Meet Shimelle! London-based scrapbooker, Shimelle Laine created her first scrapbook while she was at university. She has now worked in the scrapbook business for more than a decade – designing products, editing books and magazines and leading workshops. Check out her blog at shimelle.com for lots more ideas, tutorial videos and online crafting classes.
Scrapbooking for Beginners
Super scrapbooker, Shimelle Laine tells us how it’s done…
Between camera phones and digital cameras, we now take more pictures than ever, but fewer photographs are actually printed. Scrapbooking lets you indulge in your creative side, while also making those photos real, rather than just pixels filed away on a computer or other device. Playing with paper is so much fun, and writing your own scrapbook lets you write about your memories too. I think of scrapbooking as a crafty way of writing your own life story – it’s your photos, your words and your choice of pretty papers!
A Bit About Scrapbook Papers
There are so many products to choose from that it’s easy to be overwhelmed, but like most crafts, you can start with a few simple elements. Paper is a staple though! Scrapbook papers often come in a 12 inch by 12 inch size, as that’s the most popular size for an album, but you can cut that down to a smaller size if you prefer. I create 12 by 12 inch pages for most of my scrapbooks but, if I’m working on a specific project, like a gift album, I might choose something smaller – like six by six or eight by eight inches – and there are rectangular albums too, of course.
You may notice that papers and other products specifically for scrapbooking are labelled as ‘acid-free’. It’s useful to use supplies like this if you want to preserve photographs for many years as they won’t break down or yellow your pictures. Since digital photographs mean that we use fewer irreplaceable photos, this may not be as important to you. But, if you decide to work with old photos, make a back-up copy if possible and use specialist supplies from the scrapbooking section to keep your photos safe for generations to come.
Mix n’ Match Crafts!
Once you get started, you’ll notice that scrapbooking borrows techniques from all sorts of crafts you might already enjoy. Love stitching? It’s just a small leap to punching tiny holes and stitching words and shapes on paper. Crochet can make a gorgeous flower or pretty border. Card making techniques like stamping, die cutting and embossing naturally transfer to scrapbook pages. And, if you’re talented with a brush, both watercolours and acrylic paints will highlight your photos. Or, keep it simple with paper and stickers – in this craft, every style is welcome and everything goes!
Your Scrapbooking for Beginners Starter Kit
- An album and page protectors to hold your pages
- 12 by 12 inch papers in a mix of solids and patterns
- Paper trimmer and detail scissors for straight edges and shapes
- Adhesive runner – double sided tape without the mess
- Journaling pens – black and white will get you started
- Letter stickers or stamps – perfect for titles
All the rest is just the icing on the cake!
Let’s Get Making!…
If you’re feeling inspired, try my easy tutorials to help get you started :