbooking a great hobby, but you can also create thoughtful personalized gifts for people. It doesn’t matter what your budget is, how much time you have available to dedicate to it, or even how artistic you are. Beginners can start slow and on a small scale with simple, inexpensive projects. Those who are more enthusiastic have just the sky as their limit when it comes to creating scrapbooking memories.

Scrapbooking can be a very personal experience. Some eventful occasions to scrapbook for include weddings, the birth of a child, milestones in a child’s life, graduations, and holidays. Scrapbooks can also be made in a more general sense as a tribute to a favorite activity like fishing and bowling or to pay homage to an occupation like nursing, firefighting, teaching, and more. It doesn’t take talent to create a good scrapbook. All you need is a little creativity, as few or as many supplies as you like, and a desire to have some fun.

What Exactly Does it Mean to Scrapbook?

Scrapbooking is taking things like photos, printed pictures, decorative mediums, and colorful paper and arranging them artfully in an album to create a sort of memorabilia. A scrapbook in itself can be considered as an extra fancy photo album. The size of a scrapbook will vary depending on the person making it and the even they are covering. While widely popular amongst the “soccer mom” set, there are many people who scrapbook as a hobby. Tweens and teens, college kids, mothers, grandmothers, teachers, and yes, even guys, can make a scrapbook that will serve as a showcase of their favorite memories.

Popular Scrapbook Themes

There are hundreds of occasions and different reasons for a person to create a scrapbook. The most popular themes have to do with family and holidays. Bridal showers, weddings, baby showers, giving birth, birthdays, and graduations are common events that can be documented in a scrapbook. It’s also fun to make a scrapbook for vacations.

Get creative with your scrapbook theme. You don’t always have to stick with the “norm” when it comes to themes. Some women might get a kick out of a break-up or divorce theme scrapbook. Animal lovers can make one of their cherished pets. Workaholics could create one dedicated to their profession. Thinking outside of the box will give you endless possibilities and endless occasions or reasons to scrapbook!

Scrapbooking Materials

You do not need a hundred different items to create a scrapbook. The most basic supplies are colorful paper or card stock, pens or markers, perhaps a stamp or two, and your photos. There are plenty of other items that can be used to make more elaborate scrapbooks. Glitter, ribbons, felt, buttons, stamps, stickers, die-cast cut-outs, beads, stencils, and themed card stock are readily available online and in specialty shops. They can also be found at mass retailers.

For those who don’t want to go crazy buying materials, there are plenty of things you can find right at home to use in your scrapbook. Use mementos from the special occasion such as ticket stubs, receipts, confetti, invitations, banners, crepe paper, or anything else that can be glued to a page. It doesn’t matter if you have $10 or $100 to spend, anyone can come up with materials to make a great-looking scrapbook.

How To Get Started

It’s simple to get started with scrapbooking. First, decide on your theme or occasion. Then plot out your idea. You can either jot down some ideas on paper, or just make a mental diagram of what you want your scrapbook to look like. Gather a few materials (or many if you are more enthusiastic) and prepare a workspace. You will want a sturdy desk or table to spread your things out on. Keep in mind you may not want to finish in one sitting, so pick a place that won’t need to be cleared off.

Aside from your card stock, photos, and decorative items, you will need adhesive. Depending on the materials you choose, a glue stick, white school glue, crafting glue, hot glue from a glue gun, or paste are all options. It’s good to lay everything out in an organized manner to help the creativity flow. Some people like to play music to set the mood. Do and use whatever works for you to create an environment where you are having fun!

he Essential Scrapbooking Supplies

The basis of a scrapbook is the paper or card stock you will use to adhere pictures and decorative items on. Paper comes in all types of colors and patterns in variable degrees of thickness. There are also many specialty paper designs that are great for specific occasions like weddings and birthdays.

Pens, markers, glitter pens, craft paint, and puff paint are wonderful to have for writing phrases, quotes, dates, and labeling the pictures on your page. Stickers are fun to stick on, and stamps are just as easy to use. Stores also sell specialty die-cut decorations from a wide array of themes. These can be glued to the scrapbooking page to give it depth and added color.

