What's this new series
of articles about?
We all take
pictures. In this digital age we all take tons of pictures.
Why? Because we want to remember a snapshot in time that was important
to us. Yet for many people, those pictures that were developed or printed
end up in a box where they are rarely seen. The digital pictures end up
on a CD or published on the web somewhere. Scrapbooking is about telling
a story, both for us to remember, and for future generations to enjoy.
More than likely you've heard about scrapbooking. Several years ago, scrapbooking
meant taping clippings from the local newspaper into a ring binder to
memorialize our kid's efforts in the big game. To some, scrapbooking was
even simpler... it meant placing photographs into a sleeved album to look
at later. At least those pictures were not tucked in a box somewhere,
never to be seen again until someone settling an estate found them in
an old box. Of course, in the last few years scrapbooking has taken many
leaps forward. It's almost impossible now to go to a store and not see
some scrapbooking supplies for sale. They can be found in all sorts of
different stores, and on many, many websites.
If you've been
curious about this "new wave" of scrapbooking, you'll enjoy this series
of articles. We start with the history of scrapbooking,
and then take you through the kinds of tools and supplies
that are available. We'll teach you how to get started
sorting your photos if you're thinking about taking the plunge
into this great hobby. We'll show you that scrapbooks can (and should)
really be fun to produce. Since we specialize in Disney scrapbooking ourselves,
we'll do all of that with a Disney twist that just might convince you
to try scrapbooking your photos. Already a scrapbooker? As we go forward
we'll work our way through lots of tips and techniques that you'll enjoy
as well. If you're like most of us, you've got boxfuls of photographs
from all of your Disney trips -- not to mention holidays, birthday parties,
family get-togethers, and so on that you can turn into wonderful memory
albums that you'll be able to enjoy for the rest of your life before passing
them on to your family or friends.
a Basic Page Layout!
we gave you the following homework:
2 or 3 of your labeled envelopes, and do some preliminary shopping so
you have supplies at your fingertips. (Be sure to pick up at least one
kind of adhesive so you can affix things to the page. You'll also need
a pair of scissors, and a 12" trimmer.) Next time we're going to
start with pictures and already purchased supplies, and show you with
step by step images how to create that layout from start to finish.
We'll include some design tips for making your layouts look balanced,
and emphasizing your pictures. Have fun shopping!"
going to create a layout. You'll notice that we're not going to create
a "page." Lots of scrapbookers will create individual pages
as they work on their albums. However, if you think about opening your
scrapbook to look at it, you will always be looking at a 2 page layout
- the left page and the right page. We feel very strongly that it will
help you develop cohesiveness in your scrapbook if you coordinate your
pages into 2 page layouts that utilize the same products and color scheme.
(The exceptions to that would be the very first page of the album (which
would be a right side only) and the last page of the album (which would
be a left side only.) In general, as we create a 2 page spread, we will
use the same patterned paper for the background for both sides and then
use 1 or 2 colors of a coordinating cardstock color for matting pictures
and adding other elements.
Here are the
supplies we're planning to use today:
for our page layout.
©Mouse Memories, 2008.
The first thing
we're going to do is crop (or trim) our photos. We're creating a page
today from a character meal encounter with Tigger. We definitely want
to focus the pictures in on the people and characters, and not necessarily
on the dirty dishes on the table in front of them or the strangers sitting
at the next table that happened to get in the picture.
Here a picture
that we have cropped:
Trimming a picture down
to size is called "cropping."
You can see
we've taken some off of 3 different sides, focusing the picture in on
Tigger and the child. We will continue and crop the rest of the pictures
in a similar manner. Often we will take two or three pictures from the
layout and crop them to the same size. This will help with the design
layout as we proceed.
At this point,
we also use the 12" paper trimmer to trim the barcode strip off our
Think Through the Basic Layout
As your scrapbooking
skills and techniques advance, there will be times that you actually plan
the layout as in this Step 2 before you do any cropping of your pictures.
That is because some techniques depend on pictures being cropped to specific
sizes or shapes. For the layout we are doing today, we are just planning
a simple page spread, so we were able to crop the pictures first. We did
end up making 4 of the pictures the same size. They are all of the same
child with Tigger, so it will be easy to use them in a series as we'll
show you later.
out the two background pages side by side, we will begin to lay the pictures
on the pages. We are not yet using any adhesive, but just trying to get
a feel for the size, shape, and balance of the pictures on the layout.
Often we will end up moving things around on the pages several times before
we settle on a combination we like. You can see here that we have also
included the "Tigger" title and a large sticker of Tigger as
we are working to lay things out. The large gap on the left side of the
page will be filled in later with some journaling (written narrative that
gives further details about the event captured in the photographs that
you wish to remember) that we want to add to the page.
guideline as you're planning your page is to be sure to take into consideration
the direction that the subject of the photo is looking. If you have a
side profile picture of your child looking off to the left, you will want
to use that picture on the right side of the page so the photo is drawing
attention to the center of the layout. If you use it on the left side
of the layout, it will appear that the subject is looking right off the
page into nothingness.
may change some as we complete the page, here is a picture of the basic
layout we have settled on for this project:
The cropped photos on
the background paper show our basic page layout.
