Do you perhaps have years of photos and memorabilia in a box and don’t know where to start? Do you feel overwhelmed with albums full of pictures with no stories attached?
Do you want to get pictures out of boxes and into a format that you and your family can enjoy for years to come? Sure you do, or you wouldn’t be reading this article.
So, the question is, where to start? How do you scrapbook without feeling overwhelmed? How do you get books done quickly so that you don’t spend the next 10 years scrapbooking all those pictures and never get to the ‘current’ stuff?
How do you manage the current stuff without loosing the memories of the older stuff? Here is how you can put your first scrapbook together.
Step by Step Instructions for Your First Scrapbook – Easy Scrapbooking Ideas You Can Use!
Step 1: Select Your Pictures
Select one section to work on at a time. Spread all the pictures out so you can see what you have. Arrange your photos in groups according to activity within the subject, similar background, persons in the photos, etc.
This will help you narrow down your photos to the best ones that will tell the story you wish to share. If you have a lot of pictures for a topic, spread them out on the floor. Group them by similar background or activity. Select only the best possible pictures for your layouts. You don’t have to use every single picture. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Pictures that are of poor quality really aren’t worth scrapbooking.
Step 2: Gather Memorabilia
In addition to selecting pictures, now is the time to find the memorabilia you might want to include on the pages. These include brochures from the trip you’re going to feature. Perhaps you have a certificate of achievement for your child’s science project.
Other items that come to mind are diplomas, athletic event ribbons, flat trinkets, recipes, handwritten notes, valentines, filled in calendars, growth charts, marriage certificates, or locks of hair. The possibilities are really endless, but you want to think flat. If something is bulky, take a picture of it rather than try to fit it into the scrapbook.
Step 3: Write About The Pictures
At this stage, I don’t expect you to write a perfect journal block on the best paper in the exact size you need. What I mean is take some notes about your chosen pictures on scrap paper placed with your photo groups, in a notebook, or a file on your computer.
You could even voice record your memories with some really cool gadgets and apps on your phone or computer. The point isn’t how you record your notes. The point is that you record them.
Step 4: Pick Layouts
This is probably the best and most frustrating part of scrapbooking. You feel awesome because you know what pictures (and their sizes) you’re going to use. You have found your memorabilia and have a few notes about the story you want to share.
Now you can pull out your template files (sketches you’ve made, templates torn from magazines, or layout resource books). Templates are amazing and you should use them as often as possible. So, grab your sketches and your layout items and start looking.
Select a template to match your layout needs. Record your selected layout in a notebook or on a note paper to include with your pictures.
Step 5: Choose Your Scrapbook Paper
Select paper that coordinates with your photos. You’ve waited long enough, now it’s time to play with your scrapbooking supplies. Since we’re going to be digging through the paper files for this section you can get it all out. The other thing you’ll want to be prepared with is a container for your paper, pictures, memorabilia, and note slips. I’m a big fan of the clear, plastic paper organizers. I have one for each album that I’m working on. You can take a look at some lovely Scrapbook Paper here: Best Scrapbook Paper
Step 6: Gather Your Embellishments
One more step before we start assembling these layouts en masse. It’s time to get your stickers, ribbons, buttons, brads, fibers, and what not out. Since you’ve just gone through your paper, the layout topics and organization are fresh in your mind. Now is the time to go through your embellishment collection or if you need to start a collection take a look at Best Scrapbooking Embellishments.
Put the items you may want to include on your page into the layout stack. If you’re not sure it will work, put it in the stack any way. You can make a final decision later. For smaller items such as eyelets, add a note about what you want to include in your layouts on a slip of paper and stick that with your layout stack.
Step 8: Assemble The Tayouts
You made it! Yeah. Find a piece of chocolate and reward yourself. Better yet, go to a scrapbook retreat or have one in your own home.
Putting Your Scrapbook Together
Now that you have many layout stacks with all the items you need to assemble a page, it’s time to put them together. This phase is exciting because you can take these stacks to a scrapbooking event (a crop) and get a lot of pages assembled while visiting with others. This is your assembly line!
1. Background & Photos
Start by attaching all the background items… border stickers, creative eyelet designs, etc. Then add your photo mats and your pictures. If you have paper for journaling blocks, cut them to size but don’t attach them yet. Then set this layout aside and move on to the next layout stack.
2. Write Journaling
When you have a large block of quiet time, write your journaling on the blocks. When you have a number of them written, attach them to your page. If you’re writing directly on the layout, do that now. You’ll also want to take care of your page titles and photo captions in this step as well. When you’ve finished all the journaling, move on to the next step.
3. Attach the Finishing Accents
I save my embellishments for last, unless they are apart of the background design. Many pages are complete before I get to this step. So, I use a critical eye to see what else the page may need. If the page does need the embellishments I picked out, then I proceed to attach them. If I don’t feel I really need the embellishment, I don’t add it.
No matter how you preserve your memories (off-line journal, on-line blog, hand written journal), keep recording the current events that you will scrapbook someday. That way, you can scrapbook in chronological order but record the freshest memories for later use.