Scrapbooking is a fabulous hobby that can fill many hours with pleasure while creating a keepsake of precious memories for family, friends or pets. A scrapbook is like an embellished photo album. The beauty of a scrapbook is that it can be designed any way that the individual likes. There are very few real rules within this creative hobby.

In fact, the only real rule within scrapbooking is to use acid-free elements. Over time, acid in pictures, papers, pens and more can lead to disintegration and coloring of the pages. Almost every element that goes into a scrapbook could have acid in it. This is why it is vital only to purchase supplies that are specifically for scrapbooks and photo albums. These items may cost more initially, but the outlay will be well worth it when the book still looks great in several decades.

Why Scrapbooking Is a Great Hobby

Scrapbooking can be done by any age group. Even young children enjoy looking at pictures, cutting paper and applying stickers. It is also a great hobby for the elderly who enjoy looking back at old pictures.

Not only can scrapbooking be enjoyed by everyone, but also it is a very calming and creative hobby. Although it is often easier to scrapbook during entire afternoons to allow time to get out all the needed materials and lay out numerous designs, some people prefer to work on one layout at a time. Many find the activity to relax them as they are caught up in the pictures. Scrapbooking is a creative outlet for many people as they design the picture layouts and the embellishments on each page.

In addition, scrapbooking is wonderful for reliving memories and building relationships with family and friends. A finished scrapbook can be pulled out at any time, and families can look through milestones together. Scrapbooks aid in reminiscences and in laughter.

Items Needed for Scrapbooking

Of course, it is best to purchase the main scrapbooking supplies from a retailer who specializes in this hobby. This will ensure that the individual has the best quality items that are acid-free. Outside the basic supplies, however, many people like to add fun memorabilia from around their homes for embellishments.

The most basic item is a scrapbook album. These are usually shaped as large squares. The best ones are those that can have pages added to or subtracted from them. The scrapbook cover can be plain or embellished and may contain a spot for a picture on the front. Many scrapbooks include a few page protectors; most people will want to purchase more page protectors separately to make a larger album.

Of course, paper is the next necessary item. Most scrapbooking paper is sold in the same size square as the album. Papers are sold either singly or in a collection from which sheets can be torn. However, there are also collections of scrapbooking paper that are smaller squares or rectangles that can be used for backgrounds or embellishments.

Photographs are vital. They can be printed in a glossy or matte finish to suit the individual’s desires. Old or new photos are fine to use although many people like to scan in older photographs and have them reprinted on acid-free paper.

One of the most fun and creative purchases for scrapbooking is the embellishments. Scrapbookingstores always carry such a wide variety that it would be impossible to list them all here. Stickers and rubber stamps are popular, particularly those that are shaped like letters or numbers for headings. Some stickers look like thought bubbles and can be attached directly to pictures of people. There are also many types of paper punches in a variety of shapes, such as basic shapes, animals and plants. Items around the house or cut from magazines make one-of-a kind embellishments. Even crafting supplies, such as buttons, beads and yarn can be used to enliven a page.

Other necessary items include scissors, glue and pens. Scissors are important for cropping pictures and cutting paper. Straightedge scissors are the most vital. However, many people invest in scissors with decorative edges or in pinking shears. The best glue is specially designed scrapbooking glue or glue dots. Some choose to use hot glue guns as well. Pens should be acid-free and may include fine-tipped permanent markers, calligraphy pens or gel pens for journaling.

Basic Steps of Scrapbooking

Because creativity is used more than anything, the rules for how to scrapbook are very basic. After getting all the necessary items into one place, such as on a large table, the individual should choose the pictures that he or she wishes to highlight on each page. After planning the layout and the basic paper color to use, the pictures, papers and stickers can be attached to the page. Most people choose to crop many of their pictures to show only the desired person or item. Next, other embellishments should be added and information can be written on the page describing the person or event. When the page is finished and dry, it can be placed in a page protector inside the scrapbook.

Ideas for Scrapbooks

The only limit to ideas for scrapbooks is the imagination. Many people like to organize their scrapbooks similarly to a photo album in which all photographs are included in sequence to chronicle the family’s life. Others prefer to create a scrapbook for one particular event or person. For example, there could be a scrapbook for family vacations, for birthday parties or Christmas celebrations, for each child in the household or for a certain grandparent. Some like to create a scrapbook for a special pet.

Scrapbooks are one of the best ways to combine imagination and memories to create a unique album. The possible layouts and embellishments cannot even be counted. Following the rule of using only acid-free materials will help an individual to make a scrapbook that will stand the test of time.

Cynthia Lopez