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Creative Scrapbooking - Everything You Need to Get Started
Scrapbooking at its essence is really about storytelling, but with a visual and tactile, rather than oral, focus. Scrapbooking is also a method for preserving a legacy or history in the form of photographs, printed media, and memorabillia contained in decorated albums, or scrapbooks. The tremendous growth of the Internet has resulted in more creative scrapbook approaches as well as online scrapbooks. The digital photography revolutions has been accompanied by an explosion in creative scrapbook ideas.
Learning to scrapbooking is something that takes commitment, just like learning any art. If you think that it's a craft you'd like to enjoy, there are a few basic tools, supplies, and skills you will need to get started. Creating albums takes time, but the projects are rewarding and the end result is a family heirloom that can be enjoyed and then passed down to your grandchildren, along with your love for scrapbooking.
To get started, you first need pictures. Almost everyone has boxes or photo albums full of pictures, and you may notice that some of these are discolored or warped due to their poor storage. The world around us in our homes is full of acid and moisture, which breaks down the chemical balance used to produce photographs and causes them to change appearance. By scrapbooking with acid free supplies, you can protect you pictures for many years to come.
There is no wrong way to scrapbook. Typically, the more creative and resourceful the person, the better the page. The main focus of each page should be the picture(s) or the letter or whatever is the most important to the creator. If you are interested in starting to digital scrapbook, or incorporate digital techniques with traditional scrapbooking, there are a myriad of Web resources available.
There are only a few basic tools you need to begin. Every good scrapbooker needs a cutting tool. Sharp scissors will work well, but there are also tools on the market to cut scalloped edges, perfectly straight lines, and circles, among other things. You will also need some form of adhesive. Beginners may find that the easiest products to buy are photo mounts, which are tiny pre-cut pieces of tape, and glue dots, which are pressure-sensitive strong spots of glue to hold larger embellishments. Beyond a cutting tool and adhesive, you really don't need any other tools to get started, but if you want to create fancier pages, many options are available including rubber stamps, paper crimpers, and punches. Start with a few smaller items and increase your inventory as you learn more and more scrapbooking skills.
You will also need a few basic supplies before you begin, the most important of which is the album itself. Make sure whatever you purchase is large enough to hold all the pictures you want to include; two to five pictures will fit on a standard 8 1/2 x 11 page with cropping, with the most balanced layouts having three pictures. You can also choose from larger or smaller albums. The only other supply you need to get started is paper. Most albums come with a white piece of paper in each sheet protector, but there are many colors and designs to choose from to help spice up your album. Other supplies that add interest to your pages include paper dolls, stickers, die cuts, and three-dimensional elements.
Most of the skills you need to start scrapbooking can be easily learned by mimicking pages you see in magazines or on the Internet. However, if you are still unsure how to use your tools extremely well, you can attend or host a scrapbooking workshop. Stores and companies offer this option for people who are new to the craft, and it is the best option to help you create your first page. Remember that learning to scrapbook is a process, and you will learn new skills as you fill your album with pages.
About the Author: Michael Saunders edits a site on Creative Scrapbook Ideas and is president of Information Organizers, LLC.