scrapbook pages

How to Scrapbook – Scrapbooking For Beginners

This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn a small commission from purchases made through them, at no additional cost to you.

Is creating a photo album via a computer or mobile app not individual enough for you?  And a classic photo album just too boring? Then you should try scrapbooking. This creative hobby puts your photos in a cool setting, and it allows you to tell your own personal story and capture it forever.



What is a Scrapbook?

Scrapbooking is a process that has practiced for many years. However, it has only recently become a real do-it-yourself hype.

The origin of scrapbooking probably lies in the USA. Early on, Mormon women made memory books for the family. They contained photos, texts, and personal decorations that are very similar to today’s scrapbooks. In the middle of the 20th century, people liked to create books with compilations of text excerpts and pictures of prominent personalities. These are also regarded as the forerunners of today’s scrapbooks.

Modern scrapbooking is basically a photo album reduced to the most expressive photos. It is decorated with various decorations and personal elements and thus becomes a very special memento. Whether the selected photos tell a story in their entirety, represent individual episodes, or simply fit together thematically is entirely up to the scrapbooker.

what is a scrapbook

Besides the photos, the decorations are another main feature of scrapbooking. The individual scrapbook pages are embellished with various handicraft designs, inscriptions and personal memorabilia such as tickets, postcards, and bills. In other words, simply everything that makes the memory come alive. There are no limits to the imagination.



Scrapbook Materials

Although scrapbooking does not follow any fixed rules, you will need a lot of scrapbook material to create a scrapbook.



The most important things are your personal photos, around which your scrapbook pages will be built in the end. You can print the photos in various formats and styles. For scrapbooks, for example, photos in retro design like photo strips or in Polaroid-style are suitable. Square photos also make a nice accent.

Of course, you can also use really old photos, if you have some available. Even old photo calendars can be processed well before they end up in the trash.


Personal Memorabilia

Next, you should choose memorabilia that match the theme of your scrapbook. Besides plane and train tickets, postcards, and bills, newspaper clippings, letters, notes, or (children’s) drawings are also very useful.

Also, small souvenirs and inconspicuous souvenirs such as sugar sachets from your favorite restaurant, spice sachets, chocolate paper, fabric scraps, sushi sticks, napkins, or used stamps will individualize your scrapbook.

Anything that makes the memory come alive should be preserved. Don’t worry if you don’t have everything ready at once. Even things that you will get your hands on later and that you would like to have in your scrapbook can be glued on afterward.


Scrapbooking Sets

In addition to the personal design elements, you will need some crafting tools and decoration elements to make the scrapbook look really great.

There are a lot of possible decorations, and they should match the theme of your scrapbook. To get started with the scrapbook, we recommend a scrapbook kit. These scrapbook boxes contain the most important materials sorted by theme.

Scrapbook decoration sets give you a good overview of available decoration options and you can try out which design elements you like best.

After you have come to grips with scrapbooking, you can easily expand these boxes according to your individual needs.


Scrapbooking Paper

Depending on whether you bind your scrapbook all by yourself, or work with a finished scrapbook album, you will need different types of paper.

If you only want to design the pages of an album according to your wishes, you can use handicraft papers with different patterns and structures matching your themes. Meanwhile, there are very nice scrapbooking pads available that offer a well-coordinated selection of colors, patterns, and structures.

If you want to bind a scrapbook yourself, you need a base paper for the book pages that is stable enough to carry the scrapbook art. A thickness of at least 135g/m² is recommended

scrapbook materials


Scrapbooking Album or Folder

If you want to concentrate on the design of the pages, you can use a normal blank photo album as a basis for your scrapbook. In this album, you stick your printed photos and decorate the pages according to your personal taste.  You can also design the transparent intermediate pages, which gives appealing effects.

A very convenient and quick solution is the digitally printed photo album. You can design it on your computer with your favorite photos and have them printed. It then comes to you ready bound. Now you only have to decorate the individual photo pages with scrap art.

You can achieve a little more individuality with a ring binder in which you can insert scrapbook paper of your own taste. This offers the possibility to glue on even bigger objects. Another advantage is the expandability of the number of pages.

For ambitious scrapbook artists, it is possible to bind the album yourself. For this, you need a very strong paper. The book can be bound in different ways. Either with a loop, washi tape, or by means of rings. Rings allow you to fill the pages with bigger elements later. A loop binding looks very romantic and the binding with washi tape looks very original.




Scrapbooking Accessories

Besides the personal materials, the album, and the colorful scrapbooking papers, you should have some additional materials at hand. If you are wondering how to make a scrapbook, preparing yourself with these accessories is a good start.



In addition to normal scissors, you can also use the so-called pinking shears, which cut lines, serrations, or waves. Having special crafting scissors can add loads to your scrapbooking process.



Make sure that it is acid-free, otherwise, you risk damaging your photos! The best way to work in scrapbooking is with a glue roller.


