Beginner Scrapbooking - Scrapbooking 101

Is beginner scrapbooking for you? If you woke up this morning and decided it was time to scrapbook, or maybe you got inspired by a friend or a magazine article and you are just not sure where to begin then this is the place for you. I have been scrapbooking for over a decade now. What started with a fun way to document my wedding later became a way to document pets, vacations and my daughter as she has grown.

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Step 1 - You'll need some basic tools. See our scrapbooking 101 tool kit designed for beginner scrapbooking.

Step 2 - Decide what you want to scrapbook. It is easiest to start off with one theme that way you can buy supplies around that theme without a lot of waste until you are sure you’ll continue to scrapbook.

Step 3 - What size should I use to scrapbook? That is a personal decision but the most common size is 12x12 inches.Whatever size you choose keep that in mind when buying supplies. What other options exist? 8.5x11, 8x8, 6x6 and I have even seen 12x16. Mostscrapbooking paper comes in the standard 12x12 size.

My friend Tracie makes the best scrapbooking albums (patent pending). The page protectors use velcro so it makes moving pages in your album a snap. My daughter held the album by one page and it stayed together, since the sleeve protectors have a flap that covers pages completely you never have to worry about dust or things falling out. These albums are the next best thing to sliced bread! You have to see it to believe it! The fairy album in the picture is a scrap it simple album.



Step 4 - A sketch or other layout idea. This is a huge time saver for a beginner scrapbooking. Once you have your idea find a couple of layout ideas from books, magazines or of course this website. My personal favorite is 500 Scrapbooking Layouts they have sketches to follow that you can print out.

Make great layouts fast, get 500 scrapbooking sketches click here!scrapbooking sketches

Step 5 - How will you describe your page? A great title can often lead to creative inspiration in iteself and help you to determine the creative theme behind your page.

Step 6 - Single or Double page layout? You’ll have to decide if you are doing a single page layout or double page layout (where the pages fall across from each other in the album). As a beginner scrapbooker a single page layout may be the best place to start.


Step 7 - What photos do I use? Go through your photos for the event and choose the best ones that depict that event. I recommend 1-3 pictures for a single page and up to 8 for a double page. If you plan a lot of photos in a layout some will have to be cut down to make it work.

Should I trim my photos? I recommend waiting until you do a layout to do this. Some people never trim photos and that's ok. I often do but by waiting until I am ready to use them I can determine the best size for trimming and placement.

Step 8 - Choosing Paper. Now with your layout idea and photos in hand you will need to choose paper. You can use just cardstock or just patterned paper or a bit of both. The majority of my own layouts use both.

Step 9 - Embellishments (optional) I usually add one or more embellishments to a page. An embellishment is a little extra something that completes a page or adds some pizzazz. It can be a simple as some ribbon or buttons or a purchased pre-made item that suits your page or theme. Many scrapbookers do other crafts so you may have some of these items already on hand even if you are a beginner at scrapbooking.

Step 10 - Decide what tools (if any) are required for your layout. Missing a tool? Check out our tool substitution page for tips on what to use instead.

Step 11 - You are now ready to start your page. Most often you will start with a base of one piece of paper and then cut the complimentary paper down using your paper trimmer. You can mount your photos on a complimentary color of cardstock if you choose. Often this helps the photos to really stand out and they are the highlights of your work. Be sure to Check out our basic scrapbooking techniques.

Helpful Hint - Generally I complete a page and then embellish because our page can generally hold less than our shopping cart. The tendency with embellishments is to buy it thinking it will work and once you get the page designed you find it doesn’t then you have an embellishment you may not be able to use. As a beginner scrapbooker you may be tempted by all the great items available just don't go overboard. We will talk later about what to do with these items. Should I attend a local crop? I recommend signing up for a crop at a local scrapbooking store. You can bring your basic tool kit and supplies and then supplement that with tools that can be used for free during a crop. It will also give you the opportunity to look at what other people are doing, ask questions and get some new ideas and maybe a new friend or two. This can make life as a beginner scrapbooker much easier and more fun.

There are also some fun scrapbooking weekend events to try. My friend Lisa runs a fun weekend event with your meals included so you never have to stop cropping! So if you are in the Connecticut area or would like to come for a visit try her events. So if you are in the Connecticut area or would like to come for a visit try her events!

