For an interesting and beautiful way to keep your beloved photos and memories, as well as a fun and creative activity to keep you busy, creating a scrapbook is a great project for people of all ages. You can create individual scrapbooks for specific vacations or trips you went on, for certain events to commemorate a relationship or particular person, or for whatever theme that you’d like your scrapbook to have! Scrapbooks are also great to create and keep for yourself or to make and give to someone else as a gift.
Table of Contents
Preparing Your Scrapbook
To prepare your scrapbook, you’ll want to first decide what the overall purpose or theme of your scrapbook will be. This will help you ensure you have the right supplies to create the vision that you are going for. You also want to make sure that you have the photos you want to include in the scrapbook close by.
Preparing your scrapbook takes some specific supplies, which may vary depending on what you want to include in your scrapbook and how detailed you want it to be. Some of the basic supplies that most likely will be needed include:
- Scrapbook paper
- Scissors for cutting paper
- Adhesives (glue, washi tape, etc.)
- Craft knives
- Laminator (optional)
If you keep scrapbook supplies on hand, then you can simply take out the supplies needed for this particular project, or if you have an arts and crafts room, they should all be nearby for you to use!
Select a Theme
Many people choose to have a theme for their scrapbooks. A theme is important to keep it a cohesive album that tells a story and shares the memories that you choose. Your theme may be simple, such as creating a scrapbook to showcase a friend or loved one, especially at a particular moment in their life such as for their birthday or a shower gift, or even a homemade baby book.
If you don’t want your scrapbook to be about one particular person, you may choose a theme that revolves around vacations, holidays, places, family, or even something like local flora and fauna where you live. Ultimately, the theme of each scrapbook is entirely up to you!
Choose a Size
Just like photos and photo albums that you may buy, not all scrapbooks are the same size, either. While there are more common scrapbook sizes such as 8.5″ x 11″ or 12″ x 12″, there are specialty sizes available if necessary, too.
Since 8.5″ x 11″ and 12″ x 12″ are common sizes that you can find albums and paper for, these may be your best bet if you are just starting to scrapbook, or if you want a lot of options and versatility when it comes to your background paper and layouts. Scrapbooks in 8.5″ x 11″ can be made from cheaper, common items such as binders or notebooks, while the 12″ x 12″ size has gained more popularity and therefore has more options available now for books and paper, as well as is a bigger scrapbook size if you want to be able to fit more and/or bigger photos in your album.
If you want specialty sizes such as a smaller, pocket-size book, or a larger coffee table book, you can probably find some that may have non-removable pages to work with. Keep in mind the size of the photos that you have and will be using, to make sure that they will fit optimally when they are cut and with the layout on each page to keep it different and interesting.
Plan Layout and Organization
The layout of each page and how the overall organization is where you can really let some creativity shine through in your scrapbook. While you can always look to the internet for some layouts that you love and want to base some of your layouts off of, there are also a few simple tips and tricks when coming up with how to organize your scrapbook and plan your page layouts.
The layout of each page is basically the way you want to arrange your photo(s), quotes, journaling, stickers, tags, or any other embellishments. One simple way to do this is to base each page’s layout on the photos that you want to include on that page. For example, if you have two large photos but your page size is 8.5″ x 11″, you may not be able to fit both on one page. Yet, if you have two smaller photos, a journaling section, and tag that all go together, then take a look at some layouts that are laid out in quadrants, as you have four items you’d like to include on that page.
There are so many combinations that you can choose from, and how many photos and other elements you’d like on each page will lend themselves to the layout for that particular page that goes along with your overall theme and organization.
Decide on a Scrapbook Style
The style of scrapbook you choose will depend on a couple things. Some people want scrapbooks that are completely bound so they can’t be taken apart, and others want the ability to switch pages around if they desire. Here are the three main types of scrapbooks.
The three-ring style scrapbook can be made from a simple three-ring binder that you may have used back in school, or a nicer, more upscale three-ring scrapbook binder that you can find at a specialty crafts store. Since a three-ring style scrapbook has you start with some of the basics, you will need to have your extra supplies such as paper, page protectors, and maybe even hole punches to create your scrapbook. The good news is that most three-ring style scrapbooks have a decent width, so you can create larger scrapbooks sometimes up to 60 pages!
If you go this route, I highly recommend using page protectors instead of using a three hole punch to put holes in your pages. Even if you use those little stickers to reinforce the holes, they can still rip, and it’s always disppointing when something you’ve worked so hard on gets damaged.
