Scrapbook Themes Tips

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How to Choose a Theme for Your Scrapbook

Scrapbooks tend to be oriented toward a specific subject. When creating a scrapbook for yourself or someone else it is a good idea to have some sort of a theme. How do you choose a theme for your scrapbook?

The best way to select a theme is to answer 3 specific questions:

What is the overall purpose of the scrapbook?

Who are you making the scrapbook for?

Who or what is the book about?

Suppose you are making a scrapbook for your mother that includes all her grandkids. This type of scrapbook is basically a “brag book” for grandma. If grandma has all her grandkids' pictures in one beautiful book then she is going to want to show that book to everyone and do what grandmas do, which is brag about her cute grandchildren. So the theme of your scrapbook could be something like “Grandma's Little Angels” or “Grandma's Brag Book”, etc. There are so many themes you can work around when you are creating your memory books, you don't have to settle for boring titles; pick an exclusive theme that will suit your specific purpose.

I'm moving and want to preserve some memories so what can I buy or do to help me get started?

Preserving Memories From the Past

If want to start scrapping memories from the past then you can start with a few basic things and slowly build your scrapbook product supply as you do more pages.

First you will want to purchase some scrapbook paper (acid-free/lignin-free). Cardstock is best for the base of your pages. Page protectors are essential so you can protect your pages after you create your layouts. Memory safe adhesive and some embellishments (stickers, die cuts, etc) are some more supplies you will need to get started.

An album would also be a basic supply to help keep you pages together in one place.

After you have purchased your basics you will be ready to create pages with pictures of your past.


Scrapbook Photo and Page Placement

Once you have determined a theme for your scrapbook, whether it is a baby scrapbook, wedding album, or a graduation scrapbook, you need to decide how you will place your photos. You will need to determine the order of the photographs or events. Traditionally people tend to like things in chronological order. For instance in a baby scrapbook you would start with the newborn pictures and follow up as the baby grows. Depending on your theme the sequence can change a bit.

You can group items into formal or informal categories such as similar colors, events, activities, individuals, or families. Items can also be placed into random, abstract, or collages.

For a mother, a scrapbook containing pictures and mementos of her children's school photos, artwork, homemade cards and more would consist of big collages so she could look at them often. A birthday album may be organized by year and contain pictures for the birthdays of several children.

Your pages can be organized any way that makes sense to you. Scrapbooks are a personal representation of the subject and the creator, so there are no rules.

How can I safely remove old newspaper clippings that are glued in a 60 year old scrapbook - the pages are brittle, browned and musty. I would like to transfer everything to a new scrapbook, but getting the newspaper off is tedious and painstaking! Thanks!

Newspaper Clippings

There are no magical tricks for preserving your old clippings or removing them from an old album, but you may want to try some adhesive remover for the glue. You will have to be extremely careful not to ruin the newspaper, but if you apply it from the back of the page you it may help a little.

You can buy sprays like "Archival Mist" that is formulated to preserve newspaper and neutralize the acid contained in the paper.

Most craft stores and/or scrapbook supply store carry adhesive remover and archival sprays.

How do I plan a scrapbook party? Who do I go through to get the scrapbook stuff that I can sell to those attending the party?

Planning a Scrapbook Gathering

If you want to plan a scrapbook gathering probably the easiest way to do it is to find an independent scrapbooking consultant. Scrapbook consultants give scrapbooking home parties where they show you and your guests' different techniques and give information about their products. If you use a consultant they will provide all the products and guidance for you, all you have to do is invite guests and host the gathering. Another advantage to using a scrapbooking consultant is that you can earn free products (hostess gifts).

You will just have to decide what kind of products you are interested in. There are several "party plan" companies that have independent consultants. There should be several consultants in your area more than willing to do a gathering at your home.

What are vacation scrapbooks?

