Scrapbooking Ideas for the Cheap and Thrifty

Scrapbooks are a wonderful way to keep memories and photographs for future generations. It is also big business, and could send you straight to the poorhouse. You can create beautiful scrapbooks for a few dollars. Here’s how:
    You need six basic supplies to create a scrapbook-

  1. Photographs, which you have shoeboxes full of
  2. Acid- Free/ Lignin Free Paper*- decide on a size for your book before you buy any paper or an album. I like to buy a ‘Slab’ of scrapbook paper. There are usually more than 150 sheets, and all the colors and patterns are easy to match. If you buy a Slab on sale, they cost around $8 for a 12×12 slab.
  3. An Acid-Free album*- again, what size? There are common sizes- 6×6, 8×8, 8 1/2×11, and 12×12…. but there are many other sizes available.
  4. A scissor- make sure this is a very sharp, clean scissor
  5. A glue stick- I prefer the kind that goes on purple and dries clear.
  6. A Ruler- metal is preferred for durability.

    That’s IT!! Remember, doo-dads and shiny things are not a necessity. Often times, they can distract from your photos.
    Instructions for the most simple scrapbook page ever-

  1. Find three related photos. Say, one of each of your kids at Halloween
  2. Usually, photos are 4×6, but you can Crop the photo (Cropping is simply cutting off an unimportant part of the picture.) Measure the size. Measure a piece of paper 1/2 inch bigger all around than your photo and cut it out.
  3. Glue your picture on the cut-out paper. You have just made a Photo Mat.
  4. Cut out a fun shape, like a Pumpkin or Trick or Treat Bag out of solid colored paper. Write a few memories on that paper. You have just made some Journalling.
  5. You may want a title, the simple ones might be ‘Trick-Or-Treat’, ‘Boo’, or even ‘Halloween 2009’.(you get the idea). You can measure and cut a strip of paper, and cut out the letters. Or you could write the title.

    Glue down the three photos, title, and journalling, and you’re done! Less than $2 worth of paper.
    Lets say you want more embellishment. You can cut tags out of paper in any shape. You can use different shapes for journalling- a T Shirt or Tent shape for camping, a Bootie or Bottle for a baby, an Apple for School… Still less than $2 a page.
    You can use an online search engine to look for ‘free fonts’ or ‘free clip art’, and print title blocks, journalling, and even really cute deigns right from your computer. No need for stickers, or alphabet die cuts. Save tons of money like this, your computer already has ink, now you can print on any color paper.
    If you treat yourself to some ribbon, stamps,  paper punches, or stencils- buy only if it’s on sale AND you can match it to three projects in your mind. A 50 cent spool of pink ribbon works well for Mother, Baby, Daughter, Easter, Sweet 16, I’m One Today, Baptism… it’s now paid for itself by livening up nearly a whole album. Patterned ribbon is less practical and more expensive. I like those scissors that cut wavy lines into paper, one or two is enough… you don’t need a dozen of them on a carousel. Paper punches that round corners are nice, but you don’t need a drawerfull right away.
    When you start to scrapbook, you may feel a need to spend. As time goes by, you may add a few bits to your supplies. First, try a simple scrapbook. See just how much you can create with just paper.

    *Most scrapbook supplies are Acid and Lignin Free. Acid Free paper will not harm your photos. Lignin Free paper will not turn yellow or brittle with age. Items may also be labelled ‘Photo Safe’, which means they are acid-free.


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