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Frequently Asked Questions About Scrapbooking

Frequently Asked Questions About Scrapbooking main article image
Posted on October 24, 2021 by Zeldi Smulders

When you take on a new hobby it is completely normal to have a string of questions. Some feel comfortable asking them, while others fake it till they make it for the fear of looking ignorant. In the spirit of “there are no stupid questions”, we will tackle some of the frequently asked questions from those who want to start scrapbooking or those who are beginners and still feel a bit lost.

Here are some FAQs about scrapbooking:

Basic scrapbooking tools like scissors and tapes

Photo by Jo Szczepanska on Unsplash

  1. What do I need to start?

Scrapbooking is one of those great hobbies that allow a lot of growth. Of course, that means there are basic tools and more advanced tools and they all have their own place. As you grow you will probably find that you have a preference for certain types of items, but as a start, the basics are all you need. As a bonus, many craft stores have the option to purchase pre-packed kits for you to use. This will save you the effort of having to look for some of the various items you will need for a page. 

Basic tools to start with include:

  • A craft knife
  • Scissors
  • A cutting board
  • Craft glue
  • Double-sided tape
  • A ruler
  • A pen
  • A pencil
  • An eraser
  • Plain cardstock
  • Patterned cardstock
  • Embellishments
  • An album
  • Your memorabilia

Note: If you have some extra money to spend, consider adding the following items to your collection: a paper trimmer, foam tape, ink pads in basic colours, and punches for basic shapes.

Now that you have your craft supplies and memorabilia, you need a plan. Before you start, decide on a theme, think about what you would like to include, and put together a basic idea of what you would like the layout of the page to be.

An assortment of craft supplies in craft bags

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

  1. What do you use scrapbooking for?

Some people take on scrapbooking just for the fun of it, while others see this hobby as a more practical pastime. That makes sense because it can be both! Scrapbooking is a way to unwind and at the same time, it has a social aspect, allowing you to spend time with others who also partake in this craft. On a more practical level, it allows you to preserve and organise memorabilia you have kept and display them in a format that you can show friends and family.

  1. How expensive is scrapbooking?

As mentioned before, scrapbooking is a hobby you can do with only a few basic craft supplies, but you also have the opportunity to grow your collection. The key is to not go crazy and buy everything all at once. Try a few basic items and see how they work for you before you move on to the next. If you are scrapbooking on a budget there are more than enough options for you to be money-wise.

Buying cheaper smaller items like embellishments might give you the impression that you are not spending a lot of money, but this can quickly add up if you are not careful. On the other hand, bigger items like punches and die-cutting machines are more expensive but they have a lot of reuse value. Determine your budget for this hobby and stick to it. Having a lot of unnecessary items won’t help you advance in this craft and in the same breath, having fewer items can encourage you to use more creativity to achieve the same results.

  1. What are some of the often-used terms I should learn?

You will find that scrapbookers have developed a special jargon to help them explain things better. While some of the terms might sound strange at first, you’ll soon find that they are simple and easy to remember. Here are some frequently used terms to get you started:

Mounting – attaching an item like a photo to another piece of paper

Cropping – trimming a photograph to remove unnecessary background details

Matting – pasting your photos or notes on top of a bigger sized cardstock to create a frame for it

Inking – using an ink pad to add colour to the outer edge of a photo or card

Fuzzy cutting – cutting out an intricate printed design around its edges

Journaling – adding text to your layout to give context and add details

Craft supplies and a scrapbook project in progress

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

  1. How long does a project normally take?

The time you need to complete a project depends on the type of project. Maybe you have decided to do a single page, a double page, a mini book,… or maybe even a whole album! For some, a single page can be completed in an hour, while others take more than three hours during which they spend time adding various details and techniques. It is hard to determine at what speed you will work and even if you can, the idea not to rush it. Enjoy the time spent working on a project to reap the benefits of this leisurely activity.

If you have started a project with a time restriction, there are some ways to plan ahead. Consider the techniques you would like to apply to your project and your familiarity with it. With that, think about the availability of the items you need to use. Finally, assess how many hours per week can you put aside for the project. All of these factors contribute to how long a project can take.

A scrapbook layout with craft supplies next to it

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

  1. What should a layout look like?

Some might think the idea that a project should have a specific layout takes away the carefree flair of this hobby. However, there are people who work better with a little bit of structure. New scrapbookers might feel unsure of themselves and don’t know where to start. A template or a guideline is a starting point for many and they are easily obtained in books, magazines, or on the internet.

Basically, it is up to you to find what works best for you. Some prefer a more simplistic or basic design, while others enjoy adding a lot of elements to their page. Your layout can be based on factors like the number of photos, notes, or other artworks you would like to include, or the theme. Having a few examples to work from can make the process easier. Try exploring a variety of layouts, from single photo layouts to interactive scrapbook layouts with multiple photos.

A tin full of craft supplies like ribbons

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

  1. How can I sort my scrapbooking supplies?

While there are various types of scrapbook-specific organisation items on the market, a few basic crates and containers can do the trick. There is no shame in repurposing things like old ice cream tubs and coffee cans – oftentimes they work even better than the store-bought items! Take a look at the type of space and storage options you have available at home and use that to guide the way.

Drawers work well to store less-used items, while racks can be used to display different coloured cardstock. Containers with dividers are ideal for sorting small items while cupboards can be used to hide away items that can be dangerous for children. The different ways you can sort your items include sorting according to colour, theme, or type.

If it is something you use often you might want to use a see-through container so that you can easily identify the item. The container should also be accessible enough so that you can get what you need when you need it. If there’s something you don’t use as often it is fine to put it away in a safe place, but keep in mind that supplies that are hiding in the back might be forgotten.

  1. Where can I learn more about scrapbooking?

Apart from the numerous scrapbooking books and magazines that have been published over the years, the web is also an unlimited source of information with many informative blogs and videos to choose from. Try visiting your local library or book shop to enquire about printed information. For a digital source of information, browse sites like Pinterest, go through The Artistry’s scrapbooking articles, or sign up for Creative Fabrica’s scrapbooking classes. The articles and classes share some handy tips as well as tutorials for projects you can try out. This is also the perfect place to find inspiration for your next project!

Tip: Doesn’t sound like your thing? Maybe you should check out digital scrapbooking!

Scrapbooking, like many other hobbies, is a rewarding process of learning and developing a new skill. Be patient with yourself, enjoy the process, and keep on asking questions! After all, the best part about a creative hobby is trying new things together. If you have any other questions, drop them in the comments below.

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