10 Tips for New Scrapbookers

tips for new scrapbookers

It’s Top 10 Tuesday! (A new thing.) My first Top 10 post is for beginning scrapbookers. These are combination of things I wish I’d known when I first started scrapbooking and things I’ve learned along the way:

10 Tips for New Scrapbookers:

  1. Figure out why you want to scrapbook. To display photos? To record stories? To express your artistic creativity? When you start scrapbooking, you’re faced with so many choices and styles that you can quickly lose sight of why you started scrapbooking in the first place. Pinpointing your main goal makes it easier to focus.
  2. Resist the urge to buy a lot of supplies. There are a lot of amazing and tempting scrapbooking supplies. You don’t need to buy lots of things in order to start scrapbooking. Keep it simple. Monthly kit clubs can be a good way to get a variety of coordinating supplies without overdoing it – find one that fits what you like and try a month or two. I recently tried a Studio Calico kit and liked it a lot.
  3. Invest in good quality basics. Although you shouldn’t buy everything in the craft store, you will need some basic supplies such as adhesive, cardstock and a paper trimmer. Get the good stuff. My first few pages fell apart months later because I used a cheap gluestick.
  4. You don’t have to do it a certain way. There are many different styles and sizes, and there is no right way or wrong way to do it. Check out online scrapbooking websites, galleries and blogs, or take a few online classes to explore different styles and techniques. (See 7 websites to check out before you start scrapbooking). Be yourself!
  5. Learn how to take better photos. There are lots of great photography tips and classes online – even classes for iPhone photography.
  6. Write down your stories. Many of my first pages were a photo and a quote, not a meaningful story. I’ve tried to go back and include stories, but it’s hard to remember stuff years later. So even if you’re not ready to scrapbook the story yet, jot it down in a journal or on your computer.
  7. Accept your work. It’s okay if your albums don’t match, if your facing pages don’t coordinate, if your style changes completely, or if you think some pages are amazing and some are blah. It’s all good.
  8. Don’t try to scrapbook everything. You don’t need to scrapbook every photo or every event. And if you have 20 photos from one event, they don’t all need to be included on your page.
  9. Make a list of what you want to scrapbook. A list can help you focus. (See this blank chart on Creating Keepsakes for an example).
  10. Don’t worry about being “caught up.” It’s okay if you’re scrapbooking an event from 5 years ago, or if you haven’t touched your summer vacation photos yet. Enjoy scrapbooking!

Edited to add one more tipIf you are scrapbooking old photos, do not use the originals! Make a copy first and use that. (There have been scrapbookers who cut original heritage photos into shapes and later regretted it.)

Also see: 20 Simple Scrapbooking Ideas and All I need to know about scrapbooking I learned from children.

  • Rachelle Olaridge

    Fantastic pointers to know. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Jen

    Wow. This is just so incredibly handy… I’m just getting back into scrapping after trying (way too) many things and am a bit of a Project Life drop-out too, so this list is such a good way to get my head straight before diving into another ‘type’ of scrapbooking. Love it!