1. Why and who should scrapbook?
2. SCRAPBOOKING – Basic steps for starting and 5 common mistakes to dodge.
3. Scrapbooking projects for Kids


“Scrapbooking” in its contemporary form has been around no more than 10 years. Attempting to keep memoirs has been happening for hundreds of years and many generations. Since the first photos were taken in 1839, they have been found in between papers in books and Bibles along with other documents representing special occasions, pressed flowers, programs of loved ones funerals, and other memoirs.

What’s happening today in 2004? We all have memories and memoirs just waiting to be preserved. Today, we have the knowledge to discern what is safe or destructive, as well as the tools and supplies to create a totally “safe haven” and prolong the life of our photographs, other paper memorabilia and memories.

One can simply just put photos in an album or choose to embellish each page by adding colorful paper and a myriad of other items. Either that you choose, you are creating a heritage keepsake for enjoyment now and for your children, grandchildren, great-grands and who-knows-who will be perusing “your” photos 100 years from today??


Your first page will be your hardest, but well worth the endeavor!! Anyone can become skilled at the art of Scrapbooking. Maybe you are just going to “embark upon” this hobby for the first time or maybe you have been scrapbooking for a while. Either way, it never hurts to go over the basics.


I strongly suggest starting with your most current photos and working backwards. You can sort your older photos into chronological order by dates, by event, or theme using an expanding file, labeled envelopes or freezer bags. Themes could be time periods, different house or places you’ve lived, children, weddings, holidays, friends, pets, etc. You may establish you have enough photos in one file, envelope or bag to opt for a theme album. Theme albums are lots of fun and rewarding, as well.


Is to feel overwhelmed by the process. If a lifetime of collected photos sits before you, it is unreasonable to expect to complete any part of this project in a day, a week, or even a month. Organizing is a key issue. Get your photos organized and your supplies need to be organized and easily accessible. Every page you complete is one more accomplishment and every single page is a gift to your family!!


Cropping – the “act” of resizing your photos can make a poor photo with too much “noise” smaller, as well as more focal. But, be careful—don’t crop out any thing that may be interesting 50 years from now, i.e. cars, clothing, buildings, toys, etc. – anything related to the era. Cropping photos to show only the most important parts can make album pages more interesting, easier on the eyes, allow more page space for journaling (a must!!) and generate space to place more photos. There are many templates to use in cropping – all different designs. Silhouetting, cutting around the main subject, is another alternative. Feet, hands, hats, gifts, balloons, are ideal – Let your imagination and creativity flow. Always have duplicates of pictures in case you don’t like the “silhouette” once you’ve cut!!

Never crop Polaroid photos!! They will fall apart and could deteriorate.


Is to over-crop. An abundance of little photos will look lost on a page. When using fancy shapes, put stars together with stars, hearts together with hearts – don’t try and mix them together on one page. Matting or framing a smaller picture is an option, as well.


Your album is the “showcase” and “safe harbor” for your photos, memorabilia and all your creative work. It is NOT the part of scrapbooking where you should try to cut costs. There are many different styles and sizes of scrapbook albums for each album you create – expandable strap-bound and post-bound albums, spiral bound albums, 3 ring binder albums.

Look for the following features when shopping for albums:

First and foremost!!! The album and ALL its components, including papers, page protectors, embellishment and writing utensils, should be acid-free, lignin-free and PVC-free. You can attach embellishments that are not archival-safe making sure they do not touch photos, if you choose.

Next… Pages which lie flat when open, so photos are not in danger of being bent; pages which are “buffered”, which means the pages will absorb acids and prevent pollutants from migrating to other parts of the album to deteriorate and damage photos; pages that are reinforced to prevent damage when turning the pages and have polypropylene page protectors; removable pages for easy creating of layouts; unlimited expandability for additional pages, so you can get as many photos as you need in one album; bindings that are flexible, but strong enough to hold a reasonable amount of photos without the album sagging.


Is to “skimp” on your album purchase. Because your album is the “showcase” for your photos/lifestory, it is important to buy the best you can afford. If the expense is not in your budget this week or next, you can create pages and store them in page protectors until you can purchase a “safe haven” for your precious memories; an archival-quality album.

“MAGNETIC” album is a four-letter word!!!


Before you even realize it, you can literally spend hundreds of your hard-earned dollars on scrapbooking supplies. Starting out and, indeed, as you continue this tradition, it is essential to decide “need” from “want”. To get your photos in to the safety of an album, all you “need” is an archival-quality, acid-free, lignen-free album with page protectors, photo adhesives, scissors and a black pigma ink pen. Among your first “wants”, just starting this creative “sport”, would include a paper cutter, probably cardstock, decorative papers to coordinate with your photos, acid-free and lignen-free photo mounting paper and a template to enable you to cut photos into circles and ovals. (You can use round, oval, square, etc. items found in your home.)


