Scrapbooking Help

by Kelsey Norwood

in Crafts,Reviews

I started scrapbooking when I was in high school. My grandma got into it and so I would go over to her house across the street after school and scrapbook with her. I started out loving scrapbooking because it was something my grandma and I did together. I still love it, but sometimes I get discouraged when I go to craft stores or see scrapbooking magazines because my pages never look as busy and creative and fun as their sample pages. I’ve finally realized that there is no right way to scrapbook. Everyone has their own style.

My style of scrapbooking is simple, and it always has been. I don’t have the motivation or time to learn how to use all the little odds and ends that the scrapbooking stores are full of. I can’t even go into those aisles because I nearly have a heart attack from stress.

scrapbooking tools creative memories decorative trimmer

Because I am a busy woman with many hobbies besides scrapbooking, I basically do pictures, journaling, and one or two little paper embellishments. The point of all this personal scrapbooking history is that I found a cropping tool that helps me in my style of scrapbooking that I absolutely love – a Decorative Trimmer by Creative Memories.

As you can see in my two pages below, I really do stay simple, but I want the page to look balanced and completed. My decorative trimmer helps me accomplish my objective to create a simple but finished looking page.

On of my favorite things to do with the decorative trimmer is to create a border around the whole page. I also use it to put borders on only one side of the page, around pictures, or to actually crop the pictures.

scrapbooking page example

scrapbooking page example

Creative Memories is a great source for simple scrapbooking tools – I love their custom cutting system that helps you do perfect circle, oval, wavy, or gemstone shapes.  That kind of tool is great for me because most of my pages end up looking really squarish.  I also  LOVE scrapbooking/craft organizers, and Creative Memories has some good ones.

I have recently gotten into cardmaking, which I enjoy more than scrapbooking because a card is a one time project that is over when you’re finished. Scrapbooking never ends! I can’t wait to use my decorative trimmer to add some quick and easy decoration to my cards.

If you’re a simple scrapbooker like me, with not a lot of time or energy to put into each individual page, I really recommend the decorative trimmer.

I also recommend being very systematic about completing pages. I start with a stack of pictures, put all the pictures onto pages, journal for each page, then add the finishing touches. For me, scrapbooking this way is much more efficient – I can get into a groove and get much more done than if I worked on finishing one whole page before starting on another one.

I would love to hear about your favorite scrapbooking supplies and also some scrapbooking hints and tips, so please share by making a comment! I’ll include my favorite tips/hints/products in another post and link to each commenter’s blog. THANKS!


1 Virginia August 5, 2008 at 5:55 am

Another fun & easy way (that gives quick satisfaction) is to use a two-up album. (A two-up album are the regular photo albums that have two slots for 4×6 photos per page). You can choose to not add a photo for every slot, and instead, add a 4×6 journaling card or embellishment “page”. This is great for themed albums like Christmas or birthdays.

Here’s some examples (these are not mine, just links to other’s ideas!):

2 Marne August 5, 2008 at 6:26 am

SImple is good! I like to be simple too. I LOVE the magazine Simple Scrapbooks. They are good at giving tips and ideas to keep scrapbooking and memory keeping simple. Stacy Julian, the founder of the magazine, has a fantastic philosophy on scrapbooking that I have adopted. There is no way you can ever be ‘caught up’ with your pictures. She has a great organization system that takes the guilt out of scrapbooking. Instead of doing it chronologically (that fules guilt) you do it by category. For example….her binders are labeled The Things We Do, Places We Go, People We Love, etc. She also have binders for each of her children, holidays, etc. I love scrapbooking this way because I don’t feel guilty about what I haven’t done. She has two books that explain a lot about it.

I highly recommend her first book, The Big Picture. FANTASTIC resource! It makes you reflect on life in general and want to live better. Scrapbooking is not just about events, but wanting to remember everyday life! Wouldn’t it be cool to know about great-grandma….how much laundry she did, what they ate for breakfast, if her kids were as naughty as mine….etc. Since I have changed my approach to scrapbooking I enjoy it MUCH more. I still scrapbook ‘the events’, but I just don’t get hung up on them.

