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Introduction to Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking is the art of encapsulating your most cherished memories into an album, telling a different story on each page so that you and your loved ones can relive and enjoy them again in the future.

Although photos are a primary element, scrapbooks work differently to photo albums as they're themed and decorated using an abundance of papercrafting techniques and embellishments, adding other memorabilia, page titles and journaling to tell your tale. Some people like to create scrapbooks to preserve memories of family holidays, while others like to record the growth of a child – whatever are important moments for them!

Creative memory keeping has developed and grown so diversely since the craft first began; whereas scrapbookers of the past would have to use the few craft resources available to them, 21st century scrapbookers have a whole craft industry dedicated to designing scrapbook-specific products to ensure their photos don't discolour or spoil. The first scrapbooking idea book was actually published in 1825, entitled ‘The Scrapbook’, and contained suggestions on filling a scrapbook with newspaper clippings and other paper cut-outs. In the early 19th century, cameras were yet to be invented – so photo preservation wasn’t originally the purpose of this craft! Instead, crafters would compile poems, letters, calling cards, and other mementos.

As popularity grew, scrapbooking suppliers took to manufacturing products better suited to cutting out and pasting into albums – but it wasn’t until the invention of photography in the late 1830s that this craft changed in a huge way! As the 19th century progressed, as did scrapbooking – from leather albums with pre-printed pages, to photo pockets and embossed papers, scrapbooking soon became prominent in many homes. However, perhaps the most notable moment in scrapbooking’s history is the introduction of acid-free, lignin-free and archival materials in the 1980s, when the industry began to truly flourish. Today, scrapbooking is a favoured hobby amongst papercrafters due to its simplicity – you require no prior experience or specialised skills, only a big imagination!

As it’s such a versatile craft, creating scrapbook pages can range from colouring, cutting and sticking, to using a mixture of crafting techniques and artistry skills. This reminiscent craft truly is all about taking those boxes full of old photos down from the loft, and then creatively encapsulating your emotions, thoughts and feelings about a past time in your life. To begin your scrapbooking journey, you'll need an assortment of photographs, some basic supplies, and a collection of design ideas for scrapbook pages and layouts – and this guide will take you step-by-step through the whole shebang!

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