As the world becomes increasingly digitized, DIY scrapbooks are making a comeback. Scrapbooks are special — they’re more than just photos; they’re works of art. They’re memories. Most of all, they’re an expression of love.
The world of scrapbooking can be a little intimidating to novices. There are materials, layouts and themes to grapple with. Not to mention picture selection and coming up with creative ideas for your scrapbook. If you want to learn how to make your own DIY scrapbook, finding the right place to start can be overwhelming.
We’re here to help — this article will walk you through everything you need to know to make your own DIY scrapbook. Let’s get started!
1. Choose A Scrapbook
Do you prefer to buy a premade scrapbook so you can just attach your photos and embellishments, or do you want to take a more personal approach and bind together loose pages yourself? Both can be equally beautiful, it just depends on how much time you want to spend. Take your budget into account when deciding, because it’s generally cheaper to build a scrapbook from scratch than it is to buy one that’s already put together.
If you choose to make your own DIY scrapbook, make sure the pages are made of sturdy cardstock so they can handle photos, glue, and embellishments without tearing or wrinkling. If you like, you can even cover your pages with fabric or decorative paper for a beautiful, unique platform for your embellishments and photographs.
2. Gather Your Scrapbooking Tools And Materials
In order to make a scrapbook, you’ll need more than just photos and empty pages. You’ll need writing utensils, adhesives, scissors, and embellishments to add a personal touch. Our list of 13 essential scrapbook supplies is the perfect place to get started.
3. Choose A Theme
Is this scrapbook going to be a present for an upcoming high school graduation or wedding anniversary? Or is this something you’re making to preserve your own families memories and possibly show off on your coffee table? Need help choosing a theme? Check our list of 28 popular scrapbook ideas.
4. Gather Your Photos
Once you choose your theme, it’s time to move on to your photo selection. Gather as many photos as you can related to your theme. This may mean contacting friends or family members to ask if they have photos they’d be willing to share with you. It’s better to have more photos than you’ll actually need so you’ll have plenty to select from.
To make things easier on yourself, we suggest organizing all of the photos in your collection into groups. Baby pictures, vacation photos, work pictures, etc. if your photos are grouped together it will make selection quicker and easier when you begin laying out your scrapbook.
5. Choose Your Embellishments
One of the biggest differences between a scrapbook and a photo album is the embellishments. Embellishments might include pieces of lace, construction paper, stickers, glitter, beads, dried flowers or personal mementos such as wedding invitations or baby announcements. You can also hand draw your embellishments if you’re the artistic type. Or you can even buy scrapbooks that come pre-decorated. The possibilities are endless.
6. Pick A Size
Are you going to make something along the lines of a coffee table book? Or a scrapbook small enough to fit into Grandma’s purse so she can carry it around, showing off pictures of her grandkids when she’s having lunch with her girlfriends? The size of the scrapbook will help you determine how many of those wonderful photos you’ll end up using. You should also keep the size of your photos in mind to make sure your scrapbook is large enough to accommodate.
7. Strategize Your Layout
Are you going to order your pages chronologically? By milestones, relationships, or life events? This is something you’ll want to decide before you start your scrapbook. It will help you decide where you’d like the photos you’ve selected to appear, and save you from transferring photos from page to page because you can’t decide where they’d best belong.
Read here for our favorite scrapbook layouts.
8. Plan Your Pages
Now that you have a theme and layout in mind, it’s time to plan your pages. I use the word plan because at this stage I recommend you don’t glue anything into your scrapbook yet. You still might want to make changes, and it will be easier if you lay everything out loosely, rather than affixing your photos and embellishments to the page so they’ll be more difficult to remove.
Choose a focal point when you’re planning each page. This is the picture you’ll pick to be the “star.” All other photos on the page should support that photo without competing with it. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Centering your focal point or placing other photos and embellishments at different angles are fun, easy ways to make your focal point shine. You can also simply make sure your focal point stands out by making sure it’s the largest thing on the page.
9. Shape, Place, And Adhere Your Photos
Once you pick out the focal point of your page, you’ll want to decide whether or not you’ll want to use your photo as is, or if you want to cut it into a specialty shape such as a circle, heart, or star. Then, you’ll make the same decision for any other photos you plan to use on the pages. Once you’ve shaped your photos and placed them on the page, make sure you’re happy with the layout. If you are, it’s time to adhere them into place with glue or double-sided tape.
10. Add Dates And Notes
It’s very likely that you know the name of every person whose photo you placed in your scrapbook. You probably know the significance behind every piece of ephemera you adhered to its pages, as well. But anyone else who looks at it might have questions. Adding dates and notes to the spaces around your photos and memorabilia helps tell your story. This is particularly important if you want your scrapbook passed down to future generations.
11. Add Your Embellishments
Once you adhere your photos, it’s time to add your embellishments. Space these around the pages to personalize your scrapbook even further with splashes of color, style, and flair.
12. Order Your Pages
If you’re using loose pages, you’ll want to make sure you put them in the order that will create the most impact. Many people structure their scrapbooks chronologically, but they can easily be structured by topic, location, or around individual persons. The best page orders tell a story and beckon you to turn the page so you can learn more.
13. Assemble Your Scrapbook
Once you’ve decorated your pages and determined what order you want them, it’s time to put them into your scrapbook so it can be enjoyed and appreciated year after year. Many people opt to slide their pages into protective plastic coverings to keep the pages from being damaged over time.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to make a scrapbook. That’s what makes them so unique and personal. Be creative, have fun, and when you’re finished, enjoy your masterpiece!