Easy to Assemble Vacation Scrapbooks

Scrapping your vacation photos can be done in a jiffy. Vacation inspired scrapbooks are an important part of your host of family memories. If you want to quickly “whip up” some vacation scrapbooks to store all your photos here are some suggestions:

Buy a vacation themed page kit that is pre-printed and photo ready

Organize your photos and adhere them to simple page layouts with a few embellishments to make your pages unique

Use unique items on your pages such as a road map or other small souvenirs from your trip
Vacation scrapbooks make great conversation pieces and are wonderful memory holders. When creating your vacation scrapbooks it is important to do a lot of journaling on your pages so you don't forget a single moment.

How do I have just one theme for my book?

Themed Scrapbooks

A specialized scrapbook can be created with one theme. This type of book would be a scrapbook all about a specific event or occasion, for example, a "School Days" scrapbook, a "Baby book", a "Wedding Album", etc. You don't have to have just one theme for your scrapbook. Some scrapbooks are all about one person and others may be about the entire family.

A scrapbook is your personal book that was created by you; therefore you determine how you want to organize "your book". There are no rules when it comes to creating scrapbooks (basically anything goes).

I'm just wondering the best way to do a scrapbook for concert tickets? I haven't seen anything out there for something like that and it's a project I'm anxious to start. Thanks!

Concert Ticket Scrapbook

If you were just doing the tickets and memorabilia, then a smaller scrapbook would probably work best (6 x 6 or 9 x 9 sizes). Photo pockets would be a good solution if you don't want to permanently stick the tickets or other items to the pages. If you are including pictures with the tickets you can crop your pictures accordingly.

Affix the tickets to your page and journal around them so you can effectively document the date of the concert and the events that went on. You will want to record details so you can remember as you look back through your book. Make sure to us memory-safe products for your scrapbook (paper and adhesive)


Scrapbook Sayings and Poems

Your scrapbook can be full of more than just memories. You can enhance your pages with quotes, sayings and poems. Poems are a great addition to any scrapbook no matter what the theme. Poems can be selected with your scrapbook theme in mind or you can just include any of your favorite poems. You can find poems and sayings in books or on the Internet. If you are a romantic or an avid reader you may have many ideas of quotations to improve your pages.

Scrapbook pictures tell the story of you or another individual's life. Quotes can be from other people or your philosophy on life. A famous saying may tell the story perfectly for a specific photograph. Including these little “extras” will not only reflect your personality, but will help others get to know you through your scrapbooks.

I want to journal across the entire 12" page using my computer, but I cannot find a printer that accepts 12" wide paper. I have seen this effect in books. How do they do it?

Computer Scrapbooking

In order to print directly onto your 12 x 12 cardstock you would need a laser printer that accommodates larger paper.

There are a couple of options if you don't have access to a specialized printer. You can print your words on the smaller size and glue them together across your page. You could also print your paper on the landscape option and get 11" across, then have a border on each side of the text. One more idea is to use a copier to copy your text onto your cardstock. A copy shop would have the equipment you need to print on larger sheets of paper so that is another avenue you could explore.


Preserving Artwork and Crafts for Kid's Scrapbooks

Moms and dads like to keep artwork or creations that their kids make at school or other activities. Most moms have a kid's scrapbook where they keep all of their child's “works of art.” School themed books are essential and we want to be able to remember the beautiful things our kids have made through the years.

How can you keep the artwork and craft projects without the mess? Unfortunately, some craft projects and artwork tend to get lost or ruined quickly. This is where technology comes in handy; simply scan and print your child's creations for use in your scrapbooks. With a scanned image you can use your child's art for decorations in their rooms, grandparent scrapbooks, and kid's scrapbooks. These pictures can be used as backgrounds, as focus items, or as embellishments.

What are some fun scrapbooking themes?

Scrapbooking Themes: Heritage Photos

If you are working on a heritage scrapbooking theme, you will probably run across some old black and white photos that have been mounted on photographer's card. If the card is light and in reasonable condition, mount the whole thing into your scrapbook album using self adhesive photo corners. If the card is thick or damaged then it is probably prudent to have a copy made for your album and to file the original in a safe place. Never try to remove the photo from the backing as this could result in damage to the photo or the backing card.

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Jolyn Wells-Moran
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