Scrapbooking in Pieces

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I learned how to scrapbook the summer of 2005, when I discovered a wonderful little scrapbook store in Auburn, AL called “PaperJazz.” I was going to Auburn University working on my masters and went there to fulfill my insatiable need for a creative outlet. I hung out there so much that I got a job working there part time. They had 6 hour crops on Friday nights, and I ran them, basically helping the women (as everyone there seemed to be) find the items they need, and keeping things clean. If I had time, I was allowed to work on scrapbook layouts. I learned two things from that awesome time working at PaperJazz. One, I really like playing with color. And two, planning is crucial for doing a good amount of scrapbooking the way you want to.

Whether you are just starting out in scrapbooking and just have a wish to make a cute book to display treasured photos, or you are like me and have your own warehouse full of paper and gadgets to do just about anything you want, there is something you probably already know. Scrapbooking takes time. Someone out there is going to read this and say “I can punch out a 20 page scrapbook in an evening, it doesn’t have to be a big production.” And they are right. You can do a whole scrapbook in an evening, or you can take six hours to make a single page. The amount of detail you put into your pages is up to your individual wants, needs, and capability. That is not what this blog post is about. This is about how to plan to do the scrapbooking you want to do in a small amount of time.  I am currently working on a pre-made scrapbook for my niece that recently got married. She and her new hubby went on a hiking honeymoon through the beautiful vistas of Utah, and I wanted to give them something fun to display those pictures in. I knew this was going to take some planning. I also knew that on a good weekday I would only have about three hours to do anything. So I broke the project down into small, doable sections.

The first phase of the project was the purchasing phase. I wrote down in an email all the things I needed for their scrapbook: the album, matched sets of paper with a hiking and camping theme, cardstock to match, stickers, accents, and double stick tape. I then sent the email to myself so I could bring up the list on my phone. This comes in super handy if you only have a few spare minutes to create the list, but can’t go shopping for a few days. Then the fun execution of this plan is hunting through whatever scrapbook store you like and picking out the goods. It is important here to remember NOT TO OVERBUY. Just get what is on the list, even though everything looks great. You don’t need it now, you only need the items for this project. Just keep telling yourself this while you check items off the list.

The second phase is the planning phase. I planned on making twenty pages of pre-made pages based around a hiking theme. For those times when i only want to make a page or two, I plan what I want them to look like. There are several places to look for inspiration, based on your level of scrapbooking prowess. You can go through old scrapbook pages you have made and pick and choose items from them that you would like to do again. You can troll the internet or scrapbook magazines for layouts and find one you like. There are hundreds of pre planned layouts there you can use; just Google “scrapbook layouts.” Or, you can doodle until you some up with something you like. Remember the following questions as you pick layout(s). How many pictures do you need on these pages? How much time do I want to spend on putting special accents on the page? Does this page need pockets for ephemera (keepsakes)? This phase can take a long time, but it can be done whenever you have time.

The third phase is accent prep. I myself love to make accents more than buy them. All I need is a pencil, some cardstock, scissors, and my Xyron machine. I also have a QuicKutz die-cutter to make some of the cutest items ever. Confetti, borders, photo corners, and other popular accents can be handmade, giving your scrapbook a more unique feel. This can usually be accomplished in a night, if the other phases have gone well. The fourth and final phase is actual page creation. I suggest saving your biggest stretch of time for this, and try to do this in one or two nights, tops. By this time, I usually get frustrated at my lack of that feeling of having a pretty page to show off. With the freshly purchased items, layout plans, and accents from the previous phases around me, something special happens here. I run through the pages at a great rate, and feel so creative! I am almost finished with the scrapbook for my niece, and pictures will follow for everyone to oogle over. But, this is how I plan to do a big scrapbooking project using the small chunklets of time I have to actually do them in.

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