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Fancy some new scrapbooking ideas? We asked some stars of the craft for their expert advice
If you’ve never tried scrapbooking before, then prepare to get inspired with these scrapbooking ideas.
Learning how to scrapbook is a rewarding hobby that you can share with friends and family members. Taking the humble photo album to a new creative level, when you start planning layout ideas inspired by a theme and displaying them with your favourite quotes, your special moments will come to life.
The paper-based craft is one of the most unique, thoughtful ways of recording memories and life events and can make for show-stopping wedding, birthday or new baby presents.
You don’t need to acquire any complicated new skills, either – all you need is some great supplies, your printed-off photos and a little imagination.
We’ve brought together some of our favourite scrapbookers and papercrafters to offer their advice on how to get started with the most fun scrapbooking ideas along with what scrapbooking supplies you’ll need to make your own timeless scrapbook pages.
Stuck for ideas for what to scrapbook? These are a good starting point:
From recording a child’s first day at school to the first day in a new home or a birthday party, we each have events we want to mark and remember and scrapbooking is a chance to do so using a visual medium, that you can either frame and display, or store in a scrapbook.
Scrapbooking Extraordinaire Shimelle Laine runs online scrapbook workshops and live streams her scrapbooking on YouTube. She advises to begin with smaller occasions when you’re starting out.
“Sometimes the special occasion photos feel very special indeed and that creates a pressure to get it right,” she says. “So print out some pictures that make you happy but don’t make you feel like you must make a masterpiece.
“Use those to try out the things where you’ll make the big decisions of scrapbooking, like the page size you might like and whether you’re a paper and stickers kind of crafter who likes to decorate or an ink and paint kind of crafter who prefers to start with a completely blank canvas and create all the colour and pattern yourself.
“Once you’ve tried a few things and feel happy in your crafting element, now it’s the time to tackle those special occasion photos.”
“Start with a favourite recent memory,” advises scrapbook designer Amy Tangerine. “Print out some photos and set a time limit on getting those memories recorded on paper. You can also make a simple page about anything that makes you happy.”
Lizzie Lees, author of Collage Carnival also recommends starting with a mood, if you’re feeling stuck: “I sometimes enjoy collaging my mood that day and use it as a diary. If I’m feeling calm and relaxed I might use colours that reflect this like blues, whites and greens. But if I’m feeling busy and full of adrenalin then I might find some really crazy patterned papers and use reds, pinks and blacks.”
Gifting a scrapbook page or an empty scrapbook to fill is a thoughtful handmade present, ideal for a wedding gift or to celebrate a new baby. Keep in mind all the different elements of a scrapbook “Remember there are three parts to a scrapbook: the photos, the words, and the crafty fun,” says Shimelle.
“The words can be tricky when you’re making a book for someone else. If you’re making a scrapbook for someone to fill themselves add page ideas by including pockets, tags, and open spaces where the recipient can write their story onto the page. I like to include a few nice pens in the wrapping of the scrapbook so it’s clear the book is meant for writing.”
Wedding photography can become one of your most treasured possessions. Instead of putting the photos in an album, wedding scrapbooking allows you to add a personal touch making the memories even more special, something Shimelle is pleased she did for her wedding.
“I started my wedding album as soon as I had the photos back and it was such a lovely project that I ended up filling two whole albums instead of just one!” she says.
“In the first few months, I had a real flurry of creating pages and writing notes and this is something I really recommend: look through your photos and get your thoughts down before they fade. You will be amazed how quickly you forget things like every song other than the first dance or the advice given to you by your grandmother right before you left for the ceremony.”
Shimelle advises writing down your memories of the day somewhere easy for you, perhaps in a notebook or even the notes section on your phone. Then you can go back to them when you have time; it’s never too late to make a wedding scrapbook. Shimelle enthuses: “If you have your wedding photos in a drawer from 25 years ago, it’s not too late to give them a crafty home. Work with what you have and it will still be a joy.”
New mums often have grand plans to scrapbook their baby’s development and memorable moments but in reality, finding time is hard. Shimelle advises working on smaller pages so it’s less intimidating: “Working in little pockets like 3×4 and 4×6 inches, means you can do lots of tiny crafting sessions. You can add a photo here and a journaling card there and get all that important stuff included without needing huge blocks of time. That way your crafting can stay relaxing and rewarding.”
Lizzie likes to carry a scrapbook when she travels: “I stick in train tickets, receipts, luggage tags, napkins – anything!”
If you can’t print off any photographs until you get home, you can still keep a ‘live’ scrapbook while you’re away by making scrapbook sketches. These can be daily doodles or drawings that you display alongside photos and sentiments.