Stacy’s newest book, Photo Freedom, explains her system in full. I LOVE IT!

I am also getting into digi scrapping, which is FUN FUN! I have lots of freebies listed on my blog. Also TONS of free sketches for paper scrapping. Sketches are one thing I don’t scrap without. They get me going so I don’t waste any time.

Sorry for the novel!

3 Mindy August 5, 2008 at 8:59 pm

I think the most important thing in scrapbooking is to tell the “story”. Adding the details and events, dates, the feelings, etc. I can barely remember what happened 5 minutes ago so thinking back years seems like it will be impossible. Scrapbooking doesn’t have to be elaborate and I think everyone has there own style and to me it is something that evolves. The pages I made during my triplets’ first year are a completely different style than the scrapbook pages I make now but I like both. I think the important part is that you’re making the photographs meaniful by adding the story.
I’m fairly new to your blog and I am enjoying it!

4 Amy Jo Trager August 6, 2008 at 7:26 pm

Hi! I have that tool, but I never use it! (I can’t view the 2 example pages you have on the post, but I’d love some inspiration) I was a CM consultant for a couple years, and got some great products, but I too, have simplied A LOT over the years. I can’t even really stand stickers anymore. Too much thought and time wasted on them! I also place the photos first on all the pages, sometimes pulling out paper that coordinates that I may or may not use later. Journaling is my favorite part, and I randomly write memories or funny things on scraps of paper and keep them with my stack of photos until I”m ready to use them. I’m actually buckling down to work on my baby’s first year album right now, so good timing with this post!

5 scrap_hag (Casey Toney) August 26, 2008 at 4:06 am

all great suggestions and ideas. I do think we tend to assume we can remember things in finite detail many years later when we get around to scrapping. My girls are in college and I don’t have their bookd done. Now I find myself slipping some photos into a sleeve with the notes and a few of the momentos to keep it all together until I DO finish up……the notes (very brief) to jog Moms memory)

6 Robyn August 27, 2008 at 1:51 pm

I have heard that this is a must have from a friend of mine. It looks great! I am also a simple scrapbker-don’t like or have the time to spend on one pic and one page that takes me a week to do. YOu’re tips are great! Keep ’em coming!

7 Amy :) August 27, 2008 at 2:10 pm

I think the pages you shared are great – I scrap in much the same way. I stopped reading certain magazines when all the layouts became one picture with 10 fussy embellishments around them.

8 Jennifer Butler August 28, 2008 at 6:15 am

I am in complete agreement with you. I love all the CM cutting tools. I have been using them since 2000 and it’s the only system I use. I love CM.

9 Kim R. August 28, 2008 at 6:55 am

The CM cutting tools was one of my first investments into scrapbooking and I still use it today. Personally I don’t think any other cutting tool can compare. I also have the wavey cutter – I really haven’t used it to much – think I will have to take a second look at it. Thanks for the inspiration.

10 Elizabeth M. August 28, 2008 at 12:43 pm

I have this CM cutter and I find that I go to it a lot for background paper cutting. I love it!

11 Amy August 29, 2008 at 3:10 pm

That looks like a great thing to have! Simple is the way to go!

My favorite thing lately has been the journaling stamps… I think it’s important to jouranl about the meaning of the page, even if it’s just something simple- but the stamps make it have a special place and sets it apart, and they’re really cute!

12 Sue D August 31, 2008 at 1:38 pm

I enjoyed reading all the other comments for ideas. My kids are all grown and my photos are a mess! I have scrapbooked a few pages but the job is overwhelming. I am already a card maker so I have plenty of supplies. I’m not sure I have a favorite scrapbooking supply but everyone needs a good pair of detail scissors and I like my Cutterbee scissors.

13 Baba July 7, 2009 at 9:54 am

That trimmer is really neat. I don’t have any trimmers yet. I love using ink to age my pages though. I like the vintage look it gives.

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