Scrapbooking: What’s the best way?

Welcome to Camp Scrap! For more details about this special blog event, prizes, community, and more check out the FAQ page here.Β 

One of the things I’ve noticed about comments so far in Camp Scrap is a desire to scrapbook more, or simply to begin. So I’ve been thinking… what can I share with all of you about this? How can I help? A single blog post isn’t going to cover the topic or my knowledge, but I can get you started – and I can share a new layout I made from a place of pure love and inspiration. Want to see pages from my ye olde past? My “creative journey” series (go back to final page and read from beginning) has a TON! You can find those here.Β 

What is the “best” way to scrapbook?Β The short answer is: the way that you enjoy + inspires you to complete it.

You have a LOT of choices including pocket pages where you can work one small bit at a time to 12×12 layouts to mini-books – and everything in between. My family scrapbooks are a blend of pocket pages + traditional pages (12×12) ever since I did “project Hawaii” a blog series about faux pocket pages to maximize space + minimize time to make the pages. But I’ve done it all – and will continue to dabble when it comes to trips, special occasions, and other “separate” scrapbook projects.

Tips on space/managing expectations:Β 

  • You’re limited by whatever space you’ve got. You can only fit so many pictures on a page. So decide on a case-by-case basis what priorities are
  • Get real. I’m not ever going to custom print photo sizes. I print 3×5 or 4×6 in batches every few months, and I make my projects work based on that. I get WAY more done, and I do better with physical photos in front of me vs having to sit down, find pics, size them… I’d never scrapbook. This applies to every aspect of scrapbooking – be realistic in your time and commitment to it
  • Scrapbook any and everything you want. Skip any and everything you don’t want.
  • If working on an album with a set of pictures/strict parameters take the time to sort it out generally before you begin, or pause and do so if you’re already in the middle of it.
  • I’ve only met maybe 3 people in all my 30 years of scrapbooking that were “caught up” and “Had scrapped absolutely everything to date”. Realistically you’ll NEVER scrapbook every story. Pick a few stories, be happy they’re told/saved. Repeat.

Spend time living a good life, scrapbook the parts you like as time allows… but do make time. Even if just a few minutes now and then.

This page you’re seeing snapshots of is one for my 2017 album. I just got my April – June photo order and I saw these photos and went… oh my gosh this will match the Paige Evans (affiliate links used) paper that I had to buy 4 sheets of because I was so in love with but can’t find anything to use it! This is perfect! I 100% believe in working as inspired, and putting energy in where I’m creatively inspired. Keeping it real simple where I’m not.

On process/how-to:

My process goes like this. First I identify photos. The I verbalize what I’d say about them if talking to a friend as I move the photos around on kraft or white cardstock. While doing this I make note to myself how many words/how much space I envision. Once I can “see” where I want the photos + story I make the page.

There are ENDLESS possibilities for ways to tell any given story, with any photos. So just pick one and go for it! I like:

  1. Decide photo placement
  2. Add large/key elements including patterned paper if using it – but don’t glue anything yet
  3. Verify you have ample journaling space
  4. Glue main things down, write that story down
  5. Add finishing touches, embellishments, details as desired

That is how I scrapbook. And when I get SUPER excited because maybe my favorite paper to come out in years works perfectly with some of my favorite photos? I run with that excitement. I play with the stickers and paper. and I enjoy the heck out of the process.

What I love about scrapbooking is how I can capture snippets and stories big and small and have creative fun doing it. There’s no right or wrong way. I could glue all the photos to one color cardstock add themed stickers write notes below each and be done. Or I could spend a whole day playing with one. Most of the time they’re around 30minutes though – this one included.

Here is my final layout – I love how it turned out! I used Pebbles puffy stickers – they go so well with Paige’s paper! This layout design is one of my “go-to” and you can make it either way (portrait pics or landscape pics across <> the page). In my online class (see discount code below!) Tried & True Scrapbook Layouts I go through this design – and many others. Oh how all this scrapbooking has me smiling – but also thinking it’s give-away AND discount time!

