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Top Ten Tips for Scrapbook Gifts

October 13, 2010

Over the next several weeks, I, along with several of my friends, will be sharing tips, tricks, and how-to guides for some of our favorite gifts to give for Handmade Christmas 2010.  Today’s guest post is from the AMAZING Emily, of the blog A Lady in Love. Emily’s blog has quickly become one of my favorite reads  (seriously, check it out), and today we are lucky to have her share some of the best scrapbook gift tips.  Take it away, Emily!

Top Ten Tips For Making Scrapbooks as Gifts
It very well may be the last gift in the world you’d ever want to commit to giving, but scrapbooks really do make wonderful gifts.  Not only are they something that people save forever, they are also fun to share with others and can capture thoughts and memories that might have been otherwise forgotten.  Thankfully making a scrapbook is really not as difficult or time consuming as you might be imagining.  Here are my top ten tips for making scrapbooks as gifts:

1) Try an irregular size or shape.  If the thought of filling an entire scrapbook scares you to pieces cut your project in half and fill a mini-book instead.

2) Use photos of varying shapes and sizes.  Using the same blocky 4×6 photos can get tiresome and doesn’t do much to help creativity along—try purchasing photo paper from your local office supply store and using a photo program to create custom sized photos.
3) Edit your photos before printing them.  Use different washes, colors, tints, and contrasts to add depth to your pages.  Create collages, photo strips and use text on your photos. [note from heather: Emily has a GREAT post on using your computer in your scrapbooking. Don’t miss this.]
4) Use coordinating papers and embellishments for easy assembly.  Before you start laying out your pages, go through all of your supplies and pick out embellishments that complement the paper you are going to use.  There are a lot of wonderful scrapbook collections in craft stores and online now.  Using papers and embellishments from the same collection is a great way of ensuring that everything will look neat and polished.
5) Lay everything out before you stick anything down.  Remember that saying “measure twice, cut once?” It’s quite the same when it comes to scrapbooking.  Before you commit your design to paper, be sure of what the finished product will look like by laying everything out first so you will be able to move things around if you so desire.
6) Scrapbooking is not the place to adhere to stereotypes (not that there really is a place for that, but that’s beside the point).  Just because you are making a scrapbook for a man doesn’t mean that you need to be limited to trucks, rust and that AWFUL soccer print paper; and just because you are making a scrapbook for a girl that doesn’t mean you should only use pinks, and things that resemble lipsticks—Oh! and NOT every page needs to look like a Bratz doll box!  Use your creativity—think of themes that are gender or age neutral—something that they won’t get sick of or feel embarrassed showing people.
7) Journal.  Journaling has always been difficult for me but it is one of the very best things you can fill your scrapbook with.  Don’t just leave a picture hanging—give it a caption!  If words aren’t your thing, explain what is happening in the photo or use song lyrics to illustrate what the photo means to you.  Be creative with your journaling—maybe add some to a photo in a photo editing program before you print your pictures; it adds a lot to your page and the person you are giving the scrapbook to knows that you really thought everything through.

8) Use your resources!  Making a scrapbook doesn’t have to cost much.  Check out the clearance section of your local craft store, you can always find good deal there on things like brads, ribbons even some little albums.  Being frugal doesn’t stop there—use the things you have in your possession already: old ticket stubs are a perfect frame for photos, those coasters from Chili’s and TGIFriday’s make a PERFECT mini-album, and old book pages make the best most interesting paper.
9) Use a good adhesive.  Something like double sided tape or better still those handy little adhesive runners you find in the scrapbook or paper crafting section of your craft store.  Not only is the adhesive photo safe, it is also much less hassle in the long run because your hands avoid contact with the glue.  ALSO, I should warn you that it is almost NEVER a good idea to use Elmer’s glue in your scrapbooks—it will almost certainly warp your pages and will make your scrapbook look like it was assembled by a 7 year old.  I promise that upgrading to an adhesive runner is going to change the way you scrapbook forever.

10) Enjoy the process.  If you find that you are getting stressed out over every little detail on a page then you need to stop—and not just stop, but START OVER.  I know that sounds overwhelming and harsh but I have found that 9 times out of 10 my frustration from scrapbooking is born out of an unclear direction with my scrapbooking.  Take a break, reassess, rethink what you want to do, what you want to achieve and mostly think about who you are making this for.  Go back over your choices and try to decide if you really like the direction you are heading in with this scrapbook—if you still love it then your creative juices will kick in again and you’ll be off and running with what you had; or if you don’t love it save yourself the grief and start over—maybe with coordinating products from the craft store—you’ll find them easy to use and hard to hate!

Happy scrapping!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2010 10:49 pm

    Love this post! I love scrapbooking and Emily shares some great ideas!

  2. October 14, 2010 7:53 am

    I made scrapbooks for the 7 years that I’ve been with my boyfriend. I’ve been so busy it has gotten away from me… I miss it… 🙂 These ideas are original!

  3. October 14, 2010 10:15 am

    *Bookmarking this!!*

    I’ve always been so interested in scrapbooking (especially after seeing Emily & friends sprawled out in a downstairs room of my dorm hall scrapbooking away 😉 hahaha). I absolutely LOVE arts and crafts, but I’m always worried that I’ll start a scrapbook but never finish it :/ I guess I just need to wait for the right person to come around – you know, someone that will REALLY appreciate it!

  4. Aimee S permalink
    October 14, 2010 12:03 pm

    Now I feel I better get down to the basement and start scrapbooking. I could use some help. I have all the supplies, space and stuff…just zero time. Although, I could get off the computer right now and go do it!

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