Monday, February 16, 2009

Guide to Scrapbooking Your First Page

Are you new to scrapbooking and not sure where to begin? Scrapbooking is a fun and engrossing hobby but it can also be a bit overwhelming at first. That's why I've written this simple guide to walk you through the process of creating your first scrapbooking page. Let's get started.

The key to good scrapbooking is ORGANISATION. Remember the more organised you are the better the flow. This is particularly important if you have time constraints. There is nothing more annoying than sitting down to scrap only to find that you have forgotten an essential item. If you are a person who likes lists you might find it helpful to make one to manage your project but this is a matter of individual style and ways of working.


Gather together the photos you would like to display on the page. You probably have more than you need. That's OK because you can narrow your selection later. Choose the best images and any that simply must be included. Any photos left over can be stored in another album elsewhere or given away to family or friends.

Until you are confident it may be best to start with photos that can easily be replaced in case you make a mistake that you can't readily rectify. Adopting this strategy will give you the confidence to just have a play around without fear of getting it wrong which is an important creative principle.


Consider your journaling carefully. What would you like to say about these photos? Do you want to tell a story? Give the basic facts? What feeling do you want to convey? Write down your ideas. Make notes. This will help jog your memory. Are there facts you need to check up on? If so do this before you start your page.

The aim of good journaling is to say enough about what is occurring to inform but not overshadow the photos or bombard anyone looking at the page with too many facts. Telling a story is a very effective journaling technique. Make your page personal to you. Your family and friends will want to know the story behind the photos. Journaling is best when its kept simple but make sure you cover the basics:

Describe what is happening in the photos

Include the dates the photos were taken or the events occurred

Name the people/places in the photos

Tell the story in you own hand. Handwriting makes your journaling more personal. Later on you can try out computer journaling but for now stick with pen and ink

Buying Your Scrapbooking Supplies

Scrapbooking supply stores can be a bit daunting at first but contrary to popular belief you don't need to spend a whole lot to get started. Think about what you need before visiting the store so that you stay within your budget and don't buy items that aren't really necessary. If you have a theme in mind such as a wedding or holiday that this page will form part of you might consider buying extra supplies to ensure consistency.

To get started you are going to need:

An album
12x12. Make sure it is archival safe and acid free

Photo corners on a runner or adhesive tape. Acid and lignin free.

Buy individually or in a small pack so that you only buy what you are going to use.

Stickers (Optional)
Useful for titling and to enhance theme.

Embellishments such as die cuts, brads etc. Make sure they suit your theme.

Many beginners find that a scrapbooking kit is a good way to start off. Kits take the headache out of shopping for your scrapbooking supplies especially if you are struggling to coordinate items. Usually all of the above apart from the adhesive are included in a kit making it cost effective. An added advantage is that kits contain papers both coloured and patterned along with embellishments which all match each other. Read more about basic equipment.

Designing Your Scrapbook Page

If you are new to scrapbooking it can be helpful to take a look at pages created by others. There are a variety of scrapbooking magazines on the market many of which include quite detailed descriptions of the resources used to create the page. Your local library is a good place to start if you are in need of inspiration.

Layout is one of the most important aspects of scrapbooking. Before adhering any pictures to the page try out different positions until you are happy with the arrrangement. Ensure you leave enough room for your journalling and any embellishments you want to include.

If you are struggling with the layout there are some good resources on the net. Try our web resources section for links to sites providing layouts and sketches suitable for most types of project.

Layouts are only a guide to get you underway. Remember you have the freedom to change the design to suit your own particular needs. If you need to add extra journalling or substitute a larger image for smaller photos go right ahead.

After you have decided on a layout that you are happy with assemble the page. You may need to do this in a particular order depending on the desired effect. Take your time putting it all together to ensure accuracy. Measure distances and ensure that all elements on the page are properly aligned before sticking them down. Finally pop your page into a plastic sleeve from your album to protect it from accidental soiling.

This article describes how to go about putting your first scrapbooking page together from shopping for supplies to adhering your photos and embellishments to the page.

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