When I first started to scrapbook I only used cardstock. I “feared” patterned paper. Once I started going to crops at a local store I saw how other people used it and began to experiment on my own. Now I can’t imagine not using it.


Step 1 - You'll need some basic tools. See our scrapbooking 101 tool kit designed for beginner scrapbooking.

Step 2 - Decide what you want to scrapbook. It is easiest to start off with one theme that way you can buy supplies around that theme without a lot of waste until you are sure you’ll continue to scrapbook.

Step 3 - What size should I use to scrapbook? That is a personal decision but the most common size is 12x12 inches.Whatever size you choose keep that in mind when buying supplies. What other options exist? 8.5x11, 8x8, 6x6 and I have even seen 12x16. Mostscrapbooking paper comes in the standard 12x12 size.

My friend Tracie makes the best scrapbooking albums (patent pending). The page protectors use velcro so it makes moving pages in your album a snap. My daughter held the album by one page and it stayed together, since the sleeve protectors have a flap that covers pages completely you never have to worry about dust or things falling out. These albums are the next best thing to sliced bread! You have to see it to believe it! The fairy album in the picture is a scrap it simple album.



Step 4 - A sketch or other layout idea. This is a huge time saver for a beginner scrapbooking. Once you have your idea find a couple of layout ideas from books, magazines or of course this website. My personal favorite is 500 Scrapbooking Layouts they have sketches to follow that you can print out.

Make great layouts fast, get 500 scrapbooking sketches click here!scrapbooking sketches

Step 5 - How will you describe your page? A great title can often lead to creative inspiration in iteself and help you to determine the creative theme behind your page.

Step 6 - Single or Double page layout? You’ll have to decide if you are doing a single page layout or double page layout (where the pages fall across from each other in the album). As a beginner scrapbooker a single page layout may be the best place to start.


Step 7 - What photos do I use? Go through your photos for the event and choose the best ones that depict that event. I recommend 1-3 pictures for a single page and up to 8 for a double page. If you plan a lot of photos in a layout some will have to be cut down to make it work.

Should I trim my photos? I recommend waiting until you do a layout to do this. Some people never trim photos and that's ok. I often do but by waiting until I am ready to use them I can determine the best size for trimming and placement.

Step 8 - Choosing Paper. Now with your layout idea and photos in hand you will need to choose paper. You can use just cardstock or just patterned paper or a bit of both. The majority of my own layouts use both.

Step 9 - Embellishments (optional) I usually add one or more embellishments to a page. An embellishment is a little extra something that completes a page or adds some pizzazz. It can be a simple as some ribbon or buttons or a purchased pre-made item that suits your page or theme. Many scrapbookers do other crafts so you may have some of these items already on hand even if you are a beginner at scrapbooking.

Step 10 - Decide what tools (if any) are required for your layout. Missing a tool? Check out our tool substitution page for tips on what to use instead.

Step 11 - You are now ready to start your page. Most often you will start with a base of one piece of paper and then cut the complimentary paper down using your paper trimmer. You can mount your photos on a complimentary color of cardstock if you choose. Often this helps the photos to really stand out and they are the highlights of your work. Be sure to Check out our basic scrapbooking techniques.

Helpful Hint - Generally I complete a page and then embellish because our page can generally hold less than our shopping cart. The tendency with embellishments is to buy it thinking it will work and once you get the page designed you find it doesn’t then you have an embellishment you may not be able to use. As a beginner scrapbooker you may be tempted by all the great items available just don't go overboard. We will talk later about what to do with these items. Should I attend a local crop? I recommend signing up for a crop at a local scrapbooking store. You can bring your basic tool kit and supplies and then supplement that with tools that can be used for free during a crop. It will also give you the opportunity to look at what other people are doing, ask questions and get some new ideas and maybe a new friend or two. This can make life as a beginner scrapbooker much easier and more fun.

There are also some fun scrapbooking weekend events to try. My friend Lisa runs a fun weekend event with your meals included so you never have to stop cropping! So if you are in the Connecticut area or would like to come for a visit try her events. So if you are in the Connecticut area or would like to come for a visit try her events!

When I first started to scrapbook I only used cardstock. I “feared” patterned paper. Once I started going to crops at a local store I saw how other people used it and began to experiment on my own. Now I can’t imagine not using it.


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Email Marketing You Can Trust