Top Scrapbooking Tips

Once you have discovered the fun of scrapbooking, you will discover the endless layout possibilities, the numerous tools available, and the dizzying array of material for enhancing your page. Here are a few practical scrapbooking tips to help you save time, eliminate frustration and get the most out of your investment.

Basic Tips

1. Acid Free Everything: The name of the game here is preservation. So make sure you are using paper that will last. Most will say either acid or PVC free on the front. Also, use an adhesive tape that comes with a tape runner instead of glue. Any of the tapes sold by scrapbooking companies or websites should be acid free.

2. Work Outside the Box: Ok, in this case you will work outside the book. Good albums have removable pages. I recommend adding pages only after they are completed. It’s easier to have a single page in front of you while you cut, adhere and manipulate materials, than your entire album. Also, you have more flexibility to move pages around.

3. Be Thematic: Choosing a theme helps to unite your choices of paper, color, quotes and embellishments. Whether it’s a holiday like Halloween, a place like “The Farm”, or time related like “Age of Innocence,” you can weave this theme throughout your related pages, and gain inspiration from them at the same time.

4. Focus Focus Focus: Each page should have a focal point. It may be a single photograph, a journal entry or a series of pictures, working together. Know where you want people to look when they first view your page and work outward from that point.

Tips for Tools

As much as we women like to tease men about their obsession with power tools, many a scrapbooking gal gets tingles all over when she unwraps a new cutter, shape maker or package of rainbow assorted markers. Let’s face it ladies, the tools make the project. Here are some tips on how to choose the right ones.

In addition to your most basic tape pair of sharp scissors, straight and decorative trimmers can make a cropper’s life much easier. Trimmers are basically small paper cutters that help you achieve perfectly straight or wavy lines. As some one who can’t cut straight to save my life, my cutter is a must have. Cutters that come in round, oval, heart-shaped and other patterns are also fun.

Every scrapbooker needs a good set of writing utensils in a variety of colors. You will want both fine-tipped and broad pens for different needs. Pens to reduce red-eye and photo labeling pencils are also handy. Finally, stencils that allow you to create arcs, swirls and half circle for headings and labels will be useful.

The Icing on the Cake

The materials you use to decorate your page will make it uniquely yours. Beginning scrapbookers are often overwhelmed by the many choices that exist. Here are a few favorites to get you started.

Fastening brads are those tiny gold pieces that go through the holes in paper and flatten down on the other side. These are available in stars, hearts, and almost any shape or color you can imagine. Using brads to fasten ribbons, ticket stubs or memorabilia is fun and inexpensive.

Scrap paper and your gel pen can be used to create a quilted appearance by making stitch-like marks around the outside of the paper. Another easy embellishment is to punch holes in a piece of paper and weave ribbon in and out of it.

Anything is fair game for your scrapbooking needs. Probably the best scrapbooking tip of all is to look at everything from a scrapbooker’s point of view. You will suddenly see pages of music, menus, church bulletins, fabric swatches and cheap jewelry in a whole new light.