Written by Liza Hartung
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Let me just start by saying that I love scrapbooking. I have been into arts and crafts since I was little. However, it wasn't until about ten years ago (wow, I didn't realize it had been that long!) that I got caught up in making scrapbooks. My main problem is that I want to do so many things to one single page that I never get past the first five pages. Well, that's not entirely true. Occasionally, I do finish a book.

Scrapbooking is a way to keep memories fresh and alive. Many of us keep way too many photos from the past. I think I've even stumbled upon some from several years ago that consisted of a bright light and my thumb. What did I think I would ever need that for? Before you begin your scrapbook adventure, you should go through your photos and only choose two or three that really capture each occasion.

I know, you will probably go through and want to keep all of them. Take a thorough look. If it was a party or big celebration with lots of people, choose one or two photos of each group or individual. In scrapbooking, it's about the photos plus what you choose as a layout for your photos. Your decorations will help tell the story as well, or better, than the photos.

Scrapbooking for Beginners

When you have never experienced the joy and creative fulfillment of scrapbooking, but are looking into it, you might want to take a class. Many local arts and crafts shops offer classes for people of all levels, even if you don't buy your supplies there. In addition, several community colleges have these classes available for people who are not part of the college.

Beginners' courses are great. Generally, you just pay a flat fee and all the materials are included. Some will equip you with a scrapbook, some require that you bring your own. Oh, and you obviously have to come with your own photos. It would be a little hard for a craft supply store to provide you with your own snapshots. You don't need to bring too many--just a few to get started on a page or two will do just fine.

For those with the scrapbooking bug, you have to be careful when you go into craft stores or stores specifically designed for making scrapbooks. I'll go in, just to look, mind you, and I get stuck for hours. Then, I walk out with a sheet that looks like zebra print, a die cut for hearts, rainbow ribbon and a Halloween cutout kit. Now, I ask you, what book could I possibly be making that would require all of those things together? Don't worry there are alternatives to the traditional scrapbooking store that can be easier to use and are, a lot of times, less expensive.

Scrapbooking Secrets

That's the thing about scrapbooking. You often browse, find some new trinkets you have never seen or even heard of, and you're out $50 before you know it. In an effort to keep my costs down, I often use the Internet in my search for new scrapbooking supplies. My most recent online find was little gummy stick-its for your photos. They were little circles that you put on all four corners of your photo. This sets your picture off the page and gives it a 3D look. I didn't know what I was going to use them for exactly, but I thought they were very cool so I bought them.

One of the best things about making scrapbooks is that you can continually give them as gifts and they are different every time. You may think that making something for someone is cheaper than buying. Well, if you are anything like I am, you go a little overboard on your scrapbooks. It always looks amazing, but the wallet isn't so happy. That's why it's important to find a resource that has affordable supplies. That way, you can give scrapbooks as gifts for Christmas, birthdays, graduations, weddings, or whatever you like.

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