|Fill ‘er Up!
|“Scrapbookers” spend countless hours clipping, cutting, stamping, taping, gluing and decorating in pursuit of this year’s hot home trend.
Technically speaking, scrapbooking is the practice of combining photos,
memorabilia (from concert ticket stubs to autumn leaves) and stories in
a scrapbook-style album. It’s been around as long as there
have been photos, but today the pastime has risen to new heights. In
fact, scrapbooking is now a thriving industry that does over .5
billion in business yearly.
All across the country there are millions who have taken up scrapbooking
as a hobby. They mill at
weekly club meetings, specialty cruises and
conventions; they write poems and stories about it, they publish
newsletters and set up websites to show off their work. In a word,
Some say that September 11th put a new emphasis on the family and its
importance. Scrapbooking is one way of celebrating close relationships with a visual
chronicle of a family’s history. For some women, like
Kansas City author and prolific “scrapper” Angie Pederson, scrapbooks chart the
evolution of life.
Pederson used her scrapbook as a therapeutic tool. She devoted one book
entirely to her struggle with depression. “It’s a pretty touchy topic,”
she says. “I tell people not to scrapbook about things they aren’t ready
to face yet, but it can be helpful to look at past experiences and
document those that made them who they are.”
Regardless of motivation, scrappers enjoy letting their
creativity shine. Combining graphic elements (such as photos, ink
stamps, fabric, fancy fonts or calligraphy) with journal-type text
provides an opportunity for true self-expression.
How to Start a Scrapbook
There’s no right or wrong way to scrapbook. It’s a personal means of
creativity with no rigid rules; just let your creativity flow.
Above all else, have fun with scrapbooking. Treat it as a creative
outlet and as a means of preservation. Says Vicky Kinzy, an online
scrapbook expert: “Scrapbooking gives adults and kids a chance to
connect with their past, present and future. Instead of becoming dusty
photo boxes in the attic, memories can be captured and remain as family
heirlooms for years to come."
- Most scrapbooks are 8 ½ x11” or 12x12” in size. You’ll want
a ringed binder-type album that allows you to add pages as needed. The
average cost is - per binder.
- Assemble the necessary materials from a craft or stationery store.
You’ll need paper (different designs, textures and colors), adhesive,
plastic sleeves (ones not made of polyvinyl chlorides or PVC), pens
(acid-free and photo-safe) and sharp scissors. Over time, photos do become
yellowed and faded. You can’t stop this process entirely but you can
slow it down by selecting paper and adhesives that are acid-free. Look
for the words “archival quality” on the materials you choose for your
- Use a printer and scanner. If you don’t want to tape original photos
into your scrapbook, scan them using a high resolution setting and print
them on a color printer.
- Organize your photos and decide on a theme. Choose a color, shape and
style that will carry through your scrapbook. Get the kids to help and
have them make their own scrapbooks themed around their favorite activity.
- Position all the elements you’ve chosen on a background paper and glue them carefully in place. Add text to the page, if you like – thoughts on the event, dates or other relevant details.
- Once the glue has dried, place the finished page in a sheet protector and
put it into your album.
- Protect your scrapbook. High humidity and high temperatures accelerate
deterioration of your photos. Keep them away from extremes by
storing them in a closet that is not on an exterior wall of your home.
- You can pick up a how-to book such as The Complete Idiot's
Guide to Scrapbooking Illustrated by Wendy Smedley (available at Amazon.com).