Basic Steps in Scrapbooking

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basicsteps_3.jpg (medium) (270 x 262) (26.63KB)NO serious secrets - BUT precious tips and basic Scrapbooking principles! ...and BEFORE YOU START you need to carefully PLAN, PLAN and PLAN!
Do not just jump in hastily! You are going to create a MASTERPIECE! Each SINGLE OR DOUBLE page Scrapbooking lay-ouy should be a MASTERPIECE!!

We Scrapbook to taste LIFE twice, once in the moment and once in retrospection!
basicsteps_13.jpg (medium) (125 x 125) (4.02KB)YOUR SCRAPBOOKING TOPIC or THEME: Decide on a specific Topic, theme or heading for your Scrapbooking page or pages corresponding and in agreement with your specific photos. Jot down for the single or group of photos you want to use and then convert them to your planned lay-out as you go. Always have a few extra photos at hand if needed in this specific lay-out. Your own creativity is of great importance to personalize your Scrapbooking pages although you may even be basically using a sample lay-out from a magazine.

YOUR SCRAPBOOKING WORK AREA: If at all possible designate a clear work area for yourself. Even a small corner, table or specific desk and shelf or small cupboard, which does not have to be packed away every time, is fine. Only later can you claim a bigger area and even a "scraproom" if your husband allows you to become a "scrapaholic".

basicsteps_4.jpg (medium) (270 x 262) (29.66KB)ORGANIZING YOUR PHOTOS: This is a high priority in Scrapbooking escpecially if you have lots of photos. Take time to sort them into a chronological order. Discard any bad or out of focus photos unless they are the only record you have of a specific event or person. Even all the photos on your computor need to be properly sorted out and organized. Prints or enlargements can be made of old, small and precious photos if needed. Make notes on a separate piece of paper or label or the back of your printed photos and date them as far as possible. Use only a 2B or 3B pencil on the back of the photo and never a ballpoint pen. Remember it is always easier to start with the most recent photos and work backwards. Proper storage cases is important. Your photos are precious and deserve better than old shoe boxes!

basicsteps_7.jpg (small) (170 x 170) (14.09KB)STORAGE OF PHOTOS & SCRAPBOOKING ALBUMS: They are precious and need special care. The main enemies of photos & documents to be avoided are: (1) HEAT: Keep in a cool place. Heat will aggravate the chemical processes which cause paper & photos to deteriorate. (2) LIGHT: Bright light causes photos to loose their colour and to fade. Store away fromdirect sunlight and windows. (3) MOISTURE: Remember that moisture and humidity promote the growth of mildew and mould. this will damage your photos. (4) DUST & DIRT: Dust and dirt will cause scratches and marks to photos. Use prpper albums with page protectors to keep the photos and lay-outs clean. (5) CARELESS AND IMPROPER HANDLING: Hands contain moisture, grease, oils & dirt and should be washed before handling your photos or albums. (6) BALLPOINT PENS: Avoid writing on the back of photos with a ballpoint pen which can cause indentations and other damage. Rather use a special pigment ink or photo pen or soft 2B to 4B pencil.

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STORAGE OF NEGATIVES: If you still do possess negatives keep them separate to your albums. The best is to keep negatives or digital photos on CD or sticks in a fire-proof safe.

basicsteps_1.jpg (small) (170 x 64) (5.18KB)STACKING OF SCRAPBOOKING ALBUMS: It is important to use quality and well-covered & protected Scrapbooking albums. They need to last for decades and perhaps centuries. Store your albums standing upright. Stacking will cause pressure at the bottom of the pile and indentations on opposite pages.


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(1) SELECT YOUR PHOTOS: With your specific theme or heading in mind, choose the BEST photos form an event or theme. Generally 1 to 5 photos will fit on a single page or 5 to even 12 or more on a double page spread. The permutations and possibilities are however limitless. for your album's sake, you need to do two Scrapbooking pages to match at a time with the sbasicsteps_8.jpg (small) (170 x 113) (9.37KB)ame theme or heading, except for the front and back pages obviously.

