I’m about to start my second year of University and something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time has been to make a scrapbook. I put it on my Summer bucket list to scrapbook my first year of University and it was SO much fun!
I was a complete scrapbook novice going into this project but I had done my research to get some inspiration (and by research, I just mean spending hours on Pinterest!) I thought I would share the process with you guys and some of the top tips I learnt whilst I was making my first ever scrapbook so let’s get started!
The first tip I have is know what you’ve got! If this is your first endeavor at anything crafty then you probably won’t have a lot of crafty things lying about your house! Luckily I did, but if you don’t then that means you get the luxury of taking a trip to the craft shop and going wild on all things scrapbooking! Before I started doing anything to the actual scrapbook, I made sure I knew what I had in my house already so that I knew what I needed to buy if anything! I think this is a key step too because you know what you have to work with. If you have an idea for a page but don’t think you have the tools to do it and then after you’ve finished, realised you do – you’ll regret not digging through your granny’s craft box for those stampers!
I am a massive advocate of planning (as you will see in the next couple of steps) so I took all the pictures that I wanted to include in my scrapbook and organised them into files on my computer. This meant that I could take a brief overview of all the photos that I had. This is a really great way of cutting down as you might have two pictures that look very similar or you might have too many photos for one page that you know will never fit. This means less hassle when it comes to putting them into the scrapbook but also less money wasting on printing (win win!)
Once all those lovely photos are printed and ready to go (I chose to go with the Polaroid format) I then stacked them into their respective piles and this meant that they were easy to grab and place when the time came.
Yes, I know, more planning! I think planning is a really important part of scrapbooking as I know I would be really cross if I finished my scrapbook and found something that I wanted to put in afterwards! For each of my pages, I used a post-it note to write my general ideas on and then also added in all the extras like ticket stubs or wristbands. This meant I knew how many photos I could add around the memorabilia.
Layouts are a great way to personalise your scrapbook. I started my scrapbook by trying to add in every single thing possible but soon learnt that it would make my scrapbook look messy and over-filled. I started playing around with the layouts so if I had a busy layout I could then place a simpler one beside it on the next page. Don’t be afraid of space, lots of people think that every inch of paper has to be covered but it doesn’t and sometimes space gives your scrapbook a nice flow to it and lets the person looking at it have a bit of a breather.
Another fun thing to play around with is the themes of pages. It really ties a page together when there is a running theme throughout it. This one, for example, is when I did a residential weekend away that was all outdoors. The tree and sign post act as memories but also as a theme that links all the photos which gives the page a very pleasing look.
In opposition to that, sometimes it’s better to just let the pictures do the talking for a page. Not every page of a scrapbook needs a title or writing on it to tell the story of what was going on. I had a lot of photos for this event so I put the logo at the top and filled the rest of the page purely with pictures and I really liked the effect it gave.
If your scrapbook has white pages, sometimes this can come across quite harsh if there’s a lot of white (or whatever colour) on every page. Scrapbooking paper, or just normal patterned paper, can be a great way to ‘break the white’ and add a bit of texture and dimension at the same time. I used my patterned paper to draw attention to a specific element on a page. Also, don’t feel like everything had to be perfectly cut in a scrapbook – one of my favourite effects is a ripped page edge as it lets the patterned paper blend into the white much more seamlessly.
You might want to document an event but not have very much stuff about it to put in. This is where doodling comes in. Even if you’re not the most artistic person, everyone can doodle (use Google if you’re really stuck!) This is a great way to fill space but also to let your personality come through in your scrapbook as well.
Sometimes, if you’re titling pages by hand your handwriting can get a little repetitive and this can lead to a loss of meaning which is not what you want for your scrapbook. Try and play around with fonts to bring the focus back to areas you want. This example was for my flat’s Christmas dinner so I googled a Christmas font that I liked and just copied this out. Typography can really change the look of a page even if it’s only a couple of words so definitely try to experiment with fonts even if you need to print them out and stick them in.
Another way to play around with focus areas is with stickers! It’s not really a scrapbook without stickers, is it? Do try to keep them relevant though because whilst they can look amazing and add a beautiful decorative touch, if they aren’t used correctly it can look like a toddler has been given free range or that ‘this space just needed to be filled’. Stickers can be a great way to highlight features of your hard work so don’t abuse it!
Washi tape also has to have a special mention in a scrapbooking blog post. It’s a great way to break up pages or add frames to pictures. I love the look it gives and cutting the edges to create different shapes can be a really fun way of highlighting or separating certain elements of a page.
Finally, this is YOUR scrapbook! No matter how many people are going to look at it, you’ll be the one who sees it the most so add some personal touches that you know you’ll want to look at later. Whether it be sweet notes that don’t mean anything to anyone else or hand-written annotations about a photo, personal touches really make a scrapbook come alive.
So those are my top tips for scrapbooking! I hope you guys found this helpful or even just enjoyable to have a sneak peek at my scrapbook. Scrapbooking is so much fun and I really do highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about giving it a go! Happy scrapbooking!