Scrapbooking Strategies

Once you have gathered your materials and created a workspace, it’s time for the real fun! There are so many different techniques that can be used to scrapbook. I’ll outline some popular ones for you that are both easy to do and still visually stunning.

Create a special border around your main scrapbook page using special scissors that leave a fancy edge when used. Specialty crafting scissors can cut the paper in a zig-zag or scalloped pattern. This makes for a whimsical and fun edge to your page that will attract the eye and set the page apart from regular square edges. It’s also fun to make decorative cuts on a second sheet of paper to overlay on the original. This can give the page some separation and depth.

Utilize die cut shapes. Use both the positive and negative cut to decorate your page. The positive cut is the shape you actually cut out, and the negative is the outline that was left behind. You can overlap the negative with the positive cut, lay them out at an inverse, or create a border using a positive, negative, positive pattern.

Die cut shapes can be bought pre-cut or you can make your own. Basic die cutting tools are inexpensive and can be used over and over again. There are also some heavy-duty die cutting tools for scrapbookers who work on a more serious level. Popular shapes include hearts, stars, snowflakes, geometric shapes, and holiday themed shapes.

Using die cut shapes a variety of ways is a popular scrapbooking strategy. Layer similar shapes of a different size for depth. Some fancier die cuts from the store have a small spring in between their layers which allow the top shape to wiggle when touched. It’s also fun to decorate the shapes with glitter, markers, or paint.

A simple strategy that gives a bold effect are block pages. Take a square-edged page and layer several paper squares of a contrasting color on it. Three to four different blocks works well for this idea. You can then add a photo on top of the paper squares along with a written description, poem, or thought on the opposite block. This is a simplistic design but can also be very elegant.

Another simple strategy for creating some excellent scrapbooking pages is to use rubber stamps. They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and styles. Ink comes in several different colors too. Fancier ink pads leave a stamp that is raised in texture which adds an added eye-pleasing kick to any page.

Scrapbooking Storage

While there is no special equipment necessary to store your scrapbooking items, there are all sorts of cart and drawer systems you can buy to help keep everything organized. Some can get away with just a shoebox-sized container to hold all their embellishments while others need a more elaborate system to hold all of their things. There are special filing systems that can keep card stock and paper materials from getting wrinkled or creased. Some carts come with dowels that hold spools of ribbon in place to prevent them from unraveling.

You can also create your own scrapbooking supply storage containers by re-purposing household items. Spaghetti sauce jars and baby food jars make excellent containers for beads, confetti, glitter, and other small embellishments. If you get take-out food that comes in sturdy plastic containers, wash them and use them to store your die cut shapes, stickers, and more! You can also nail or glue pegs down to plywood to store spools of ribbon or wrap yarn and thread around.

Digital Scrapbooking

A newer concept that has caught on rapidly amongst scrapbookers is the hobby of digital scrapbooking. You will essentially be making a scrapbook page, but instead of doing it physically with material, you create it online. This is great for those who want to share photos with family members and friends who don’t live near enough to come see your scrapbook memories in person. Dozens of Internet sites offer free digital scrapbooking tools.

Storing a Digital Scrapbook

Many websites that offer digital scrapbooking tools allow you to send email attachments of your creation to your contacts. Most do not offer unlimited storage, and it’s a good idea to have backup for your memories you created online. A great way to save your work is on a removable flash drive. These can be found online, in department stores, or in electronic stores. They vary in price, but many can be found for as low as $5 to $10. A good time to buy flash drives is when stores offer “back to school” specials in the late summer and early fall.

Make Money With Scrapbooking

Many people have found success in starting their very own scrapbooking business. There is a large population of people who wish they had the time and know-how to create their own scrapbook. For those people, having someone else create a scrapbook for them is ideal. The start-up costs of a scrapbooking venture are minimal. Perks include choosing your own hours and being your own boss. Many start on a small level doing scrapbooks for friends and family. Word of mouth can be a powerful advertising tool for those who wish to get their scrapbooking business off the ground.

No matter what level your enthusiasm is for scrapbooking, you are bound to find hours of enjoyment with this hobby. It doesn’t matter if you want to spend a few dollars or a few hundred, there are fun, simple projects you can do that will create lasting memories that can be shown to generations to come. Scrapbooking is a rewarding and fun activity that people of any age and gender can participate in.

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