Scrapbook Albums Tips

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What happens when you use a magnetic scrapbook album?

Scrapbook Album Blunder

The ever-popular magnetic scrapbook albums from the 1980s have proven to be a “big blunder” in the scrapbooking world. These albums are not acid-free or archival safe. Households everywhere are experiencing yellowed pictures and ruined photos in their magnetic albums. Not only will the albums damage the photos by discoloring them, but they make it extremely hard to remove the photographs from the pages. Scrappers beware, always use archival-safe and photo-friendly albums for your precious picture memories.

How can you store Christmas cards?

Christmas Card Album

A quick and easy idea for storing your treasured Christmas cards and letters is to create a Christmas card keepsake album. This handmade scrapbook album will be fun to flip though for many years. You can include cards, postcards, letters and even photographs. A fun way to preserve your pages and make them sturdy is to use decoupage. A clear decoupage or an antique finish works great with scrapbook pages.

You can trim the cards so you can display the front design and inside messages side-by-side. Another idea is to create card collages if you have lots of cards to include. If you get photographs from family and friends include them next to the cards. Be sure to display the year so you can remember when they were sent.

This is a great project for children to be involved in. Let your kids help assemble the cards and pick out any embellishments they want to include on the pages. Store the scrapbook pages in 3-ring scrapbook albums so you can easily add more pages each year.

What should you cover the board book with for your scrapbook?

Scrapbook Board Book Album

Board books can make adorable mini scrapbooks. The key is making sure the material is lignin-free, acid-free and archival-safe so that your “little treasure” will last a lifetime. Board books can be purchased at discount or dollar stores and covered with scrapbook paper and decorated. You can also purchase blank board books at craft stores or online from various retailers. A board book scrapbook mini album can make a great gift for graduation, baby showers, wedding showers or a brag book for Mother's or Father's Day. They are perfect for almost any occasion.

The board book can easily be covered with cardstock or patterned papers. For the best appearance, you should cover the front and back of the book and then wrap the binding separately. Each page inside can be covered and decorated. You should include embellishments like ribbon, chipboard letters, brads and eyelets. Photo mats and space for journaling is another plus.

What is the best size scrapbook to use?

Scrapbook Size: "What is the best albums size for your needs?"

Scrapbooking albums come in all shapes and sizes. There is no one specific album size that is "best" to use, but here are some tips on the various sizes available:

The 12 x 12 papers are readily available and this particular size seems to be a good size to fit pictures and other memorabilia on the pages without too much crowding. You can also buy ready-to-make pages kits in the 12 x 12 size.
If you want a smaller size book go with a 9 x 9 or 6 x 6 size. These sizes are great for children to start with because they are smaller and easier to work with for tiny hands. The 8 1/2 x 11 size is becoming almost obsolete. There are not many scrapbook papers available in that size anymore and the industry seems to be steering away from the 8 1/2 x 11 size and going to the square sizes instead.

I would like to start scrapbooking and have lots of ideas but I have some basic questions that none of the books or websites that I’ve consulted have answered. Most of the albums I’ve seen look very similar to photo albums. Does each page of the scrapbook go under a regular photo album type clear

Starting a Scrapbook

Scrapbook albums can look like basic photo albums (old style) and your page layouts are usually stored in clear pages called page protectors. You can buy albums that are 3 ring binders, post bound or belted together. The beauty of scrapbooking is that you can design your pages however you would like, there really are not specific rules. Scrapbook layouts are typically made on heavy, acid-free/lignin-free cardstock with photos and embellishments glued to the pages. There are many types of adhesives that can be used on your pages some are permanent, semi-permanent and removable, just make sure you are using a memory safe adhesive. You can find many scrapbook page design examples in scrapbooking magazines or on the Internet if you are looking for page layouts ideas.

There are albums that already have memory-safe pages in them and allow you to design your layouts directly on the pages, but photo protectors give you added protection against outside elements.


A Simple Solution to Fix Your Post-Bound Album

Scrapbook albums such as Westim Craft albums come in many sizes and colors. You can choose from fabric covers, vinyl or leather. These albums are made to hold your memories. Post-bound albums are becoming more popular since they are usually better quality and allow your pages to lay flat even when your album is thick and full.

