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How to Scrapbook: The Ultimate 'Learning to Scrapbooking for Beginners'

In this guide, I'll give you some ideas on how to make a scrapbook like a pro in a few easy steps.

Scrapbooking is super fun and rewarding, but there's a lot to take in :) It isn't just about sticking things down on paper.

In this guide I'll break things down for you, so you can get started. 

Firstly when it comes to your scrapbooking project, don't get overwhelmed. Stick to the basics (which we'll cover in this guide :))

Soon enough, you'll be able to easily and instantly enhance the look of your homemade scrapbook pages.

At the end of the day scrapbooking is about preserving your beautiful memories (pictures). So as you begin your journey, try and keep it fun and remember, scrapbooking for a beginner is as much about experimentation as it is creativity!

Here's a few basics to start scrapbooking.

Scrapbooking for beginners

1. How to Set up your workspace

Before the scrapbooking ideas flow, in fact before you even stick anything down to paper, your scrapbooking supplies and space need to be organized!

Resist the crafter's urge to rush out and buy albums or paper until you have the space ready.

Getting your physical space right will really help your mental and creative space and can be a fun project to focus on. I've been making personalized scrapbooks in so many random places over the years but I honestly feel like I produce my best work (and love scrapping even more) when I have a tidy and organized designated space.

Find an area in your house that can be dedicated to scrapbooking. This is where you'll be able to keep all your scrapbooking supplies (such as your albums, paper, pictures, etc)!

Is there a small closest that isn't being used that could have the door taken off and used as a work area?

What about the landing at the top of your stairs? Or how about the odd little nook off the kitchen? If it's only used as a temporary storage area, start to claim it as your scrapbooking sanctuary!
scrapbooking layouts of beginners
Any place that has nearby storage for your scrapbooking supplies is also great and would be your first choice. You'd be surprised how quickly your paper stash and collection of albums can get! Also, a quiet space can be beneficial. I find my best scrapbooking ideas for beginners come when it's lovely and quiet.

Ideally, you need a scrapbook space big enough to house a small desk or make a work table by placing a countertop over two 2-drawer file cabinets. But remember, the smaller the space you're using, the more organized you'll need to be, otherwise, things get messy.

I know this first hand. My current space is an internal room and I have serious paper storage issues. I have at least two piles of paper under my desk, and then even more paper stored on my shelf. I'm still working on a solution!

A big tip is to surround your scrapbooking space with beautiful things that you love. Perhaps some photos of your family, maybe your favorite album on display or even some flowers. You could even showcase previous pages you're most proud of in frames on the wall. When you feel happy your creativity will blossom and the inspiration will come which will make it easier for you to create eye-catching scrapbook layouts!

Having good natural light is one thing I definitely recommend. But if you can't then there are some real desk lights on the market that can help you see that all-important detail.

I use LED lights as my scrap room is an internal room and they are really good. Focus on creating a positive space and great idea will flow!
Wait! Now That You Know About The Fundamentals Of Scrapbooking, Then You'll Need To Start Working On Your Scrapbooking Pages....Let Me Show You...

♥How to START and FINISH a layout to perfection (so no more pushing things around on a page for hours and hours).

♥How to get your creative juices flowing again so you'll NEVER experience scrappers block again!

♥How to always have the perfect scrapbook layout for every occasion!

2. Selecting and organizing photos (my top ideas!)

The central part of scrapbooking is your photos.

So organizing them is an important project you can do. If your photos aren't already sorted, take time to organize them before you begin. It will save you a lot of time.

One of the slowest parts of putting together a scrapbook album is deciding which photos to use. This is why getting your photo collection in order (deciding which pictures are scrappable) will save you time in the long run.
how to scrapbook photos
Here's one of the easiest and most helpful scrapbook organization ideas for beginners you'll hear and it's one I love – purchase clear plastic bins (about the size of a shoebox) and label the top and front of each bin.

Labels might include family, relatives, vacation, wedding, holidays, etc. As you begin to sort through scrapbooking photos, quickly place them into the corresponding bin. This way they'll be at your fingertips when you're ready to start working on a page.
Since you're in the sorting mood, be sure to check desk drawers, closets, and any other place where old photos might be stashed.

