's Start Scrapbooking

Let's Start Scrapbooking

Eager to join in the exciting craft of scrapbooking but a bit overwhelmed by all the gear, gadgets, and lingo? No worries! Scrapbooks etc. Group Editor Melissa Inman has all the answers.

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-Hi. I'm Melissa Inman and welcome to Let's Start Scrapbooking, your online guide to getting started in this exciting craft. Everyone has a different reason for scrapbooking. For some, it's purely a creative outlet and for others, it's a way to showcase memories about the people and the places that they love. For me, it's a little bit of both. I've always loved taking photos especially of family and friends and I began putting together my own basic scrapbook pages in junior high. My love of photography continued through college where I spent long hours holed up in my college darkroom playing with my friends. But when I first stumbled upon today's take on scrapbooking full of pretty papers, heartfelt stories and waiting to be touched embellishment, I knew I found the perfect way to blend my love of photos with my desire to tell the stories behind them. I was hooked. Hundreds of scrapbook pages later, I still love it as much as I ever did. Maybe even more so now that my kids could enjoy what I've created, too. I just love watching the look on my kids' faces as I flip through my album and recount the stories of their experiences. And that's why I scrapbook, and whether your reason is the same or something totally different, you're about to join a very fun, vibrant community of women who enjoy playing with paper as much as I do. In this class, I'll take you through all the basic info you need to know as you begin your scrapbooking adventure, from the tools you'll need to getting your photos organized to learning to put together your first page. Last but not least, we'll walk through the process of putting together a quick and easy album that keeps it simple but still gives you the chance to express your creativity. And remember, you can always turn to the "Let's Start Scrapbooking" book for more information as you go along. In it, you'll find additional info on taking better photos, using color, and dozens of step-by-step instructions for techniques you can use to kick it up a notch. If you're taking this class, you've already made a commitment to scrapbooking, and you probably have a specific topic or project in mind. Perhaps you're planning on putting together the perfect wedding album, or you wanna document your baby's first year. Or maybe you just came back from the most awesome vacation and wanna do more with your photos than simply slipping them into a shoebox. Well, those are all excellent things to scrapbook. In fact, there isn't really anything that shouldn't be scrapbooked. Today's scrapbookers create pages on just about any topic you can think of, from special celebrations to day-to-day moments to their innermost feelings. It's all fair game. You can create single layouts that fit into an album that covers an entire year or create what we call theme albums, where all the pages center around a single topic or event. I do a little bit of both. I keep standalone albums for large vacations or significant events. These books typically follow a design template so all the pages look consistent and I can usually finish one in a weekend. I also keep a collection of albums that house on-off pages. For example, I have albums for both my kids. As I do a page about Parker, I slip it into his book. I tend to arrange in chronological order but the pages are designed to reflect that memory, and I don't care if they all match. I also keep an album earmarked for family topics and memories like holidays. Honestly, there's no right way to arrange an album, so do whatever feels right to you. We'll talk more later on about how you sort and store your photos and that may affect the sort of pages you end up creating. Now, let's take a look at the different pieces of a scrapbook page. Although every page differs, there are a few core ingredients that most have in common. First up, your background. Whether a solid piece of card stock or a patchwork of pattern paper, the background frames all the elements on your page and serves as your base on to which everything else will be layered. Next, pattern paper. This is one of the areas of a scrapbook page where you can really show your creativity and set the mood for your page. There are thousands of pattern papers made specifically for scrapbooking. You're sure to find exactly the right one to fit your project. Third on the list, photos. Most scrapbook pages will have at least one of these, although you could build a memory page about a photo. The part of the layout that catches the eye first is the focal point photo and it's usually larger than other shots being used or it's set apart in some way, either by matting or by a simple change of color. Next up, your title. Though it's not a requirement for a scrapbook page, the title often helps set the tone of your layout and helps introduce your subject. Stickers, rub-ons, and stamps are all excellent ways to spell out your page title. Then, journaling. We'll talk a lot more about journaling later but at its core, journaling is what sets the scrapbook apart from a photo album. It can be super simple like name, place, date, or a detailed account of all of your intimate