Post-bound albums may break or fall apart if they are overfilled. The covers will not long stay together with the posts once your album has too many pages. In order to remedy this problem, you can use ¼” washers to secure your album and the posts. The washers will prevent the posts from coming out of cover's holes. This is also a great way to secure your album and prevent it from breaking.

I am new to scrapbooking and have some questions. Do I have to use page protectors or can I not use them and have hinged archival pages with photos touching each other? This is what a friend told me to do (no page protectors).

Page Protectors and Scrapbooking

There are some scrapbooking albums that are made to use without page protectors, like the Creative Memories albums, which can be used with or without page protectors. Photos touching each other will not damage the photographs, but page protectors are like an "insurance policy" for your pages.

Page protectors offer added protection for your scrapbook layouts. They not only help preserve the photos and the pages, but they will also protect from water, condensation and humidity.

What is a squash book?

Squash Book Mini Album 6 x 6

A squash book is a mini scrapbook folded into a little compact, portable album. It is made of scrapbook cardstock and memory-safe material so it can be preserved and treasured for a lifetime. Here are some directions for making this mini-album.
For the cover of the squashbook you will need:

2 – 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" Pieces of cardboard
2 – 7 1/2" x 7 1/2" Pieces of background and texture or patterned paper
1 – 6" x 6" cardstock (color A)
1 – 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" cardstock (color B)
1 – 5" x 5" White cardstock, decorated (you can use stamps, stickers, rub-ons etc.)
4 - 12" Ribbons
Adhesive (memory-safe)

Inside the squashbook:

3 – 12"x12" white cardstock; folded
2 – 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" cardstock (color A)
2 – 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" cardstock (color B) C/S
3 – 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" cardstock (color A); Cut Diagonally
3 – 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" B&T (color A); Cut Diagonally
3 – 5" x 5" white cardstock; Cut Diagonally

Step by step assembly:

1. Cut the 6 ½” x 6 ½” pieces of cardboard
Take 3 sheets of cardstock (12 x 12) and fold them first in half and open, then in half again the other direction. Once you have folded each sheet of cardstock twice you will have 4 equal squares for all three sheets.

2. Now fold each sheet once corner to corner diagonally then open.

3. Cut your background and texture paper or patterned paper 7 ½” x 7 ½”. Attach the paper to your cardboard pieces, cut corners and fold to cover the 6 ½” x 6 ½” pieces (this will be the front and back of your book).

4. Attach all three 12 x 12 pages together overlapping one square on a corner of each page (so your middle page will be over lapping each end page on one corner, then fold at the creases to close. Open it will look like 3 diamond shapes overlapping each other. Closed it folds into a 6 x 6 book.

5. Next, open the book and begin decorating. Your pages will be squares and triangles (this is where you will put your pictures and embellishments).

6. Attach 1 piece of 12” ribbon to right side of cardboard (centered on cardboard), and then attach 1 piece 12” ribbon to left side (make sure that the both ribbons are centered and even with each other). Repeat on second piece of cardboard.

7. Now attach the cardstock to your cardboard cover (both front and back). The ribbons on each piece will tie together closing your book.

8. Then, decorate your cover with your desired design. You can use stamps, stickers, die cuts, and/or other embellishments.

Squash books make fabulous gifts for Mother's day, birthdays, baby showers, etc. Why not give grandma or grandpa one to have for a brag book to show off their cute grandkids.


Pop Up Windows for Scrapbook Pages

Pop up windows can temporarily hide things on your scrapbook pages. They allow items to be viewed and then hidden once again. This concept can add some mystery to you scrapbook page layout.

To make a pop up window, divide a piece of paper into three sections. The Karen Foster paper should match, compliment, or contrast your background color. Next, paste the middle section of your pop up window to your background. Now, place your object or photograph on top of this middle section. Then, simply close the window.

A nice bow or other embellishment can also be added onto the outside of these windows to add an elegant touch to the window. Embellish you window with some colorful brads or eyelets from Westrim Crafts. Another variation is to put a word or question on the outside of the window and have a corresponding word or answer inside.

How do I choose a scrapbooking album?

