Out of the Box; Preserving Memories through Scrapbooking

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There’s no need to be intimidated by the masses of photos.  It is easy to organize them and preserve the memories your family will carry on into the next generation.  This article will provide some organizational ideas and scrap booking secrets to help you get those photographs into books and your new hobby off to the right start.

The first step is to organize your pictures into groups.  There are several options available, as you may choose to organize chronologically, or by family groups.  Another possibility would be to organize by special events (making a group for Holiday or birth day photos, for example), or put in groups according to a certain person or child.  Take special care with older pictures, as it may be easy to crinkle or tear them if they are delicate.  To make copies of older pictures, you may also scan these photos onto a computer or a CD or DVD for preservation purposes.

Once your photos are organized, it’s time to choose the photos you would like to feature in your page or layout.  Depending upon the sizes of your pages and pictures, arrange a few pictures per page until you are happy with their layout.  There’s no end to the combination of layouts you can utilize, and you can feature from one single picture to five or six. 

Now is the time to begin gathering the materials you will need to begin a layout.  Some materials you will need include an adhesive, acid and lignin free glue or tape is preferable, journaling pens, scissors, stickers or other embellishments.  There are many other available materials that are optional but not necessary, such as chip board letters, brads stamps and eyelets.

To create a layout (two pages that will face each other once completed and in a scrap book) you will need two foundation pages, either colored card stock, white, or with a design on it, that are the same size as the pages in your book.  Most books contain 12×12 inch pages, though there are also smaller books that may be used.  Make sure your foundation pages are the same size as your book pages, and coordinate them according to the theme or color scheme you would like to use. 

With your foundation pages chosen, begin thinking about how you will place the photos on the page and the embellishments you will use.  To make your layout more personalized, you may wish to also include a short sentence or two describing the people or event depicted on the pages.  Journaling, in your handwriting, gives the layout a more authentic touch, though typed and printed words may also be used.

Once the pictures and embellishments have been adhered, your layout is complete and your pages can be inserted into the proper place in your book.  Congratulations on finishing a layout, and experiencing the rewarding process of safeguarding photographs through scrap booking.  Preserving artifacts for the future is a creative hobby that you can share with family members, creating gifts for others or even framing finished pages.  Please beware, as scrapbooking can become addicting, but it is worth the time it takes to make sure the coming generations have a piece of your family history. 


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