Starting to Scrapbook - Where do I start

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Scrapbooking is such a personal choice. It is an expression of yourself, telling your life story.  There is no right or wrong design, colour scheme or system.  Its completely up to you. The most important thing to remember, is that its all about you and the story you want to tell. 

It is important to choose some photos to scrapbook at this stage.  Depending upon how cluttered a look you like or whether, like me, you are more of a minimalist, will depend on how many photos you choose for each page.  Four is a good number to start with. 

Choosing the right scrapbooking album for beginners can be a frightening prospect.  Where do I start?  One ideal way of starting out on your scrapbooking adventure is to purchase a scrapbooking album from somewhere like Spotlight, Kmart or Big W.  I think that this is ideal as it gives you an opportunity to sample scrapbooking without the expensive outlay of companies dedicated just to scrapbooking.  Tip: Make sure the album you purchase is expandable and that extra pages and sheet protectors are readily available.  Purchasing from a retail chain can often be a safer option as other than companies such as Creative Memories, I have found some of the smaller companies just starting out, often don't stay around for too long. 

Many pages are decorated with cardboard, stickers, ribbons, eyelets, etc.  All these things are designed to enhance your photos and help to tell your story.  You can purchase these embellishments from places such as craft stores, eBay, Chain Stores such as Kmart, Big W and Spotlight.  (I have some stickers on my eBay Store, Crafty Corners (Australian eBay))Looking at your photos, choose embellishments that will match your photos.  Eg, Photos of a baby girl would be matched with pale pinks or yellows.  Stickers such as dummies/pacifiers, rocking horses, etc.  Wedding pictures can be matched with wedding bells, bouquets, wedding cakes, etc.   Don't go overboard on your first purchase.  I would suggest completing a couple of pages initially to have a go with.  You don't want to spend a lot of money, only to find that scrapbooking isn't for you.  One important thing to remember is to always purchase products that are both acid and ligenin free.  These two chemicals will damage your photos.  The most important thing is to avoid products with acid in them.  Acid can do the most damage.

Just as it is important to avoid embellishments with acid and ligenin in them, it's also extremely important to make sure that the products you use to stick the photos and embellishments to your pages are also acid free.  I have purchased glue and photo stickers from Big W and Kmart, so that are readily available.  My favourite product for this is from Creative Memories.  I've found these to work the best. 

Once you have chosen your album, photos and embellishments, now the real fun begins.  Now its time to scrapbook! Arrange your photos on the page along with your embellishments. When you are happy with the layout, then start to glue the pieces in place.  Soon you'll be hooked! You can find inspirations from scrapbooking magazines, online examples or friends pages.  If you speak to your local craft store, there may be scrapbooking lessons available that can help you along the way.  I was from the first time I scrapbooked.  It brought to of my favourite hobbies together, photo taking and creativity.

If you discover that this isn't for you, but you would still love to create books of memories, then why not try the online scrapbooking books.  We put one together for my mum's 60th birthday and it was a real hit.  Happy Scrapbooking!

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