Back to Basics Scrapbooking

If you’re a devoted scrapbooker, you may be feeling burned out by all the latest products and techniques. While new embellishments and tools can be fun to play with, they often detract from the purpose of scrapbooking. To put the focus on preserving your family’s memories, consider taking a back to basics approach. You’ll save money, reduce stress, and maybe even have more fun in the process!

Patterned paper is pretty to look at, but cardstock makes the simplest backdrop for your layouts. Purchasing a package of textured cardstock in coordinating colors will make it easy to put together a cohesive looking album. If you can’t resist adding patterned paper, use it as a border or photo mat. Stripes, subtle watercolor patterns, or small floral prints can add a touch of pizzazz without overwhelming your photos.

Photos should be the primary element of any layout. To add visual interest without trendy embellishments, consider using unique photo treatments. Having your photos printed in sepia tones or black and white is the easiest way to add pizzazz to an ordinary page. Printing photos on vellum, textured cardstock, and other specialty papers can also give your pages a new look. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can create an interesting image by cutting a photo into strips and piecing it back together with thin margins between the strips.

Journaling turns ordinary scrapbook pages into priceless family keepsakes. Without names, places, dates, and stories, your scrapbook will be virtually meaningless to future generations. To embellish your journaling, feel free to experiment with different printing techniques. Use a decorative font to highlight important words, adhere letter stickers directly to your photos to create simple captions, or use eyelets to accent items in a list. You may also want to consider adding touches of your own handwriting to each page, since this will give your album an heirloom quality that’s guaranteed to appeal to future generations.

Since scrapbooking idea books and magazines exist to sell products, they’re generally not the best source of simple layout ideas. Make the most of your scrapbooking time by finding design ideas in unusual places. Look at clothing with an eye for color and pattern, check out paint chips for unusual color combinations, notice font choices on advertisements, and check out the design elements used on greeting cards. Inspiration can be anywhere if you’re just willing to look.

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