Create Craft Memories by Scrapbooking. Scrapbooking involves collecting, storing and displaying photographs in a way that tells a story. Scrapbooking is more than making a photo album, it is the art of treasuring memories. Unlike traditional photo albums, each scrapbook page is a work of art, and the surrounding decorations are as much a part of the album as the photograph itself.
Originating in the United States, scrapbooking was created as a way of passing on family memories from one generation to the next. With this in mind, scrapbooks usually include ‘journalling’, or stories about the enclosed photographs. Journalling always includes basic information such as who is in the photo, where and when it was taken, and what the occasion was, but it often includes more personal memories as well.
The decorative side of scrapbooking has evolved over time. Originally scrapbook pages where kept fairly plain, with just simple borders and titles for decoration. Nowadays scrapbook pages are decorated with all sorts of materials including patterned papers, ribbons, stickers, transfers and specialised products such as brads, slides, clips and embellishments. Many scrapbookers use decorations to help tell the story of their photograph, while some simply choose their embellishments based on colour, texture, or personal taste.
Where do you learn Scrapbooking?
There are specialist scrapbooking stores in almost every town and city in New Zealand. Most, if not all, NZ scrapbooking shops offer beginner’s classes, and some have workshops specifically for children. Search the Kiwi Families Directory for your local scrapbook store, then give them a call.
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What age can your child start Scrapbooking?
Provided your child can cut and paste, they’re old enough to start scrapbooking. Younger kids may need help at first, but their early scrapbook pages will become unique family memories all of their own. If you are worried about them wasting or ruining precious photographs, make sure you print a second set or save them to disk before handing over the originals.
By the time your child is 7 or 8, they will have a good handle on how to lay out a great looking scrapbook page. Like anything, the more they scrapbook, the better they will get.
What equipment do you need for Scrapbooking?
There are literally hundreds of different tools, templates and materials you can purchase for scrapbooking, however you don’t need them all! A good basic kit should include:
- A 12”x12” Scrapbook Album. These are different to standard photo albums, and can be purchased from scrapbooking or craft supply stores.
- A Paper Trimmer or Guillotine. There are lots of different brands and styles in the marketplace, but any trimmer that will take a full 12” sheet of paper will do. Avoid trimmers that do not take full size sheets, as this will get frustrating for both you and your child.
- A selection of coloured card stock and patterned paper. In order to protect your photographs, it is important that all materials in your scrapbook are acid free. Nowadays most cards and papers are acid-free, however if you are purchasing your supplies from an emporium or importer-type store, make sure you ask.
- Scrapbook Adhesive. There are many different types of adhesive and which sort you use is entirely up to you. Younger children will find a repositionable glue stick the easiest option, as photographs and decorations can be lifted and re-stuck if they make a mistake. As your child becomes more confident, they can begin to use scrapbook mounts, double sided tape or tape runners. These leave your page with a much more professional finish.
- A selection of scrapbook embellishments. For beginners, stickers and patterned papers are all you need, however as your child progresses they will develop a style of their own. It’s a good idea to start collecting decorations and embellishments little by little, so keep your eye out for items on sale and add them to your kit. In addition to stickers and patterned papers, good basic embellishments include brads, ribbon, and die cuts.
- Coloured Gel Pens. Some scrapbookers do their journaling on the computer, however it’s better to have children journal in their own handwriting, as it gives an indication of how old they were when they made the scrapbook. Gel pens are easy for children to write with, relatively inexpensive, and look great.
How much does it cost to Scrapbook?
Scrapbook lessons vary in price from store to store, but most are between $15 – $20 and usually include all the supplies needed for the class.
Some scrapbook stores also offer “open tables”, which means people can use all the classroom equipment, but must either bring along their materials or purchase them from the store as they work. There is no instruction given at open tables, rather it is an opportunity for people to use tools and templates they may not have at home. Again, using an open table will vary in price, but it shouldn’t cost any more than $10.
In terms of guillotines or trimmers, you really do get what you pay for. A basic 12” trimmer is around $35, but you can spend up to $80 for one with extra attachments and cutting blades. Decide what it is you really need, then buy the best that you can afford. Well trusted brands include Fiskars, Carl and Cutterpede.
Rental Clubs are a great way to try out specific equipment, and it means you have access to lots of equipment without the huge financial outlay. Most scrapbook stores have a rental club with a one-off membership fee of about $20 – $30, which acts as a bond. After that, members can hire equipment for as little as $2 per week.
12” x12” Scrapbook albums start at $20 and just keep going. Top loading pages are easiest to use, but other than that it comes down to taste.
Scrapbook materials vary in price dramatically, so it’s a good idea to set a budget and stick to it. It is possible to make a great page for about $5, but it’s just as easy to spend $20. Scrapbook kits with co-ordinating papers and embellishments are a good way to get started, and these cost between $20 – $40. These kits usually have enough materials to complete 5 scrapbook pages.
How much time does it take to learn Scrapbooking?
One lesson is usually enough to learn all the basic ideas of scrapbooking. There is no right or wrong way to scrapbook, so once you’ve learnt a few design principles and been taught how the tools work, the rest is up to you.
Scrapbooking is a wonderful activity that your child can learn and do by themselves, or you can do it together as a joint activity. But be warned – scrapbooking is an addictive activity that will take up as much time as you allow it!