Special discount link/offer

Use THIS LINK, and you can have 30% off ANY one self-paced Craft With May class (note this is ALL classes except Picture This, which is currently in super deep discount pre-registration mode this week!). This offer is good through July 3, 2017 on new purchases only. The price you see on class description page is the normal price, and the discount will show up when you go to check out.

give-away: Craft With May class of your choice

At least 3 winners (could be a lot more!) will be randomly drawn from comments on this post (closes July 2) for the FREE class of their choice – and the prize is good through 2017 so if you want to hold out for a future class – you can! Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win – and good luck!

71 thoughts on “Scrapbooking: What’s the best way?”

  1. what a fab simple page – and I need that paper now! what a lovely giveaway too πŸ™‚

  2. Thanks for taking the time for writing out your process. I feel less guilty about not using custom photo sizes and not being caught up. Love the paper. It made a beautiful layout. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. This is awesome to read. I have promised my niece a scrapbook of her dance life so far, although I have been collecting supplies ( so much better at the buying than the using!!) I have been pulling my hair out trying to figure where or how to start. I finally picked an album size and have decided to make it a mish mash of all size pages and types…… I was going to try and figure layouts out in my head and then print pictures to size but after reading this I am just going to go ahead, print them out in 2-3 sizes and work with that……

  4. Gorgeous, gorgeous paper! I have been in a “no new patterned paper” mode, but I may have to break down for this paper! Love this tried & true design. Love your approach to scrapbooking.

  5. Love this page! That Pink Paislee paper is to die for! Thanks for the giveaway! I have loved taking your classes!

  6. Great page, that paper is really pretty. thanks for the giveaway. Now I hope to start getting creative with these fun prompts/ideas we have had.

  7. I really enjoy your take on approaching scrapbooking and using what you have, photos included. Hop I’ll get scrapbooking when I get home tonight!

  8. Always love your approach. Classes have all been inspiring! Keep up the good work.

  9. You make scrapbooking look so easy. I have never done any before. Can you use photo’s that you take with your camera and have those printed say at a Walmart? Or do you use a regular film style camera? See how ignorant I am to this LOL. I would love to learn how to do this.
    I think one of the first books I would do is one from childhood pics of my sister and i. I think those would be so fun to have as a coffee table type of scrapbook. As things are at the moment I do not have any photos from my childhood at all. My sister has them all, and I am waiting for her to give some to me to take and get prints or scan them so I can get them onto my computer. THEN I can do this.
    I would so much love to be able to take one of your classes. Thank you for all the chances to win such wonderful goodies.

  10. So my question is there is really no wrong way to do it right. But I get so upset because my colors to me always look wrong or off. I love your work and have for a long time. And will continue to grow with you. Thank you so much.

  11. Your “memory keeping” prompt for today is perfect. I’m scrapping with a friend today! Thanks for all of your work on camp scrap.

  12. Love how you design your layouts and your style is wonderful. Thank you for sharing with us.

  13. Very cute page! And I love the Tried and True Scrapbook Layouts class, that’s one of my favorites. I go back to the lessons on that one quite often. I am loving Camp Scrap!

  14. Like you I print most of my pictures thru the costco online page and pick up the next time I am in the store. For me half the battle is finding the time. Lately I will take a pack of pictures and my fussy cutting scissors and sit outside, on the couch at night while the hubster controls the remote and fussy cut my pictures. Then I will take the trimmed photos and tuck them into pages of an 8×8 album with post its denoting what they are from, dates, quick memory snips, and at least that much is done. I can usually complete a full 30 page album in a weekend camping trip while everyone is still asleep and it is just me, my coffee, my supplies and good old mother nature

  15. You are correct on the weird sizes. I love to print my own pictures but wow does that eat up a lot of time. When I go to crops I get so much more done because you are forced to use what you have, When I am at home my process takes so much longer because I’m printing photos and have way too much to choose from.