Hot Glue Gun

This is not absolutely necessary as many of the decorations are self-adhesive, but it is very helpful for some personal design elements and heavier decorations.


Hole Punches

Punches are available with many diverse patterns, as border punches and corner punches.



These are available in different designs from simple stickers to 3D models, glitter, and transparent stickers. Some sticker options include:

  • Self-adhesive punched parts
  • Self-adhesive letters
  • Cards with sayings and designs
  • Stamps
  • Pennant chains
  • Roller marker pens in different colors


Natural Materials and Found Objects

Pressed flowers, leaves, flat shells, and all kinds of other found objects can also be used to give your scrapbook more flair. Some great objects include:

  • Buttons, bows, and ribbons
  • Lace paper and borders
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Pressed flowers and leaves
  • Old maps
  • Old pages


Of course you don’t need all of these things, we just want to give you a little creative suggestion on what can be useful for a scrapbook. On the other hand, this list is not complete, because beyond our suggestions you will find many more things that you can put into your scrapbook.



How to Make a Scrapbook

As already mentioned, there are no fixed rules and no fixed time limits for scrapbooking. A project can be completed within a few hours or take several weeks until the artist is satisfied with the result.

The time required and the procedure are of course also dependent on the chosen level of difficulty. If you use a digitally printed photo album, which only needs to be decorated, you will surely be finished faster than if you use a handbound scrapbook copy.

Regardless of this, there is a definite sequence of work steps that should be followed:


Choose a Scrapbook or Make it Yourself

The basis of any scrapbook is the album. If you start with a hardcover album, choose a suitable design. Pay attention to the color of the inlay sheets and the cover. It should match your desired scrapbook style.


Scrapbook Binding

If you want to bind your scrapbook yourself, get the appropriate scrapbook base paper in the desired color, pattern, and structure and bind it to your personal book.


Ring or Loop Weave

The size of the base paper also determines the size of your scrapbook. Your book will be half the size of a sheet of scrapbook paper.

The base paper is folded in the middle. Then you can punch holes in the closed folding edge. Make sure that the holes on all sides match exactly.

Now place the punched pages on top of each other. The book cover is made of sturdy grey cardboard, which you can glue with pattern paper or design in some way.

Now you can put the bookbinding rings through the holes. Alternatively, you can also use ribbon.

how to make a scrapbook


Binding With Washi Tape

Also with this binding, the cover should be made of glued grey cardboard to give the book stability.

The individual double pages are joined together to form a whole in which one double-page is always taped with washi tape on the closed edge. This is done so that half the width of the tape remains free, and the next double page is carefully stuck onto this free page. Proceed in this way until all the inside pages are joined together.

In the end, you put the cover around the stack of inner pages and connect the inner one in front of the folded edge with the edge of the first page. Proceed in the same way on the back of the cover. You can then close your self-bound book with a button and elastic band.


Prepare Photos

First of all, you should select the photos required for the scrapbook and have them printed out. Be creative in your choice of image formats and make sure that they match your scrapbook style or story.

For example, photos with a retro design in a scrapbook with the theme memories look great.  Formats such as photo strips, square shapes, Polaroid-style pictures, or vending machine photos emphasize the character of the scrapbook in a special way and support the desired individual presentation.

scrapbooking for beginners


Binding of Souvenirs

The next step is to collect all the souvenirs and memorabilia that you want to place in the scrapbook.



Once you have your personal items together, it’s best to sort them as you want them to appear in your scrapbook story. Put together the photos and souvenirs that you want to be displayed on a scrapbook page.



Those who do not want to rely completely on intuition can now sketch the individual pages with a pencil. Especially for beginners, sketching makes it easier to keep the overview and to divide a page visually.


Select Decorations

Now choose the embellishment (ornaments and decorations) from your pool that fits the theme. Maybe you can already assign them to the individual pages or you can give free rein to your creativity and use the decorations impulsively.



Once you have everything together and sorted, you can finally start pasting.

It is best to start with a photo on each page. You can stick them on with washi tape or picture corners. Around it, you can design the page with your personal souvenirs and other decorative elements of your choice. Let your creativity run free! Do not be afraid to try things out. There is no right or wrong. Your emotions have to be kept on the page, that’s the point. With colored pencils, calligraphy pencils, or paint you can write text and pictures on the page.


