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I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a scrapper. A scrapbooker that is.

I have been making scrapbooks since I was 17. I’m not great at it, but good enough to appreciate the good, the bad and the ugly pages I have made. A lot of people say things to crafters along the lines of ‘But I could never do that!’ Most of the time they are wrong. You can do almost anything, even if you don’t think you have ‘the eye’. I don’t know what ‘the eye’ is really, but most people can tell you colours that really don’t go together (we all wear clothes, right?), so if you have been successfully dressing yourself for a number of years, you can probably put together a scrapbook.

You will need:
1. A scrapbook album.
You don’t need to spend a fortune, anywhere between $10-$20 is plenty. If you can, try buying a scrap booking kit, it will save you some time, though you’ll still want to buy your own stuff.

2. Scrapbooking papers.
These need to be the same size as your album. Scrapbooking shops will see these individually, but I’d hold off on buying these until you have a really big idea you don’t mind pouring money into. I buy mine as big slabs that cost around $15-$20 and your whole album is coordinated. You should  be able to buy these whereveryou buy your scrapbooking album.

3. Stickers
I adore stickers. Cheap shops do good stickers, scrapbooking stores do good stickers… you can get them anywhere.  Make sure these are acid free – most are these days, but if you want to keep your memories safe, it’s the only way to do it.

4. Scissors, cutters and corner edgers.
I can’t live without a straight slicing tool. You can find mini guillotines, but I find it much nicer to us a sliding rule that doubles as a slicing cutting tool.  My other essential is a photo corner clipper which, as it sounds, rounds off photo corners. It makes a huge difference.

There are a lot of different options you can find for cutting paper and photos into different shapes, I’m a huge fan of the Friskas range, but then again, this was a long term investment and only after I found out I really liked scrapping.

5. Glue and double sided tape.
For glue, Bostik (and preferably the blue glue) is the best and keeps everything stick on forever. When I’m being lazy I will use double sided tape on photos, but these are used best on the backs of stickers, charms and a whole bunch of other things you can’t use paper glue on.

I have craft glue and I have rarely used it, except for gluing down shells, very heavy chipboard and gluing things to the front cover of a scrapbook.

Whatever you decide, please choose products that are labelled ‘acid free’. Many of the old sticky backed photo albums are not acid free, and the glue eats into the photos.

Now it is time to build!

I don’t have a lot of method in the madness that is scrapping, but here are two options I use.

Option one: The themed photo.
This is my preferred method, usually I put together a pile of photos, stickers and anything else relevant to the page, like a ticket stub (or whatever) and mess around with the layout until I get it right. This is a fun way to do it, and it ensures that you use exactly the photos and paper treasures you want to keep.

This one was themed, I had so many odds and end that it took ages to get the layout right.

Option two: Let the paper speak to you.
This is great for what I happily call ‘speed scrapping’, where you spend only a few hours on a whole scrapbooking page. Simply. pick up a piece of paper and let the colours be your guide.

Surprisingly, I chose the ‘Aussie’ coloured paper first. I have a few photos of this day and all of them had to have blue or red pages as their base.

And finally, some thoughts on journalling:
I hate journalling.
But I will be fair about this too. I have tried journalling in my own scrapbooks, and none of my journalling “public”  pages have stayed in there. I think journalling is okay if you are making a scrapbook for someone because it is similar to a letter, but really, it is about your audience.

Somewhere on this page is a little tab to pull out a journal entry. I hid it because I wanted to journal about this time, but I didn’t think everyone needed to read it. It’s kept me sane and I don’t look at it as soon as I look at the page. Journalling is not all bad.

On the other hand, how sentimental do you want to get? Some of the journals I have read in scrapbooks have been very intense and far too personal, especially if you barely know the person who features, and or wrote the journal in the first place. Other journalling which is not about how cute someone looks when they are sleeping, and is more about the events of the day, is a wonderful record and something people will enjoy reading.

Scrapbooking can be time consuming and it can be fussy. A great product out is called Project Life, and rather than gluing everything on a page, the albums have clear pages with pockets to slip photos, cards and decorations into. The albums and products can be a little pricey, but no more than going out and starting your scrapbooking stash.


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