This article will elaborate on how to make a scrapbook in easy steps for beginners.
First off, let’s talk briefly about scrapbooking and its definition.
Scrapbooking can be defined as preserving memories by arranging photos, page title, journaling and embellishments in an attractive layout, which is then put into a scrapbook album for the family and loved ones’ enjoyment.
Remember how you used to have fun making a scrapbook as a kid where you simply pasted photos on colored papers, stuck on your mementos and scribbled some wordings on? That’s scrapbooking in its early years.
Scrapbooking has evolved so much so that there’s a whole scrapbooking industry just to cater to scrapbookers. Now there’s tons of acid-free papers, acid-free adhesives, acid-free embellishments, and many scrapbooking supplies for you to choose from.
Each layout you created is called a scrapbooking layout or page. And a scrap book is simply a collection of scrapbooking layouts or pages put together in an album.
To create a scrapbook album, you’ll have to start creating scrapbooking pages.
So first off, let’s look at the basic scrapbook supplies you’ll need for your “Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make a Scrapbook” at home.
Basic Supplies for Making a Scrapbook
Solid-colored plain or textured, acid-free papers. Usually used as background papers and as photo mats.
- Patterned Papers
Acid-free papers with designs or prints. You can use them as photo mats, as background papers, as part of your page accents and such.
Crafts scissors or a pair of straight-cut scissors you can use to crop your photos and to cut down your papers to desired sizes.
Acid-free glue. There’s liquid glue, glue-dots and glue-tapes.
- Journaling Pen
Pens used on your scrapbook layouts should preferably be pigment ink, acid-free, waterproof, fade proof and non-bleeding. Such pens are easily available at scrapbook stores.
- Scrapbook Album
A scrapbook album is the “house” for your layouts. After completing each scrapbook layout, just slot them into your scrapbooking album for protection and viewing.
You’ll be amazed by the variety of embellishments available to the scrapbookers. From buttons, ribbons, fibers, beads to metal frame, It’s really an eye-popping experience shopping for embellishments. Embellishments are the “extras”.
Basic Steps to Making a Scrapbook
Armed with the above-mentioned basic supplies, let’s move on to the step-by-step guide on how to make a good scrapbook.
1) Brainstorm on a Theme
Think about what you want your scrapbook to be about. Having a specific theme will help you to have a good idea of the kind of pages you’ll like to create. It also makes it easier when you purchase your scrapbook supplies, as you can look out for items related to your theme.
There are many themes you can consider, for example, your grandson’s graduation album, your baby’s first year, your wedding, and so on.
If you have no specific theme in mind, simply start off with a general album where everything you’ve scrapbooked will go in here. Then after you’ve been scrapping for some time, and have a good number of pages, you might want to sort them into different albums. Maybe by broader themes such as individual family members, travel, holidays, etc.
Here’s a list of easy scrapbook ideas to help you make a simple scrapbook about yourself.
2) List of Stories to Tell
For a specific theme, you might want to make a list of the little stories you want to tell or the memories you want to save. Have a big picture of the pages you want to create for your scrapbook.
For example, if you want to scrapbook about your baby’s first year. You could break down the scrapbook into 12 months, and for each month you can create pages about your baby’s developmental milestones, or your favorite memories from that month, etc. You can dedicate a page to each month or a few pages to each month. It’s really up to you.
If you’re not working on a specific theme, you won’t have to think in terms of the whole album but rather the next page idea you want to work on. Still, you can make a list of topics you’ll want to scrapbook about and save this list. When you’re ready to scrapbook, you just pick an idea to work on.
3) Photo Selections
Select the photos you’ll like to go into your specific theme album. For the example of baby’s first year I’ve used above, you can choose a few photos from each of the 12 months to scrapbook about.
If you have no theme in mind, choose photos that can help you to tell the story you’ll like to scrapbook about.
4) Placement of Page Elements
For specific themes, a good idea to try is to set a consistent layout design for all the pages for a unified look. As you planned your theme page’s design, it will save you time in creating your pages, utilize your themed supplies more fully, and give you a clean and simple feel to the overall look of your scrapbook.
For a non-theme scrapbook where you create each page whenever inspiration strikes you, play around with the placement of elements and try to achieve an eye-pleasing arrangement on your background paper.
A little planning will save you from cropping the photos into the wrong sizes, or realizing you’ve run out of space for your journaling, or committing to a layout design that doesn’t look right. So have a good idea of where your photos, title, journaling and embellishment should go before you start cropping and pasting.
If you want to save time and create attractive layouts even as a beginner, learn to use scrapbook sketches when you’re creating a layout.
5) Crop, Mat & Adhere Your Photos
If cropping of photos is needed, make fade pencil markings on the back of the photos and then crop the photos to your desired sizes with your pair of scissors or paper trimmer.
OK, you can choose to mat or not mat your photos. Matting will make your photos stand out more, draw your eyes to the focal photo, and add a pretty border around the photos. You can use cardstock, patterned papers, fabric, and other materials as your photo mats.
If you’ve already planned out your placement of elements, you would know where your photos should go, so adhere your cropped photos to your scrapbook page with acid-free glue.
6) Page Title
A page title can highlight or support the page theme or topic.
You can handwrite your page title, add swirls or creative extras to make your title into a decorative page topper. Stamped letters, sticker letters, stenciled letters are great as page titles too.
You can also create computer-generated titles. If you do anything with your computer and print it out to use on your page, you’re doing “hybrid scrapbooking”. You can use type/fonts to create beautiful titles for your page.
If you’re wondering about coming up with eye-catching page titles or need a little inspiration on what to write on your page, take a look at this ebook, 5,000 Scrapbook Titles & Quotes.
Journaling is important, It helps you to tell a good story. Photos are there to support your story. So yes, please spend some time to think about your words.
For your journaling, you can choose to add in names, dates, captions, lyrics, quotes, heartfelt letters and such.
You can either print out your journaling using computer fonts or handwrite them.
OK, when I first started, most of my journaling is handwritten because I didn’t want to buy the ink refill for my printer. ;) Later on I did experiment with computer fonts for a short period of time before I ran out of ink again. That’s when I went back to handwriting my journaling.
So if you want to save money or add a more personal or whimsical touch, handwrite your journaling.
But in terms of readability, I would have to say that if you use classic type fonts such as Arial, Century Gothic, Times New Roman, Garamond, etc in your journaling text, it’s usually easier to read than handwriting. If you’re aiming for a clean and simple look to your pages, go for classic type in journaling.
8) Dressing Up with Embellishments
Embellishments can enhance your page as interesting decorative pieces. If you want to add dimension, glitz or texture to your page, try adding on an embellishment or two.
You can glue your embellishments, sew them or tie them with ribbons to your layout, it’s up to your imagination.
Try not to go overboard with embellishments and let it overshadow your story. Embellishments are the extra bits to your scrapbook page. It’s optional.
9) Protecting and Housing Your Layouts
After you’ve completed your page, it’s ready to go into the scrapbook album you’ve chosen so your page is protected from getting torn, dusty or damaged.
Continue to create more pages to go into your scrapbook!