Your scrapbook page doesn’t have to be perfect and ready at once, if you think of something later that needs to be glued on top of it, you can simply add to it… this is how the scrapbook comes to life.

how to scrapbook



When the pages are finished, you can start to decorate the cover. Here there are also no limits to individuality. Whether you simply apply the title of your scrapbook or stick on additional decorations is entirely up to you. Some scrapbooks have a slot on the cover for your favorite picture. Of course, you can also make and equip this kind of cover yourself.

what is a scrapbook



Creative Design Ideas

  • With 3D- adhesive pads or foam rubber adhesive strips, you can achieve a distinctive structure and an appealing 3D effect
  • Travel routes engraved with needle and thread make a map come alive
  • Certain elements can also be sewn on with a sewing machine, use the zig-zag seam, which makes the effect particularly effective
  • Also, let your other hobbies flow in. For example, drawing, painting, wood carving, botany, sewing
  • Cut photos into special shapes or decorate the edges with texture scissors
  • Paste in small envelopes for tickets or similar souvenirs
  • Create frames with washi tape around photos or other elements
  • Use colored glue dots
  • Seal your scrapbook with a button and a colorful elastic band
  • Use texture scissors to give a special touch to sample paper or book pages
  • Distressing the edges of the pages with a sponge makes them look brighter or darker and gives your book a cool retro touch
  • Punching outside edges is easy and looks great
  • Cake lace, gift ribbon, or old borders glued or traced result in very romantic results
  • Stick bows to the pages of the book or photo corners, if you like decorate them with glitter stones
  • Create interactivity with mini-bag or fold-out pages
  • Punch a hole in one side of the album and attach a pendant there
  • With the help of a corner punch, you can punch out colored photo corners
  • Cut a hole in an album page so that the underlying image is visible
  • Combine different patterns, structures, and papers with each other

how to make a scrapbook



Scrapbooking For Beginners – Tips and Tricks


Digital Scrapbook

In some photography shops, you can create and print a digital scrapbook photo album. The slimmed-down version is to have only the pictures printed in a digital photo album and then decorate the printed photos with the thematically matching decorations.


Where Can You Buy Scrapbooks?

Scrapbooking has become a very popular hobby and so there are now selected scrapbook stores in many large cities where you can get everything your handicraft heart desires. If you don’t have one of these stores available, you can also find the equipment on the big online platforms. Even well-assorted craft shops offer all kinds of decorations that can be used for scrapbooking. Photobook suppliers have also discovered the DIY trend of scrapbooking and offer various decoration sets.


And last but not least, you probably only have to look around at home to find some suitable decorations for scrapbooking!

scrapbook ideas


Scrapping Breakdowns and No-Go’s

Since scrapbooking has no rules, you can’t make any mistakes. Nevertheless, every now and then a few “accidents” happen. Mostly in connection with the glue.

  • Here it should be mentioned again that it is an absolute no-go to use acidic glue. They let your photos fade with time and the beautiful memory is gone.
  • To avoid accidents with glue, it is best to work with a glue roller when scrapping. This leaves basically no glue stains.
  • Should it happen that an unattractive stain on your freshly designed scrapbook page spreads, just cover it with a decorative element. No one will notice it later
  • If you have placed an element in the wrong place and have to remove it, a small unattractive stain usually remains on the paper. It is best to paste over this one with a decorative element or a paper strip.


As you can see there are no glitches in scrapbooking, only occasions for new creative ideas.

creating a scrapbook


Technical Terms

Scrapbooking comes from the USA, so the terms are pretty straightforward and easy to grasp. With our small glossary below, we would like to help you gain a better understanding of the world of scrapbooking:

Embellishment:Decorations, ornaments of any kind
Cuts3D- Punched parts, mostly from cardboard for gluing
Puffy StickersVery large 3D stickers
Chipboard StickerSelf-adhesive stamped stickers
CardstocksPhoto cardboard of similar thickness for decoration
Scrapbook paperThick paper which serves as insert sheets for scrapbook books
Washi tapeAlso called masking tape, self-adhesive, printed paper tape
BradsMini-pins which are used for fixing decorations
CropsScrapbookers meeting up
Photo-safeA term given to acid-free items in scrapbooking



Scrapbooking Ideas

You don’t really need a special reason to design a scrapbook. Emotional topics such as family, friendship, love or partnership can be the basis for the creation of a scrapbook. Personal experiences together in a scrapbook are wonderful individual gifts or small presents for friends and family. Great examples would be for birthdays, Christmas or Valentine’s Day gifts:

  • A review of the year in the form of a scrapbook becomes an emotional experience.
  • Even everyday situations with family, children or pets can be humorously staged in a scrapbook.
  • A special occasion to create a scrapbook can be special events. A wedding, baptism, birth, or a round birthday, immortalized as a scrapbook, in vivid memory.
  • A scrapbook is also a great way to capture a beautiful journey with its stations and events.
  • And by the way: scrapbooking is not limited to photo albums. You can just as well create your diary, notebook, calendar, or greeting cards in a scrapbook design.
  • A scrapping-style guestbook is a fun way to remember a big birthday or wedding
  • A friend book in a scrapping design is not only great fun for children, adults also have fun spicing up a shared photo with personal things and thus create a lasting memory.



We hope to have awakened your interest in scrapbooking and hope you enjoy
implementing your first ideas, as this can be a seriously rewarding hobby.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *