What is Scrapbooking and How Do I Start?

Written by Samantha Moore

Modern scrapbooking involves the preservation of photographs and the stories behind them. By creating scrapbook albums you can ensure that those stories and the details of the subject in the photographs are passed on to future generations. No longer will beautiful photos languish in a box or an old album at the back of a cupboard, people will want to look at your scrapbooks again and again!

Scrapbooking & Starting Out

Whether you are an experienced papercrafter or completely new to this hobby, getting started can be a little daunting. You may look at the work of experienced scrappers and think you can’t possibly create a stunning layout. With a little know-how you can. Keep your first few pages simple & you will quickly build up to more elaborate layouts. Modern scrapbooking encompasses many different papercrafting techniques and styles. For your first layout choose a technique which you are either familiar with or that is easy to pick up. You might want to experiment with a few different techniques to find out what suits you and your style.

Essential Craft Tools & Materials

When you begin, don’t think too much about making a comprehensive album, as this can be a bit off-putting, especially if your time is limited. Instead concentrate on creating a layout. This is the term used to describe a single scrapbook page. If you have several photos you want to include you might choose to make a double page layout. The following is a list of basic tools and materials you’ll need to make a scrapbook layout. Once you have made a few layouts and decided you enjoy this rewarding hobby, you may wish to add to your toolbox and store of materials, also known as ‘stash’:

Selecting Scrapbook Photos

The first step is to choose your photographs. You may wish to use them as they are or ‘crop’ them (cut them down) to emphasize the main subject or get rid of unwanted background. Be sure to use a craft knife with a new blade together with a metal ruler to make a clean, straight cut through the photo paper. A self-healing cutting mat is essential too, to provide a good base to work on and protect your work surface from the knife.

Picking Paper & Cardstock

Choose your paper and cardstock in colours that compliment your photos. It is important to look for materials that are acid free when scrapping to keep the photos looking great as long as possible. Build up your layout on a piece of co-ordinating cardstock but do not stick anything down until you’ve planned your layout. Use plain or patterned papers to create mats for you photos and decorate your page.

Adding Design Embellishments

Your choice of embellishments, and how many to use, is entirely personal. Some crafters like to fill a page with photos and embellishments whilst others like to keep their pages very simple. Have a look at some of the projects on the Craft Superstore website and decide what kind of look you’re after. Embellishments needn’t be expensive, either. You can use paint, stickers, peel-offs, rub-ons, charms, chipboard, flowers, buttons, ribbons or simply doodle with a journaling pen.

Writing Journal Advice

The final step is to add some journaling to your page. This is perhaps the most important element to a layout, after the photographs themselves. Journaling ranges from simply adding the date and a few details of the subject in the photo to the full story of what is happening. Perhaps the photos tell the story themselves, in which case you can keep your journaling to a minimum. If you want to include a story or details that you would rather keep private use hidden journaling on your layout. This might be in the form of tags that must be pulled out of a pocket to read or using a hinge to attach an embellishment and hiding the journaling underneath.

Thank you to Samantha for the use of this article.
Click on the logo above to go to the Craft Store website.
Back to the top.
Scrapbooking has been around since the 15th century when people would make "commonplace books" that held newspaper articles, recipes, illustrations and these would be used to share information with everyone.
Also take a look at
"The Ultimate Guide
to Scrapbooking"
Click on the links below for more information on what Scrapbooking is, how to start and how to book a lesson.

What is Scrapbooking and How Do I Start?

I Want to Learn and Take a Lesson
Learn How to Scrapbook

Christine, our Company Director holds scrapbooking workshops groups
or one-to-one sessons on how to scrapbook.

At these workshops you'll learn the basics, be able to ask questions and also purchase a starter kit and other scrapbooking items.

For more information go to
Back to the top.
Top 50 Scrappers
Past Events
How To Book
Meet Scrappy
About Us
Mailing List
Craft Fairs
Contact Us
Loyalty Cards