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How to Start Your Own Scrapbook

Jane Bertin
By Jane Bertin. Updated: August 3, 2020
How to Start Your Own Scrapbook

You might think that scrapbooking is a recent trend, but in fact it's been around since the Renaissance at least! All kinds of people recorded their favorite quotes, ideas and memories in commonplace books and sentiment and friendship albums. It's an easy and fun pastime, and it can be much cheaper than it looks.

Stay with us at OneHowTo - we'll teach you how to start your own scrapbook so that you can make an album that preserves your memories, allows you to unleash your creativity and arranges your mementos in a completely individual and personalized way. It takes much less space than the classic shoebox, and you'll love the process of scrapbooking just for the sake of it.

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Steps to follow:

Gather the material for your scrapbook

  • Pick a scrapbook album: You can use a spiral notebook, but a scrapbook album with rings is better since you'll be able to rearrange the pages. Scrapbook albums are usually square; 12x12 is the most common size, while 8x8 is also a good choice. However, go for any shape and style you prefer. Make sure that it's not magnetic, and that the paper is acid- and lignin-free. It ought to have sheet protectors so that the photos are not damaged.
  • Get the basic scrapbooking supplies: Scissors, plain and patterned papers, a pen (go for basic black) and some kind of adhesive (from a plain glue stick to sticky dots). If you want a more professional result, get a paper trimmer.
  • Look for embellishments: Look for different colorful pens and play with their size. You can use stationery like stickers, crayons, washi tape or punches; textiles like buttons, bows, rhinestones and ribbons; natural materials like flowers, feathers or wood. Glitter is always an option!

Keep your materials in order and find a well-lit, comfortable workspace. Get to work!

How to Start Your Own Scrapbook - Step 1

Design your own scrapbook

So you want to start your own scrapbook: Have you decided on a theme? Do you want to tell a story, or do you just want to do something crafty and artistic for the sake of it?

Many people choose to chronicle events in their lives; a year in the life, a journey, a special day like a wedding or birthday. A scrapbook is also a good way to keep an archive of your family history or to set up a family tree - ask your relatives for stories and photos!

Scrapbooks make deeply personal gifts for friends, and they can also be made as therapy. Many of us find scrapbooking relaxing, and it's a good self-care or coping method in times of stress. You can make an affirmation or gratitude scrapbook, or use it to log in your milestones and goals - or just to make something that fits exactly your aesthetics.

Survey your materials and photos and don't be afraid to edit them - cut things out and keep only the best or most interesting parts. Design different page layouts for your scrapbook: sketch them before starting. You can work in a single or double page - arrange the layout however you want, but it's best not to leave the center empty, but make sure the page is not too crowded. A tip: Imagine or draw a grid on the page and use the focal points as a guide.

Play around with the layout. Look at your photos to find a coherent palette - the pages do not have to match as long as they are coordinated. Add fold-up pages, paste envelopes or stitch in pockets, creating depth and layers.

How to Start Your Own Scrapbook - Step 2

How to choose papers for your scrapbook

Choosing papers is not as simple as it looks. Of course, coordinating colors and creating a coherent palette is important. However, you should also take texture and depth into account. If you don't want to spend money on expensive patterned or textured paper, why not use old gift wrapping or magazines?

The background of the page does not necessarily have to be plain, although black is a sure-fire, elegant choice. Don't be afraid to use patterns as long as the photos are framed with a solid color.

If you choose a plain-color paper, consider decorating the borders or corners with stamps, washi tapes or ribbons. It will create sections within the album, and they're great to order and organize.

How to Start Your Own Scrapbook - Step 3

How to arrange photos in a scrapbook album

Pick your photos - select them carefully! - and play around with them before gluing them. Create frames with a wide enough border in a plain color to separate the photo from clashing patterns or the background. Instead of framing - or matting - them, you can try decorating and protecting the corners with ribbons. Try layering the photos - if they overlap slightly, you'll link them.

Before starting, though, take the time to prime the photos. Use software - Photoshop is the most obvious choice - to crop the pictures, bring up the colors, resize them, etc.


How to journal in your scrapbook album

In the world of scrapbooking, "journaling" means writing in your album. You can write entire stories or anecdotes that fit the page, or you can simply take note of the dates and locations of the pictures - whatever fits your style best!

Some people like to write directly on the album, since it's more spontaneous and personal. If you want to avoid errors, however, you can write on a computer, print and paste the text. This will give you the chance to use varied, pretty fonts that fit the theme or event you're writing about.

Journaling is not only describing or commenting; you can write down song lyrics, poems, or quotes. You can also ask your friends or family to write something from their point of view.


How to enhance your scrapbook

Do not settle on two or three layout designs. Look around for inspiration from your favorite magazines, online sites like Pinterest or specific scrapbooking blogs. You can also cross over with other media, from punk zines to pop collages or school yearbooks. Scrapbooking is only about the album - what's inside is your own!

Many scrapbookers share their designs, and you can rearrange them and share yours. Keep up with the trends!


Other ways to start your own scrapbook

If you don't love crafts that much, but you still want to make your own scrapbook, you're in luck: there are many digital sites that allow you to do so! A quick Google search will show you the best scrapbooking software and programs to make a digital scrapbook album

If you don't have a local scrapbook store at hand, consider buying a scrapbooking kit online. They come with albums, sheet protectors, papers and embellishments, and there are enough varieties to fit all budgets.


This is how to start your own scrapbook: If you have any ideas or tips, share them in the comments section!

How to Start Your Own Scrapbook - Step 8

If you want to read similar articles to How to Start Your Own Scrapbook, we recommend you visit our Crafts & leisure category.

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How to Start Your Own Scrapbook