Scrapbooking For Beginners

Beginner Scrapbookers: Five Simple Ways to Get Started ScrapbookingScrapbooking for Beginners

By Lain Ehmann

Got the scrapbooking itch? Coolio! You will find that scrapbooking can add immeasurably to your enjoyment of life. It sounds crazy, but it’s true: Scrapbooking has changed my life, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming to get started. Here are five easy ways to take the plunge:

1. Forget about “shoulds.” Don’t worry what your neighbor, your sister, or Martha Stewart tells you that your scrapbook must have or be. The biggest enjoyment I get from this hobby is when I take an idea that is purely mine and run with it! I’ve seen scrapbooks on the side of a refrigerator, sewn into a memory quilt, or created on a blog. Scrapbooks can be any size, shape, or medium — it’s up to you.

2. Start with a memory. For me, the “best” pages I create aren’t necessarily A-plus designs, or with all the latest and greatest products. Instead, my favorite layouts are those that accurately capture an emotion or memory. To make sure I’m off to a good start, I begin my pages with a memory I want to document. Sometimes that’s perfectly matched with a photo; other times, I have to take a photo or use a photo from a different time. That’s okay! It’s the memory that’s important, not when the picture was taken.

3. Give yourself permission to explore and experiment. You may have in mind that you want to create a certain type of page or design before you start, but allow yourself to spread your wings along the way. You may change your mind, or want to try a different combination of papers or colors. Go for it! Remember, you can always toss the whole thing and start again!

4. Don’t buy the whole store. The “toys” we scrapbookers get to play with are so tempting that we can want to grab one of everything in sight! But trust me, all these products will overwhelm, rather than inspire, you. Start small, make good use of the things you do purchase, and then add something new. Just as a new cook doesn’t need every spice on the supermarket shelf, you don’t need every color of brad, glitter, and colored marker.

5. Enjoy the process. This is probably my most important “rule.” If you enjoy the process, nothing else really matters all that much. And if you don’t enjoy the process, it doesn’t really matter that you’ve created lovely pages if you did so grudgingly or full of stress. If you start to feel anxious or worry about making a “mistake,” take a deep breath and remind yourself: This is supposed to be fun!

Lain Ehmann-LayOutADay.comFor more creative simple scrapbooking ideas and inspiration, visit Lain Ehmann’s scrapbook blog at Through scrapbooking videos, tutorials, projects and inspiration, Lain helps her readers make their scrapbooking fun, fast and fabulous!

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  1. Oh Lain… you are the wise one! I do enjoy scrapbooking but don’t do it nearly enough. ;)

    I had an experience at a scrapbooking party one time that I think you’ll find interesting. It illustrates my frustration with the whole “‘scrapbooking as a sport” thing.

    I am a very visual person, and I would assume that’s why scrapbooking appeals to me. I also enjoy the process of discovery – moving pictures around and around until the idea/image hits me. I love being ‘moved’ by the image as it evolves. BUT… the group ‘leader’ I was with during this scrapbooking party was INSISTENT that everyone DO A PAGE NOW! Because she was all about “get ‘er done!”

    Some people in the group had 3 or 4 pages done in an hour. I was still shuffling through my pictures and grouping them into events/colors/people/whatever made me happy. I finally started cropping… and the party was over. I felt like I failed… I didn’t complete my assignment.

    That episode was very valuable to me. It made me understand why I like scrapbooking. I like the process just as much, if not more, than the completion of a page. Cool, eh?

    So, that’s why I love what you wrote. “Enjoy the process.” Amen Sister! Not everyone likes the same things about scrapbooking, and left to their own devices, people will find a pace they are comfortable with. When I set up my spare room, I plan to have a big work table in there. I will pull out my scrapbooking and have a nice time, just puttering around. I may even complete a page or two! ;)

    Thanks again, Lain, for giving me permission to scrapbook as I please. You are the best!

  2. Thanks, Patti!
    People need to approach scrapbooking — and life — at their own pace, with their own goals in mind! So sorry you had a bad experience. I am a “get ‘er done” scrapbooker but want everyone to find THEIR joy. Sad that you weren’t encouraged in your own way. boo!

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