Scrapbooking 101: The basic tools

A while back I was reading an article about getting started with scrapbooking and it made me so mad! There were so many extras listed, so much fuss – and really scrapbooking is this simple:

paper + glue + photos + album

You could, in theory, scrapbook without so much as a pair of scissors. Not that I recommend the approach, but my point is that it does not need to become this huge beast of a hobby! You can keep it as simple as you like. As I revamp and revisit my own scrapbooking habits I also want to share with you a series of articles that I hope will shed light and possibly help you if you are someone getting into this hobby. Note that affiliate links are used in this article. Long time scrapbooker? Do add your tips and suggestions to the comments!

The tools I recommend

  • Good cardstock – acid free, thick/high quality
  • Paper Trimmer -Fiskars Rotary for longevity, cheap ‘chip blade’ style any brand if just going for short term use
  • Quality Scissors -Fiskars
  • Acid Free adhesive- tape runner of your choosing and PPA liquid
  • Archival black journaling pen
  • Ring bound scrapbook album in the size/format of your choice (watch for my “how to decide the size” article coming soon!)

You can find most of the items I mentioned at a local craft or scrapbook store, or online. I have linked most of my picks (and I always am adding!) on my Amazon craft suggested products list as well. Want to take it a bit further and beyond absolute basic? Next steps I would get into:

  • Black, white, metallic colored alphabet stickers
  • a “pack” or “kit” of coordinated paper and embellishments that goes with a current batch of photos/project you’re working on
  • Black archival ink and 1 word/phrase stamp set to see if you’ll use it!

What do I not recommend? For scrapbooking or any new hobby, don’t dive in wallet first. While things like paper punches or stamps or piles of patterned paper and stickers might seem appealing, you may discover that you prefer digital scrapbooking, a clean style, or even that you’d prefer making your own custom embellishments with an electronic die cutting machine! Save money and stretch your creativity especially at the start.

I think of it like when I’m shopping for clothes. Oh sure I love lots of purses or bracelets or shoes or fancy tops… but will I use them? Actually wear them? That difference between “ooh I like —” and “I will use —” is a key thing to know, watch, and respect as you shop for your crafting supplies to be sure.

In this series of articles I will be covering how to work with a limited set of supplies, design basics, work flow and album organization, and much more! I hope you’ll stay tuned and I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Please do feel free to let me know topics you’d like me to cover in the future as well.

A little rainbow love in my scrapbook

I was super excited to see that Damask Love now has products in JoAnn stores – but sad that it wasn’t anywhere near me! Luckily you can order the stuff online, and that’s exactly what I did!

The colors are bright, the motifs whimsical, and the patterns a lot of fun. I decided to feature a photo of my daughter Elizabeth meeting a new horse. Horses are so special to her, and I know she’ll want a scrapbook page made about any/all that she happens to spend time with!

My page design was simple: cut 6″ high strips to coordinate with my photo, and go across the page! I used a woodgrain white cardstock background for texture and detail on this simple page. I used stickers and sequins from the Damask Love line for this page.

Pages like this remind me sometimes you don’t need a big story, and it is really fun to do a page with a lot of white space to really keep your eye focused. Another important reminder? Get those new supplies out! Don’t save them forever or “for the perfect event” – play and enjoy!! I’m glad I took the 20minutes to sit and create this page and share – and I hope we’ll see MORE Damask Love products as well because I’m always up for rainbows and bright happy things!

Scrapbooking sports: approaches & tips

“How do you handle scrapbooking kid activities/sports?”

This is a question I get a lot, and honestly it’s pretty simple. I look at the event/season/situation and decide the approach that makes the most sense for me and the stories to be told. The most important things to remember are that you don’t have to use sports themed anything, and you don’t have to use a lot of photos if you do not want to.

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Theme products: When (and how) to use them in your Scrapbook

One question that I hear regularly is how to use themed paper crafting products. This is no new question- back in my early scrapbooking days themed stuff was your ONLY option aside from plain cardstock! Everything had a theme, and you were “supposed to” make it work- color and styles had to fit the product, not the other way around.

Well even back then I rebelled. Forget that! I would take solid cardstock and a pair of scissors and just hand cut/create/invent my own embellishments if things didn’t work. These days, the quality of themed options is so much better, and it’s no longer a thing to be avoided… well not always. But when should you use it? How should you use the products? We’ll begin covering that today in this post.

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