Many families have shoe boxes full of photos and documents, photo albums full of memories, and junk journals full of ideas. A scrapbook can organise all those scattered memories to create a unified theme, story, or personal reflection. Plus, it makes it easier to go back and find specific memories and share them with loved ones and family members.
However, sometimes it can be difficult to know how to get started with scrapbooking. That’s why Capture’s archival experts put together these 15 ideas for scrapbook themes so you can create beautiful keepsakes.
Keep reading to learn how to get started with DIY scrapbooking including the essential scrapbooking supplies, tips and tricks, and then use our 15 scrapbook ideas to decide on a specific theme for your scrapbook layout.
Helpful Ideas to Get Started on Your Scrapbooking Journey
Getting Started with Scrapbooking
Getting started with anything creative like scrapbooking can be difficult, so we put together a few different things you can do to make the process easier including choosing a theme, gathering supplies, organising materials and workspace, and planning pages.
Choosing a Theme
You can organise your scrapbook any way you like, but a lot of people suggest using a theme. This will keep it organised and make it easier to find specific memories, dedicate pages to specific situations, events, or people, and simply make it easier to get started with scrapbooking.
You can use our 15 scrapbook ideas for beginners below or come up with your own theme. In addition to themes, you can also choose to organise chronologically, by person, or anything else. The sky’s the limit!
Now you can start gathering scrapbooking supplies including your scrapbook journal, photos and polaroids, newspaper clippings, stickers, mementos, stencils, page protectors, washi tape, cardstock, patterned paper, and more.
However, as a pro tip, we recommend starting with only the basic supplies for your scrapbook like the book itself, photos that fit your theme, the most important embellishments, tape, glue, markets, and cardstock. That way, you can save money while getting started and see if you actually need all the other stuff.
While it can be tempting to just get started as soon as you get home from the craft store, we highly suggest organising your materials and work area before doing anything else. Make sure you can sit comfortably and reach all of the necessary supplies. If possible, set aside a specific scrapbook area that offers good natural light. Finally, make sure you keep it organised each time you finish your scrapbooking session. That way, it doesn’t look so stressful to start working on it again!
The easiest way for beginners to learn how to scrapbook is to start the actual step-by-step scrapbook page process by planning the pages. Decide what idea or theme you want for each of the scrapbook album pages and plan them out as a template. Then, it will be easier to get started with a plan in place.
These pages will depend on the scrapbook theme, which you can decide on using our 15 ideas below that can help you figure out how to make a scrapbook that displays your personal memories in the best possible way!
15+ Ideas for Scrapbook Themes
A scrapbook theme is the main idea behind your entire scrapbook. It can be anything from an entire person’s life to a single event, interest, hobby, or year. To decide on a theme, it can be helpful to ask yourself the purpose of the scrapbook, who it’s for, and who it’s about. To help you figure out how to start a scrapbook, here are 15 scrapbook ideas that you can use or adapt to your specific memorabilia.
A travel scrapbook is a great way to organise all your vacations in one place. You can use each page or a couple of pages for a different trip or even create mini albums for each travel experience. For a lot of people, their travels are some of their most precious memories, which is why this theme is quite popular.
You can organise an entire scrapbook based around your family and dedicate each page to a different family member. This is a fun theme with unlimited possibilities and will also keep your family photos and embellishments separate from your individual experiences, friends, and random social media photos.
Baby pictures are wonderfully adorable, so why not keep them altogether? This is a fun way to see the similarities between different babies in your family at different time periods. Try to include photos as well as information about birth weight, birthdays, size, and more to document each baby and preserve the memories.
Having an entire scrapbook dedicated to your wedding is a great way to turn the best day of your life into a priceless keepsake. You can also include your romantic journey leading up to the wedding and the honeymoon after. Or, if you don’t want to only include yourself, include all your loved ones’ weddings in the same book!
Graduation scrapbooks make great gifts and can organise the entire educational career of a single person leading up to that special graduation day. You can include graduation dates, GPAs, college admission letters, and more.
Use a scrapbook to detail the most important aspects of your friendship with another person or use it as an overall theme for your entire group of friends. You can include how you met, what you have in common, and it can even be fun to include stickers explaining the things they do that make you mad!
For sports lovers, this can be a great theme that details fandom and includes athletic feats. You can use a page for each of your favourite sports teams and use other scrapbook paper for photos, journals, and other aspects of your own athletic journey.
Hobbies or a single hobby can both be themes for your next scrapbook. Whether you like gardening, playing guitar, writing, singing, puzzles, magnets, or anything else, hobby scrapbooks can be super fun just for the simple fact that they revolve around other things that you are interested in.
Do you love a certain season over all others? Create a scrapbook based on why you love it! In addition, you can create different scrapbooks for each season and include all the events, birthdays, thoughts, and feelings about each season.
Having a scrapbook that details all of your pets can be a great way to memorialise them forever. Plus, there are tons of great dog, cat, mouse, hamster, bird, turtle, and other animal stickers and cutouts that can be exciting to use. You can even make it an adventure trying to find pre-made embellishments that look identical to your pet.
School is a huge part of our lives, and you can use a scrapbook to outline your entire educational career or just to cover a specific elementary school, middle school, high school, or college. It can detail school friends, favourite classes, funny occurrences, and more.
