Combining craft with making lasting, visual memories is a fantastic way to bond together with your children. If you’ve never tried scrapbooking before, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated or involve a lot of specific tools (though of course those things are out there for those who really get into scrapbooking as a hobby). If you’ve got some time why not document a day or two of the school holidays as scrapbook pages. Or create one for you and your kids to do on a vacation? Pick a day they want to remember is a great place to start.
What is scrapbooking?
For those who haven’t heard of this popular hobby, scrapbooking is essentially putting photos onto a piece of cardboard/paper, surrounding it with cutouts and images and often, a little write up (‘journaling’) to describe what the photos show and some memories of that occasion/event.
Kiwi Families has a great overview on scrapbooking and the basic equipment you need to get started. It’s most helpful to pick a specific event (trip to grandma’s, first rugby game of the season, holiday trip to the movies, birthday party) and gather together anything that is a memento of that event (a pressed flower, photos, ticket stubs, invitation etc.)
These tips for beginners will also help you get on the right track to a great result.
A page design in scrapbooking is called a layout. Check here for our guide to what to consider in a layout – from this starting point you’ll get a great idea of how to help your children plan their page and have an idea of what they want to communicate their layout.
When you’re getting started it might be useful to use a layout that you find on the internet, so you can copy it. A good layout looks balanced and this is a skill that takes some time to learn – but if you pick something and replicate it, you’re almost guaranteed a fantastic result!
This is such a great way to have some good conversations with your kids, find out their perspective on things and really see an event or significant moment from their point of view. In discussing the focus of your layout, you can draw a lot of ideas out from your child and get them to put it in their own words on a colourful piece of paper to paste along side their images and other parts of the page. Then these special words can be kept forever, you can bring your scrapbooking pages out to show others and get your child communicating with them about special times too. In this way, scrapbooking can help with developing your child’s written and oral communication skills in a fun way that makes them feel important.
If you really want your layouts to stand the test of time, it’s important to use acid-free products so that they don’t deteriorate (you can protect keepsakes in acid-free wallets and similar products – discuss these with your craft store if this is important to you). Special scrapbooking sleeves are readily available (again, make sure they’re acid-free) to slide your layout in. These will protect the layout from damage, and also allow you to store several pages in an album. Here are some album ideas.
Here are some great ideas for getting kids started with scrapbooking.
If you have leftover card and scrapbook papers, we have some other ideas for using these up.