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Where to Begin?

So you want to start your very own scrapbook? The only thing holding you back is that you don't know where to begin. You know about scrapbooking supplies, stickers, templates, and paper, but can't get the ideas you need to start out. If you love the idea of a scrapbook, starting one is just a matter of... well... starting. Check out the following tips to help you get there.

Photos, journaling, paper... Beginning a scrapbook can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Like most other projects, scrapbooking comes along best when you have a general plan of what you want to accomplish. So you've made the decision to create a scrapbook, but that first page is daunting. Follow these tips to guide you more easily through the path as you begin your newfound craft.

1. Decide on the theme for the scrapbook. This will help you pick out the proper photos, album, and supplies. Is it a chronological story of events or a book for a specific event, like a wedding or vacation?

2. Go through your boxes of pictures with your theme in mind. Once you have the pictures you want, sort them in a way that will work well with your theme. Which pictures should be on which pages? This may mean finding a theme for each page, like subcategories.

3. Select 2 or 3 colors of paper that will work well with the photos on that page. Remember that you don't need to use the same colors throughout the book.

4. Pick a photo as the main focus for that page.

5. If needed, crop your photos. Because cropping can't be undone without getting a new print of the photo, think carefully before cropping. Don't crop Polaroid snapshots because the chemicals could leak onto the page. Don't crop out all the places in favor of the people - you'll lose some of the story. Don't go crop-crazy. Even though there are many shapes for cropping, you should limit the number of shapes you use on a page.

6. Select which photos you want to mat. This is basically choosing a background for the photo that will make it stand out against the background of the entire page.

7. Add your journaling. This step is important so see The Power of Writing for more details.

8. Add some extras. These aren't necessary to make a good scrapbook page, but sometimes you'll want to add some scrapbooking stickers or scrapbooking borders for a little flair.

9. Arrange all of the items on the paper and glue them. You won't want to stick the photos and backgrounds before you know exactly how you want them arranged.

Above all, remember that your scrapbook is your own. It should reflect your style and personality, so get creative with it.

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