Once you have gone through all the photos, you can then begin to organize each bin. Use large index cards to separate and label the photos inside each bin.

Sidenote - I also like to store my paper using a similar approach. I use clear plastic bins (the big ones) and sort my paper by colors that go well together OR by theme (birthday, love etc).

I have a lot of my photos online so print as I go. I use my cheap printer (which I love!) with photo paper and its works really well. My photos come out clear and sharp. And once you have the printer, the paper is relatively inexpensive!
scrapbook background
Gather the photos that you want to use for your scrapbooking album. Keep in mind that you'll probably have more photos than you'll actually use, but you can narrow the choice when you get ready to work on your scrapbook pages.

Tip: I like to use the paper scraps from my home-printed photos - you can ink these scraps of cardstock and use them as borders, flourishes, or even use them as a 3D underline for your page title.

Here's one of my favorite scrapbooking ideas for beginners. Scan or photograph your precious (one of a kind) photos so you can keep the original one super safe and use the scanned version (Print out on good quality printer paper or get your photos printed at your nearest printing service).

3. Gather scrapbook supplies without burning through money!

As tempting as it might be to purchase a lot of scrapbooking supplies at once (cardstock haul anyone??), stick with the basics.

I remember walking into my first scrapbooking store and wanting to buy the LOT. Be warned, that eyeball inspiration can be a real trap for beginners! It's tempting to buy everything and anything that appeals to you when shopping for scrapbook supplies. If you can, practice restraint :)

A worthwhile project is to create a list of exactly what you need and then stick with the list! I would also at this point consider a style you want to start with - did you want to try a vintage style, modern style, masculine, etc. Deciding will help focus the different options when it comes to what paper, albums to purchase, etc.

Your list of scrapbook supplies should include:

 • page protectors

 • patterned paper (acid-free)

 • plain solid color or white cardstock

 • photos you want to scrap (see above for tips on organizing your photos)

 • a scrapbook album (or two!)

 • die cuts

 • die-cut machine

 • plain paper (for your scrapbook page)

 • stickers

 • scrapbooking embellishments

 • beginners supplies like scissors, washi tape, glue, etc

 • scrapbook magazines (flicking through one of these can give you loads of ideas for   your pages that you'll love!)

 • a book on scrapbooking (we sell a few of these to help you!)

 Make sure anything you want to adhere to your page is acid-free. Some items (such as old ticket stubs) can contain acid, which over time erodes your pages and can ruin your photos.

One of my favorite products is Krylon's 'make it acid-free'. This is a scrapbook spray that literally removes the acid from almost anything. It's a great way to protect your photos and scrapbook page by making them acid-free.
For example, some stickers contain acid, and using this miracle spray will remove the acid and make it ok to use it on your layouts.

Did you know you can use some household items for basic scrapbooking supplies? This is a great option for those who want to learn to scrapbook on a budget.

Check this blog out for 6 essential scrapbook tools in more detail.

As you continue learning how to scrapbook on a budget, you can gradually add to the basics. For now, this beginners article covers the basics to get you started.

4. How to layout your scrapbook pages

Now you're ready for the fun part of learning to scrapbook, creating your first scrapbook page! With pictures sorted, scrapbook tips in mind, and supplies on hand, you need to get focused on the layout of your scrapbook album and pages.

Now don't expect inspiration to flow right away. So be gentle with yourself. This is a process, and some parts of it may come easy, others not so easy :)

Tips for beginners: The first page of your album will be the title page. You might want to do this scrapbook page last so that the title that you choose truly reflects what the album contains. Although I do have some scrapbook albums that are miscellaneous in theme and that's ok too.

Begin with the next two side-by-side pages. You may want to have one scrapbooking theme per spread. Rather than thinking of each page as a separate unit, think of what you want to capture on the double-page scrapbook spread.

When someone flicks through an album of mine, I want each turn of a page to be a new immersive experience!

Choose your photos and temporarily arrange them onto the scrapbooking pages. Then select a patterned paper that fits the theme. Hopefully, you'll like what you see!
Now start arranging the elements and photo (s) on the page till it looks eye-catching and beautiful. What you'll find, is as you're doing this, the inspiration will start to come from just seeing the photos on the paper, and the other elements on the page.

example of scrapbook

Quick Tip on how to get started 

For beginners, I highly recommend using scrapbooking sketches or template to give you a great idea for your pages.

