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What is Scrapbooking? One Option for Archiving Your Family Memories - My Story

Updated on October 29, 2011
Neat Old Camera and Photographer
Neat Old Camera and Photographer | Source
Save your memories!
Save your memories! | Source

What is Scrapbooking? How I Got Started

Scrapbooking is a hobby or craft that has taken the nation and many parts of the world by storm, for the last couple of decades at least. I am not an overly crafty person by nature, so I didn't think I was really interested. Basically, instead of leaving one's family photos in a shoebox, drawer, bag, or in the old magnetic types of albums, you craft them into an album using acid and lignin free materials. The reason you want to use acid and lignin free materials is so that the photos and documents don't turn yellow and age over time any faster than they have to. An old newspaper that has gotten wet and left in the sun too long, is an example of paper that is aging quickly and deteriorating. Over time, this is what will happen to our precious family photos and documents if we don't stop the process or prevent it in the first place.

Being a busy lady, I didn't know about having time for such a thing, though I DID love the idea of preserving the precious photos from times gone by. If we look back at our parents own photos, we can see the process going on already very often. The governments records dating far back into history are already being preserved as much as possible to minimize or slow the aging process. Now people are doing that for themselves, and some maybe already have been for a long time. Still, to a lot of people a couple decades ago it was rather new.

To be clear, I am referring to this newer acid free, archival quality scrapbooking. I know of and have seen many neat really antique even, scrapbooks that are beautiful! My grandmother and others put cards and photos into albums or baby books. So that has been around for a long time. I am referring to the newer trend where women get together regularly like the older quilting bees almost, to scrapbook and use acid free supplies. By NO means is this just something for women to do. Many men do it as well, and they do it while watching TV or something, while multitasking.

So How Did I Get introduced to Scrapbooking?

How I got involved in scrapbooking, is probably a story similar to many other people that got involved. I had been invited by a good friend to come to a scrapbooking "party", and it was being put on by a Creative Memories consultant. My friend was not a consultant, but wanted to share what she was getting into with others. I was very unsure of such an idea, especially since it seemed kind of expensive to me. Not only did the supplies cost a little more than your average photo storage supplies, but the event itself had a small fee. No mind, I was game and wanted to see what it was all about. This is when I was still living in California and my oldest was a couple years old. I was told to be 5-7 photos, and the fee and come and see what it was about!

I was really unsure, but was given a scrapbook page, some stickers to go with my photos, access to their ink pens, and card stock die cuts. We had access to templates too, to crop our photos and all their other supplies. Not being crafty, I was very skeptical. I did it though, and I absolutely loved the final product. I took it home and showed my family and they thought it was so cool.

In short, it was a few photos of my son's birthday party. It looked wonderful, and they encourage you to journal a bit too on each page, to document what is going on. They told me something I may not have believed at the time, but which is so true! That is, that you may THINK you will never forget the finer details of an event, or how you felt at that time, but you likely will. SO recording this for future use is of extreme importance. I can tell you that almost 15 years later, its so true. I couldn't have or wouldn't have remembered all the little details. Even dates and exact names of all the locations can sometimes escape me!

Taking the Plunge - I started Scrapbooking

I decided to jump in, and now you can easily find scrapbooking supplies everywhere from Michaels, to Target, to Wal Mart and specialty scrapbooking stores like Archivers and many more. I still love Creative Memories as a company. They have come very far, and include many digital options even now. I love to look back at what I have created, and know I will have these photos as long as possible and can pass them on to my family for enjoyment long after I am gone.

If you are unsure, give scrapbooking a try! My biggest tips are that no matter what you choose, go archival quality in your supplies. Pick everything that is only acid and lignin free, and this includes the albums, adhesives, and writing instruments and stickers, etc. This will ensure no acid migration over time which can hurt your precious memories. I am thankful to my friends that shared the opportunity with me, and the help I have received along the way from others. Its really fun and rewarding and you can do it very simply.


Do you Scrapbook, or have another method of photo storage?

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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Lynn, that is so awesome that you can create art in scrapbooking. I hear you too... Thank you for your comment and visit. :)

      LadyLyell, Its great to meet fellow scrapbookers on here! I agree, no matter how you do it, its very worthwhile. I don't regret even one page that I have ever made. I can see regretting not doing more however.

    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 6 years ago from George, South Africa

      I have made up several scrapbooks and also wrote a hubpage on the hobby. I enjoy making the clothes worn by my children in photos in miniature size, then attach them to the pages.

      Which ever form of scrapbooking one takes it is all worthwhile and good fun.

      Thanks for the article!

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 6 years ago

      I love scrapbooking and got into quite by accident. I have a great time with this hobby as I am not artistic but in this I can create art. Great hub.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      GalleryofGrace, I wanted to add that what you described, also happened to me once. I found this neat smaller scrapbook album, of a bunch of people from long ago on some kind of trip, maybe a Summer vacation. Its heartbreaking that these aren't with their rightful family, and I can't throw them away. My hope is to give a try at reuniting these photos with the family or friends maybe through some online sites or passing along. Its a nice thought anyway, I know my family would appreciate that.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Jfay, thanks for your comment. I am sure they will always have those memories with you, that is very special. I have to make time for it now or else I would never do it. Glad you stopped by. :)

      Virginia, The digital scrapbooking is something I haven't tried, so that is why I didn't talk about it much. The company I am familiar with is Creative Memories, and they did a lot with digital so I know its out there. I also like the idea of reproducing it easily. If anything ever happened, it wouldn't be so devastating. The Victorian Studies sound interesting, as do the smaller books. I tend to stick with 8x10 and mostly 12x12 though. Thanks for your comment!

      Galleryofgrace, that is so awesome! I think there are still some online sites where people are trying to find their long lost relatives in photos, and people can scan treasures like you have there, and share with the public. Someone would be so happy! Whatever you do, don't toss them, people pay good money for old photos sometimes too. Just a thought! Thanks for your visit. :)

    • galleryofgrace profile image

      galleryofgrace 6 years ago from Virginia

      I haven't done scrap booking but I recently acquired an old scrapbook album full of old photos. They were in an auction box so have no idea who they are. The 20's30's and 40's photos are great to just look at. Most of the pages were cut from brown paper grocery bags with the photos glued down. I have another old one with pics of mountain climbers and different mountains. Keep hoping I'll recognize somebody famous.

      Enjoyed your article. Thanks

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 6 years ago from United States

      One alternative you didn't mention is digital scrapbooking. I have tons of different sorts of scrapbooks and am attracted to this because I've also done Victorian studies--as well as having looks of scrapbooking friends. I do still scrapbook special mini books but don't really do the 12x12 paper albums anymore. I love digital because it is reproduceable.

    • jfay2011 profile image

      jfay2011 6 years ago

      I used to scrapbook when my son was younger. It used to be a fun thing for us to do together.