Beginners Guide to Scrapbooking – How to Get Started in Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking is a rewarding, relaxing hobby. A� Walking into a scrapbooking store, looking at A�magazines or browsing on-line sites can be very confusing to the beginner, so let me just take you through some of the basics. A�Layouts can be single or double pages, and range from very simple to very elaborate. A�You can spend a lot of time on each layout and make all your own letters and embellishments; A�or you can take shortcuts and use ready-made stickers, embellishments and letters. A�I would suggest that the beginner take advantage of what is already available; A�and once you have mastered the basics, then move on to making your own embellishments.
Rules
There is only one rule in scrapbooking - all papers, adhesives, stickers and albums must be acid-free. A�Acid-free will help preserve your photos. A�Good scrapbooking products will also be lignin-free. A�When lignin in paper breaks down, it causes brown spots and yellowing.
SuppliesA�
Basic supplies include: A�an album and refill pages, a small paper trimmer (guillotine), a pair of craft A�scissors, a ruler, a craft mat, some coloured plain and patterned paper, and adhesive. A� A�There are numerous cutters, punches and various tools available if you want to make shapes - the most useful shape to begin with is an oval. A�There are a number of albums on the market, the standard size is 30cm x 30cm, and most scrapbooking papers will fit this size, although may need to be trimmed slightly. A�You can either cover the whole white album page with plain or patterned paper, (or a combination of both) or you can work on the white page and just highlight your photos with coloured mats and decorate the page with stickers.
CroppingA�
Cropping photos - refers to cutting off excess background so that the subject is central. A�You will fit more photos on a page, and won't be distracted by background that doesn't tell a story. A�Sometimes you will decide to leave the background in to give a sense of scale to the subject, A�particularly in a scenic shot, and this is fine.
Matting
Once you have decided on the photos you are going to use on the page, have a really good look at them, noting the colours. A�If any one colour pops out, this is a good one to use for a mat A�for your photo. A�A mat is a piece of paper or card cut slightly larger than the photo. A�It is not essential to mat photos, but is a good way to link the photos on your page. A�If you have several colours in the photos and can't decide which colour to use as the mat, hold the photo in front of it. A�One particular colour will usually stand out. A�A good choice of colour will make the photo appear brighter and cleaner, and a poor choice will fade the photos or overwhelm them. A�When you are satisfied with the mat colour, stick your photo to it. A�If you have several photos to go on a page, mat them all before you start arranging them on the page.
Heading
Use lettering stickers or print a heading on the computer - if you draw a heading, make sure the pens are acid free.
Completing Your PageA�
Arrange the photos on the page, leaving room for a heading and journalling. A�When you are happy with the arrangement, then stick your photos down. A� A�Next, add the heading, and then the journalling.
Journalling
Journalling is where you tell the story of the page. A�Journalling can be written directly on the page, or written or printed on small mats. A�Journalling should include who, what, where and when, and any comments about the day or event that stand out. A�If you are handwriting, use an acid-free pen.
Embellishments
Embellishments refer to any extras on the page - these can be stickers, lace, buttons, paper flowers, ribbons, tickets, programs - almost anything goes - but they should not be too bulky, and if A�not acid-free, should not come into contact with the actual photos. A�Embellishments should also complement the layout, e.g. toys would be perfect on a child's page, but not on a heritage page.
I hope this beginner's guide has been helpful. A�The great thing about scrapbooking is that the finished product is entirely your own, unique, production. A�Getting a group of friends together to scrapbook is also a good way to start. A�You can bounce ideas off one another, and on a practical level, share equipment and papers. A�I always thought I wasn't clever or crafty enough to scrapbook, or didn't have the time, but now realise that I am clever and crafty enough, because the only person I have to please is myself; A�and as far as having enough time - I usually scrapbook now instead of watching television. A�We all need some "me" time; A�and this is a perfect way to get that in.

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