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  • Sherry Ickes

There is No Wrong Way to Scrapbook!

scrapbooking supplies

Hi everyone! It is hard to fathom that it is already March. However, that also means that it is one of my favorite months of the year. No, my birthday is not in the spring, but it is National Craft Month! Time for the arts and crafts stores to be sending out the joyous discounts as we celebrate this fun hobby and work profession for so many people. Whether your job or career is in the crafting business, or you just dabble it in after work or with friends, being creative is not some silly notion. It is a way of living that holds imagination at the core of its inspiration and the desire to build rather than to tear down.


According to www.daysoftheyear.com, National Craft Month began in 1994 and was seen as a way to help people discover a new craft, or to help them reconnect with one they might have stepped away from. We all know how life can get in the way of what we want to do, and how some days can make us feel depressed and lonely. Art is a beautiful way of relaxing and letting go of the stress, giving us an insight into ourselves. So this year...I am challenging you to try your hand at a little scrapbooking.


Not sure where to start? The first part of this blog post is for you.

Are you a pro? The second part of this blog will be more your speed.


 

A short disclaimer before we begin: I am not affiliated with any of the companies/businesses mentioned in this blog post, nor do I claim any form of ownership to any of them. Each company/business has their own respective owners and any opinions expressed in this post are solely mine. I cannot be held liable for any accidents, and or injuries, that may occur if one would happen to try any of the following tidbits in this post.

 

Part I: Scrapbooking for the Beginner


There are literally hundreds of YouTube videos, magazines, and instructional guides that you can use as aides when first starting out in learning how to scrapbook. But my first rule is very clear: There is no wrong way! That being said, there are a few pieces of advice that might help a beginner feel a little more comfortable at braving the waters for the first time.


scrapbooking paper

  1. There is no wrong way to scrapbook. Take a deep breath and don't worry about what others think. It might not turn out the way you had envisioned it would be on the first try. That is perfectly alright. Mistakes happen and that is how we learn from them. Or, like Bob Ross would say, there are no mistakes, just happy accidents.

  2. You don't have to have fancy equipment. Nowadays, there are various different die-cutting machines that the stores try to sell you as a "necessity" in your creative pursuits. I am not saying that they don't have their purpose in life, as my daughter uses one of them quite often, but I am saying that those machines cost a pretty penny, and you don't need them to try your hand at scrapbooking.

  3. Use promo codes and sales to print off you photos ahead of time. After the pandemic, that we shall not talk about, printing costs have really risen in price. One of the ways to shave off a few dollars from the bill is to wait until there is a sale at a company who's print quality you like for your photos. For me, I prefer to use either CVS photo or Shutterfly for my images. It is a good idea to have your photos printed in advance, because this is the main component in creating a scrapbook.

  4. Do not use a glue stick to attach your images. This is one of the basics I like to share whenever someone asks me about my crafting habits. I have tried various different glue sticks, even ones marked as "permanent bond, acid free, photo safe, and non-toxic." They do a great job for school projects, however, when you go to adhere your images to the paper for your scrapbook, I suggest what is called a tape runner, or a glue runner. Elmer's has one that is of a nice quality and does not weigh heavy on the wallet. It is offered in many different stores, including Walmart and Michaels.

  5. Stock up on glue. This may seem a little redundant, but I say this in all seriousness. I always feel that I run out of glue no matter how much I get beforehand. Now, this is due in part because I like to add a bunch of embellishments to my pages. If that is not your style, then you might not need as much. This part is more of a guessing game with it comes to the supply list. Especially since some stores carry die-cut stickers, such as Hobby Lobby.

  6. A kit is a good place to start. Many of the brick and mortar stores, as well as the online storefronts, offer a scrapbooking kit as an option. They can range in what is included, and how expensive they can be. Usually they have a certain theme to them, such as literature, farming, cityscape, and birthdays. If you want a fast and easy way to try something new, this would be it.

  7. Have all your items ready to go before you start. If you are planning on carving out a day for your scrapbooking, or a few hours, it is best to have all your supplies with you so that your stress level doesn't explode from trying to find everything while you work. Trust me...this is something I have a lot of personal experience in.

Side note: To help increase the longevity of your scrapbook, make sure that the paper you use is acid free. Most likely it is, if it is part of a kit, paper pad, or a single from any of the craft stores, but it never hurts to double check. Being acid-free means that it will not eat away at your images in the long run, though that would take a considerable amount of time for regular paper to start doing as such. If it is acid-free, it is normally marked somewhere on the paper or the packaging for this reason.


 

Part II: Things to Share with the Pros


While you may have been scrapbooking for a number of years like me, I tend to still ask people what tools they like to use because you never knew when you might learn something new that you want to start implementing in your own projects. So this section is dedicated to a few of the lessons I have learned over the years. If you have any you wouldn't mind sharing, please feel free to post it in the comments below.


scrapbooking table

  1. Less paper is more than enough. I have to admit that I am guilty of buying way too much scrapbooking paper that I am not going to use up in my lifetime. In fact, I have donated some of my stock to gift baskets and friends. And I might have to give away even more! (because sometimes the print is too pretty not to buy)

  2. Puffy stickers, or three-dimensional stickers, are not practical. They look really neat in the packaging, on the hook, in the stores, but they don't allow the book to lay flat and end up causing issues when it comes to storing them. At least, that is from my own experience. I steer clear from them now, and let them look pretty at the store.

  3. Simpler is sometimes better when it comes to technology. It seems that more items are being integrated with chips that connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and that can be a help in certain cases. But other times, I just want to detach myself from all the technology my job forces me to use daily. That is one of the reasons I enjoy to scrapbook. So why would I want to fight with another piece of an internet connected machine? Despite the fact that I do have one in my craft room, I hardly ever end up using it.

  4. Once you find the brand you like, you stick to it like glue. As in various aspects of our everyday lives, once a crafter finds a brand he or she likes, they become a loyal customer for the life of the company. Two of my favorites, also shared by my daughter, is Echo Park and Tim Holtz.

  5. Vellum is barely used. Have you ever used vellum? Very few times come to my mind and then there is a special tape for you to use with it. It is cheaper, and less waste of money, to not have to use it in your projects. But if you have used it recently, let me know in the comments, as much of scrapbooking is based on personal preference like in artwork.

  6. Keeping organized is much easier said that done. Even with purchasing organizing bins, ranging from specific reasons to more general ones, I have always had issues in keeping my craft room organized. I feel like this is a universal struggle when it comes to crafters and artists. There is that awesome feeling of purchasing a new craft item, ready to begin using it the moment you have a few free minutes in your schedule. But then comes to the problem of having to find a new spot for it in the already crammed room and...I'm sure you can relate.

  7. And lastly, it is okay to let go of the supplies you are not going to use. I admit that I like to hang onto things because you never know when they may come in handy, and while that is alright to do, it can easily become an out-of-control habit. Sometimes, I need to remind myself that I can throw out an extra scrap of orange paper or I can donate the stain glass tools to someone who is more interested in the craft than I am. While I have the ability to do the craft, is it something that I truly want to try out? Or did I find out that it wasn't my thing years ago and can't seem to part from the tools in case I might want to get back into it at a later time? It is a lesson that I am still in the midst of learning, for decades at this rate, and I am slowly getting better at it. (like the tortoise and the hare I guess)


Side question: How do you store your completed scrapbooks? That is one aspect to this craft that I have yet to master.

 

Thank you for reading through my post on scrapbooking and I hope that this has provided you with a few tips or tricks to encourage you to design a few pages this month. Have a great day and have a creative National Craft Month.

 

All images are provided via the Wix platform and are not of my own making.

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