Where To Start?!
Here are seven savvy tips to get you on your way to your first scrapbooking project. This blog is dedicated to a friend of mine. She is getting married soon and has already bought her first scrapbook, but is a bit overwhelmed with all of the scrapbooking supplies, stores, techniques, etc.
Plan your project. How many picture do you have? Will you need a 12x12, 8x8, 6x6,4x4 or a custom made book such as a key chain book, accordion book, etc. If you have a lot of pictures a 12x12 is best. There are typically 20 pages, 10 pages front and back. (I got as many as 200 pictures in a 12x12! You can see it in an early blog: The Girls, Multiple Layouts, where I was able to get over a dozen pictures on one page.) You can also use double page layouts for even more photos. (Those are 2 pages next to one another.)
Here are some other things to consider:
Do you want all of your pages to coordinate? Would you like matching pages? A color theme? An occasion theme? These are all things you should think through before even stepping into a store or going on line. Otherwise, you will be inundated with all of these lovely things and it will be even harder to choose. You also might buy more than what you need. Like at the grocery store, if I don't have a list...
This is a double layout. The pages coordinate by using the same collection, colours or some repetitive theme in both layouts.
Your basic materials are probably already in your house and if not, they won't cost you much.
*Good scissors are crucial. Your project will go faster and your cutting will be cleaner.
-small scissors are also useful for precision cutting
*Double sided tape comes in various sizes. Choose something in the middle or buy them all if you think you will be a serious scrapper. There are many advantages of double sided tape as opposed to craft glue. You do not have to waste time waiting for the glue to dry which means your materials won't be moving around. A helpful tip when using double sided tape is to apply it a few centimeters from the edges. This allows for more room to play and a place for you to grasp while you get the positioning just right. You can also just put a piece right in the middle which gives even more room to play and saves a lot of tape. Just watch out that the ends don't come up. Typically the page protectors keep everything down. Be warned, unlike glue, double sided tape is nearly impossible to take off and doesn't make your projects bubble, become wavy or discolor like it often does with glue. Double sided tape is also great for other paper projects.
This is double sided foam tape. It will add dimension to your projects.
*A cutting machine isn't really mandatory, but man will you save time. Your lines will be clean and even and you do not have to draw lines either. I actually still use the very first one I bought from Fiskars over 15 years ago. I've only had to change the razor/cartridges out a few times. I would never imagine scrapping without it. I may have paid $10 for it back in the day. You can use it for a lot of other projects and it is safe enough for kids to use. Mine are 5 and 6 they love to use it.
You don't HAVE to have an inexpensive cutter like this, but it will make things easier and you can use it for other crafts.
*Glue Dots and craft glue are recommended. Elmers liquid glue pen has two ends. One for large surfaces to glue and the other for tiny ones. I have my mom ship it over to me every few months. I also have to order my Glue Dots on line because I can't get them around here, but they are sold at most craft stores in the States, on line and of course, in scrapbooking shops. Like double sided tape, glue dots prevent your embellishments, pictures and such from moving around on the page and of course, no mess. I also found through experience, that glue dots stick over the years a bit better. Especially, if you have your projects in a place with fluctuating temperatures, which is not a good idea. Glue sometimes looses its adherence. Look at the 2 pictures below for examples of my supplies.
Glue dots come in pages or rolls like this one. They usually last a long time and of course, you can use them for other things besides scrapbooking.
This is my favourite craft glue from Elmer's.
*A ruler is a tool many scrappers keep right by their side, but not me. I might use one here and there, but rarely. I am an eyeballer. I hardly ever measure. Only if I am following directions on how to assemble a book or something specific, but I've been at this hobby for nearly two decades.
*A pencil and grease pencils are very helpful tools to have around as well. A pencil is used to mark places you want to cut. People often sketch out their layouts before starting. I use grease pencils when marking pictures for cutting and layout. The grease rubs right off with a tissue.
