Getting started with Scrapbooking

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At the most basic, scrapbooking is taking books with blank pages and adding in photos, journals, memorabilia and documenting moments in time. Baby books, college graduation, friendships, weddings – basically any special event or relationship you want to pay tribute to can make great themes for your scrapbooks. As the name implies, they are made up of scraps – but what you choose as “scraps” are only limited by your imagination. Let’s start the journey with an overview of main supplies you may need.

 Albums and Sheet Protectors
 This is going to be your canvas in a sense. You can find a variety of sizes, but most beginners start with one that is 12 x 12. It lets you have lots of room for photos and leaves some space for other media as well. One of the most important considerations is how it may affect your materials over time.  Mylar, polypropylene, or polyethylene will keep your photos and paper items safe and prevent fading. You may want to choose one that can have pages added or removed to fit the size of your project without leaving a lot of extra empty sheets at the end, or plan according to the number of sheets you have in the album.
 You need something to stick all of the items onto the pages as you create your scrapbook. Depending on the chosen item, having a choice between glue sticks, liquid glue pens, photo tape, and other adhesives will give you the tool you need for the material you are working with. You will want to be careful to get an adhesive that won’t ruin your photos and be acid-free.
You’re probably going to need at least one pair of scissors to cut parts of photos out, or cut magazine or other paper shapes for you to put together on your album pages. There are even paper trimmers and shape cutters that will make this even easier. Some scrapbookers even go to the extent of getting a digital die-cut machine. A die cutting machine is a machine designed to cut materials, such as paper, fabric, or metal, to a specific shape.
Die Cuts, Stamps, and Embossers
 Die cuts are premade shapes that you can use to cut out these shapes from paper and other materials. Stamps can be inked and used to put words and phrases in a specific font. Embossers are used when creating either raised or recessed relief images and designs in paper and other materials.
Paper we usually use solid colored or patterned paper. Choose a size that will go in the album you have selected, or choose colors and patterns that you want to use with a die cut, or as backgrounds for photos and other materials. Paper usually comes in 12 x 12 sheets, or traditional 8.5 x 11 inches. Look for acid-free (ph neutral) and lignin free papers. We choose these kinds of paper because the acid will cause yellowing over time, and lignin and acid-free papers can last over 200 years.  Journal Materials (Pens, Calligraphy, etc)Putting down your thoughts and feelings as you place your photos and materials into your scrapbook is not only a personal touch but can be a great outlet for creativity and your feelings. To start with, you may just want to get a gel pen that writes easily for you. As you get more advanced, you can choose to use calligraphy and play with fonts. You will want ink that is fade resistant, colorfast and waterproof. Always practice writing on something you can toss before writing on your page layout.
Photos: Photos are the most essential part of your scrapbook page. Sometimes you will be using old prints that are not replaceable, so be extra careful with them. Digital prints you have had developed are great to use. You could consider scanning in one of a kind photos and then printing the scans to save the originals as well.
StickersCraft stores sell sticker packages in literally thousands of shapes, themes, and designs especially for scrapbooking.
Templates:  Templates are like stencils. The can give you borders, decorative embellishments, and structure to your page layouts. Place the template on your page, and trace. There are thousands of templates to be found on the internet and scrapbooking stores.
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