Friday, April 24, 2009

Simple Photo Matting for Scrapbookers

Most photographs can be enhanced by fixing them to coloured cardstock. This process, known as matting, is one of the most simple and effective ways to display your photographs.

Mounting a photograph on cardstock is easy. Begin by choosing a colour which complements or contrasts with the basic colours in the photo. A mat ought to add interest and definition. If you are unsure what colour to pick most photographs work well with strong plain backgrounds. Black can be particularly effective. Once you feel confident in your choice you might like to experiment more with patterns to produce original and eye-catching effects.

Simple Steps to Mat a Photo

  1. Apply tape, photo stickers or adhesive to the back of your photograph.

  2. Fix photo to your chosen cardstock by placing it on one corner. Line up the edges of the photo with the edges of the cardstock. Ensure that you leave a small border on the bottom and side of the photo.

  3. Once the photo is adhered to the cardstock use scissors to cut around the image. Make sure you leave enough of a border of backing card to work with.

  4. Finally trim remaining sides of cardstock to the same amount of border all the way around. A guillotine, if you have one, is very useful for this purpose.

  5. You are now ready to use your matted photo in your layout.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Handy Scrapbooking Tools for Beginners

Beyond the basic equipment for the beginner there are other handy items that can be added over time to you scrapbooking kit. Here is a list of some useful tools:

Rubber Stamps
There are a variety of rubber stamps on the market for scrapbooking and cardmaking. Stamps can be used to add decoration to the page and for titles and journalling. Inkpads come in different colours. Make sure you only buy inkpads that are acid free and contain permanent ink.

Craft Knife
Craft knifes can be a godsend for cutting out titles. Make sure you use a cutting mat at all times. If you choose a cutting mat with a grid you will find it makes cutting and measuring much easier.

Paper Trimmer
One of my favourite scrapbooking items is my paper trimmer. It cuts paper and card up to 12x12. I use the Kaiser brand which has a variety of interchangeable blades but there are many others on the market to choose from. The beauty of interchangeable blades is that I can easily get the kind of look I want such as scalloping with a flick of a switch.

Eyelet Tool
If you intend to add a lot of embellishments to your pages you might find an eyelet tool useful. You can buy a kit that includes a hole punch with a variety of different hole sizes.

Embellishments add interest and flair to your pages depending on your theme and the look you are hoping for. Try buttons, paper, fabric such as ribbons and twill tape, tags, wire and metal.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Scrapbookers Guide to Cropping Photos

Not every photo that you will want to use in your scrapbooking pages will be perfect. Once processed you might be disappointed to find that your best pictures have distracting backgrounds or other features that detract from the overall quality or effect you are looking for. One very simple way to immediately improve your photos is to crop them.

Cropping is a very easy technique whereby unwanted details of the photo are eliminated leaving only the parts of the image that are desired. Professionals use heavy pieces of black card cut at right angles which are placed on the photograph to help them decide how much of the photograph to crop. Simply by moving the corners closer together different amounts of cropping of the image can be tested. Once the desired result is achieved the corner points are marked and joined on the image with a sharp pencil. Using the pencil lines as guides the image is then cropped with a paper trimmer or guillotine.

You can achieve great effects with cropping too by creating your own "croppers."

How to Make Your Own Pair of Croppers
Using stiff black cardstock and starting in the righthand corner cut out one right angle measuring 10cm x 2.5cm. Then repeat this process using the same dimensions as before but this time starting at the bottom lefthand corner. You will then have two right angles to use with your smaller photographs to help you with your cropping decisions. Croppers can be any size you wish. Another useful size for larger photographs is 15cm x 3cm.

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