If you'd asked me how to make a scrapbook when I was a kid, some ***ty years ago, I'd have pointed you straight to the acid-enhanced paper and the 'add your own lignin' adhesive, given you some magazine pics and suggested you get on with it!

These days if you want to make a scrapbook that will give you pleasure as you make it AND for years to come, then you might want to be a little bit more strategic.....

Here are some basic steps to make a scrapbook that you will be proud of:-

1. Get sorting those photos. How to make a scrapbook without some decent photos is a challenge too far for this scrapper!

The best way to do this is to get yourself an archive storage box, where you can keep photos in an acid-free regular temperature environment.

2. Select a group of photos around a theme. A chronological scrapbook is fine if you're showing off photos of your son or daughter growing up, but don't be cramped by chronology.

A group of photos around a vacation to Mexico could be a great theme, as could your family's heritage, or even Halloween. (Boy, what a big deal that is in the UK now!)

3. Buy an album! I would recommend you start with an 8 x 12 size, as this will save you a lot of money on papers etc. I mainly do 12 x 12s, as I prefer not to be too fiddly and intricate with embellishments. Haven't got the patience or the 'fine motor skills'!

Other advantages of an 8 x 12 are that an inkjet printer is far more likely to be able to print off that size of paper. Also, you can keep pages in an ordinary 3 ring binder while they're 'work in progress'.

Make sure your album has acid and lignin-free page protectors.

4. Sketch out your page designs first in rough. Especially decide on all the photos that will go on a specific page BEFORE you start sticking stuff down.


I have an excellent resource now for layout ideas - which is a book by Jen Gormley, crammed full of sketched templates for page layouts. I wish I'd found it before I made most of my layouts, but for next time I'll certainly use one of Jen's sketches - especially when I don't have any inspiration (ie. quite often!). There's a

great sample on this page - about half way down - of how you could turn a line drawn sketch into a truly stunning layout.

5. Use a background paper and accents that evoke the content of the photos. If it's an autumn scrapbook layout , or a vacation scrapbook layout , then let the background add to the page-viewing experience.

6. Use journaling to personalise the photos. Using an acid-free journaling pen, write phrases or sentences that have a special meaning for you and are part of the same memory as the photos.

7. Embellish the page. If you want to know how to make a scrapbook layout stand out, then use embellishments, including 3D embellishments to make the page special.

There are plenty of tools available for anyone keen on finding out how to make a scrapbook.

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