Scrapbooking FAQ

"I've admired those beautiful albums but I couldn't possibly do that!"

Yes you can! It may surprise you to know, but, anyone can scrapbook. The only skills required are knowing how to cut and paste. There are no rules, no rights or wrongs. Every scrapbook tells a story and is a reflection of the scrapbooker's personality through a combination of words and pictures. Your album will be a one of a kind, personal record; a place where your thoughts are expressed and your memories are preserved forever. Enjoy the journey and remember your scrapbooking skills will improve with practice.

"I have so many photos - where do I start?"

Start anywhere but just start preserving those memories now! Simply just pick a particular theme or event - a wedding, a birth, a holiday, Christmas at Grandma's, baby's first year etc. It doesn't matter. You don't need to scrapbook every photo. Be selective. Pick the highlights and file the rest of the photos in a photo safe box for later use.

"Do I need a lot of tools and equipment to get started?"

When you first start you will use the most basic methods of cutting and pasting. Good scissors, craft knife, steel ruler and cutting mat are basic tools to get started with. As for an adhesive, probably a good way to go would be a refillable dispenser of double-sided tape. As you progress, you will find there are specialist tools which enable you to do just about everything. A 12" trimmer is a good investment since most of the cardstock these days is 12" x 12". There are also lots of different cutting systems available that enable you to cut different shapes; circles, ovals etc. The choice of paper available for the scrapbooker is astounding. Plain cardstock in every imaginable colour and thousands of printed papers in various themes. But remember, all cardstock or printed papers must be acid and lignin free. All pens used in scrapbooking should be acid free. Other necessary equipment of course are pages, page protectors and an album to house them.

"What do you mean by acid and lignin free?"

Products which are acid free, lignin free or archival quality have had every effort made to reduce the harmful chemicals that can cause irreversible damage to precious photos. Lignin is a naturally occurring chemical in any wood product and it is what causes paper to "yellow".

"I can't remember where this photo was taken!"

My biggest problem and the cause of much frustration. I've always been an avid shutterbug, always had a camera at the ready for any and every occasion. Until I started scrapbooking, I never appreciated how important it is to record details or keep a journal when travelling. It's amazing how quickly information is lost or forgotten. Luckily, I am also a bit of a bowerbird and collect brochures, keep tickets and memorabillia etc. which have helped me recall a lot of travel details. Also, I am thankful for a little thing called the 'World Wide Web' which has been a saviour when scrapboooking my travel photos. The Web enabled me to revisit these places, put names to landmarks and learn more about the places I visited. Needless to say, all future holidays will be recorded in a journal.

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