The Holidays are upon us and it’s a good time to sit and pull out paper to immortalize some memories. I am talking of course about scrapbooking, the art of putting together beautiful pages full of lovely designs, photos, and notes to be a keepsake for the kids and grandkids.
So where do we begin? First and foremost make a budget. No really, because it is very easy to go overboard, trust me. Make a list of the items you’ll need and stick to those items. Go shopping in your own home, you’ll be surprised at all of the items you have lying around that can be repurposed for a scrapbook.
Next you will want to pick a cohesive theme or look for your entire scrapbook. You can use Pinterest as a guide to help you with creating a mood board, or a feel for the book. Pick a color scheme. With a winter theme you could go with black and white or a dash of blue, maybe even green and red for a holiday look.
Once you’ve decided on the look decide on the story you want it to tell. Each page should tell a small part of the overarching story. If your scrapbook is about your family’s first snow, each page will contribute to the overall story. One page can be of the kids building snowmen, another of them making snow angels, or decorating the trees outside.
When looking at what paper to use for the pages of your scrapbook, the paper quality is very important. You don’t want to end up with a book that will stain or fall apart. The goal is to make your scrapbook last and to pass it on to the next generation. Therefore, make sure it says acid-free and archival on the packaging. Same goes for your tape, which is usually better to use than glue. It should be acid-free and archival as well.
Go ahead and print multiples of photos just so if you cut it and don’t like it you can start over. Use different sized photos to add some variety to your pages.Combine color and black and white photos together, this will make the colored photos pop right off of the page. When printing out your photos, write down the dates on the back so if you can’t get to scrapbook them immediately you know when they were taken.
Layouts can be done on a single page or over two pages. With two they give you a bit more room. You can add a clever title but don’t feel like you have to have a title for every page.The focal point should always be your photos. Never tape anything down until you are 100% sure of where you want each element to go. You can rearrange the layout as many times as necessary. Negative space is important to keep in mind since you don’t want to over crowd your pages.
Embellishing adds texture. Don’t just use photos, add other memorabilia as well. Such as ticket stubs, paper scraps, receipts, ribbons, wrapping paper, dried flowers and leaves, flyers, magazine and newspaper clippings, stamps, postcards, letters and more. You should layer elements on top of one another to add depth. Add buttons, or try embossing a page. You can use ink pads for stamping or inking the corners of pages to add some extra color. You can do lots of things to paper such as crumpling, wetting, folding etc. You can even add an envelope to have a pocket feature on a page. Simple patterns work the best, stripes, dots, chevrons. Use more complicated patterns sparingly as it will drown out your photo.
Journaling is another aspect of scrapbooking. Just start writing, since that’s the hardest part is to start. You can edit drafts later on. Write about your experiences and memories, what you remember, what you enjoyed, things of that nature. You could always use a quote, poem, or song lyric that demarcates a memory if you are really stuck for words. Using your own handwriting can make it personal. Your kids will really enjoy having a piece of you (even if your handwriting is sloppy) as a keepsake.
Speaking of the kids, why not get them involved?! It could be a family project that they might enjoy being a part of. It will create its own set of memories. Let the kids inspire you and add their touch to the pages, like drawings or marker spots. Carve out a section of time to be really present with them and scrapbooking. You don’t have to finish all in one go, in fact I encourage you to take your time and enjoy the process.
Now that you know what makes scrapbooking exciting for me during this time of the year, what is your favorite winter craft?