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All Things Scrapbooking - Free Scrapbooking -
Scrapbook Basics for the Beginner
Lucie Battaini
By Lucie Battaini
Published on March 18, 2008
It can be a little overwhelming with the information and products available, but here we cover the basics for you.

Scrapbook basics for the beginner scrapbooker is generally the best way to get your feet wet. It can be a little overwhelming with the information and products available, but here we cover the basics for you. Scrapbooking is a fun, enjoyable, creative way to share your memorabilia and photographs with others. It is so much more than just the who, what, where, why and when. It is a showcase of family traditions, passed through the generations, a view on how your family and friends have grown over the years, the transformations that have taken place in your lives. A way to remember people we love, a place to record our favourite things, childhood memories, accomplishments and all those things that make up who we are today. Not forgetting that it is a creative outlet that people of all ages can enjoy.

Scrapbooking has found a place into the hearts of those who wish to leave a legacy of captured moments “in time” reminding them of their personal stories of joy and challenge. Something to leave to future generations so that they can get to know us better, what a wonderful legacy to leave for your grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Ok so let's get to the scrapbook basics for the beginner!

Beginner Scrapbook Basic Tools

You really could go wild here and a trip to your local scrapbooking store will show you that. However to get started there are a few basic tools that one requires.

Paper Trimmer - I recommend purchasing a 12  inch trimmer that way you only need one to trim papers and photo's

Fine Tip Scissors - A good pair of scissors will be your saviour, this will be something that you will surely use each and every time you scrap.

Adhesive - Something that you can't scrap without. There is wide variety available to day with many adhesives claiming to work better for some jobs than others. A basic tape runner or mounting squares will get you started though.

Black Acid Free Pen - One of the greats of scrapbooking is the way in which we not only showcase our photo's and memorabilia but we can also record the memories right along side these.

Acid and Lignin Free

All this technical talk is probably making you saw what on earth?  One of the reasons why we choose to make a scrapbook album is to ensure the longevity of the items we choose to place inside it. Therefore it is imperative that you understand the ways in which acid and lignin can affect our precious memories.

An item with a PH value of less than 7.0 is said to contain acid.  The acid found in the item will cause yellowing and brittleness in your album.  Items with a PH value of 7.0 or more are considered to be acid-free.  Many local scrapbook stores carry a PH testing pen, so you can actually test the level of PH in an item before placing it into your album.

 Lignin is another term you need to be aware of.  Lignin also causes yellowing and brittleness in paper.  It is found in wood pulp, so is only found in items containing paper.  In order to protect the photos in your albums, only acid-free and lignin-free items should be used. 

 If you want to save non acid-free memorabilia, there are ways that these items can be incorporated into your layouts.  For example, you may want to include tickets to an event you attended to help commemorate it.  One way to preserve the tickets is to spray them with an archival spray that neutralizes the acid in the item.  You could also photocopy the tickets onto acid-free paper or place them in a Mylar or polypropylene envelope which will enclose the acid and prevent it from being absorbed into surrounding items. 

Choosing Colours

As a beginner scrapbooker this is often one of the most daunting tasks, I mean there are so many colour varieties of cardstock and patterned paper available where do you start? The colours you choose for your layout will have a dramatic effect on your photographs. Well chosen colours will set the whole mood for the layout and will draw the eye to the focal point of the page. Great colours will also bring out the colour schemes in the photographs.

A great tool to have is a colour wheel or even pick up some paint chip samples from your local hardware, nowadays they tend to have a whole group of complementary colours on the one chip. Another to choose colours is to place your photo's directly onto a sheet of cardstock, do the photo's jump out at? Are they lost in the colour? Try choosing a dominate colour in your photographs to also use in your cardstock.

You could spend hours reading over various ways to start scrapbooking and I hope that scrapbook basics for the beginner has helped, but I always believe that the best way is to just go ahead and make a start. If you are looking for some inspiration why not have a browse through our online image gallery, where other scrappers have shared their work for us to enjoy.