Do you remember those days as a kid pasting newspaper clippings onto paper and bundling dozens of papers together with some fancy ribbon or a string? Do you also remember all of your hard work falling apart two months later?
Now there’s a grown-up way to save and preserve your treasures: Scrapbooking. Keep memories alive, keep a detailed timeline of your family adventures or manage your little one's milestones.
The concept behind scrapbooking hasn’t changed since grade school. You can still place photographs, newspaper clippings, poems, and tickets into your scrapbook to display and preserve your memories.
However, scrapbooking techniques and tools have matured substantially since you were a kid. Scrapbooking albums have replaced the messy bundles of paper. These albums are generally bound or placed in a three-ring binder. In this way, your hard work won’t fall apart. Furthermore, new specialized covers allow protection from the outside elements.
Paste is also a thing of the past. Specialized glue dots and two-sided tape makes mounting your treasures simple and mess free. Many of these products are so strong that you can now decorate your scrapbook pages with ribbons, feathers, flowers, or even metal charms.
Due to these new techniques and tools, the uses of scrapbooking have expanded drastically. Scrapbooking is still used to hold personal keepsakes and for gift giving.
However, now scrapbooking techniques can be used to make baby announcements, grandparent books, gift cards, artwork for kid’s rooms, recipe books, and even educational tools.
What Do I Need to Start Scrapbooking?
The best thing about scrapbooking is that although there is a plethora of scrapbooking supplies available on the market, you really don’t need a lot to make your very first scrapbook. Basically, all you need to scrapbook is an album, some glue, a pair of scissors, and some photographs or newspaper clippings. Any fabric, ribbon, or bits of leftovers from other projects can be used to embellish your scrapbook.
As you get more acquainted with scrapbooking, you will find products that save you time and frustration. Many of these products are well worth the extra cost. At the top of this list is an exacto knife. This strong and versatile blade allows you to cut almost anything into any shape. When the blade is dull, the end is simply broken off to reveal another sharp tip. Just be sure to place the object you plan to cut onto a mat or wad or newspaper before using the exacto knife. Otherwise, the knife will cut right through your picture and into your scrapbook page or dining room table.
The next best tool is a pair of tweezers. Trying to pick up and place small gluey pieces is a hassle. Tweezers, though not very high tech, allow you to move pieces without touching them.
Speaking of gluey pieces, various glues and affixing options are available. These quick and less messy options include glue dots, two-sided tape, Xyron, acid free photo tabs, and polypropylene corners.
To increase the preservation of your scrapbook and your treasures, look for albums with acid free, lignin free pages. Both acid and lignin accelerate photo fading and general deterioration. Lignin is a chemical found naturally in the cell walls of plants. If the lignin is not removed in the paper manufacturing process, the chemical will cause the paper product to gradually yellow and crumble. Lignin and acid free products come in virtually any color and texture.