thoughts and feelings. And, finally, the embellishment. Usually, the pages' finishing touches, embellishments are another great way to have fun and further drive home the point of your page. There are tons of different embellishments available and you can choose to embellish a little, a lot, or not at all. Before we dive into how to scrapbook, I thought I'd give you a bit of info on where you can find all the great stuff you'll be using. You can find scrapbooking supplies just about anywhere these days, but for the broadest selection and personalized service, visit a scrapbook specialty store. There are packs of everything you could possibly need to scrapbook and then some, but it can be a bit overwhelming for a newcomer. I've put together a little guided tour of two of my local scrapbook stores. You'll see what makes a scrapbook specialty store so great and just what you can expect to find when you venture into a store near you. Let's start with the basics--paper, card stock, and tons of embellishments. Scrapbook specialty stores usually carry a huge assortment of these staples. Many arrange their goods by theme so whether you're hoping to put together a beautiful tribute to your sister's wedding or your last Disney vacation, you know exactly which section to head to first. It can definitely make shopping easier. Check out the seasonal displays, often found near the front of the store so you can quickly get inspiration and ideas for Independence Day, Christmas, Mother's Day, or Halloween right when you walk in the door. Some stores even carry really specific theme products. At one of my local shops, I can find die-cut titles and phrases, stickers, and papers specific to my town and the community events we take part int. They even carry items for all the high schools and universities in my region. Check out a store near you to see their selection of products for the hometown spin. Specialty shops also usually have a good assortment of scrapbooking kits, also assembled by theme. Because you get a sample-size amount of embellishment and papers in most kits, they're a great way to try out something new without making a huge investment in supplies. And just because you buy a kit with a particular theme doesn't mean you can't use the supplies on other projects. Every issue in Scrapbooks, Etc. magazine, we show readers how to use an inexpensive page kit to design multiple projects. Check out the website, for example, of past kit projects from our supply front column. Of course, if you're not looking for theme products, you can still find plenty of goods not grouped by topic. In these areas, most store owners choose to organize by color. It's so inspirational walking down rainbow hued aisles of card stock and pattern paper. Once you've picked out the product you need to make your pages, you'll need a safe place to store them. Specialty stores are a great place to find a plethora of album choices in every size, shape, color, and finish imaginable. We'll talk later on about the specific album types so you can find just the right one for your scrapbooking needs. Many stores have space set aside where customers can scrapbook. Shop often rent the space by the hour and hold evening classes where you can pick up new skills and learn techniques. The great thing about scrapbooking in a store like this is that you never have to worry about running out of a supply while you work, and many stores have tools such as die-cutting systems and punches available for use as well so you can try out a new item or leave your own heavy equipment at home. Specialty stores are also a great place to pick up the tools you'll use when scrapbooking. Most carry a large assortment of the basics and are happy to help you out with try-before-you-buy demonstrations for fancier items. Some stores specialize in one particular supply category and will have a huge selection of one type of product. For instance, this store is known for its selection of brass embossing templates and even has a whole room devoted for embossing enthusiasts. So look at stores near you to see what special services or product assortments they offer. One area in which scrapbook specialty stores definitely excel is service. Wanna find out how to use a new tool you'd seen in a magazine? Ask a store employee. In most cases, they're scrapbookers themselves and look forward to sharing their know-how with others. In fact, on the day we shot this video, I picked up a few pointers on how to use a new texture paste that I've never tried. Every trip to the store is a learning experience. As scrapbookers have gotten tech-savvy, so have stores. Many now have photo printing kiosks, color copiers, computers, scanners, and photo printers to help you take care of all your scrapbooking needs. Last but not least, scrapbook stores are a great source of inspiration. You can always find an assortment of scrapbooking books and magazines for sale and the walls of stores are usually adorned with great page, card, and home dcor projects that are often created by the store employees who are happy to show their tips and ideas to keep you motivated. For a directory of scrapbook stores and to find one in your area, visit our website at and click "Find a Store." There are tons of tools for scrapbooking but you really only need a few basic ones to get started. Every scrapbooker should have these five things in their stash--a