Free Scrapbooking Ideas

How do you get started with scrapbooking? These easy and free scrapbooking ideas will take you through the basics and set you off creating your first scrapbook!

1. Pick a Theme

Your scrapbook is not merely a random collection of odd knickknacks and old photos; it is a book that tells a story about your (or a loved one’s) life. Be specific about your scrapbook’s theme; is it about important events like birthdays, graduations, and family outings? Will the scrapbook cover a specific period of time?

If you can’t decide on a theme, you can easily browse for free scrapbooking ideas online. Once you have decided on the theme, it’s easy to pick the materials that you’ll need for the rest of your scrapbook.

2. Organize Your Photos, Mementos and Scrapbooking Supplies

You can organize photos chronologically for easy reference. Mementos such as tickets, invitations, and cards are great material for scrapbooks. Just make sure that these things stay flat once you’ve laid the down on the pages of your album.

3. Buy Scrapbook Supplies, Decor and An Album

Your album’s size will depend on your preferences. The small ones (such as those size 6 x 6 or 8 x 8) are perfect for baby-themed albums, while those that are larger (8.5 x 11, 12 x 12) are more suited for scrapbooks that are general in scope (examples: scrapbooks for travel, recipes, and family pets). A word of advice though: buy albums that are acid and lignin-free as these substances can discolor paper and turn photos yellowish over time.

Scrapbook kits are highly recommended especially for those who don’t have much time to prepare scrapbook decorations by hand. Most kits already come prepackaged with patterned papers, ribbons, washi tape, adhesive buttons, paper cut-outs and other embellishments which you can use to make your scrapbook look more lively and fun.

4. Have a Layout Plan in Mind

A page should have a single focal point (whether it’s a picture or a memento), for maximum effect. Lay out this object first on a page, and then build up the decorations around it. If you must place several items on a single page, group similar objects together so that everything will look more coherent. Don’t use too much photos, three to five photos should be more than enough to convey your story on a single page.

Scrapbooking Advice, Tips and Tricks

1. Don’t be afraid to “fix” your photos. Crop or cut your pictures if necessary. Also, don’t write anything on the back of photos, the ink from pens can sometimes destroy photo emulsions. Use a Post-It note if you want to write something on a picture.

2. Don’t go too overboard with the decorations. These should only be secondary to the materials that you will place in your scrapbook. Simpler is always better when it comes to decorations.

3. Scrapbooking takes time. If you’re building one from scratch, dedicate at least one day of the week to gather and organize all of your materials.

4. If buying your scrapbook supplies online, don’t buy too many supplies and/or decor at once if you’re not sure if you’ll be using these for your scrapbook project. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the decorating choices that you have; but the best thing to do here is to be practical and make sure that everything you’ll buy is worth your money.

5. Make sure to have digital backups! Having a physical photograph in hand is more romantic, of course, but digital photos will definitely stand the test of time. Keep digital backups of everything that you will place in your scrapbook so that you will still have a copy of them in the event that your scrapbook will get lost or be destroyed.

6. Scrapbook communities exist all over the Internet. If you’re serious about scrapbooking as a hobby, you can join these groups for inspiration and as a resource for free scrapbooking ideas.

7. Invest in an X-acto knife and a pair of good quality scrapbooking tweezers. These tools will come in handy for small and detailed decorations.

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8. Always keep a camera on-hand! You’ll never know when that picture perfect moment will arrive. Having a small digital camera or smartphonecam can ensure that you’ll never miss a great photo opportunity.

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