Travel scrapbooks are a great place to store memories, everything from your plane ticket to ticket stubs of concerts and exhibitions. Note down the food you ate, memorable quotes from people you met and observations you made about new places that you don’t want to forget.
Vintage scrapbooks have a distinct aesthetic that reflect the pre-digital age. They are a wonderful way to safely display old photographs you may stored away in shoeboxes along with other memorabilia.
Getting started on vintage scrapbooking takes a bit of extra preparation advises Shimelle, “When working with old photos, my first step is always to make a digital copy of everything so you can craft without worry of making a mistake with scissors or dropping a bottle of colourful ink on them.
“This can be as simple as placing the photos on a surface near a window for good natural light and using your phone to take a picture of each picture. If the photos have writing on the reverse, photograph that as well to preserve the handwriting of your loved ones from years ago.”
The writing on the back of old photos are extremely special and can be very useful: “I’m always thankful to my great-great grandmother who wrote out the names of her family members who were long gone before I ever existed!” says Shimelle.
If your photos represent a particular era, you can create layouts using themed scrapbook paper and icons which can black and white photos to life. A great way to do this is to do a search on Pinterest, recommends Shimelle: “I could start a search for ‘late 1940s colour palette’ and I’ll be given examples of the colours popular in both fashion and interior design for that time period. I can also find sewing patterns, movie stills, and postcards from the same time frame to create a list of motifs I might then search for in my papercrafting supplies.”
TIP: If you are using original photos always mount them on acid-free scrapbooking papers so they don’t fade or turn yellow.
The beauty of a family scrapbook is getting everyone involved in it, in fact making one is an occasion in itself. Why not opt for a scrapbooking party to mark your next birthday or for a family gathering? Shimelle has some great tips: “Set up a simple crafting station: You can either print photos from previous events or bring an instant camera like a Fuji Instax and encourage the guests to take photos on the day. You can also use a phone and a small photo printer if you have one.
“On your craft table, you’ll need an album with page protectors, background pages cut to the right size, pens, adhesive, and a basket of fun things to dress up the pages, like stickers and smaller scraps of pretty paper.”
Keep it informal, for participants to join in throughout the day and to encourage them, make a few pages in advance to put in the album as examples, so any novice crafters have an idea to follow.
Shimelle adds: “Using an album with page protectors instead of a spiral-bound album with the pages already attached means more than one person can craft at the same time. Plus it means there’s no required number of pages to make the album, so you won’t feel stuck with half of your spiral-bound album feeling empty. Once you have a guest or two giving the crafting a go, others will join in and you’ll end up with a wonderful and unique keepsake.”
Caught the scrapbooking bug? These are the supplies you’ll need to make your scrapbook ideas come to life.
These are sold in different sizes, the classic is 12x12inches for a large scrapbook page, 8x8inches for medium and 4x4inches for a mini scrapbook. As well as buying paper to create a scrapbook see what you have at home that you could use. “Start collecting scrap paper from old envelopes, packaging, wrapping paper and magazines,” advises Lizzie.
You no longer need to wait for photos to be printed when you can print them at home. It saves time as Shimelle explains “I previously ordered all my photos from a developing service, and I still do for some projects because the quality is beautiful, but in terms of making things easier, to be able to leave a printer on my bookshelf and print instantly from my phone has made me get remember all photos I have on my phone.”
As well as paper, photos and/or a printer you’ll need these for your scrapbooking kit:
Store completed scrapbook layouts inside page protectors so they don’t get damaged, these can be stored in an album or folder.
There are endless options including letter stickers and graphics.
Popular for creating colourful borders around photos and on pages.
Embellishments and sentiments
Choose them to match the theme of your page layout.
These have good quality ink and help make your handwriting more stylised.
These pens won’t fade over time.
Ensure you have a sharp pair only for cutting paper.
Have a mixture of glue sticks, double-sides tape, re-positionable glue dots and 3D sticky pads to layer up images.
If you own a digital cutting gadget like a Cricut, it can help you create lettering and embellishments.
Scrapbooking kit (optional)
An easy way to start your scrapbooking journey is to buy a kit. They include an album and embellishments so you can get started straight away.
Mini scrapbook kit
Now you’re armed with scrapbooking ideas, it’s time to get crafting. “Remember there are no rules – just go for it,” explains Amy, who also recommends visiting her YouTube channel when your creative juices are lacking.’
Lizzie adds: “Don’t hold back! You’ll be surprised by what you can create with a few bits of paper. Let your imagination run wild.”
Shimelle who also has her own line of scrapbook papers concludes: “There’s no one way to scrapbook, remember you’re making something because you enjoy making, so let your passion guide you and enjoy it.”