Introduction to Scrapbooking

Introduction to Scrapbooking

So many of us have hundreds, or even thousands, of photographs stored digitally, never to be printed or looked at again. These are our memories and we should make the most of them. Scrapbooking is a fabulously creative hobby which allows you to make more of these photographs and other mementos. Whether you are creating the scrapbook for yourself, or as a gift for a loved one, it is a great way to document moments and even lives.


Types of scrapbooking

  •           Paper
  •           Digital
  •           Hybrid
  •           Pocket

We will mainly focus on traditional paper scrapbooking but for interest here is a quick explanation of the other types which you might like to explore.

–          Digital scrapbooking involves the use of digital images for your background papers, embellishments and photographs. These are often created using specific software programs and the pages stored digitally.

–          Hybrid scrapbooking is a mixture and paper and digital scrapbooking. The background paper is digitally produced and then extra elements added digitally (this may include digitally incorporating photographs). The page is then printed and the final paper touches and embellishments are added.

–          Pocket scrapbooking uses plastic wallets which can be stored in a ring binder. The wallets are split up into sections (pockets) and allow you to add either photographs or purpose bought, decorated cards.

Scrapbooking often uses 12×12 inch paper inserted into spiral bound books. However, ring binders and smaller sized books (7×7 and 8×8”) are becoming more popular.



Scrapbooking inspiration may come from the photographs themselves or from a piece of patterned background paper that you are itching to use. However, if inspiration is needed there are some great resources available.

–          Facebook Scrapbooking groups

–          Pinterest

–          Scrapbooking websites

As well as being able to look at what other people have produced, you will also come across ‘Sketches’. Sketches are outlines for page layouts which don’t actually contain the patterned papers or photographs. They just give you a starting point and allow you to tailor it to your own project. Some people can find it less overwhelming to take inspiration from a sketch than from a finished page.


The process

Once you have decided on the photographs you want to use, the next step is often to choose a background paper that complements the images. Some people prefer to use blank paper while some prefer patterned. Some always start with a white sheet of paper. Don’t forget, you can always create your own background paper using stamps and ink, stencils, texture pastes and even paint. Scrapbooking should be fun so play with lots of different techniques until you find your favourite style.

One creative aspect of scrapbooking is deciding how to attach your photos, notes and embellishments to the page. Some common options are:

–          Photo corners

–          Photo shelves

–          Brads

–          Eyelets

–          Staples

–          Washi tape

–          Pockets

–          Simple adhesive (wet glue or tape)

–          Foam pads

Scrapbook pages also generally have a title and maybe some extra text. Your text can be stamped, die-cut, hand-written, cut from newspapers or magazines or event literature. The extra text might be as simple as the time, place and event that you are documenting but some people use scrapbooking almost like journaling so, again, experiment with different styles until you discover your own!

Creating interest around your photos is what separates your scrapbook from an everyday photo album. You have the ability to tell a story but also to make it beautiful. Embellishments are an important part of this. You can embellish simply with strips of coordinating paper or you can add texture with ribbon, fabric, twine, thread, buttons etc. Even tearing paper, folding over the corners or distressing the edges can help to make your page stand out. Don’t forget to add other items which relate to the event. This might include tickets, newspaper clippings etc. Again, be creative when deciding how to attach these to your page.

If you are new to scrapbooking, consider starting by producing a two-page spread with the title, text and the main image on the first page and the extra images and embellishments on the second page.

It is often best to lay out all of your elements on the page and play around with the placement before sticking anything down.

Although, simple scrapbook pages can be really effective, consider trying out different techniques and letting your imagination run away with you, the result could be stunning.

When buying products for scrapbooking, look out for those that are labelled acid-free and lignin-free as these will not damage your photos and embellishments over time.

The most important thing is to enjoy it, be creative and try as many different techniques as you can! Happy Scrapping!


Author: Helen

After 15 years working in the NHS I decided it was time for a change. Helen Chapman Handmade Crafts began in 2017, selling cards and gifts at local craft fairs. In 2018, I also became an Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator which allows me to share my passion for papercraft with others via workshops and other events.

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