I am not a scrapbooker. Although, I must admit, I alway did love those little, detailed stickers and decal packs that had nurses’ scrubs and hamburgers in them, and I’ve always had an abundance of patterned paper tucked under my bed. But those scrapbooks with the photo corners and inspirational-phrase stickers always seemed too tacky to me.
However, last year, I decided I wanted to document my home and compile the photos into an album. After moving to my first adult home and watching my parents’ house change over the last few years, I realized how important it is to preserve the memory of how and where I live. I also noticed that the pictures I take often revolve around people, special events, and vacation spots. (And even that seems to be dwindling lately – my iPhone photos mostly consist of food and outfits I’m proud of.) Yet, I hardly have any photos of the place I spend most of my time. I decided I wanted to create a simple and small photo album documenting that place. Because I wanted to keep things simple, I chose a Project Life album and picked out a few cute stickers and gold, glittery letters.
Here are some things I learned from my first foray into scrapbooking:
1. Take good photos. I guess that’s pretty obviously, but it’s really important. I used my sister’s nice DSLR and was very selective when choosing which photos I wanted to print. Along with this point, take unexpected photos. I decided I wanted all of mine – for the most part – to be people free. So how many shots can you take of your living room? A lot, it turns out. I shot some wide-angle photos and then got in close to capture the details in each room. I took pictures of the inside of my bookcases and the perfumes on my vanity. With each spot, I varied the angles and played with the perspective.
2. Try adding embellishments directly to the photos. I applied glitter glue to some photos and wrote personal notes on others. This is particularly effective if you want to avoid that clunky, traditional scrapbook look.
3. Don’t be afraid to cut your photos in half. I bought an assortment of Project Life photo pages that accommodated a combination of 4×6 and 2×3 photos. In some cases, I wanted to put a 4×6 photo where there were two 2×3 spaces. So I just sliced the picture in half and put the pieces side by side. These actually ended up being some of my favorite pages. That being said, you should really plan ahead and think about the sizes and orientation of your photo pages before you do any printing.
If you want some more scrapbooking inspiration, check out these projects on A Beautiful Mess. I know I want to keep making these little albums, hopefully turning it into a tradition for each home I call my own.