    Thanks for the chance to win May> I’m having a blast and have already completed so much during cameo>. I wrote it down and I’m getting it done. 1 mini book, 1 layout, and an altered multi purpose box from Kaisercraft done!

  16. Loving this page! The pattern paper is perfect to document your daughter reading to her pup! Cute!

  17. Thanks for this post and the links to prior posts included. I always get so much out of your sharing your process and what works. I tend to over complicate the process.

  18. Love the page. Isn’t it great when everything comes together. Am loving Camp Scrap and all that you are sharing. Thanks so much!

  19. May I love your straightforward approach to crafting and your tips on managing expectations in this post are spot on. I’ve enjoyed many of your classes and re-watch the videos quite a lot. The latest one was “finding the Art in my Journal” which has encouraged me to venture into art journaling and messing about with things like paints and gelatos. However one of the things I’ve enjoyed the most is your honesty and genuine sharing of your thoughts and feelings. Thank you!

  20. scrapping is totally my jam. I love to do all sorts of different techniques, from simple to uber distressed and full. I plan on scrapping tomorrow πŸ™‚

  21. I struggle with journaling and love your tip about how you verbalize your journaling, how you would explain the page to a friend! Such a great tip!

  22. there are some really great ideas in this post, and the one I totally took to heart was the get real I’m not going to print custom sized photos! This is so me, LOL . This page is great, love the colors and all the little details. I appreciate seeing the way you went about it.

  23. You make it sound so easy. I think I need to sit down and print out a bunch of photos and start scrapping. Printing photos, well editing and printing is my bottleneck.

  24. I love this layout. That paper is lovely. Thank you again for details on your process.

  25. Great information and LO. I heartily recommend the tried and true class. it will have you scrapbooking up a storm with confidence. Love May’s ‘ can do ‘ attitude.

  26. Adorable layout. I like how angling the journalist card really changes the look of an otherwise straight 2-up LO.

  27. Lovely photos of your daughter and those puffy stickers are just too cute. Thanks for the inspiration May.

  28. Thanks so much for helping not feel guilty for not being caught up and not having scrapped every picture chronologically. It has taken me awhile to shake off all the “rules” but when I work with photos and stories I love the pages happen much more easily and I love the results.

  29. Glad to see we aren’t the only family that takes our fur babies with us camping ????

  30. fantastic. even though I don’t have unrealistic expectations about ever being ‘caught up’ with my memory keeping, it IS always nice to know that we’re not alone in the boat πŸ˜‰

  31. I love all the tips and ideas in this post. Thanks for sharing. Your layout is awesome.

  32. I’m grateful for your inspiration, May! I would love to win a free class! If I don’t, I will sign up for your Vacation Scrapbooking class with the discount! I need help with pulling a vacation together in an album.

  33. I had fun reading this. Since my children are grown, I have not been scrapping as much. But now thanks to a 2 month old granddaughter I am back at it. Such s fun layout and a great read. Thanjs for the chance to win.

  34. Love all the advice you’ve given – especially ‘you’re never going to be caught up’. I went to a class with Stacy Julian in 2003 in NZ and she kept repeating this to the class. Let go and just create what inspires you. I like that you print your photos then create from there. Thats what I do too.

  35. What better prize than a class with May? Loved all the classes I’ve taken with May, but I think the Vacation class is a definite favorite!

  36. Lovely layout. I like the stitching, the white space on the right side…simple things but it adds balance and at the same time encases the layout. I need a go to layout template. Enjoying the camp.

  37. Great post May. I bought some of that adorable paper based on your recommendation!! I love how the page came out!


  39. One of the things I’ve always loved about you is that your approach to scrapping, mixed media and cards is so practical. Just play with what makes you happy, there are no rules, experiment without judgement…it fortifies my courage to make and create and not worry so much about whether or not it’s “good.” If I don’t like t I can toss it or paint over it or dissassemble and start again. If I do like it, I’ve probably learned/tried something new and fresh.

