WHAT IS SCRAPBOOKING?
Creating a scrapbook is a fun hobby, especially on those long winter days and nights and loved by many. It involves organizing either your photographs or perhaps newspaper articles or magazine articles if you have featured in the media. These are organized according to themes; baby themes, wedding themes, Christmas themes, travel themes, etc. and then decorated and accessorised in an album. This can be done by using string, raffia, ribbon, fancy lettering, stickers, cut-outs and other pictures to enhance your own picture collection. You don't need much to get started. In this article we are only talking about analogue photos. Digital scrapbooks can also be created, but that is for another article.
Getting started with your scrapbook can be fun and exciting, but before you start, you need to think about the style you want to create. Do you want it to look elegant and sophisticated, fun and wacky or do you want the style to echo the contents of your pictures? For example, if you have some photographs of a beach holiday the you will want to create a beach theme. This will involve finding beach theme accessories to decorate your album. This could be done with raffia, sand, shells, crabs, fish etc. Then you will also want to think about whether you are going to use 3D objects in your decoration or simply use 2D pictures and stickers. It really is up to you, and the sky is the limit in scrapbooking which is only limited by a lack of creativity. However, even if you are not creative there are lots of layout ideas available on the Internet. Everyone has their own sense of style and creativity. All you have to do is start finding it.
So the first thing now that you want to do is to organize your photographs. Choose the best ones, don't use them all and certainly don't use ones that are out of focus as they will spoil the overall effect that you want to achieve with your scrapbooking.
WHAT STYLE TO CHOOSE?
The style will be determined by what you use in your decorations and this creates the look, the feel and the mood. If you want an elegant style, then think gold, silver, cream, royal blue, maroon even black. Shapes that are cut out will have cut edges rather than jagged, they will be cut square or rectangular and the paper used will be crisp.
Of course the opposite end of the spectrum is to have a shabby chic look. This is achieved by using roughly textured edges, washed out colours and trying to get that worn vintage look. A lot of white with pastel colours are used in this style. Think of floral prints and mixed patterns, like a patchwork quilt. Techniques used for this style are crumpling, tearing, distressing and even sanding.
If you are looking for a retro feel then think of the psychedelic 60s and 70s, big glasses, boots, peace signs, daisies and being free-spirited. This is time for bright colours, especially pinks and purples, oranges and greens. Bring out the bubble writing and the swirls, the sparkles and the glitter. You can have a lot of fun with this style which is that fun and wacky style that you want to create.
Where the retro style is busy, busy, busy, the minimalistic style or classic style is not. Think Japanese gardens and homes. Understated but quietly sophisticated. Creams and whites, reds, blues, yellows and greens. Lots of open spaces and no clutter. Often only one main picture features on the page and there are few accessories. Those that are used are used effectively and strategically placed.
Lastly we look at the ephemera style. This is when photographs are layered to create a collage effect. They are usually placed on dark backgrounds and embellished with metal accessories. This style includes mixed fonts and lots of writing. This is a layered look that results in texture, color and interest. It is create if you want to create a masculine style, especially achievable using dark browns and blacks, or also useful in displaying sepia or black & white photos.
CUTTING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS
There is nothing worse than seeing great photos that have been butchered because they have been badly cut. So the most important purchase will be a paper trimmer that will give you a perfect cut every time. There are different trimmers for paper cutting shapes, those that do round or oval shapes and those that just do a straight-edged cut. You will find these in your local craft shops or on the Internet. You will also need a good pair of fine-tip scissors. A good pair will be invaluable.
IDEAS FOR YOUR SCRAPBOOK
The best way in which to get ideas is to think ‘outside the box’. Push the envelope and try something that you haven't done before. Those $2 dollar stores are great for discounted paper and stationery, a wealth of knick-knacks that can be used in your design, clips, craft adhesive, stickers, stamps, albums and coloured pencils. Look for cheap themed paper and buy when you see it. Visit the toy section at your supermarket for miniatures. Buy body art tattoos in packs to decorate your pages. One word of advice, when you buy your adhesive make sure that it is acid free. Creating a scrapbook need not be an expensive hobby if you shop at the right places where you are guaranteed to find bargains.
The main issue in starting your scrapbook is to start at all! Complete one page at a time, and in the end you will have a beautiful scrap book that is a reflection of who you are. It will give pleasure to many, and will be a showpiece for your beautiful family photos and special memories.
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