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How To Make A Memory Scrapbook

Old-fashioned Scrapbook

A vintage scrapbook from the late 19th / early 20th century, currently held in the Women's Museum in Dallas, Texas.

A vintage scrapbook from the late 19th / early 20th century, currently held in the Women's Museum in Dallas, Texas.

What Is A Memory Scrapbook?

A memory scrapbook is a great way of preserving details of the important events in your family and recording family history for future generations to enjoy. . Most of us have a ton of photographs lying around in boxes and drawers, waiting to be sorted out. Although it's a great place to keep your pictures, a scrapbook is much more than just a photograph album. Within its pages you can include, letters, tickets, programmes – anything which can fit in the album. Your scrapbook can have as much, or as little, decoration and embellishment as you want. Most scrapbook pages will have some journaling which helps to describe what is on the page and this can be used to record more details of the event or person featured.

Over the years, scrapbooks have become more and more elaborate. The one pictured above is very simple but it gives a great insight into the type of things that the woman who created it felt were worth preserving.

A scrapbook can be made for any occasion, such as a wedding, birthday, trip to the zoo, graduation day, new baby - anything you want to preserve memories of. It can cover a single event or a whole lifetime. It can be about one person, a whole family, your class at school – anything you want.

Scrapbooking Kits To Get You Started

How Do You Do It?

The first thing to do is buy a blank scrapbook. These are usually, but not always, square. 12 x 12 inch is the most common size but 8 x 8 inch and 6 x 6 inch are also available, as are a variety of other sizes. Smaller scrapbooks are great for making up gifts for people as they can be mailed easily.

Blank scrapbooks have clear pockets where you insert the finished pages. Scrap-booking papers in sizes to fit the albums are readily available or 12 x 12 sheets can be cut down for smaller sizes. You should make sure that the paper you buy is acid-free or archival safe so that the paper will not spoil over time. Many of the scrapbook papers which I use are ones which I have designed myself using Adobe Photoshop. If this is not something you can do, there are many great scrapbook papers that can bought online and downloaded. I use these occasionally and print them off on my extra large inkjet printer, using heavyweight acid free paper. The benefit of creating my own designs or buying online papers is that I can create a new scrapbook page whenever the urge strikes, without having to go to the craft store.

Normally a scrapbook page will have one or more photographs along with any other mementos and any of a huge variety of embellishments such as stickers, borders, frames, ribbons, buttons which are available in craft stores, shopping channels and the Internet. A page can be a simple or as elaborate as you like. The only limit is your imagination.

Although there are tons of supplies available, you don’t have to spend a fortune unless you want to. A scrap of fabric, a piece of torn paper, buttons or a dried flower from your garden can be used just as effectively. In fact, items that you find around the house or garden will add a more personal touch.

Before you get started, it's a good idea to gather your materials and tools such as scissors to make sure you have everything you need. There's nothing more frustrating than being halfway through a project and then discovering that you don't have enough foam pads to stick your embellishments onto the page with.

It’s best to play about with the layout of the page before sticking anything down. Once you are happy with the layout, then use glue, double sided sticky tape or foam pads for extra dimension to fix the photo and any embellishments to the scrap-booking paper.


Children make a great subject for scrapbooking. They grow up so fast and are constantly changing. There are lots of great scrapbook papers and embellishments available to fit with the theme of childhood.

The sample scrapbook page here uses one photograph, a couple of toning scrap-booking papers, some borders, a pine cone, button and a note which has been given a distressed finish. A great way to remember a fun walk in the woods on an autumn day

Pets are always up to something. Keep a record of their antics in their own scrapbook or on a page of a family scrapbook. You should choose your photographs carefully so that they tell a particular story. In this case, it is of Poppy as the clean little white terrier who gets messy after a day's digging in the garden.

The page shown is fairly simple. It uses two photos on a doggy style background paper with a couple of tags and stamped pawprints. A simple bow finishes it off.

Family history makes a great subject for a scrapbook. There are a host of vintage style papers and embellishments around to give new life to old family photos. Scrap-booking is a great way to preserve your family history and make a wonderful keepsake to pass on to future generations. Again, try to make a cohesive story out of your photographs. If the scrapbook pages don't convey a tale about an event or family member, you might as well just pop them into a photograph album.