pen, an adhesive, a ruler, a trimmer, and a pair of precision tip scissors. Let's start by talking about what to look for in a good pair of scissors. You'll reach for them time and again to snip ribbon and cut out letters and you'll want a clean, precise cut. You may also need to get into tight spaces which makes these handy little buggers a must. Look for a pair with coated blades that repel sticky stuff to keep your pair working longer. An acid-free black, blue, or brown pen will come in handy for journaling or adding little hand drawn details to your pages. You'll probably get the most use out of a medium-tip one, but it doesn't hurt to have several tip thickness on hand in case you want a different look. Make sure you look for pens that are acid-free, fade resistant, and waterproof. Although you can tack down papers and photos with just about anything, not all adhesive products are safe for scrapbook pages and may yellow over time or harm your photos. Make sure you look for one that's archival safe. I usually recommend the beginner start with some sort of an adhesive runner. There are lots of different types but, basically, they're little contraptions that house continuous rolls of double-sided adhesive that dispense and stop rectangles or just nonstop strips of sticky stuff. A little goes a long way so don't feel like you have to cover your paper to make things stick. Again, although any ruler will help you measure things, I like using an acrylic ruler like this one from the C-Thru Ruler Company. In fact, it's one of my favorite tools. I love it because I can see through to my project as I'm measuring and placing things. It also has a metal edge so it can stand up to the abuse it gets when I break out my craft knife to cut perfectly-sized photo mats. One of the most important tools you have in your supply kit is a paper trimmer. You'll find that it handy for all sorts of tasks. With it, you can make quick work of trimming down background papers, cropping photos and cutting photo mats. There are lots of different kinds of trimmers but the way they work is basically the same. You want a trimmer capable of fitting a 12X12 sheet since most papers come in that size. Find one with a ruler so you can measure accurately. Grid lines on the surface of the trimmer come in handy when you're trying to cut smaller squares or rectangles. Basically, when you're ready to make a cut, you put the paper beneath the protected strip near the blade. Just about all trimmers have a strip like this. Align the paper along the straight top edge of the trimmer and check your measurements to make sure you're cutting at the right point. Once you're feeling good, simply apply a light amount of pressure to the trimmer blade and glide it along the paper. I usually push the blade away from me when I cut because I feel I get better leverage but most trimmers work either way. Beyond the basics, there are a lot of other tools that are fun to have around. One in particular is a die cutting machine. Like punches, die cutting tools cut shapes and letters from a lot of different materials, but the dies allow you to get bigger sizes and more intricate designs than a punch would. You can get personal tabletop versions which are great at home or at a crop and you can use them to cut your titles or create custom embellishment. Here's another one of my personal favorites. I really like these clear stamps. They mount to an acrylic base and the great thing about them and the thing that makes them wonderful for a beginner scrapbooker is that you can see exactly where your stamp is going on your page so if you're a little bit stamping challenged like I am and a little scared off of it because you're not sure what your end result's gonna be, this is the answer. You can use these stamps and line up multiple images and do lots of different colors of ink and know that it's going exactly where you want it to be because you can see through it. You can also get some blocks with grid designs on them which makes lining up letter stamps really easy, allow you to have a perfectly straight title every time you want to stamp. So, if you're interested in trying stamping on your page, check out these clear stamps. You can get them from a lot of different manufactures, they come in a bazillion type styles and themes and different designs, and they're really, really fun to play with. One of the decisions you'll probably wanna make before you start scrapbooking is what type of scrapbook pages you want to create. You can scrapbook in just about any size you like and there are now scrapbook safe albums in tons of sizes, but there a few mainstays. The most popular size of scrapbook page is 12X12. This big square gives you enough room to display multiple 4X6 photos on each page, as shown here by the dark purple block. You'll find a huge assortment of card stock and pattern papers in this size. Probably the second most popular page size is an 8-1/2X11. As you can see here, it won't fit quite as many 4X6 photos on an 8-1/2X11 page, but if you vary the size of your photos either by ordering smaller wallet-sized prints from your photo processor or cropping down standard prints, you can still fit quite a few. I personally love the 8-1/2X11 and most of my pages are this size. If you plan to use your computer at all in your scrapbooking, consider designing 8-1/2X11 pages. The standard size fits in any