Planning a scrapbook album - Pencil titles on pages

When planning a scrapbook album you need to think about where in the album your groups of photos will go and what decorations and title you should use. I find the easiest way to remember my choices is to write them in light pencil directly onto the scrapbooking album page. For example - Title Baby's first bath - lemon and sky blue card, CM girl first years' bath stickers. Once the page is assembled the pencil writing can be erased. It is a good idea to write the title on the outside of the photo packet as well.

How can I make the cover of my scrapbook more interesting?

Decorating Your Scrapbook Album Cover

Depending on your scrapbook album and the material of your cover you can add decoration and embellishments to "spice up” the cover.

Embellishments can be glued on the cover. Use metal charms, some sort of theme, stamps, stickers, ribbons, etc. You can decorate a picture frame, like the ready-made craft frames and attach it to your album for a unique look.

Another suggestions are to make a distinctive border and a nameplate for your book.

How do I choose a scrapbooking album?

Planning a scrapbook album: Sorting your photos by theme

Sorting photos for scrapbooking albums can be an overwhelming job. Start by sorting your photos into piles by appropriate themes. Theme ideas include time periods, different homes, children, weddings, holidays, people, pets etc. Once you have your piles of themes, you can store them in photo storage containers or put them into labeled zip lock freezer bags. If some photos seem to fit more than one theme don't worry. If you wish to use the same photo for another scrapbook album (although variety is a good idea!) write the themes on the back (using a photo labeling pencil) and have the appropriate number of copies made.

What is the best way to label the outside spine of scrapbook albums?

Labeling Your Scrapbook Albums

If you have a post bound album, which usually has a rounded spine it can be a little difficult to write something on the spine. You could either stick a decorated label on the spine (using labels that are memory-safe) or write carefully with some fabric paint (assuming you have a fabric album). For leather albums you could find a small photo pocket to stick on the spine and then slip a card with your label.

When labeling the albums you want to make sure you do something subtle and neat so you don't ruin your album.

What are the most common scrapbooking album sizes?

Scrapbooking Albums

Preserving your memories is important and choosing the right scrapbooking albums to display your pages and layouts is essential. Albums come in so many shapes and sizes it can be overwhelming to try to choose the “perfect” scrapbooking albums for your personal needs. Here are some suggestions to help guide you through the album selection process.

First, determine the size you want to use. If you already have page layouts that need to be secured in an album you will want to purchase scrapbooking albums that will accommodate the layouts you have completed. If you are a beginner or are starting a new phase of pictures and pages then you have a little more freedom in your scrapbooking album selection. The most common album sizes are 12 x 12, 9 x 9 and 6 x 6. Mini albums are also available and they range in size from 6 x 6 to 3 x 3.

After you determine the album size then you are ready to pick the type of album. Post-bound scrapbooking albums are a popular choice; there are belted albums and 3 ring albums. Now that you have selected the type binding you are ready to choose the style. There are fine leather albums, faux leather albums, linen albums and vinyl albums.

Scrapbooking albums come in many colors, patterns and materials. You can choose albums with a specific pattern or one with a picture frame on front. There are so many choices you are sure to find the scrapbooking albums that are right for your desires.

Scrapbooking albums are a place you can display and preserve your memories for a lifetime while sharing them with future generations.

I went to a class where we made 6 X 6 layouts for scrapbook but now I would like to turn them into 8 1/2 x 11 pages. What is best way to do that?

Converting Your 6 x 6 Layouts

The best way to convert your pre-made layouts is to use them as a piece of your page. It is a little more difficult to convert them to the 8 1/2 x 11 size. The best solution would be to use a 12 x 12 size. With a 12 x 12 page you can use 2 of your 6 x 6 layouts and add two more squares make it a 4-square layout and using the spaces for pictures and/or embellishments and journaling.

If you must use the 8 1/2 x 11 size your can affix your 6 x 6 layout and work around it by adding more photo mats or some journaling pieces.

I need to warn you that the 8 1/2 x 11 size is becoming almost obsolete in the scrapbooking industry and particular size of paper is getting harder to find. The 12 x 12 size has become standard. Other sizes that are getting more popular are the 6 x 6, 8 x 8 and 9 x 9 album/paper sizes.

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Joe Wallace
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