Scrapbooking is the storytelling of beloved memories and important stages in your life; an expression of self through image, color, texture, and captured moments. There really is no wrong way to do it because it is an expression of your own memories. Yet, there are ways that you can make your scrapbook look even more beautiful, and a lot of it is getting outside of the craft store and engaging with the world around you!
Pressed Flowers & Leaves
What better way to set a backdrop to the story of your life than to preserve the environment it’s happening in. Organic materials bring a soft, earthy effect that can’t be achieved with other materials, and can easily make an interesting and enjoyable element of the forefront, or quietly add visual interest in the background. Take small clippings from your garden or the parks nearby, gather leaves from meaningful places, preserve bits of floral bouquets from special occasions, or gather beach pebbles on your next vacation. There are so many natural elements that you can find just outside your door.
Don’t be afraid to cut your photos! Especially now in the digital age when most of our photos are easily replaced. Cut out corners that don’t bring anything to your storytelling, and consider what your photo is saying. You may not notice the ‘noise’ in the background, but less familiar eyes will easily become distracted. You want the subject of the photo at the forefront, and you can be creative in how you do so. Circles and ovals easily add a dramatic touch, and their organic shape can bring flow and balance to the page.
Has your creativity ever been inspired while reading a children’s book? They are full of bright colors, textures, and contrast, which appeal to our interests. Flip through a children’s book, and you’re bound to find moments of inspiration and ideas. You can cut out the illustrations to include in your scrapbook, to help convey the meaning and feeling behind the photographs and words you include.
Tokens from Your Travels
There is something so fun about thinking back on your travels, whether it’s in recounting your adventures or looking back at photos that captured wondrous moments. Travel provides so many opportunities to learn about oneself, as well as experience the world in new lights. Save tokens and mementos to use in your scrapbook so that you can commemorate these experiences. They can be the most unassuming items, such as the sugar packets at the hotel coffee shop, the travel guide from the local tourism stand, plane tickets, or travel itineraries. It’s a great way to recreate the experience!
There is such an air of mystery to old photos – they ignite the imagination, and become a story told by our own internal monologue. Including them in your scrapbook allows you to create a narrative through the words, colors, and materials that you choose. They can be old family photos or prints that help tell the story you’re narrating. The obvious choice is to frame them in the middle of the page, and this is very beautiful. However, you can also find other ways of incorporating old prints; use them as wallpaper or as a mock reflection of another image.
Only one person has your handwriting – it’s you! Whether or not you like it, it is a beautiful way to include your stories, thoughts, and ideas in your scrapbook. Write on tags and ribbons, photo prints, and stickers adding words that are meaningful and will help recreate a moment. You can also have loved ones write short stories, words, and phrases so that they can share the experience with you!
Use Blank Space Wisely
You may be tempted to fill every inch of the page with stickers and buttons and paper cut-outs. Of course, blank space can easily make your scrapbook feel unfinished, but it can also be a really strong element of storytelling. The trick is in how you use it. Don’t treat it as space you’ve decided to leave blank; consider it as its own element to the picture, its own entity within the story.
You don’t have to be an art student to create a beautiful scrapbook that tells your story. You can enhance your stories with the way you visually tell them through the materials you use. No matter how you choose to do it, they are a fun and beautiful representation of your story. That means there is no wrong way to do it, and that you’ll have a book of treasures for years to come!