printer, making printing titles, journaling, and other computer elements like clip art really easy. You won't find as many papers in this size but you can cut down larger sheets and then you'll be left with a lot of great scraps that you can do things with later. Another size that's really becoming popular with scrapbookers is the 8X8. This smaller square fits 2 or 4X6 photos but it's great for theme or gift albums. As you can see here, two 4X6 photos are a tight fit on an 8X8 canvas, but you can trim a bit off to give them more breathing room. The album that we're going to complete at the end of this class is in a size similar to this, it's a 9X9 page. I like the 9X9 album because it more comfortable fits the 4X6 photos and I wanted to design an album that could use standard prints that you might already have on hand. Really, you could design in any page size that you like. I know several scrapbookers who change their page size all the time. They'll kind of do whatever best fits the mood that they're in or the photos that they have to work with so don't feel limited to one size once you get started. Experiment a little and just have fun. Once you figure out what page size you wanna create, you'll also need to find an album. You'll find albums in all the sizes mentioned above, but there are several different spine types to consider when you're buying. The first is a three-ring binder. Built by School Notebooks, the three-ring binder is for scrapbooking or archival and they come in lots of finishes from fabric to leather. Rings that snap apart make inserting and adding pages super easy, but the drawback of this album is that you will have a gap between the two pages opposite each other when the book is open which means that two-page spreads don't have quite the connectivity that they might in other spine types. Second, the postbound album. Most scrapbookers look for albums with this type of spine. With pages that are bound by a set of bolts that stay hidden under a flap, rearranging or adding pages means unscrewing the posts and removing the exterior pages first. Once the posts are unscrewed, it's easy to add extender posts that allow you to grow this book as you add more pages, giving it an advantage over the three-ring binder. It also keeps facing pages close together. However, because you have to remove all the pages to add more to the middle, these albums are easier to work with if you're only going to add pages to the end of your book rather than in the middle. Another popular spine type with scrapbookers is the strap hinged. These strong nylon straps thread through staples on the reinforced edges of card stock pages. The books are expandable and they lie very flat when they're open. They also keep facing pages very close together. On the downside, you will have to take the album apart to rearrange or add pages. Two less used but still viable spine types are the spiral bound and the snap load. The spiral bound is just like it sounds, a wire coil that joins pages or page protectors. This type permanently attach pages, making them best for single topic or theme albums that you won't need to add pages to, but there are newer versions available that allow you to add and remove pages. The snap load binding system is still quite new and is currently only made by one company. It uses strong plastic straps that allow you to extend the books to super large sizes. Pioneer developed the system and many of the books now feature this binding type but you can also purchase a kit that allows you to retrofit a postbound album. I use a mix of these different binding types. I like to use a three-ring binder type of album when I'm just tossing pages into a book and I haven't yet determined what my order is going to be because it's really easy to pop them in and out. Then, once I know how I want pages to lay out in the album, I'll usually transfer them to a postbound because I do like that it keeps two-page layout so close together in the center so it really feels like one continuous piece of art. Whichever album type you decide on, just make sure the album is archival as well as acid and lignin free to protect your memories for years to come. You'll also wanna make sure that the page protectors that come with your album are acid free, don't contain lignin, and are polyvinyl chloride free. All of those things can harm a scrapbook page so make sure you check the packaging. Now, let's talk about one of the tasks that scares a lot of people off of scrapbooking--organizing your photos. Chances are, you have a few stacks of prints hidden away in drawers or piled into photo boxes, so even if you've taken the plunge into digital, let's start by tackling those snapshots. Start by gathering up all the photos and negatives you can find. Choose a spot you can work in where you can leave things spread out for a while. This task is much easier if you don't try to tackle it all in one day. Figure out categories that work for you so if you think you're going to do books with chronological pages, arrange your photos by date. If you wanna do albums on specific people like one for each member of your family, make those your category. Just do whatever works best for you. Grab some empty plastic bins or shoeboxes and label each one with a post-it note then begin your sorting. Just to note, plastic boxes are okay for the short term sorting but don't keep your photos in