*A hole puncher isn't super important, but I highly recommend having one in your arsenal. There are many different sizes out there. I only have two. A specialised smaller one and a standard one. They are most useful for applying brads which are one of my favourite embellishments as well as other materials.
Here's my smallest hole punch, my tiny scissors which are great for fussy cutting and an exaco knife. I use these three things all of the time.
A hole punch, small scissors, exacto knife, grease pencils and a Fiskars shape cutter along with circle stencil are very useful and save a lot of time as well as help make your projects look neater and even. The shape cutter and circle stencil are great for perfect circles, cut in seconds. A fantastic tool to add to the arsenal, but not necessary to get started.
Now what? You have your book and basic tools. What other supplies do you need? Papers, stickers, letters, brads, frames, etc. I would totally suggest buying a pack with everything in it. All of the above items are put in one packet and sold by most big brands. They sell them everywhere. Craft stores, scrap shops, on-line stores will provide you with the most options. Some packets have so much in them you can nearly create an entire book. Buy a few of the same packets or use that packet to purchase other coordinating embellishments. You will see that often there is a collection manufactured. You can puchase just the papers, just stickers and so forth. You see where I'm going. You may need a few more papers so you buy those on top of your packet. Also letter stickers are really useful. Especially if you do not like your handwriting or you never seem to write in a straight line. Buy extra letter stickers because they never give you enough I's! hehehe...They also sell phrases and expressions.
A.C. Moore, Michaels, Jo Ann Fabrics are excellent sources for your scrapbooking supplies. Here you can go in and check out their goodies a little easier than on-line. You also don't have to pay for shipping.
If you purchase a packet there is often examples of page layouts for you to follow or you can add your own twist and put your stamp on it. I would also puchase a scrap magazine. I use them very often for ideas and inspiration. They will be full of tips and advice and the visuals are extremely helpful as well. I used Creating Keepsakes when I lived in the U.S. It is a very big magazine and I feel you get your money's worth with so many pages full of wonderful designs. The magazine I use here, in Belgium is Creatief met Fotos. Don't forget Pinterest! That's my go to place for inspiration. Check out all of our boards.
Edit!!! You don't need to use all of your pictures nor do you need an entire picture. Crop away with a circle stencil or use a glass and your grease pen. I use a shape cutter from Fiskars. Not only are my circles perfect, it is REALLY fast. If a picture isn't the best quality consider not using it. If you know you have way more pictures than for in one album, then choose your favorites by putting them in 3 stacks: Have to Haves, If Room and Probably Not. I had to do this for my nieces book. If I had a little extra room here or there, I would use those from pile 2 or 3.
Keep it simple and work your way up. Below you will see a simple layout. No measuring, just eyeballing. Imperfections shouldn't be looked at negatively in all matters. It makes your work look like a human put it together. When I notice a flaw, I think, "Oh yeah. This book was made with someone's sticky fingers and a lot of love."
Tip: Also, watch your dimension when using thick embellishments. If you use a lot of thick add ons, your book will not close nicely. Keep this in mind.
Make and Takes!! These are workshops you can find at the stores listed above and typically at most scrapbooking and hobby shops. These are fantastic for beginners. They usually supply you with everything you need and of course, there is someone with experience to help you. How great is that? I absolutely love going to workshops. All us girls and a few token guys, sharing our passion and sharing ideas. It is a great time.
Doing a quick search I found Michael's had 40% off on scrapbooking supplies. Which totally made me want to cry because I easily spend 3x more here, plus shipping. They had 2 Albums for $16, open stock papers of 12x12 4 for $1. (I pay over a Euro for one.) Michael's, A.C. Moore and Jo Anne Fabrics had on-line stores as well.
Scrapgrils.com/scrapinstuff.com/scrapvillage.com are all really good on-line stores for your supplies.
Don't forget The Cherry On Top for advice, tips and ideas as well. There are many other scrapbooking blogs, too. Good luck with your scrapbooking experience and feel free to comment on any questions or concerns you may have.