For this style, the post-bound scrapbook is held together by machine screws and posts that go into the binding of the book. They typically come with page protectors attached to the binding with an opening at the top that you can slide in your finished created pages to. Two pages can be slid into each page protector back to back, so these page protectors have a bit of extra space for your thicker paper, images, and other embellishments, compared to regular page protectors that can only fit a thin sheet of paper.
A great plus about this style of scrapbook is that if you run out of room and want to add additional pages, you can unscrew the machine screws to add extenders to the book to give you more space.
Non-Removable Pages Style
Non-removable page scrapbooks are often what you will find if you choose a scrapbook that is a specialty size outside of the common 8.5″ x 11″ or 12″ x 12″ sizes. These books already have pages bound into the scrapbook itself, so you have a bit fewer options when it comes to variety of paper or background colors for your pages. You also cannot add additional pages to this style, though most will have perforated pages so that you may remove some if you choose to do so.
How to Create a Scrapbook
Now that you know the basics of what you will need for your creation, you are ready to actually start putting together your scrapbook! It takes a bit of imagination, creativity, and patience. While creating your scrapbook style, as well as the additional items you want to use in your scrapbook is ultimately up to you to decide, there are some certain details that are used and good to know when making most scrapbooks.
Cropping your photos to the appropriate size based on your layout and theme is an important part of the scrapbooking process. The way you choose to crop your photos has a lot to do with how you want to layout each page, how many images you want to be included on each page, and what you can fit on your page compared to the original photo size.
Think about how you want the page that each photo(s) appear on to look, as well as what additional embellishments will be included on that page and how much space you have to play around with. You also will want to keep in mind if you want your photos to be uniform and, if so, how to best crop each photo to be that same size. For example, do you want all photos to be portrait or landscape? Do you want them square? Including some variety usually will make more complex and interesting pages to look at, but perhaps you want certain pages to be more uniform than others! Make sure the images you choose are conducive to the shape you’d like them to be.
One popular rule when cropping an image of someone is to remember the rule of thirds, which means putting a grid with three equally spaces columns and three equally spaced rows (like a tic-tac-toe board) onto the image and making sure that the subject of the photo is positioned at intersecting points on this grid to be more pleasing to the eye.
When cutting your photos, a paper trimmer is the best way to get straight lines. Or, if you have a Cricut machine, feel free to pull it out and use it. With Cricut, the machine does all the work for you, so I’m a big fan of them. If you’re printing your photos out with a photo printer for artists, you may not even need to trim anything depending on the size you’re going for.
Another great tip with photos is to position photos where a person is looking to the side instead of straight at the camera in a way that they are looking at something else on the page. This means positioning the photo of someone looking to the left on the right side of the page where they are looking at a sticker or text you have to their left. It is a great way to get someone to read the text on the page.
Of course, rules are meant to be broken, and this is your scrapbook to decide how you want your photos to be cropped, placed, and look on the page!
You can add text in a variety of ways! There are markers, stickers with complete words or phrases, individual letter stickers, paint, markers, stencils, and more.
The fun part about a scrapbook is that it has more than just pictures, and adding text into your pages helps give hints that go along with your theme, and lets you reflect even more on the memories included. Your scrapbook can be a hybrid of photo album and journaling, which would include a decent amount of text to go along with your photos.
But even if you don’t want to put a lot of sentences or journaling into your scrapbook, you can include text in other ways with stickers or stencils to include a few keywords or phrases that give the sentiment you want to showcase in your scrapbook.
Additional embellishments are what make scrapbooking so fun and different! They add style and character to each scrapbook that you create. There are so many options available that the list is almost endless.
Some popular embellishments to use in your scrapbook include stickers, glitter, tags, charms, die cuts, jewels, studs, stencils, and more! While many of these can be store-bought in the scrapbooking section of an arts and crafts store, you can even look around your house for additional embellishments that are out-of-the-box that may work, too. Ribbons, yarn, fabric, scraps of other paper or material, jewelry, and more can also work as embellishments that you can find in your own home. You can even make some origami and put it in your scrapbook!
When buying embellishments from an arts and crafts store, you can often find them categorized into themes as well, which can make it easier when you know what theme scrapbooks you’ll be making now, and in the future.
Enjoy Your Scrapbook Creations
Now that you know the basics of how to make a scrapbook, you can venture out and start to create your own for any special memories that you’d like to commemorate and encapsulate in a beautiful way. Rather than buying a regular photo album that you simply slide photos in, a scrapbook creates beautiful, colorful pages with other elements rather than solely photos that is both fun to make and fun to look at. Enjoy making your memories into fun scrapbook albums, and enjoy letting your creative juices flow with this fun, artistic papercraft project.