It can seem overwhelming when you first start scrapbooking, so I am going to do my best to walk you through it! Here is an awesome article to check out, from Scrapbooking.com Starting Out by Design Team for Scrapbooking.com With all of the scrapbook products and techniques out there, it is easy to be overwhelmed as a beginning scrapbooker. Featured here are ten basic techniques to get you more involved in the world of scrapbooking and to help you make your memories last. Organize: As boxes and boxes of photos pile up in the closet, it can be difficult to know where to start. To prepare your photos for easy access to scrapbook, organize them by subject. Possible subjects include events, people, places, activities, time, and things. After sorting your photos by subject, arrange them in chronological order. Several companies have produced products to help you organize your photos. These include: Crop in Style, Cropper Hopper, Around the Block, mimi, and Making Memories, just to name a few. For additional information on how to organize and store your photos, see our article here. Choose an Album: Whatever theme you want to design, you can find an album to fit your needs. Albums come in various sizes. Common sizes include 12” x 12”, 8½” x 11”, 8” x 8”, and 6” x 6”. As you think of how you want your scrapbook to look, see what size, style, and color works for you. Click here to visit our monthly album feature. Gather Your Tools: Basic tools needed to complete a scrapbook page include – * An album * Paper/card stock * Scissors * Adhesives * Journaling pens Select Colors and Theme: The end result of your page should be a blend of complementing colors and designs that relay the theme. One way this is done is by choosing papers that match the color and feel of the photos or focus of the page. Paper collections are available to help you easily coordinate the designs of your pages taking care of the guess work in choosing colors. Practice Your Page Layout: Before using any adhesives, play with the design of your layout to get a just right feel for your page. If you are concerned about ruining photos, make a color copy of your photos and cut (or crop) the copies to see what shape you want the photo and where you want it placed before working on the originals. Plan your journaling: Journaling adds a personal touch to your page. It can be as simple as adding a small piece of card stock detailing the photo event or writing an entire story. Plan and write or print your journaling on scrap paper first to see how you want it to look and where you want it placed on the page. Tip to remember: Handwritten journaling adds an even more personal feel to your page. Focus: Give your attention to one layout at a time. Do not overwhelm yourself with planning all of your pages at once but spend quality time with one page before moving to the next. Make smart choices: With all of the work and time you are investing into your scrapbook, be sure to use products that are safe for your photos and will last through the years. Look for products stating they are “acid and lignin free”, “archival quality”, or “scrapbooking safe”. Quality products will protect photos from yellowing and pages from disintegrating. Embellish with care: Tons of embellishments are available to jazz up your scrapbook pages. But, be careful, too many on a page can distract from the message you are trying to send. Choose embellishments that complement your photos, paper, and journaling. Embellishments can include: * Die cuts * Rubber stamps * Stickers * Pre-made Embellishments Remember: Have fun! The purpose of scrapbooking is to archive your memories. You want your life’s events to be enjoyed for years to come so why not enjoy yourself in the process.