Find a workspace. You’ll want a space where you can store everything and spread things out as you work. Make sure it’s a spot where you can be creative without interruption
Plan your colors and layouts. Color will be important to the look of your scrapbook, but you don’t want to get carried away. Too much color may be distracting. Decide on a few colors that go well together and stick to those. Also come up with a few general layout designs for your pages. Sketch the layouts so you have templates to follow. One layout might be designed around a central photo. Another may include a few photos. Make sure not to clutter or over design your pages. You won’t want to have too much on any single page. Remember, a little empty space here and there looks good.
If you’re like most of us, you probably have been collecting photos and mementos for decades. You probably have countless favorite snapshots of people and events from the past as well as ticket stubs, programs, matchbooks, invitations, certificates, etc. Most of these items are very likely tucked away somewhere and forgotten. Scrapbooking is a great way to get all the important ones out of storage, organize the lot, and display the items in a creative way.
You may think scrapbooking sounds like a daunting task if you’ve never done it. But it really isn’t. You decide how much time, effort and money you want to invest in the project. Scrapbooking can be a fun, easy way to take a walk down memory lane and have something to show for it when you’re finished.
Before you get started, you’ll want to decide if you want to go the digital route or create your scrapbook by hand. If you have lots of mementos you want to include and like the feel of creating something with your own two hands, you may not want to build your scrapbook using a computer.
If you are not someone who really enjoys do-it-yourself hands-on projects, however, there are tons of scrapbooking computer programs and Internet services around to help you out. Of course, you will only be able to use photos of the actual items you’ve collected over the years… not the real thing. Digital scrapbooks are usually printed professionally, which makes it possible to make copies for family and friends.
If you decide to go the hands-on route, you may want to use a scrapbook kit. They come with just about everything you need to create a beautiful book, from the scrapbook itself to design embellishments to word art. Of course, you still have to supply all the photos, memories, and mementos.
Here's some information that will help you tackle your first scrapbooking project.
Focus on your intent. It’s helpful to have a game plan before diving into a scrapbooking project. Think about the story you are trying to tell with your book and come up with a general theme.
Come up with stories and captions. A good scrapbook is about more than photos and mementos. It is about memories so its important to use your words. Think of short descriptions and narratives to add to your pages and add them with some decorative, creative flair.
Collect your tools. Glue, glue sticks, and tapes should be acid-free and photo safe. Double-sided tape works very well for keeping items in place as do photo adhesive squares. If you want to add dimension to any flat items, use foam adhesive squares to lift them up a bit from the page. Make sure to use acid-free paper materials as well. You’ll need a pair of standard scissors that cut a straight line, but detailing scissors are also fun to use because they add a decorative element. Use pens with fade resistant ink. Use black ink or colors within your selected color theme.
Involve other people. Your family and friends can be a great resource when scrapbooking. They may have photos and mementos to add to your collection. They may have some stories and memories that inspire you. Sit down with people and talk about your project. Have some specific questions ready and record your conversation.
Gather up your content. Find photos and mementos supporting the theme of your scrapbook. Anything small enough to fit in the book is doable. Gather everything together and select the most important items that tell your story best. Group them together by association and chronological order.
Select your scrapbook. If you decide against using a scrapbooking kit, you’ll find there’s a pretty big selection of different scrapbooks available. Many people like books with pages that can be rearranged so they can make changes in page order. The size of your book should depend upon the amount and size of the items you will be including. The pages should be acid-free, and it’s a good idea for the book to have page protectors as well.
Narrow things down. You may end up with a large number of photos and perhaps even a lot of mementos. Choose ones that really apply to the theme of your scrapbook and the story you are trying to tell. You’ll also want photos and mementos that support each other. It is a good idea to have a mix of mementos, including some documents and flat items along with some items with more dimension.
Find some embellishments. You can add all kinds of design elements to the pages of your scrapbook. Some you may have to purchase, like stickers, labels, or ink stamps. Others you may already have around the house, like wrapping paper, buttons, or ribbon. Always use embellishments that go well with your photos and memorabilia. Keep some consistency throughout your scrapbook in regard to color and look.
Don’t be afraid to get started! It may seem overwhelming to look at all your materials and tools, but take a deep breath and begin. If you’re working with a scrapbook that has removable pages, it helps to take them out and spread them all in front of you. That way, you can lay out one page at a time while being able to see all the others. Do not attach anything permanently until you know you are happy with all your pages. Once you are completely satisfied with the entire look, go ahead and adhere items in place. Come up with an order for your pages and place them back in the book.