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Scrapbooking Anyone?


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For those that haven't heard of scrapbooking - where have you been? Scrapbooking is now a phenomenon and is spreading like wildfire through the craft world.

The term “scrapbooking" has been in existence since 1879 and refers to “the hobby of creating compilations in scrapbook albums, such as keepsakes, pictures, periodicals, articles, etc" ( But the actual history of scrapbooking itself becomes a little hazy once you start looking back through time. Although some historians claim it goes back to Ancient Greece, most history books and websites quote the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as the period in which scrapbooking was officially recognised.

A resurgence took place between 1880 and 1890 making it one of the most popular crafts of that period. Scrapbooks lost their popularity in the 1940s but resurfaced again in the mid 1970s. It rapidly became a worldwide phenomenon in the late 1990s and is now a multi-billion dollar industry even gaining a mention in the Wall Street Journal.

While the majority of people involved in this craft are women, it was also a popular pastime for men. Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US President; Mark Twain, author of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"; Rutherford Hayes, 19th US President ; and Andy Warhol, pop culture icon, were all ardent scrappers in their time. Thomas Jefferson kept volumes upon volumes of memorabilia, diary entries and clippings all of which can be viewed today. Mark Twain reserved the Holy Sunday to dedicate to his work and even patented a self pasting scrapbook in 1872. Rutherford Hayes was a collector of articles, photographs and incorporated details of his trips abroad into his scrapbooks. Andy Warhol is well known for his compilation of 42 scrapbooks relating to his life and his work.

Kylie Rayner from All Things Scrapbooking says, “Scrapbooking is so much more than a hobby. It's the documentation of one's life and the preservation of one's family history. Removing photos from old acidic albums or shoe boxes that are actually destroying the photographs within them and placing them in a safe scrapbook album, will preserve the photographs for generations to come. The ‘decoration’ of each scrapbook page ensures that the albums are viewed time and time again. "

With the introduction of new computer software, scrapbooking has now entered the electronic age and is showing no decline in its popularity.

If you have some spare time on your hands on your photo albums are in need of rescue, then now may be the ideal time to enrol in a class or visit your local scrapbooking store.

Michelle Sweeney is the owner of Tonic Gifts, , the Australian based website specialising in quality affordable gifts for all occasions. They carry a wide range of products for men, women, children and babies including stationery, toys, books, bath and beauty products, gourmet gifts and jewellery.


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