Monday, July 21


I figured no better way to start out this blog than to give a heads up to anyone interested in taking up the best hobby ever!! Okay, I may be partial, but below you will find a post detailing everything I think one needs to know to get started!
So you are thinking about starting in scrapbooking or maybe you are already an addict but know someone who is looking into it. There is no need to drop 1000 bucks into the trade. Though most scrappers spend this the first year anyway. Here is a list of tools that everyone needs when starting out.

1. Album with Page Protectors -- These come in a variety of sizes. First determine how many photos do you want to put on each page. Is this going to be a larger yearly album where the 12x12 pages offer a great amount of flexibility to make each page it's own theme. Is it already going to be a themed album for a vacation or holiday and you only plan on showcasing 1 or 2 photos per page. In that case an 8x8 is your best bet. Either way, the last thing you want is to create a beautiful layout then have it ruined because you didn't put it in an album right away. I recommend 12x12 if you are going to try a family album because you can get more on each page, there is more help out there for that size as far as ideas online and MUCH more selection in all the stores. Before you buy an album check your Sunday paper. They almost always have a Michael's and JoAnns 40% off one item coupon and those are like gold to scrappers. LOL. Everytime you need a bigger tool like punches, trimmers, books....those are the best.

2. Paper -- You are going to need solid card stock in many many colors. You will use this for backgrounds, matting, borders, journaling, etc. The last thing you want to do is start a project and have to use a color that doesn't really go. You will discover patterned paper soon enough, but for starters you need to pick up cardstock. Once you have your photos together I would get a shoebox and separate photos stacked up and that way any memorabilia you wanna add can be stuck with the photos and then make a list of the photo sets you have (ie beach pics, school field trip to wherever, Christmas etc) that way when you decide to go scrappin shopping you can buy what you need and not just what you think you may use. Once you find embellishments and patterned paper to match you are ready to scrap. My BIGGEST advice would be in the beginning only buy for a handful of layouts at a time. As you do them you will get better and learn what you like and don't. Much better than buying tons of stuff to decorate pages that you think you may like and then once you do a few pages find out you hate that technique or can't pull it off. LOL.

3. Paper Trimmers -- You will need both a 12x12 trimmer and a nice pair of scissors. Nice sharp scissors are a must to create sharp smooth lines on your photos and papers. It will also make detailed cuts easier. For straight lines and even cuts a paper trimmer is a must. You will use this on virtually every layout. They are like 20 bucks but cheaper with your coupon if you get one. These are the long and you slide the paper in and then there is a blade you slide up and down to create a straight line cut. Get 12x12. The smaller ones are cheaper but you will regret it. LOL.

4. Adhesives -- The tops in my opinion are double sided tape (Scotch brand in yellow package is what I use and it's cheaper in the office supplies dept at Walmart and it's acid free) and Glue dots. Steer clear of glue sticks. These seem to be great as they are repositionable, but all that really leaves you with is a layout where the photos refuse to stay down and when you go check the book a month later all of the photos have detatched. Glue pens aren't my fav either.

5. Writing Tools -- You will need a nice black scrapbooking pen. If you feel the need to stock up on more, stick with blue, green, red and even brown. You won't find much use for the lighter colors. They seem like a good idea but they are really hard to read. Gel pens are okay if they are darker colors but they don't last for long at all and are hard to get even results. Scrapbooking pens are like 2 bucks a piece.

6. Alphabets -- You will be able to use pens for journaling and subtitles, but to really make your titles pop you need diecut letters, larger alphabet stickers or pre-cut titles.

Some techniques and tips I HIGHLY recommend.
Always matte your photos. Meaning once you crop them just how you want them glue/tape them to a piece of cardstock so that 1/8-1/4 inch of the cardstock shows all the way around. It is a simple thing that makes your layouts look more professional. Matting your titles and journal areas in other colors rather than putting them right on your background is great too.
Look around for sites that have layout sketches. I have TONS and will share a few in the course of blogging if you pay These are basically sketches of layouts others have made and you just add your own theme and pictures in the area they did and I have found it made my layouts 100% better because they seemed to be less of a random mess and more like something beautiful.
Computer journaling is a great thing too. You want to use a pen and handwrite some things because you will look back and wish you had, but for many layouts computer generated looks awesome. Even simple Word Processors have tons of fonts to choose from. If you cut your cardstock down you can run it right through the printer. My cheapo printer even lets me send paper that was just a left over scrap as long as it's bigger than 6inches and even on all sides. Once you run it through THEN you can crop it down to the size you want =) There is a whole world of handmade things and cool ideas for shaped journal boxes and embellishments once you get in your groove. at Michaels, and Joanns first because they are cheaper and you can get great deals during their sales. GREAT deals. Don't rule out a local scrapbooking store though. Some of the larger ones will have some of the best selection and cool stuff you would never find at other stores. They are about 25% higher than the other two stores regular prices, but sometimes you just gotta splurge to really get the effect you want sometimes.

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