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These photographs of my Victorian ancestors were lying hidden in a shoe box in my mother's attic. They have been cropped to fit into vintage style frames and finished off with toning embellishments.

What Else Can I Scrapbook?

Scrap-booking can be used to keep memories of any event. It doesn't have to be just for family memories. A scrapbook can be made of a church event, a school play or anything you feel is worth remembering in future.

A wedding scrapbook can include everything from the engagement photos, invitations, booking confirmations, dress fitting – the whole kit and caboodle can be included in an album.

An album for a baby can include the ultrasound photo, baby shower photos, labels from first clothes, baby footprints and hand prints, a snip of the baby’s hair.

Keeping a scrapbook can be very rewarding as it allows you to keep precious memories in one place. You'll be able to look back over your scrapbooks in years to come and relive the fun things you've done or remember loved ones who are no longer with you. They make a great gift for family members and a fantastic keepsake to pass on to your children. If you've never tried scrap-booking, have a go. Be warned, though - it's addictive!


viveresperando from A Place Where Nothing Is Real on October 25, 2012:

So love these ideas. Love scrapbooking so yay!

alliemacb (author) from Scotland on June 26, 2012:

Thanks, Rachel. I think giving a scrapbook like that as a present is a really nice idea and black pages would make the colours in the photos really pop.

rachelingram3 from Northern Ireland on June 26, 2012:

For Christmas 2011, I made my long-term boyfriend a scrapbook as a little extra with his presents.

I picked one with black pages so that the colours and photos etc. would stand out. Also, I felt the black made it more masculine.

I really enjoyed making it as I haven't really done much craft or art since I left school. He loved it and I look forward to continuing it as I gave it to him as a work in progress, a metaphor in itself for our relationship!

Your hub is great and I look forward to reading more of them :)

Nare Gevorgyan on April 23, 2012:

Ohh this is so interesting...Reminds me of the old times :) Great job!

Dan Reed on April 21, 2012:

My wife and I have done one scrapbook for "our years" 1-3. It is one of our favorite belongings and look forward to making years 4-6 when years 11-? allow us time to do anything extra! LOL Great hub topic and thanks for sharing.

Ann Leung from San Jose, California on April 19, 2012:

Thank you for sharing these wonderful ideas for scrapbooking. I have bought the materials I need to make two scrapbooks but haven't gotten a chance to do so. You hub will come in handy when I have the time to create my scrapbooks.

alliemacb (author) from Scotland on April 17, 2012:

Thanks, all. I love to keep the memories of my special moments in scrapbooks and hope some of my ideas are of use to others.

Holle Abee from Georgia on April 17, 2012:

I really ned to start a family scrapbook for the grandkids, and you've given me some great ideas. Thanks, and voted up!

David from Idaho on April 16, 2012:

We have been involved with a few different kinds of scrapbooks so I really appreciate what you have put together here. We had a foreign exchange student a few years ago and we got her one to keep pieces of her time here before she returned to Japan. We also got one this year for our son to save his baseball stats that appeared in our local paper. Thanks for showing easy it is to do a scrapbook.

summerberrie on April 15, 2012:

These are beautiful ideas for scrapbooking. I have not scrapbooked since my children were little. You have made me want to start again!

Roxanne Lewis from Washington on April 15, 2012:

I've always been intrigued by the idea of scrapbooking.I am easily overwhelmed in that section of the craft store though. There is so many choices! Your hub has inspired me to pick one occasion and give it a try. :)

Nettlemere from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on April 15, 2012:

This has inspired me to think about making a scrapbook. I've only ever done photo based ones before, but I might try adding different things in having read your suggestions.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on April 15, 2012:

Such great ideas! I know people who are indeed addicted to this hobby, and I don't blame them. They're creating treasures that will last for generations. How I wish someone in my ancestry had been able to do this for my generation.

Excellent hub! Voted up, useful and beautiful!

alliemacb (author) from Scotland on April 15, 2012:

Thanks for the positive comments, Angelo52.

Angelo52 on April 15, 2012:

Excellent article with lots of good information for setting up a scrapbook. Especially liked the examples of different scrapbook types that can be made. up+

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