Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What a Beginner Needs to Know about Scrapbooking

When I mention to some people that I run a scrapbooking club and demonstrate how to scrapbook, a puzzled look can creep over their faces! You can see them trying to work out what exactly it is that I teach. They’re thinking “We all used to cut bits out and stick bits in to a book when we were kids… what is there to teach?”

It is true of course, we have all, as children, glued our holiday souvenirs into a large scrapbook filled with (rather oddly) rough, hideously dull coloured pages, only to find all the bits dropping out a while later because the glue has gone off or the sticky tape has disintegrated!

But, the beauty of these little collections of papers, tickets, and clippings is that it allows to reminisce about those long forgotten little family excursions and wistfully remember how simple life was as a child, ahhh!

Nowadays modern scrapbooking layout techniques and tools have blossomed into a huge, and sometimes overwhelming, industry. Instead of the dull, lifeless books available back then, we now have a choice of many types of styles, colours and shapes. Our scrapbooking layouts are placed inside protective plastic covers which look after our well crafted pages.

The glue and sticky tape (that went yellow and then brittle and then finally fell off!) is a thing of the past with double sided tapes and sticky dots making the mounting of photos and embellishments on your scrapbook pages simple and mess free. And talking of embellishments, there are huge numbers of beautiful things on the market, but there many in other outlets too and around your home.

Drinks Can ‘ring pulls’, for instance, make great “buckles” for ribbons and… are free! And oh how eager one’s husband can be to oblige your request to keep all his beer ring pulls!! The ribbons can be obtained by cutting out those annoying straps in clothes that may keep them on the hanger, but always hang out of your tops at the most inopportune moment!Scrapbooking layouts in the modern day basically allow for anything so start collecting!

The initial use of scrapbooking is essentially the same as it was all those years ago, it’s just that now we have lots of lovely products at our fingertips. And, perhaps more importantly, the improvement of photography to everyone means that we all have special photos that we want to view and appreciate.

Scrapbooking is still used for holding personal keepsakes, but also for gift giving. Apart from standard scrapbooking layouts to document photographs, events, etc, scrapbooking techniques can be used to make greetings cards, grandparent books (and parent books!) and personalised gifts that everyone is pleased to receive.

What do I need?
Well not a lot actually. If you see the post re ”Try Scrapbooking for Free” you will see that you can start with things already around your home and you really don’t need that much to make your very first scrapbook.

All you need to get you going is…
· a pair of scissors
· some glue and/or some double sided tape
· some photographs (although not even this is always necessary!)
· some paper(s)/card
· a stapler is handy
· some ribbons, fabric pieces
· bits and pieces left over from other projects (buttons

As you become more acquainted with scrapbooking, you will find products that make your pages easier to make and look better.

A couple of items I find invaluable are:
· A scalpel, just replace the blades when blunt (lots of people use craft knives)
· A metal ruler
· A cutting mat
· Tweezers for fiddly little pieces and helping peel off backing tape from double sided tape.

Now then… sticky things!
There are lots to choose from, but for a beginner to scrapbooking I would suggest, double sided tape, sticky dots of some sort and a pack of double sided pads (the latter gives dimension to your scrapbooking layouts).

Of course your pages themselves, eg, the backgrounds make a huge difference to the scrapbooking layout and indeed the whole album. Which is why our childhood attempts always looked bland, there were no backgrounds, just the dull coloured plain paper! You will see mentioned everywhere on the subject of scrapbooking that you MUST obtain materials which are acid and lignin free. And if you are making a scrapbook for generations to come to appreciate then this is fairly essential. I’ll explain in a minute.

But if you are making cards or little gifts that may not need the longevity of archiving memories then slightly acid items are perfectly acceptable. This fact alone opens up a whole plethora of possibilities for cheap or free materials.

However, if a scrapbook is to be kept as an archive for treasured family moments, then acid and lignin free is the way to go. Acid and lignin accelerate the deterioration and fading of photographs, and the scrapbook layouts in general. Lignin is a chemical found in the cell walls of plants. If lignin is not removed during the paper manufacturing process, the chemical will cause a gradual yellowing of the paper and it will eventually crumble. There are huge amounts of products free from these chemicals and they come in all colours.

No comments: