BEGINNERS in SCRAPBOOKING: A good foundation guarantees a solid building!
WHAT IS SCRAPBOOKING ALL ABOUT? It is basically a personalized, decorative and creative exercise / art / craft / hobby in preserving your precious photos and memorabilia in perfect condition for future generations.
It is done mainly by placing and arranging them into Scrapbooking albums of different sizes using special matching decorative papers, stickers, embellishments, ribbons, paints etc. to create beautiful unique lay-outs and pages of wonderful memories. Various forms of journaling are added to document details so that it becomes a lasting record to be enjoyed and cherished by family, friends and future generations.
Scrapbooking is practised hand in hand with Card Making, Home Decorating and many other Paper Crafting arts. crafts and techniques. You needn't be artful, skilful or highly artistic - just need to BE YOURSELF and DO YOUR OWN THING: driven by PASSION: a passion with a wonderful UNIQUE PURPOSE!
1. Firstly: WELCOME then to the Scrapbooking and Paper Crafting World. Before buying any serious Stock or Tools it is
important to decide whether you really want to do Scrapbooking. Although there may be many good reasons to say YES, it remains at the end of the day a PERSONALIZED CREATIVE EXERCISE and CRAFT or ART for you and your family to enjoy! After attending a Beginners Class or two and receiving answers to your questions, it should be easier to make this decision.
2. Secondly: Ensure that whatever Scrapbooking stock you
buy, that it is of HIGH QUALITY, ARCHIVAL SAFE, ACID FREE, LIGNIN FREE and CHLORINE FREE. Acids, chlorine and lignin coming from paper, wood, glue and plastics can damage your photos irreversibly and you may find that your pages or lay-outs deteriorate, fade and become discoloured after a period of time. You are then missing the PRIMARY GOAL of the exercise and actually wasting your time and money. WELL-KNOWN and
ESTABLISHED SCRAPBOOKING BRANDS, although a bit more expensive, usually ensure HIGH QUALITY and GOOD RESULTS. REMEMBER, NOTHING EVER MATCHES GOOD QUALITY!
3. Thirdly: IF ANYTHING IS WORTH DOING, it is
WORTH DOING WELL! Every Scrapbook page, lay-ouy or project should be a personal Masterpiece to be enjoyed and cherished and worth preserving for your family, friends and descendants. Scrapbooking is also a meaningful exercise with unique positive stimulating and THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS being used in schools, hospitals, clinics, senior citizen homes and other special complexes with amazing results. It has brought many families together with a positive binding effect on many marriages.
4. SCRAPBOOKING CLASSES: It is
of utmost importance to attend PROPER SCRAPBOOKING CLASSES where you can receive PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE, TRAINING and
ADVICE as far as the great assortment of MATERIALS and vast variety
of TECHNIQUES are concerned, before spending money on unnecessary
and useless items. Under the right Leadership and Guidance you will surely become a "professional" scrapper and experience maximum growth in creativity, stimulation, meaningfulness, satisfaction and enjoyment: DOING YOUR OWN UNIQUE PERSONAL THING at the end of the day! This is really what Scrapbooking is all about!
5. SCRAPBOOKING TOOLS & EQUIPMENT: There are certain "MUST HAVES" and an even greater variety "NICE TO HAVES". Only a few BASIC TOOLS are needed to start scrapbooking. More specialized and sophisticated tools and equipment can be added on as you go. The better basic tools you have, the easier your scrapping will become.
REMEMBER AGAIN that NOTHING BEATS QUALITY and well-established BRANDS in this respect as well. You buy tools only once!
"MUST HAVES" in SCRAPBOOKING:
(i) Scissors: Good pair of sharp scissors for scrapbooking only. A small non-stick, sharp-pointed scissors is also very handy.
(ii) Rulers: Both a Clear (transparent) and Steel ruler (preferably with cork on the back) is essential. TO MEASURE IS ALWAYS OF GREAT IMPORTANCE! A Tearing ruler (Paper Tear Edger) is also very handy and available in different designs.
(iii) Craft Knife (Exacto knife): With replaceable
(iv) Self-healing CuttingMat: A3
or A2 would be perfect for almost any work. It provides a firm and protective base to work on. A separate small mat may be used for punching to insert brads,eyelets etc. Many Tool sets does include a small mat for this purpose. Most cutting mats have a grid which is helpful in measuring and cutting precisely.
(v) Paper Trimmer: AN ABSOLUTE MUST!! Although a bit costly this is an essential tool to cut straight edges (photos, cardstock, patterned papers, vellum etc.) very quickly, accurately and neat. Be sure to select a Trimmer big enough to cut a 12" paper in one go with an inch and centimeter ruler at the back. A Well-known QUALITY BRAND is recommended. Trimmers with a variety of Rotary blades for different cutting patterns is also available.
(vi) Paper Piercer: To create small holes for putting in smaller brads, ribbons, string/floss etc.
(vii) Eyelet Setter
and Hole Punch: These are used to set small metal eyelets and different sizes of brads into your paper. You need to measure the legs of the brad to match the specific size of the hole punch to be used.
(viii) Scrapbooking Hammer: Can also be bought separately.
A SCRAPBOOKING TOOL KIT is at the end of the day less expensive than buying the
abovementioned items separately. Remember again that QUALITY PAYS OFF.
6. ADHESIVES: Adhesives are essential to attach your photos, mats, borders, vellum, embellishments etc. to your page. Various types are available each with its specific use such as Glue sticks, Glue pens, Photo tabs, Photo corners, Double sided tape and Tabs, Super tape, Tape runners, Variety of Glue Dots and Glue Lines, Adhesive foam, Special glue spray, Tab Dispensers and Applicators etc.
Glues are either WET or DRY and also marked TEMPORARY or PERMANENT according to specific use. MAKE SURE THE GLUE /ADHESIVE IS ACID FREE. Your Adhesive is the CEMENT used in your "building" project and should be of good quality.
7. CHALKS & PENS: PENS are used for journalingand creating titles, names etc. Only use pens that are acid free, contains pigment ink and is labeled as permanent and waterproof. There are numerous styles and brands to choose from such as fine, medium, broad tips, dual tipped, calligraphy pens, scroll, brush etc. They all come in a variety of colours to suite your personal preference and colour scheme. You get Felt-tip markers, Gel pens, Colour pencils, Slick-surface pens etc. START OFF with a Black pen for journaling. NEVER use any Ball-point pens!
CHALKS add a soft hint of colour and high-lighting to your papers, borders, stamped images, embellishments and journaling blocks. Used on edges, chalk will, the same as ink pads, define your page, border or mats. It is also available in almost any tkinkable colour. Chalk can also easily be erased with a craft eraser. Apply chalk with a sponge, dauber, cotton swab, ear bud or even the tip of your finger.
8. INK PADS & STAMPS: INK PADS have a vast variety of uses and come in many different colours to also suite your personal preference and colour scheme on the specific page. STAZ-ON ink pads is very popular, also come in a big variety of colours and is permanent not only on paper or edges but also on metal and other hard smooth surfaces. START OFF with a black or brown staz-on ink pad. These are also used with different STAMPS for example magnetic mounted Rubber stamps, Foam stamps, different Brands of Clear stamps and interlocking "Snap stamps".
9. SCRAPBOOKING ALBUMS & PAGE PROTECTORS: ALBUMS of various Brands come in a range of styles and sizes. The higher the quality, obviously the higher the price will be. Scrapbook albums are manufactured of photo safe, acid free and lignin free materials which is absolutely essential for the proper protection of your photos and lay-outs. Most albums come in 12X12 inch, 8X8 inch or 6X6 inch format and contain 10 to 20 PAGE PROTECTORS. This will then allow you to put in 20 to40 pages. Other sizes and even 4X4 ones are also available. Remember QUALITY is of great importance! Make sure of NO acid, NO lignin and NO PVC.
PAGE PROTECTORS are the clear transparent pockets inside the album to keep your pages neat, dust free, fingerprint free and extend the life of your projects. Note that albums are bound in different ways: Spiral-bound, Post-bound with bolts hidden under a flap with a varying number of holes, Snap-load, Strap-bound and Three-ring binding. It is a matter of preference and personal choice, which ones to buy. Make a note of the Brand & Supplier of the page protectors you buy, in case of you needing some extra protectors later on.
10. "NICE TO HAVES" in SCRAPBOOKING:
With most of the Basic Tools mentioned above, you can start scrapping properly. Alike other crafts and arts, purchasing a few extra handy tools is always worth the investment, particularly if you are going to scrap a lot. It will not only safe you lots of time, but will also allow you unlimited creative options and guarantee your work to be of high quality, neat and professional - because you really want to create masterpieces!
(i) Scrapbooking Cutting Tools: A variety of special circle & oval, free-style, adjustable shape cutters and paper trimmers are available and are very handy and great time-saving accessories.