(2) SELECT YOUR SCRAPBOOKING PAPERS: Take time to select papers to match and complement your photos. CHOOSING COLOURS IS THE MOST ESSENTIAL AND IMPORTANT STEP IN THE WHOLE PROCESS. Experiment and play around with different colours and patterns to bring out the colours in your photos and complement them. Try cardstock, patterned paper, vellum etc. Your PERSONAL PREFERENCE and SPECIAL LIKING is as important as the mood and theme of the photos.

basicsteps_6.jpg (small) (170 x 90) (4.43KB)(3) PLANNING YOUR SCRAPBOOK LAY-OUT: You have your theme now. Jot down a few ideas for the photos involved and convert them to your lay-out. MEASURING (even up to the millimeter) is of great importance for a balanced and perfect lay-out. You also obviously need to simultaneously think about the placement of your title or heading, your journaling and embellishments and how to arrange them all to create a balanced and striking lay-out.

basicsteps_10.jpg (small) (170 x 113) (8.03KB)(4) CROPPING YOUR PHOTOS: Cropping means to CUT or TRIM. Cropping is necessary to remove unwanted or distracting backgrounds in order to create greater visual impact and to bring your photos down to a fitting size on the page. Photos can be cropped into various shapes to give greater visual impact. Be careful not to crop out important parts of the photo. Very old and rare or precious photos should not be hastily cropped- rather use a copy or make sure that the negative is still avaiable. Never crop a Polaroid photo as this will release chemicals and cause damage to your other photos in the album. Rather frame the Polaroid with acid and lignin free paper, put it into a pocket or seal it with spray.

basicsteps_9.jpg (medium) (270 x 180) (17.36KB)(5) MATTING YOUR PHOTOS: To MAT means to add a coloured background to a photo leaving a small border all the way around. As a general rule it is better to use a solid colour rather than a patterned paper for matting as this defines the photo, rather than competing with it. You need not mat every photo! Try to use different widths and edging or layering your mats to creata double or triple matted photos. Mats can be NARROW or WIDE and can be TORN, SEWN, CHALKED, INKED or treated in a number of special creative ways. Wide mats can also be used for your TITLE, NAME or JOURNALING. Matting also protects your photos. Double or triple matting gives depth, dimension and prominence. Remember to measure for balance and excellence!

(6) ARRANGING YOUR PHOTOS:  Choose the most prominent and best photo as the main FOCAL POINT and experiment and play around with different arrangements to find the best balance before adhering any photo permanently. Abasicsteps_5.jpg (small) (170 x 164) (13.29KB)s mentioned, do two pages simultaneously for your album purposes. A prominent enlargement on the first page often works well.

(7) ADDING YOUR EMBELLISHMENTS: Embellishments might include tags, stickers, rub-ons, die-cuts, punched shapes, frames, metal rimmed tags, ribbons, buttons, eyelets, brads, beads, charms, fibers, string, vellum, slide holders...etc....etc. Use embellishments not only to add the final decorative touches that give style and professionalism to your lay-out, but also to suite the personality of the person in the photo as well as the mood and story of the page. Page ACCENTS that overlap can add visual variety, dimension and a sense of co-hesiveness. DIMENSION is also of importance. Always remember that your PHOTOS should remain the MAIN FOCUS POINT and not the embellishments!

basicsteps_11.jpg (small) (170 x 113) (8.88KB)(8) ADD YOUR JOURNALING: Journaling is in short the documentation of facts and feelings on the specific page or pages. No page is complete without adding information and facts about the photos. More important even for future generations and not only for the time being. At the very leats, try to include the DATE, PLACE, OCCASION,and NAMES of the people. Although journaling ia usually for most people the hardest part of creating a scrapbook page, it is to a certain extent the most important part. Remember that your album, however beautiful, will become meaningless in future years without the details of the people, places and events in the photos. Your Scrapbooking albums will hopefully be passed onto future generations who definitely won't know this information. Some helpful tips are:

Start off with the simple questions: (5 X "W"): WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHY ? ? ? ? ?

There are many different ways of journaling and it is nice and effective to incorporate a variety of methods even on the same page. Quotations, poems or song lyrics to sum up the feel of the lay-out or the emotion you are trying to convey, can basicsteps_12.jpg (small) (170 x 113) (7.95KB)also be used. Many people do not like the look of their own handwriting, but it stays however important to  personalize your page. Also remember that your OWN HANDWRITING is as unique to you as your fingerprints and is always a good way of personalizing your album even if it is just a date or signature. It leaves something of YOURSELF and your personality & style on the lay-outs for others to remember and enjoy.

 With your COMPUTOR you may also type up your journaling in a word processing application like MS-Word and then print it on cardstock, vellum or paper. Choose a matching font: there are literally hundreds of fonts available, from simple to fancy scripts to weird & wacky.


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basic steps in scrapbooking

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