Since home is where the heart is, it makes perfect sense as a scrapbook theme. Try to incorporate all your favourite things about home and evoke the feelings, thoughts, and emotions that occur when you think about your home. This is a great starting point for beginners because many other themes can branch off of it.
For music lovers, a music scrapbook makes perfect sense. You can cover everything from particular instruments to bands, concerts, genres, songs, and more. This can make a very creative and unique scrapbook that focuses on your specific musical tastes.
While many of these scrapbook ideas are based around your life and the people and events around you, another scrapbook theme that’s a little different is “nature.” By scrapbooking on the natural world you can also highlight your interaction with it including camping trips, nature-based hobbies, and more. You can even use eco-friendly scrapbook materials that could add a sustainable element.
Whether individual holidays or holidays in general, this is a fun scrapbook theme if some of your favourite memories revolve around holiday gatherings, meals, loved ones, gifts, and purposes. This is also a type of scrapbook that can pass down holiday traditions to the next generation of your family.
Essential Supplies for Scrapbooking
As mentioned before, starting with basic supplies is a good idea, but what those essential scrapbooking supplies are depends on your goals, theme, and ideas. However, you can start with the scrapbook album, photos, important documents, scissors, and double-sided tape because those are literally the most important things you need to get started.
In addition to that, you need patterned papers, cardstock, stickers, and other embellishments that match your chosen colour scheme. Some of the cheapest ways to spruce up the writing on the page include using font stencils, die-cuts, cut-outs, and paper crafts. You can use these as well as a paper trimmer to improve layering and make your scrapbook pages stand out.
In addition to these items, you don’t really need anything else. However, craft stores sell a wide assortment of other embellishments like buttons, thread, twine, rhinestones, washi tape, photo frames, and so much more that you can use to spruce up your scrapbook page layout but remember that these things can wait until later if they don’t fit within your current budget.
Digitising and Printing Old Photos
Before using your photos for scrapbook making, you must digitise them. Your scrapbook project will involve glueing, colouring, cutting, and altering your photos, but digitising them will preserve them in their original form forever.
In addition, you can print digital images or even learn how to make a digital scrapbook using an online full-video tutorial. Once you have digitised your photos, you can print them to use for your scrapbook while still keeping the original copies in pristine condition.
You can buy a photo scanner or flatbed scanner machine to digitise photos yourself and get decent results, but it can be very time consuming because you’ll have to scan every photo separately.
Alternatively, you can choose Capture to digitise your photo albums, which is affordable and takes less than 30 days. Plus, we’ll ensure the highest possible quality and can even use our patented touchless photo album scanning to digitise photos from your albums without anyone ever having to touch or remove them.
Tips and Tricks for Scrapbooking
To help you on your scrapbooking journey, we wanted to provide some tips for DIY scrapbooking beginners. That way, you can learn how to start a scrapbook without stressing too much.
1. Set a Colour Scheme
By setting up a colour scheme that includes 1 or 2 primary colours and a few secondary colours, you can keep the entire scrapbook unified toward your theme. That doesn’t mean you can’t use other colours, but when you do, try to use contrasting colours to make aspects of each page stick out.
2. Add Texture
A scrapbook shouldn’t be 2D, so add texture with different materials like washi tape, felt, buttons, 3D stickers, and by layering card stock, scrapbook paper, and mementos. You can even have foldout sections that include more photos, newspaper clippings, and documents.
3. Incorporate Journaling
Try using journal entries to reminiscence, add your thoughts, and amplify the emotional connections with the topics of your scrapbook album. This adds a memorable element to your book that future generations will adore as a keepsake.
4. Choosing the Right Adhesive
There are tons of adhesives that can work with your scrapbook, but you want to consider that you are working with old potoroids and photographs that can be damaged by certain glues. Try to use acid-free adhesives whenever possible and dry or low tack adhesives like double-sided tape work best.
5. Leave Extra Space
Depending on your theme, your scrapbook is destined to grow, so make sure you leave room for additional photos, pages, expansions, memorabilia, and more. That may mean leaving room on some of the pages or leaving extra pages at the back of the scrapbook depending on how you’re organising the page layout.
6. Final Thoughts
Now that you have 15 scrapbook ideas and themes to get you started as well as tons of tips and tutorials that teach you how to scrapbook, you’re ready to get started. Settle on a theme, buy the basic supplies, set up your area, decide on the page themes, and then get started, but remember to preserve your photos as digital copies first.
By digitising photos, you make it easier to share them on social media, preserve them for future generations, and organise them as a digital scrapbook or photo album. Click here to learn more about photo scanning with Capture!
*This article is brought to you by Capture HK.
Capture HK is the premier analogue media digitisation company in Hong Kong.
Capture HK's business covers photographs, photo album, slide digitisation, videotapes digitisation, including VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS-C Hi-8, Video8, Digital8, DV, DVCAM, MiniDV, DVC and digital media digitisation, including Secure Digital (SD), Smart Media (SM), MultiMediaCard (MMC) Compact Flash (CF), xD-Picture Card, Memory Stick, USB Drive, CDROM, DVD.
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