  40. Love the page and your scrapbooking tips. The tried and True class is one of my favorites. Your classes are great and I would love to win a free one!

  41. Super cute photos of your daughter and her doggie. So fun when a special patterned paper is the perfect fit. Thanks for all the thought and work you put into another camp scrap. Camp scrap is always a fun break in the summer.

  42. I always learn something from you about getting my photos on a page. I guess the biggest piece of advice I’ve received is to stop stressing over certain sizes and whether it’s perfect. Tell the story. Thanks again for the reminder. I was getting off track scrapping my Alaska album- didn’t want all the pages to be laid out the same…. I just need to tell the story, not try and scrap them all….. πŸ˜€

  43. Enjoyed reading aBout your scrapbooking process. Explanation always gives insight & cements thungs.

  44. Great ideas and tips. I got into the game so late I’ll never catch up. Thinking about concentrating on new special moments and occasions. That way I won’t feel so overwhelmed.

  45. I don’t worry about catching up, but I am going to try and knock out a few summer pages in the next week or so. Always fun to pull out some new supplies and see what photos they go with!

  46. I love your philosophy to “scrap whatever you want” and “skip whatever you don’t want : to scrapbook”. This is a fun hobby and I think those who take the whole memory keeping process too seriously and want to tell only “inspired” stories take the fun out of it. Thanks for keeping it real and keeping it fun!

  47. This year I planned to scrapbook more. The best tip was printing my pictures in badges. For the first three months I printed 210 pictures. I planned to finnish those in the next three months. Ok. I only scrapped 80 until now, But I like Each page. And I have scrapped more than the last two years in Total πŸ˜‰
    So thanks for the inspiration….I’m off scrapping now πŸ™‚

  48. Love this post. I have done a couple of the tried and true scrapbook layouts from your class. I really need to find some more time to allocate to my scrapbooking at home, but sometimes I find myself taking so long to decide what I will do that i get a bit discourage and not finish….grrr….

  49. I have never done scrapbook pages before because I always thought they were too much work and would take forever. I like how you layout the steps so it doesn’t seem like it is such a hard process. I got to thinking about it though… I don’t have a lot of pictures laying around. I would have to go to Costco and print out some pictures. I haven’t printed any out since my trip to Hawaii. Most of my pictures I have on my tablet or my phone. I guess we live in a digital world now. I wonder how many people will end up buying that Paige evans paper because of you. LOl.

  50. What I love about scrapbooking is all the different formats! It never gets old when there are so many alternatives to telling your stories. Right now I’m loving traveller’s notebooks.

  51. May I have been taking your classes for a few years now and although my style is different I always find inspiration and can use it to be more creative in my crafty projects. That is why I love taking your classes. I love watching your process!!

  52. Love this page, it’s beautiful, and that is a great paper too. Thanks very much for a chance to win your awesome giveaway!! Michelle t

  53. Adorable layout! (Hint: Paige splats would look nice. LOL!) Thank you for your process….I have done it like you with inspiration drawn from photos first, the story, and Costco photos. I’m loving the TN for documenting on the go/trips and really helps with small details.

  54. Tammy there is really no wrong or right way, no matter what anyone says. Dont stress over this, it’s suppose to be fun. Have fun, create a page and move on to the next good story. If you don’t like it a few days, weeks later, or you learn a new technique, make it again, or add to it.

  55. May, it’s so nice to hear you say no one is caught up! Its so self-defeating to hear I’ll never catch up. Tell the story that speaks to you today, worry about tomorrow tomorrow. Oh, and thanks for the chance for a class!

  56. Your process and mine are the same when it comes to creating the page. The photos and the story dictate the remainder of the page. I do need to get in the habit of printing photos every so often – it is one of my stumbling blocks to scrapbooking. Thanks for the reminder to do so.

  57. Your classes through the years have always made scrapbooking easier for me! That is why I always come back! I love your formulas from a few summers ago in camp scrap and will be playing more on those this weekend! Thank you for everything you do for us! It is so greatly appreciated!

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