They give much cleaner edges than with a scissors and allow you to easily cut perfect circles, ovals and shapes in a range of different sizes. Also can be used for easy cropping of your photos and papers.
Lately more sophisticated cutting, embossing & writing tools connected to your computer as well as Digital Design Cutting machines can almost cut any font and shape which you can think of or is on your computor without any extra expenses for new fonts or shapes. Some of the latest machines are the Wishblade, Slice and the Pazzles Inspiration and other cutters. A variety of different other die-cutting machines like the Sizzix / Ellison and Accucut systems are also avaiable.
(ii) Decorative Edged Scissors: These provide a wonderful way to dress up paper frames & borders and to trim mats for your photos or to create fancy borders.
They have two sides to the cut to achieve different effects. Their quality obviously differ according to price. more suitable for card making.
(iii) Srapbooking Templates and Stencils: Come in a range of shapes, sizes and designs. These can be used to trace shapes onto your paper or photos and for cropping or to make your own die-cuts. May also be used to draw shapes and designs directly onto your pages. There are templates for creating borders and corners as well as for journaling and widely used in fancy Card making and Paper crafting projects. Specific templates and stencils are also very useful for dry embossing.
(iv) Stickers, Rub-ons and Die-cuts: Numerous types, designs and colours from a vast variety of Brands and Suppliers are available to suite every taste and type of topic & theme.
This is a great and essential way of adding colour, dimension, perfection and professionalism to your pages.
(v) Craft Punches in Scrapbooking: These are handy tools to combine different shapes and sizes to create your own punch-out art. Punches range from tiny to jumbo and include a wide variety of shapes and types. It is also a great way of using your paper and cardstock scraps. Not only paper & cardstock but also cork, metal and other materials can be punched out. Also very handy in Card making & other Paper crafting projects.
(vi) Texture Plates: Are useful and neat in mixing and matching exciting textures to add an unique dimension to your products. Card makers love these.
They can be used with an ordinary embossing tool or with a die-cutting machine like the Bigshot or Accucut.
(vii) Embossing Tools & Systems: Make embossing easy and accurate. They give quick professional results for embellishing your pages, frames, cards etc. either with COLD or HEAT EMBOSSING. When doing heat embossing make sure to purchase and use a specific embossing HEATING TOOL. An ordinary hairdryer will not work. EMBOSSING POWDER is available in loads of colours and finishes. It is sprinkled over an image stamped or inked with slow drying pigment ink and then melted with a heating gun.
(viii) Die-Cutting Machines in Scrapbooking: Although a bit costly, these machines are very easy on your hands, much faster and at the end of the day very good value for money.
Time may also become a problem once you really are getting into scrapbooking seriously. They are fairly simple to use if the instructions are followed correctly. Very handy in cutting a variety of materials in scrapbooking, school projects and card making with a wide range of patterns, shapes and fonts. Machines may vary from the small side-kick Sizzix or Ellison, the larger Bigshot to the big Accucut. The more sophisticated Cricut, Slice, Wishblade or Pazzles Inspiration cutter allow you limitless die-cutting from your own computor.
(ix) Textbooks and Scrapbooking Magazines: These are published regularly (International & Local) and are absolutely essential and very handy in getting new tips. ideas, inspiration, lay-outs and techniques.
They become timeless precious "book"-friends which never grow old or become outdated. The easiest way to stay informed and up to date with this fast growing and developing art.
(x) Scrapbooking Storage Systems: There are multiple storage systems available for all your different storage needs. If not already convinced, you will soon realize the utmost importance of these safe storage items for protecting, organizing, containing and transporting of your precious work as well as all your tools, papers, cardstock, ribbon, stickers, rub-ons and other embellishments.
All sorts of systems (some multipurpose) and Brands are available for organizing and storing your: Photos & memorabilia, Negatives, Stickers & cut-outs, Embellishments, Cardstock & papers, Tools & punches, Scissors & trimming tools, Chalks & stamps, Ribbon & pens etc. etc. Some special Complete Craft Storage Systems are the ultimate in keeping all your scrapping supplies well organized, neat and in the right place. These are not necessarily only for self-confessed "Scrapaholics", but also for all other serious and well-organized scrappers.
ENJOY YOUR SCRAPBOOKING: A PERSONAL, LIMITLESS and MEANINGFUL HOBBY, CRAFT and PASSION!! IT IS SIMPLY GREAT!!