Tuesday 24 August 2010 by Erika

Scrapbooking is a great way of recording key moments in your baby’s life. Selecting those key moments is up to you, and there is no right or wrong way of doing this.

Where to start

If you have trouble getting started, try and keep in mind the scrap element of scrapbooking, so as not to restrict yourself. Nothing has to be set in stone. At the end of the day, pages can always be recreated, removed or torn out. In times of creative despair, try not to be too much of a perfectionist, and remind yourself who the book is for - for you and, one day, your child. Regardless of how much time you choose to spend creating the scrapbook, it should be fun and relaxing, not stressful. The finished product is important, but the more you can enjoy the making of it, the more satisfying and meaningful the whole process will be. And as it could take years to put together, it is worth making it a past time, and not a chore.

Photo of a page of a baby scrapbook

Set realistic targets

Set yourself some targets, it helps keep up the momentum and motivation, and it means you always have something to work towards. But, do be prepared to fall behind every now and again, and don’t punish yourself if you do. Ultimately, if you don’t allow yourself time to make the memories then you will have one very empty scrapbook.

Map out your scrapbook

Don’t put yourself under too much pressure. An occasion or event might trigger some sort of scrapbook inspiration when you are short of time, but as long as you scribble down some notes and put aside any pictures, souvenirs etc, then you can work on the finer details when you do have the time and energy to commit to it. You'll just be adding to your bank of potential scrapbook material.  It is also an opportunity to map out the scrapbook and make decisions on the order and layout. If you are creating a timeline of your baby or child growing up, and you want pages to appear chronologically, then you could mark up potential pages so you can come back to them.  Inspiration and ideas for some pages may come to you more easily than others, but don’t restrict yourself by thinking that you have to create the pages in the order that you want them to appear. If you have any sort of creative surge – just go with it!

Types of scrapbook

 

  • Digital scrapbooking. This usually involves some sort of software, such as StoryBook Creator 3.0 or Photomix Digital, both free to download. These programs help you to organise photos according to subject, theme, event or date, ideal if you have all of your photos stored online. They also provide thousands of potential themes and digital scrapbook layouts.
  • Traditional scrapbooking. There is an unlimited range of albums, scrapbooking papers, embellishments and tools. It might be best to start with a kit and then grow your collection from there. Basic kits are generally themed and include; papers, stickers and an ideas book. However, if you know what you want then go online or to a shop and put together your own kit. Be warned, there is a lot to choose from, and there will always a new must have gadget or scrapbooking tool.

 

Baby and daddy scrapbook page

Tips

 

  • Start keeping hold of any ribbons, embellishments or paper from gift wrapping, wedding invitations etc, anything that might stand even a remote chance of being put to creative use.
  • Collect any handmade cards you receive, they can provide a lot of inspiration for scrapbook pages, especially in terms of general design ideas, colour schemes and layouts.
  • If you really don’t know where to start, a good introduction might be a scrapbooking class. There is no need to sign up for a course, you can just go to a one off session and get some tips and ideas.
  • There are tons of books and magazines with ideas and themes, as well as the online library that is the internet. If anything, there is too much information. A good thing to do is adapt ideas or themes, simplify them or just add your own twist.

 

A seasonal idea

a picture of pressed red flowers

Flower pressing.  Pressed flowers are a really nice, simplistic touch. And now is the best time to pick them, while the colourful summer flowers are in bloom.  They work best when picked fresh. Alternatively, for an even deeper meaning, you could just choose whatever flower is in season at the time of your baby’s birth. There is no need to go out and buy a flower press, when heavy, hardback books work just as well.  It’s recommended that you place the flowers between two sheets of paper, before sandwiching them in between two heavy books (or amongst the the pages of a single book), and then it’s just a case of waiting a couple of weeks.

It's never too late to start

My Mum has just started compiling a scrapbook for me. In her retirement she has combined a newfound love of card making with having more time to wade through boxes of dusty photographs that she’s had hoarded away for years. So, if you do suddenly find yourself several years down the line, and running several years behind, then making a scrapbook when your baby has grown up is an alternative option.

 

Photo credits: Scrapbooking images, dada and t-love, used with permission from RellyAB Dorsolateral via Flickr

 

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