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Scrapbooking in Sheeptopia
Instructions Page

There are two important things to remember about scrapbooking:

1: use acid free, lignin free materials whenever possible.

2: be yourself!

If you follow those guidelines, you will have safe scrapbooks that truly represent you and your life.

Step 1: Organize photos. ALL of them. This can seems like a huge challenge, but if your photos are in old albums which are not acid free and may contain PVC, this needs to be done first.

After the initial organization is done, pull out photos which you want to use for a scrapbook page. A common rule is to start with your most recent photos - this way, you won't be "practicing" on photos which might not have duplicates or negatives, and you won't feel so overwhelmed at the idea of trying to play catch up for the past however-many years. I have three full scrapbooks, and I have made scrapbooks for others as gifts, but I still have almost seven boxes full of pictures! Remember, you might not end up using every single picture you have ever taken. Several pictures which are fairly representative of each time period in your life might be good enough for you.

Step 2: Take the pictures you have chosen for a particular page and stare at them for a while.

Step 3: That may have sounded sarcastic, but it's good advice. If you look at the pictures for a while, you will notice which colors you want to draw out of the pictures to pull them all together, influencing your choices of paper, pens, die-cuts, and stickers. You will also be able to get an idea of how you want to crop your pictures, and where you want to place them on the page. Good rules to follow are placing your favorite photo in the center of the page where it will draw the most attention, and trying to make sure that your photos "face" the center or middle of the page.

Step 4: Cut, cut, cut!  :-)  Don't be too afraid to crop your pictures - IF you have the negatives, or if they are digital prints.  You can always get another copy.  And any "mistake" you make can always be a "design element" and be cleverly covered up somehow (trust me on this).

Step 5: Decide how you are going to cut your colored paper, if any, and place it on the page. Geometric shapes can be placed at random spots on the page, or photos can be mounted on colored paper to create a mat. Now is the time to place large die-cuts, as well.  

Step 6: Glue, tape, brad, sew, or otherwise adhere your photos to the page.  Get creative.  Punch holes in the photo corners and use ribbon or floss or yarn (the kind made for scrapbooking, which hopefully is safe for your photos - I'm updating this site several years later, after the influence of my Creative Memories training has waned :-) ) to tie the photos to corresponding holes in either the page or a mat which you can then glue to the page.

Step 7: Title your page if you feel a title is necessary.  Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words, but...

Step 8: Journal, journal, journal! Write captions under each picture identifying who, what, when, where, how and why - write paragraphs in the blank spots - whatever you want. You can journal only the basics, but if you have a lot to say, say it!  You definitely want the basics - otherwise, even you may be looking back at that page in ten years and thinking "huh?"

Step 9: "Place any stickers or small die cuts you have chosen in the blank areas." - LOL!  That's what I originally had for this step, but the variety of scrapbooking odds and ends and ephemera out there is now simply staggering.  Go wander through a scrapbook store like Recollections (stores in TX and some other states) and try to get out without spending a ton of money!  You do not have to, and you can make a very nice and effective page by following my original instructions, but the current variety is definitely nice. (note - Recollections is no longer in business, sadly, but there are many locally-owned scrapbook stores, and Michaels and Hobby Lobby have plenty of supplies, as do online stores - see links page)

Viola! You have a scrapbook page!

Tools and Materials

Note: assume that everything needs to be acid free (lignin free as well, if a paper product)

A scrapbook with appropriate sized pages and page protectors. Page protectors are very, very important, as I have learned from experience...

Along those same lines, Chatterbox sells a cupholder which attaches to your table and conveniently holds a cup as well as a trash bag. While not a necessary item to have, it is well worth the cost. You can find it at most scrapbooking stores or at chatterboxinc.com (see related links).

Glue, tape, photo-mounts, photo-corners.

Scissors (the more the merrier!).

Pens/pencils/markers (I prefer Sakura pens).

Lots and lots of lovely papers. Scrapbooking stores, as well as chain stores such as Michael's and Wal-mart, sell a huge variety of safe papers. You can never have too much paper.

Stickers. Another thing you can never have too many of!

Die cuts. While I don't use them very often, I do like the look.

Paper-trimmer. While scissors will, obviously, do the job, a paper-trimmer/cutter will do the job faster and, more often than not, straighter. :-) Circle and oval cutters are out there as well.

Corner rounder. Preferring simplicity most of the time, I find that my corner rounder is one of the most-used items I own.

Punches. Punches can be cut and put together to create many gorgeous, cute, and clever new figures. Think of it as paper applique.

Terminology

Crop: cutting your pictures into various shapes (or just rounding the corners) before placing them on the scrapbook page. This term also refers to a scrapbooking party.