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What is Scrapbooking?

L. S. Wynn
By L. S. Wynn
Updated May 23, 2024
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Scrapbooking is a hobby that has been growing in popularity. The underlying goal is to preserve memories in a unique and creative way. A scrapbooker starts with a book and a set of memories — usually photos, clippings, and other small mementos — that he or she wants to preserve for the future.

Some scrapbookers put separate themes in separate books, whereas others reserve each individual spread — two adjacent pages of a book — for different themes. A theme can vary from a particular event, a holiday, or what life was like at a particular moment of time. One spread, for example, may be reserved for a birthday party, another for a wedding, and another for Halloween.

Instead of just placing photographs in a photo album, a scrapbooker aims to capture the feeling and the mood associated with his or her memories. Photographs are embellished with all sorts of additional items to help set the mood of a spread. Backgrounds, rubber stampings, cut-outs, die cuts, drawings, newspaper clippings, stickers, cards and other flat items are used to embellish the photographs to set the tone. When someone looks at a page in a photo album, he sees just a few photographs; when a person enjoys the pages of a well-executed scrapbook, he may be transported to a different time.

Let us imagine a birthday party captured in a scrapbook. The scrapbooker may start with a festive sheet of background paper and overlay it with photographs from the party. Then, one of the invitations is attached, along with a cutout from the party hats. Next, some thoughts about the party and some details are written on the page. Finally, confetti from the party is glued over the entire spread.

Getting involved in the hobby is not too expensive. There are elaborate tools that can add interesting effects to a scrapbook, but simple pages often have the most impact. Basic scrapbooking tools include scissors, paper, photographs and glue. As a scrapbooker progress into more advanced techniques, he or she can purchase cut-outs, stencils, colorful pens, templates, die-cutters, stickers, and other embellishments.

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Discussion Comments
By anon44158 — On Sep 05, 2009

i need full details about vinyl sticker and vinyl graphics, like invention and history.

By mrjones — On Jun 24, 2008

i think if you're a die hard scrapbooker, switching to digital can be a little daunting. for me, i like it because there is significantly less mess, less hassle and it's less expensive. also, with a good photo editing program, the sky is pretty much the limit as to what you can design for your layout. even with a simple photo editing or scrapbooking program, you can create really interesting, unique layouts. you can easily back your work up, send out copied discs to friends and family, or even have photo books printed out. digital scrapbook pages are also easy to upload to your blog or website.

on the flip side, it's nice to have the feel of a handcrafted, traditional scrapbook page. there's also a bit of a learning curve on getting really good on a photo editing program, and you have to worry about how to get your scrapbook pages printed out inexpensively. some people also just prefer the craft of creating a page by hand.

i think there are positives and negatives to both types of scrapbooking...neither one is the "only" way to go!

By anon14740 — On Jun 23, 2008

You say you're excited about the Digital Scrapbooking..can you please enlighten me more about why its better to do it digitally ?

I am on the same boat with pictures & have all my text written out in the document, but have to put them all together! Have been reading lot about Digital way, but not sure why I am leaning more towards the traditional one .....thought i'll ask!

By olittlewood — On Jan 28, 2008

i guess i'm just a little bit of a want to be scrapbooker. i have all the stuff, the paper, the tools, the embellishments, but never get anything done! it's just so hard lugging the stuff out, organizing the photos, etc. i have 3 young kids and it's just hard to spread out and finish. one of my friends just turned me on to digital scrapbooking and i'm really excited about it. it fits my style, can take my laptop to do scrapbooking with friends. no fuss, no muss! and it's cheaper than buying all that stuff!

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