Sketches are so helpful, they can help you understand where to put the photo, the title and I find they're super helpful if I need to finish an entire scrapbook album in record time.

You can also navigate to the product menu here on our site and see our scrapbook sketches book if you need additional ideas for beginners!

Okay, now it's time to adhere the scrapbook patterned paper to the scrapbook page.
start to scrapbook

Use complementary colored scrapbook patterned paper to matte your photo on to create a frame.

You will want your photo to stand out on your scrapbook page.

Check this blog out for more information on matting your photos on your paper to make them stand out.

On your scrapbook page, you'll need to embellish the patterned paper with stickers, confetti, die-cuts, and other small items, but be careful to not overdo it. In fact, I love the philosophy of keeping it simple.

One of the biggest mistakes beginners make with their layout is complicating things. Here are many other mistakes new scrapbookers make while learning to scrapbook and how to avoid them.

I recommend placing your scrapbook embellishments or stickers around your photo or in a cluster on your scrapbook pages. If embellishments are too far away from the photo then it can draw the eye onto other things.

Check out this article to discover how to make a scrapbook page that's eye-catching!

new idea for scrapbooking

Here's a blog post with some ideas for beginners on how to give your scrapbook pages that extra eye-catching element.

To create more dimension on your page you can add pop-up dots or foam dimension dots - if you place photos/pictures or embellishments on these you really can see your page come alive.

Read our beginner's guide to page embellishments for your scrapbook layout.

choose fun themes for your first scrapbook
Once you've finished your scrapbook layput, be sure to use page protectors to ensure your cardstock and page won't accidentally get ripped, torn, or stained.

If you want more of a challenge and want to create a keepsake or beautiful gift for a loved one check out this amazing ultimate mini scrapbook album tutorial.

5. How and Why to Journal on Your Scrapbook Album

One of the key components of scrapbooking is journaling.
Remember the old photo albums that contained little or no room to write information about the pictures?

As you flipped through someone's album you would constantly have to ask, "Who is this?" "Where was this taken?" "What's happening in this picture?"

One of the benefits of learning to scrapbook is that you have space to journal! Of all our scrapbooking tips, we want you to remember to make journaling something you love and enjoy.

You can write down key phrases that describe each photo or make funny captions reflecting what's happening in a picture. As you journal, be sure to include names and dates. A few years from now you'll be glad that you did!

Here are some ideas and inspiration for adding scrapbook journaling to your page:

 • Consider adding journaling to your layout as a border (write directly onto the   cardstock).

 • Think about incorporating journaling into a tag.

 • Hide your journaling on your layout inside its own envelope.

 • Create a mini-book of journaling (credit card size) and add it to your page.

fun new idea layout

After you have completed each of your eye-catching scrapbook layouts, it's time to create a catchy or inspiring title page. Include just one picture, the title, and the year.

By keeping the title page simple, it makes it very clear what the viewer can anticipate seeing in the next few pages.

Place the pages inside of the page protectors once they are thoroughly dry. Then it's time to put your album together.

If you have used foam dimension dots or cardboard to raise elements off your page you might find it hard to fit it in your page protectors. I recommend trimming your page down just a little on every side and it will slide into your page protectors easily.

Albums make a fantastic gift too! Perhaps you have some friends getting married or celebrating an anniversary. There are lots of ways you can bless others with your love of scrapbooking.

To further understand the basics of scrapbooking, you should check out our scrapbooking 101 article and start scrapbooking like a pro in no time!

Keep our scrapbooking ideas and tips in mind throughout your creative journey!

As you learn scrapbooking for beginners and get started on this wonderful adventure, you will discover that scrapbooking is a super fun and relaxing hobby. It's something that you can enjoy time and again and your family and friends will enjoy the albums and pages you put together.

Your pictures will come to life and pop off a page that your family can pass down through the years.

Good luck creating your first scrapbook and enjoy this new time of discovery! Feel free to start looking around our site for a helpful and great idea, plus tips, and inspiration!

Your first album isn't far away! If want more scrapbooking tips that will help you create pages fast, you should check out our article "scrapbooking made simple".

Happy scrapbooking!

Topic: Scrapbook page ideas

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