Scrapbooking – Getting Started


I get asked this question a lot! Scrapbooking can seem a bit overwhelming. You see so many ideas on Pinterest and other idea websites. Here’s my simple steps to get started …

Pull your photos together!

Mine were all over the house, in boxes, albums, and desk drawers. Nowadays you have them on your phone, facebook, instagram!

I decided to do 12×12 albums for each child. I started with their school photos, since those were dated! Next I added birthdays, trips, and fun layouts like new haircut, glasses, fun with friends, favorite toys.

Select photos for the layout.

I like to include as many photos as necessary to tell the story. I see fancy layouts with one photo, but my layouts usually include 6-12 pictures on a two-page layout.

You can do photos by occasion or fun layouts like a baby’s smile. If you have tons of photos for the layout, see tips on whittling down photos.

Plan paper around photos.

I notice the colors and theme in the pictures. You can pull your photos, paper, and embellishments and keep them together in project boxes. I have my paper organized by themes — holidays, birthday, vacation, school, sports — so that I can find what I’m looking for. See paper storage tips.

For embellishments, you can use several methods.

An inexpensive option is ribbon, washi-tape, buttons, and brads; because you can have many colors that work for any layout. I store mine by color.

For a little more cost, use stickers; I’ve been a big fan of Jolee’s stickers because you just can’t make those items at home! My suggestion is to not purchase until you know you are going to use it! I store mine in hanging folders by theme so I can find them efficiently.

There are also ephemera packs; these often come in coordinating colors with paper sets. You can store with your paper so you have matching colors.

Now, if you have a die or electronic cutting machine, you can cut the embellishments in any color and size that you need. It’s fun to cut a large Disney or Sesame Street characters for your layout!

The hard part is the design of the layout.

Ok, now the tricky part. But keep it simple! You basically need a title, arrange your photos in a pleasing way, and then sprinkle some embellishments across the page.

The basic ingredient for making a page look more put together is layers. Don’t just glue the photo down, add a mat around the edge. Don’t just put a sticker on, place it on a tag to add dimension.

Oh, and your pages will get better as you go along! Start simple, you want to tell the story and get the pictures into a book. You will improve over time with practice.

There are many idea sites for the look of your page:

  • For using your coordinating paper, try using Kiwi Lane
  • For ideas based on the number of photos you are using, try Page Maps
  • For many photos, try using Mosaics