First things first. Do one thing before we go any further with scrapbooking: Take time to plan ahead. Your photos can fit into various scrapbooking themes, but you need to focus on just one theme to begin with.
Second thing-no, don’t grab your purse just yet! Deciding on scrapbooking themes are great, but I mean that we should prepare and get organised next. The worst mistake that you can do is to skip this stage and straight away go out shopping for scrapbooking supplies.
I admit it is great fun, but it’s so easy to get carried away with all the cute and lovely scrapbooking paper, laces, ribbons, and other embellishments calling out to you. Years back when I started scrapbooking, I was also tempted by the wide selection at the scrapbooking shop I hung out at. Until this day I still haven’t used half of what I bought!
Right now I am sitting with two of the same ‘school’ stickers. I must have bought the first one when my kids were babies eight years ago (crazy, I know), and I still picked up the second one (only recently too) because I had forgotten all about my original stash. I swear I am certainly not looking at college graduation stuff any time soon!
So do learn from my mistakes, or else you will end up confused and with a cluttered box of supplies, and use your precious time organising and reorganising instead of focusing on your scrapbooking layouts.
Planning ahead will save you time and money.
Selecting scrapbooking themes
When you are sorting your photographs, you can choose which photos you want to scrap now, which ones you will need further down the line and also those for the themes to follow.
The most popular scrapbooking themes relates to the family tree, your children from pregnancy stages to current, and the day to day life of the immediate family.
Scrapbooking Themes can also relate to a:
- Specific occasion: Our Marriage, Our first Karwa Chauth/Eid/Christmas, Holi, Pongal, My Graduation, Parents’ Wedding Anniversary Party
- Specific person: Our Son/Daughter, My Best Friend, My Love, 21 today, The Bride-to-be, Amitabh Bachan
- Certain time frame: Babies first year, Summer of ’99, The Past Decade-70’s/80’s, College Years
- Specific interest: My Travel book, My Fav Movies, Rajinikanth movies, My Spiritual Journey, My Poetry Collection, Music & Me
- Specific other: My Favourite Pet, Our New Home, Our Romance, A snapshot of a feeling, thought, occasion of my life.
You can create an ongoing album of your son/daughter, perhaps breaking this into sub-themes like baby years, school years, teenage years, college years, marriage, new house, grandchildren, etc. Your album will inspire the next person to want to continue documenting the family legacy.
Choose scrapbooking themes that you are passionate about. Scrapbooking will seem boring if you are not inspired by what you are scrapping about. Remember, it is your album, so you can always introduce more scrapbooking themes.
Have a lot to say, tell your story, and of course have lots of photos to begin with!
Choose your photos
Now that you have a theme in mind, it’s time to tackle your photographs. Bring all your photos from around the house in one place. (You will get a bit of spring-cleaning done in the process also). Remember to get out any photo albums, old rolls of film to be developed now, studio prints, professional photographer photos and photos sent to you by friends and relatives. And of course those on DVDs and on your computer.
It can be annoying when you are finishing a scrapbooking page, and suddenly remember the studio enlargements kept in a large envelope among your books! The good news is that you can always make another page with the enlargements. However, if you want to include them into the current page that you have already designed and glued together, it may be too late and you may have to re-make the same page.
I just discovered one such misplaced photo that I would prefer to use on a page I did years ago. Luckily in this case I can easily remove the old photo and replace it with the stowaway (more close up photo). A handy tip is to make copies of photos before you begin. This can be true for the first few layouts if you are a beginner. If you are anything like me when I started out, you’re bound to cut too much of, or stick it all wrong or some other boo-boo.
Another reason for copies can be that you need to use the same photo in multiple albums. I have an album for each of my two children that have the same theme. So in this case you will need a copy for each of the albums plus the original.
Can you spot the difference in my Rajkumari below?
Schedule a day and time (and stick to it), to go through your photos and organise them according to your scrapbooking themes. First make piles of different years and/or events like Diwali parties. This is where you entice the children and grandparents to come help make your task easier (they’ll be too busy enjoying to notice that you have them working for you!). Make little labels so that they can place the photos in the correct pile. Store each lot in transparent zip-pouch bags. Don’t forget the labels.
C-o-n-g-r-a-t-u-l-a-t-i-o-n-s…the hardest job is done!
When you are more relaxed, and with your scrapbooking theme in mind, go through photos from each lot and pick out the good ones and those that appeal to you. For those photos on your computer, save your chosen ones to a separate file as you will have to print them next.
Don’t worry, there’s no wrong choice-select photos that are special to you, reflect your personality and tell your story.
Oh…one last thing. Don’t get overwhelmed and feel like you have to put ALL your photos in a scrapbook. Choose a small set to start with, you can always come back for more when you want to continue your theme or decide on another one of the scrapbooking themes. I love it when a plan comes together!