Making Your First Scrapbook

If you're starting your first scrapbook page, I'm so excited for you! You're about to embark on a wonderful journey of creativity, memories, and other fun stuff -- and you're probably feeling a little lost. Most people look at the billions of scrapbook ideas online, the huge number of supplies in their local store, and start to get this tight feeling in their stomachs.

But you're not alone, and if you're just learning how to scrapbook, I'm going to walk you through your very first page!

Before you get started

We are going to decide on your scrapbooking layout BEFORE you hit the stores. That way, you'll have at least a rough idea of what to buy, and you won't come home with $500 worth of unrelated scrapbooking stuff (er, not that I've ever done that...).

You don't need to plan your entire scrapbooking layout now but you do need some idea of a theme for your first scrapbook. Look at your photos and pick some really good ones with strong memories attached. Try not to use your only copy -- make sure you have a digital backup, even if you scan it to your computer. That way there's no need to panic if you make a mistake.

Your photos will give you your theme. For our purposes, let's say you've decided to go with your family's trip to the lake last summer. Obviously scrapbook ideas will be beach themed, summery, cheerful. Travel related stuff will be good in moderation -- this wasn't a huge trip, so we won't want passports or airplanes in our scrapbook.

Now that I have a basic idea of my scrapbooking layout, or at least my basic theme, it's off to the store.

The bare minimum supplies

When you're just learning how to scrapbook, give yourself permission to make mistakes. That said, try to buy less expensive materials so you won't break the bank if you ruin them. The exceptions are:

-A very good pair of scissors
-A nice pen or marker for calligraphy
-Good quality, acid free adhesives

These things will last you for a long time, so you don't want to skimp on these. But for your first scrapbook, it's fine to stick with less expensive items. So in our example of the lake scrapbook, I might buy 3 or 4 sheets of scrapbook paper in bright colors -- blues and yellows, perhaps.

Pick up some scrap paper in different styles and colors, too. Look for stickers that complement your theme, and consider splurging on one or two items you just really love -- decorative elements or the like.

Now that I have my materials, it's on to my first scrapbook.

Getting started

Scrapbooking is very personal, so I will let you design your own scrapbook layout. Here are a few general rules to help you on the way, though:

1. Do not glue ANYTHING until you're perfectly happy with the entire page.
2. Get scrapbooking ideas from magazines, books, and the Internet, and incorporate them into your own style.
3. Don't crowd the page -- 3 pictures is usually plenty.

If you stick to those three rules, I guarantee your first scrapbook will be something you can proudly display.

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