Create Cardstock Borders
have chosen a background paper that is very close in color to Tigger,
we are going to use borders on each side of the layout that are in a contrasting
color. This will allow that dimensional sticker of Tigger that we want
to use later to visually "pop off" the page. For our layout
we are choosing to use a simple paper tearing technique and two different
colors of cardstock that coordinate with the colors in our background
paper and photos. We are also adding an inking technique that will make
your pages look fantastic. If you wish, you could simplify your border
by using just one color or by using simple straight lines with no inking.
If you want to try ours, here's what to do:
- Choose the
color that you want to be the back color of your border. This color
will be the one that touches directly up to the background paper, so
be sure there is a good contrast. Hold the paper at the top with your
left hand, and begin to tear away the edge with your right hand. You
will want to tear with your right hand by peeling the paper toward you
to give a nice edge. Don't be afraid to let your tearing be uneven.
That is part of the effect you're going for. Tear the strip the entire
length of the border all in one piece. If you're going to make a two
colored layered border like ours, repeat this process with your second
- If you
would like to try the inking technique that we've used you will need
to do that now. This is done with colored ink pads. There are several
sizes on the market. We like to use little ones because they are easy
to control with our hands and because that allows us to have more colors
available to coordinate with the pages. If you want to just get started
trying this technique, black is a good color to use. It will add extra
emphasis and dimension to the edges of any colors you are using. To
ink the torn edges of your border, simply hold the border piece with
your left hand and run the open ink pad over the edges with your right
hand. You will get the feel for this with just a little practice. The
cool thing is that it is not a technique that requires perfectly even
application. It actually looks better if you vary your strokes to put
a little more ink in some places and less in others. Be sure to let
your ink dry before you continue to assemble the border. This should
take just a few minutes.
- Trim the
back color of your border piece to the width you want it to be and make
a straight cut with the 12" trimmer.
this piece to the edge of the background paper.
- Trim the
top color of your border piece to a smaller width, and attach it right
on top of the first piece. The widths you choose for steps 3 and 5 of
the border will depend on how much room you need for your pictures,
and how wide any embellishments might be that you want to use on the
border. For our border, we made it just wide enough for the Tigger sticker
that we wanted to use.
this process to make the border for the other side of the layout.
Here is a picture
of our layout with the borders completed and the photos just sitting on
top in the general pattern we have chosen for them.
The page layout shown
with borders added.
Mat the photos
This is a step
that many scrapbookers leave out, but it is one that makes a tremendous
difference on the overall look of your pages. To mat a photo, adhere it
to the background color you have chosen by lining up 2 of the four sides
in a natural corner of the paper. (You will need some adhesive in all
4 corners and a little in the middle.)
Matting a photo is easy
if you line it up against
the straight edge of your paper.
Using two already
straight edges of the paper will make it simpler to make your mat straight.
Cut the other two sides using your trimmer. Making all 4 sides of your
mats straight is somewhat of an acquired skill, but one you will improve
on with more practice. An alternative to "eyeballing" it would
be to measure your cropped photo, decide how thick you want your mat to
be, add that dimension to the size of the photo, and then cut the mat
to size before adding the photo.
taken the extra step of applying the inking technique we used on the edges
of the borders to the edges of the photo mats. This gives those edges
more definition and dimension on the page.
With your pictures
all matted, you are now ready to assemble the page. Using a small amount
of adhesive in all 4 corners and a little in the middle, stick your pictures
to the desired position on the page.
The page layout shown
with the matted photos in place.
To this point,
we have left an empty spot in the middle of the left side of the page.
It is there that we plan to add journalling - written text about the pictures
depicted in the layout. Journalling can be added by hand, using special
pens designed to be safe for your albums, or it can be added by computer.
Many people hesitate to include their own handwriting in their albums
because it is not "perfect." We strongly recommend, however,
that you use your own handwriting in some layouts of each album project
you do. Whether you are in love with your own handwriting or not, it is
still part of your heritage, and one that will be treasured by generations
To use your
computer for journalling, simply open a word processor, and type the text.
Then you can choose the font you want to use for the page. There are lots
of free fonts available to download through the internet. You can also
purchase specialty fonts individually online, or on CD's containing lots
of fonts. Figure out how much room you have left on your layout for your
journalling, and adjust the font size accordingly. It usually looks best
if you center the text.
to print our text onto vellum, a thin, see-through paper that will allow
the background pattern to show through. Vellum can be tricky to stick
to the page without the adhesive showing. There are specific adhesives
designed for vellum, but most still end up showing through. We're opting,
instead of using adhesive, to stick our journalling to the page using
colored brads that coordinate with our layout. We've also used one of
the dragon-fly stickers on one edge of the vellum journalling.
Enjoy your masterpiece
The final page layout
with final journaling added.
a completed scrapbook project is usually an album full of such page layouts
with as many as twenty or more pages bound together that captures the
events of an entire vacation or family event. We've only just begun with
this single two-page layout, but we hope you'll see tha ' not difficult
to put together several page layouts. The fun part is coming up with different
looks and ways to emphasize the events that are captured in the photographs.
Over the next few articles we'll discuss how to do just that.
Our next article
will include a study on color. We'll help you figure out what colors will
enhance the colors in your pictures, and what colors will wash them out.
We'll also teach you how to choose coordinating and contrasting colors
to make your pages amazing!
is the Scrapbooking Magic Series All About?
Barbara and Brian Bennett