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Instructional Videos

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Paper Tearing

Don't think that your mats and die cuts need to be perfectly edged. Sometimes tearing the paper gives the photo a fun scrapbooking border. You can even get different looks from tearing paper. This is another way to add texture and dimension to your pages. This technique requires no tools and is very easy to do.

For a white edge, hold the paper and tear toward you.
For a non-white edge, tear away from you.

Keep in mind, this will only work if the paper/cardstock has a white core or white back side.

You can use water to draw the design to make tearing easier and use your thumb to make more intricate tears.

For added dimension of your torn scrapbook paper, chalk the edges.

You can roll the torn edges for an even more dimensional look.

Some uses for torn paper include: journal blocks, borders, flowers, mosaic with torn cardstock pieces, water, sand, mountains and photo mats.

Some Tricks of the Trade

For some extra scrapbooking ideas, here are a few tips:

• You don't have to mat every single photo on your scrapbook layout, unless you want it to stand out from the background.

• Wrap ribbons around your focal-point photo to add emphasis.

• Customize your patterned paper by layering a piece of vellum or printed transparency over it.

• Tips on choosing pens: pick a fine-tipped pen for a simple look, a bolder pen for a casual look. Have different sizes on hand and experiment.

• Create easy scrapbooking borders on your pages by attaching a strip of ribbon.

• Looking for a way to store your little eyelets, brads, and other scrapbooking supplies? You can get a 7-day vitamin container and store all your tiny embellishments into different compartments.

• For a smart scrapbooking border, print out the names of the people who appeared on the layout onto that strip of border.

• Whether you are at cafes, restaurants, shopping, or just out for a walk, keep your surroundings in mind. They often inspire fun scrapbooking ideas.

• Since they're easy to apply, keep yourself from pasting to many scrapbooking stickers. There is a chance of overloading your page.

Journaling

The journaling aspect is very important when it comes to scrapbooking. What you write tells half the story. Without the writing, the photos' meaning could be lost in coming years. So what are you supposed to write? Follow these tips to get started:

• Start with what you know, the rest will follow. It doesn't have to be perfect, just begin the story by jotting down notes. Your brain will add the rest.

• You might want to leave space for future journaling. It doesn't have to be written all at once. Feel free to go through the layouts of all of your pages first and then return to the beginning to write.

• If you're stuck finding the perfect phrase or quote, check out an on-line source to give you a boost. If nothing comes out still, just move on and come back to it later.

• Never forget the 5 W's: WHO is in the photo and who took it, WHAT the occasion was, WHERE and WHEN it took place, and WHY you chose that particular photo. These can help you significantly when finding the story.

• For ideas for how to write, try thinking about your scrapbook as being written to a person. Pretend as if someone is going to pick up the book and begin reading it.

• If you don't want to miss out on the details, carry around a little notebook that you can jot stuff in. Even if it seems silly now, it will come in handy later.

• If you don't necessarily want the detailed narration all over the page, consider bulleting some information. Bullets are short, sweet, and to the point.

• Sometimes you just run out of words or can't figure out how to say things right. Try using quotes, poems, and sayings. Often times people have already expressed your exact feelings perfectly.

Not a Fan of your Handwriting?

Some people just don't like their handwriting. If you'd rather not put your handwriting where everyone else can see it, try following these tips:

• Hidden journaling is a fun, creative way to still put your own handwriting in your scrapbook without revealing it readily to others. These can be pockets, folded cards, or any assortment of methods that hide your writing effectively.

• Consider typing on the computer. The advantage to computer fonts is that they're consistent, look nice, can be formatted to fit almost anywhere, and you get the handy spell-check.

• The long way around this problem is to just improve your handwriting on your own.

Paper, Paper, Paper

To truly get into the habit of scrapbooking, you're going to be buying a cornucopia of scrapbooking paper. The best part is that each type of paper has a unique trait to fit what you want to do.

• Cardstock: Heavyweight paper available in a rainbow of colors, textures, and weights. Usually used for backgrounds, photo mats, and die cuts.

• Patterned: Paper in a variety of colors, designs, and themes. Usually used as backgrounds and accents.

• Vellum: Translucent paper used for layering, dry embossing, stamping, and more. Comes in a variety of textures and colors.

• Transparencies: Clear acetate sheets ideal for overlays and windows. Often heat-resistant so they can be used for heat-embossing or printed on with computer printers.

• Specialty: Handmade from natural materials. This could include mulberry paper, pulp paper, and mesh-like maruyarna. Comes in a variety of looks, styles, and textures.


First of all, though, you'll want to be sure that you get paper that is...

• Acid-free so that your photos don't fade, change color, darken, or decay over time.

• And lignin-free, which ensures that the papers won't yellow as a reaction to light or heat.

Add Some Pizzaz

Just like scrapbooking paper, there is a multitude of embellishments to choose from. However, you'll want to be sure that you pick up embellishments that are acid-free. It's easy to get carried away when it comes to adding that extra touch to your scrapbook page. Here are a few starters:

• Stickers: Use scrapbooking stickers to dress up the page simply and easily. You can find stickers for almost any theme.

• Brads: Use these colored pieces of metal to attach extras. Simply poke the legs through the paper and spread on the back for a firm hold.

• Eyelets: Tiny pieces of colored metal with a hole in the center. Great for threading ribbon across pages. To use these, you'll also need an eyelet tool.

• Ribbon: Use ribbon to hang pictures, add bows, or just as a little decoration.

• Die cuts: Shapes and objects cut out from cardstock paper and used to accent the page.

• Templates: Usually stiff plastic, you can use scrapbooking templates to trace shapes and objects and cut them out. Or trace the object onto the paper and color.