New to Scrapbooking?

What is scrapbooking?

It's the art of capturing the memories of you, your friends and family.  Recording the big things and the small details of our lives.  In an age of digital camera's we often end up with our precious memories stored on a computer and more often, left there.  Older photo's can be found in shoe boxes, stuffed away in cupboards and under beds, never to see the light of day.  You may even have them stored in albums with a quick line to tell you the date and where it was taken. 

Have you ever looked through an old box of photo's and wondered what the story is behind them? Scrapbooking gets them off your computer, out of those boxes and into your lives, telling that story.

This is a hobby that can fit into any budget.

So what's a crop?

To crop is to cut something down in size. In a scrapbooker case we are usually cropping photo's and papers, so that's what we call a scrapbook gathering - a crop.   Admit it, you can see the logic in that can't you?!

Scrap 'n' Chat is a monthly gathering of like minded people interested in scrapbooking and other paper craft hobbies.  If you make cards, artist trading cards, inchies, twinchies or art journals you are very welcome to join us.  It's a chance to get away from everything and spend a few hours induldging yourself.  

Oh - and if you don't know what an artist trading card, inchie or twinchie is, we'll be doing workshops on them in the future.

If you'd like to join us, please contact Kate (number is over on the right hand side)

What do I need?

Enthusiasm and a lack of fear!  Besides that a selection from a bewildering array of scrapbook papers and embellishments, photo's and a scrapbook album to keep your "layouts" stored safely in. 

Every scrapbooker needs a basic tool kit, and it should contain the following:

Paper trimmer - big enough to cut paper 12x12 inches
Cutting mat - self healing is best
Craft knife
Adhesive - double sided tape is fine you don't need anything fancy if you are starting out.
A black pen - for writing your journaling
A white pen
Foam pads - to help add dimension to your pages.

More about adhesives:
Wet glue and scrapbooks don't go well together, so we use dry glue when constructing our pages. 

Dry glue comes in the form of double sided tape, tape runners, glue dots, micro dots and tape runners.  You can buy repositional and permanent tape runners. 

To add dimension to your pages you may want to use foam pads which are adhesive on both sides.  You can get good sized packs for 99p at the Range.

Not enough tools for you?

In addition to your basic tool kit, you may find this little lot useful as well.

Paper punches:  these can be single punches to cut out a design or shape, or border punches.
Hole punches:  look for a crop-a-dile rather than an office hole punch as you may only want to punch one hole.
Stamps: rubber or clear acrylic
Ink pads: essential if you have stamps, but buying small chalk ink pads are great to use to add definition on your pages by using them driectly on the paper.
Acrylic paints
Heat tool
Embossing powders 

Tell me about scrapbook papers and cardstock.

Scrapbook papers and cardstock are acid and liginin free to help preserve your photographs.   Most paper are 12x12 inches in size as this is the standard scrapbook format.  You can also get papers in 8x8 and 6x6. Cardstock can also be found in 8.5 x 11 inches.

There are two main brnads for cardstock Bazzill, which is the most commonly found and popular, and American Crafts.  There us very little difference in the weight or quality of the cardstock.  Bazzill do have a wider range of colours and do various different textures, where as the pallet is  more limited with American Crafts.  Swatch books can be purchased for both brands to help with colour matching.

Does size matter?

Most scrapbook paper is sold 12 x 12 inches, but you can also get it 8x8 inches and 6x6 inches. This does not mean that you have to start with a page that is 12x12.  It can feel like a huge space to fill when you're starting out.  

Look around for 8x8 albums to store your layouts in (Layout is a finished page) if you're starting out.  It may be a less daunting size. Or if you don't have the money to buy a scrapbook album, then get yourself a normal office binder and some A4 pockets to go in it and make your pages A4 in size.  You can trim your papers and cardstock to size.

Most layouts you will see in magazines will be 12x12.

Then we have a world of mini books. Mini books can be any size you want, and for that matter any shape. You can buy blank books to cover and use, or you can make them from scratch, making covers from the backs of used up note pads and book rings.   

So, what next?

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, especially if you've already been seduced by lots of patterned papers, why not come and join our crop.  You'll be surrounded by other people with a love of scrapbooking.  If you'd rather not buy anything just yet, keep an eye out for upcoming classes on the blog.  If you join in one of out classes you get a kit with everything you need to create your layout  - you just need to bring a basic tool kit with you. You'll get lots of inspiration and tips to bring your scrapbooks to life.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact Kate or Vicki and we will help where we can.