Is to overspend on supplies!!! Adding a pile of unused scrapbook supplies to that already huge pile of unsorted photos will only eventually frustrate you.

Start small. Buy products you know you “need” or “want” for a particular set of photos. Spend time “window shopping” to see what is available and what will eventually be appropriate for your next set of photos you plan to organize and create. Window Shopping in this case is worthwhile time spent.


The easiest way to learn about scrapbooking is to attend a beginner class. You can attend a class at a scrapbook store or contact us for our Scrapbook 101 Class to be held at my home or yours. Additional friends can be invited.

The best photos for a beginner to take along to a beginner scrapbooking class are 4”x6” color prints of people taken at a recent event. You will need 8-10 photos. If you don’t have enough photos of a recent event, then opt for a theme such as smiling people, relatives, pets, friends, etc. Try NOT to have only group shots that have been taken from the same distance, or landscape photos with no one in them at all. These can be scrapbooked later on, but shouldn’t be your first page.


Would be putting too many photos on one page. Fewer photos make it easier for readers to focus and will leave plenty of space for a title, matting photos, journaling (a must!!) and the embellishment of your pages.

START SLOW….HAVE FUN….RELEASE THE CREATIVITY THAT IS INSIDE OF YOU, JUST WAITING TO BE CALLED UPON…it’s there, for sure!!! And there are thousands of products to help you along the way.

Any questions, please email Grandmommyandme@aol.com...thanks, Donelle


by Maureen Spell

What kid doesn't like cutting up paper, peeling off stickers, or drawing pictures? I know my children love every opportunity to work with art supplies. Try channeling some of your child's creative energy into scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is a great way to spend time with your children, share your favorite hobby, and reinforce skills learned in school without them realizing it.

Scrapping with Younger Children

I like to let my kids work with smaller pages such as 6x6, 8x8 or 10x10. The space doesn't seem as intimidating and is easily filled. I also like to design the album around a theme: Younger children like to see results quickly. Instead of having them scrapbook about their year, break it down into smaller "chapters" of their life such as:

My Family: Have your child create a scrapbook showing his/her loved ones.
My Favorites: Compile an album showcasing their favorite things at this time in their life.
My Home: Make an album that also teaches. Include a page on your telephone number, address, points of interest in your town and some state facts.
Colors Around Me
Holidays I Celebrate
Firsts: first tooth lost, first time riding a bike, first time playing a new sport etc.
Getting Started:

Let your child pick which pictures they would like to scrap. I usually give my children a choice of 3 -5 pictures to choose from. This allows you to be able to plan for embellishments but also gives your child a say in the project.
Pre-cut paper and embellishments if necessary. If your child is too young or has difficulty cutting complicated items, do it for them ahead of time. Do allow them to practice cutting on easier items though, as it develops fine motor skills.
Let your child make some decisions. Have them choose color schemes, what embellishment they would like to use, and whether or not to mat a photo. It can be overwhelming to a child if you let them pick from your entire scrapbooking collection. Set out a couple of embellishments and paper choices that work well with the photos or theme and let them choose.
Work for shorter periods of time. The younger the child, the shorter they will be able to sit and work on a project. Usually when working with my 4 and 5 year olds, our projects takes only 10-15 minutes. Determine what works best for you and your child.

Scrapping with Older Children

Specialty albums, tag books, 8 ½ x11 and 12x12 are all kinds of albums that can pique the interest of your older child.. Decide which kind will work best for your project. Theme albums work for older children as well. Have them develop an album around:

- Friends
- Sports
- Favorite hobbies
- Family
- School highlights
- Summer Fun

If they are interested in Space or any other topic, let them create an album based on that interest. It might not be a traditional scrapbooking album, but what a great way to have a record of their interest for that time in their life! And what a great way to present material learned-in the form of a scrapbook!

Getting started:

Set aside some basic tools and supplies of their own to work with. This does not have to be anything very costly. Go through your supplies and set out things that would be of interest of your older child and help them build their own supply stash. Agree ahead of time which tools of yours they are allowed to use and whether or not they are allowed to borrow your supplies.
Go over how to use basic tools. Teach them how to use the paper trimmer, tape runner, eyelet setter etc.
Sort through pictures. Help your child sort and organize pictures that will be used in their album.
Teach your child basic design principles. Show them how to mat a picture, how to look at the picture to pick colors, and the importance of adding a title and journaling.
Help when asked. Remember, they don't need to do it the same way you do it! Let them enjoy experimenting!
Have fun spending time with your kids and scrapping! Your projects don't necessarily have to be scrapbooking pages either. Try making door-hangers, cards, decorative bags, game boards, magnetic boards, and other crafts using your scrapbooking supplies. It will be time and energy well spent.

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