Erica is a writer and yoga teacher based in Melbourne.
Published July 17th 2011
Scrapbooking has become a widely loved hobby in Australia and around the world, as well as an incredibly profitable industry. Don't worry if you haven't done anything crafty since kindergarten – getting started with scrapbooking is easy.
If you've got piles or boxes of old photos lying around, preserving them in a scrapbook may be just the ticket. Or, maybe you're celebrating a special occasion – the birth of a child, a marriage, a birthday - and want to create a keepsake that can be enjoyed for years to come. Scrapbooking brings your ordinary pics to life and can be a great way to share memories with others (it's far more appealing than a lengthy slide show).
Scrapbooks also make great gifts – I've created scrapbooks for friends to preserve the memories from their hens night, wedding shower and baby shower. Other fun 'gift' type themes include weddings, milestone birthdays, Christmas and so on.
Scrapbooking can be a relaxing, fun weekend activity. You could even make an event out of it and invite around a few friends.
What is scrapbooking? A completed scrapbook is a collection of photographs, artwork, tickets, postcards and other keepsakes, stuck into an album and embellished with things like stickers, sequins, lettering, paper/wooden cut-outs and other items. All of this is typically mounted on printed or plain scrapbook paper and then inserted into an album.
Scrapbooks often have a theme, either for the whole album, or each page. So, you might have a whole scrapbook devoted to a wedding or the first year of your child's life, or you might have an album that covers a range of people and activities, with each page carrying its own theme.
What you'll need To get started, you'll need some basics: a scrapbook album of the size and shape you like, some scrapbook paper (printed and plain) that fits with your 'theme,' embellishments to decorate the page (again, that fit with your theme), some double-sided tape and/or glue to stick everything down, and, of course, photos.
Scissors will come in handy, as well as a ruler or paper cutter for nice, straight edges on cropped photos. You can also buy special paper craft knives and cutting boards that are invaluable when cutting out intricate shapes.
You may need to be prepared to cut your photos – so make copies if you need to.
Where to go Scrapbooking materials and tools are widely available. You should be able to find what you need at a specialty scrapbook store, a craft shop or a large chain store like K-Mart. You can also order everything you need online (see the resource section below for a few sites to get you started).
Kits & Classes If you're a bit uncertain about how to get started, or are feeling somewhat less than creative, there are plenty of scrapbook kits available. These kits usually come with almost everything you need to complete a scrapbook.
Scrapbooking classes are also popular. Attending a scrapbook class (or simply joining a 'scrapbooking' group with others) gives you a chance to see what other people have done, and may be a good way to kick-start your first album.
Contact your local craft or scrapbooking store to enquire about kits and classes, or search on the web for a class near you.
Given today's modern world, it's not surprising that scrapbooks have gone digital. You can self-publish your digital scrapbook on the Internet to share with people all over the globe, or print and bind your digitally created scrapbook if you prefer to bypass the crafty bent of traditional scrapbooking.
You'll find free digital scrapbooking software and information online. Here are just a few websites to check out: