Get your Creative Juices Flowing: Scrapbooking

Hello, Readers!  We all have a stack of keepsake papers that we just can’t live without in our homes.  They may be old love letters, old report cards, homemade cards from our kids, or other sorts of paper that we just can’t bring ourselves to throw away because of their sentimentality to us.  For me, it’s a stack of house plans and story ideas I’ve created over the years.  No matter how much I say I’m going to toss them all out, I always end up keeping half for sentimental reasons or because “one day” I’ll finish that story or novel.

But what do we do with them?  A few weeks back, I talked about reusing old cards in new ways in my post Crafting With…Cards.  Today, I want to discuss a similar topic by discussing scrapbooking, especially with regard to your old cards and mementos from the past.

If you haven’t done this before or you aren’t quite sure what scrapbooking is, it’s really pretty easy.  Scrapbooking is an album of past memories that can include pictures, papers, tickets, stickers, and anything that helps you remember a past event or person.  The pages can be elaborate or simple, decorated to the nine’s or sparse in décor.  It really is up to you what you do with your scrapbook.

Now, I will give you this warning: scrapbooking can be expensive if you get carried away with it!  I like to keep it fairly simple and less costly.  I would recommend the following supplies for scrapbooking:

  1. Scrapbooking album-these can run anywhere from $5.00 to $50.00 and can be found
    Scrapbook album
    Kraft Vintage Romance Scrapbook Album

    at most crafting stores.  I would suggest a middle-of-the-road one at roughly $15.00.  I like this one from Michael’s myself, which comes in at $12.99 plus tax because it’s simple and can go with any design or theme.

  2. Paper and cardstock-Scrapbooking paper comes in a variety of colors and designs as well as sizes.  This isn’t completely necessary, as you can use up old cards that you like in your scrapbook as well.  But it is recommended in order to add some décor to an otherwise plain book. Also, this is one area of scrapbooking that can lead to an expensive hobby, so try to maintain a simple or smaller amount of this supply, or use everyday items for this, such as, newspaper, wrapping paper scraps, fabric scraps, colorful cards, and construction paper.
  3. Adhesives– You definitely want to find an acid-free glue, such as Aleene’s Tacky Glue, Elmer’s Craft Bond, or a similar glue.  Acid-free glue typically doesn’t destroy photos and doesn’t affect cardstock and paper like regular glue can (ie leaving dots or shapes on the pages).
  4. Scissors-You want a good pair of scissors, but they don’t have to be expensive.  I wouldn’t recommend using your Gingher set with scrapbooking; not because I don’t like Gingher scissors.  I just know that scrapbooking does not require a $45 pair of scissors, especially because they can get dull from cutting paper and it’s an entire waste of good scissors.  No, I recommend your average Fiskars set, maybe even two: one standard to small and one curved tip set.  The standard to small is easy to understand: for cutting paper and trimming pages.  The curved sets typically are smaller and are useful for precision in tight corners.  But, these typically run for $8.00 a pair, so I wouldn’t recommend spending too much money on new scissors.  To be honest, the best pair of scissors I have ever used for this are my old Fiskars Kiddies scissors that I got from Staples for six bucks.
  5. Journal Pens-This is another area where you can end up spending a pretty penny if you aren’t careful.  If you’re in to scrapbooking, you probably are like me and constantly drool over $100 pen sets with the dual tips and brush-like tips.  But, to be honest, you can get by without them.  I typically find myself turning to my favorite colored pens for scrapbooking: Pilot G2 Pens in assorted colors.  This set from is $19.99 plus tax. Right now is a great time to buy them with the back-to-school sales still going on.If you still feel like you must have more pens and want something similar, look into purchasing a set of Sharpie markers in assorted colors.  They sell the markers in a variety of great colors in most office supply stores, and they typically run for about $15.00 for a 24 pack of assorted colors.

And that’s it.  Other than these basic supplies, the rest is up to you.  You can buy stickers to decorate your pages, and I highly recommend getting some.  But, I will say that the ones you find in the greeting card aisle at your local grocery store are sufficient unless you have the serious dough sometimes needed to stock your supply of scrapbooking stickers.  The real key to scrapbooking is your creativity, so think of creative ways to use supplies around your home for your scrapbook.  And think of the universality of your supplies.  The craft glue can be used for all kinds of crafting needs, even for crafting with your kids.  The scissors are a no-brainer, especially if you don’t waste money on a really expensive set that never gets used because of their high price (like the Singers that should be saved for sewing and quilting).  And the pens/sharpies can be used for your bullet journal, your planner, your calendar, or card-making.  I look at it like Alton Brown does with kitchen gadgets on Good Eats: multi-purpose or multi-functioning tools are so much better.  So, look around your own home for the tools needed.

And, as an added bonus for some paper inspiration, here’s one of my own tips that I employ: old magazines.  For years I received Martha Stewart Living magazines as part of a subscription, and some of the best designs and pictures I found to decorate my scrapbooking and art book pages came directly from those magazines.  The photos are colorful, and the designs are typically perfect for scrapbooking.  And, I’m sure that like me you may have a stack of similar magazines in your own home that you keep around for household inspiration.  Why not put those magazines to use before they end up as nothing more than clutter on the coffee table?  And best yet, it serves more than one purpose: reading first and then decorating the pages of your scrapbook afterward.

Another useful item is old calendars.  Let’s face it: we typically cringe about throwing away those really nice calendars we purchased at the beginning of the year because they are often full of pictures and décor that we love.  It’s why we buy them in the first place!  Why not get another use out of that old calendar by snipping out the pictures, trimming them down to fussy cuts, and adding them to our scrapbook?  They then get another life, and we can enjoy those pictures once again.

So these are just a few tips I have for getting started with your own scrapbook.  Just remember: your scrapbook doesn’t have to be perfect.  It doesn’t have to be expensive either.  The key to the best scrapbook is letting your own creativity out with it.  So, tell me Readers, what sorts of creative items or tips about scrapbooking can you suggest?

Until next time,




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