them long term. Plastics have chemicals that can harm photos. Once all your snapshots are sorted, you'll wanna file them for future use. Use an archival photo box and create tabs for each section so you can easily pull out the ones you wanna work with later. If you feel up to it, take a few minutes to jot down anything you can remember about the prints on an index card. It can help with your journaling later. Here's another idea for storing your prints that also incorporates a home for negatives. This is a system I use most often. I purchase photo-safe plastic binder sheets that have 4X6 prints and I keep them in a sturdy three-ring binder. I also put my negatives into archival sheets and store them and the index card that I get from the photo lab right with the photos and the binders so that I know exactly where the negatives are should I need a reprint or an enlargement. Digital photo files require an entirely different storage organization system. First thing first, don't keep all your photos on your computer hard drive or the memory card in your camera. If your computer crashes or you lose your memory card between home and the photo lab, you'll be kicking yourself. Downloading and storing files on an external hard drive is a great option, and you can pick one up for under a hundred bucks. Just don't forget to still backup your files to CD or DVD in case something happens. You'll probably also wanna figure out an organization system that makes sense to you. Here's what I do. I store my photos on an external hard drive and file them first by year then by month, then the event or occasion. When I'm looking for one, I use the preview window or the browse function in Photoshop which gives me a large thumbnail image of each shot so I can pick exactly the right one. PC users may also wanna give Picasa a try. My friends who use it rave about how easy it makes organizing their pics. Mac users have a similar system built into their computers iPhoto. Storing your photos online is another great option and there are more and more places offering the service. The bonus is that you can usually not only share your images with friends and family this way, but also often order prints, photo books, or other specialty items. Some services are free and others have fees associated so read the fine print on storage options and find the right one for you. And even though it's a great idea to have your photos all organized, remember that you don't have to scrapbook all of them. There are lots of ways you can still enjoy your photos and express a little creativity without having to create scrapbook pages for every image. Consider using a simple photo album designed to hold 4X6 photos. If you find one like this that gives you a bit of space to add a caption or a tiny bit of journaling, you'll be able to record details and enjoy the albums as is or use them later as the basis for scrapbook pages. If you wanna keep it simple but have a bit more fun, try one of these photo pocket albums. These album systems have a bunch of different page files that feature pockets you can slip your photos into. They're a great quick-and-easy solution for albums where you have lots of photos but not a lot of time. Simply slip your photos into the pocket and fill other spaces with pattern paper, solid card stock, journaling, or memorabilia. They also have coordinating pages that hold 12X12 pages so you can do a few whole layouts that match the other pocket pages if you like. The ones shown here are from Scrapworks, but other companies makes similar versions. Now let's talk about journaling. A lot of people are overwhelmed by the idea of having to write a lot in order to put together the perfect scrapbook page, but while journaling is the thing that sets the scrapbook apart from a photo album, the act of journaling needn't be complicated or scary. Before we dive into my suggestions for how to journal, let's talk about why you should journal. First, because even though a picture is worth a thousand words, chances are, not all your snapshots say everything you like to about an event. There are usually gaps in what happens and what the pictures show that need to be filled in. Secondly, you want your albums to be enjoyed by others and you won't always be around to tell them the stories yourself. Your kids will enjoy looking for the books and reading the stories about their family adventures even when you're not sitting next to them on the couch, and your friends and family will be able to peruse your pages at their leisure without you needing to coach them through it. Lastly, because none of us are elephants and by that I mean that it's very unlikely we'll be able to remember every detail of every moment of our life. Jotting down details about important events like birthdays, anniversaries and vacation or even keeping record of the day-to-day moments that make life worth living will help you preserve memories that might otherwise be forgotten. Think of it this way. Several years ago, I rescued a bunch of old photos from a drawer in my grandmother's house in the hope of putting together a family history album. I began my research, jotting down notes and asking my grandmother questions about the faces and the places in the old snapshots. Then I got busy and the project was put on hold. Now, my grandmother, the only one left from her generation, is losing her memory and can't remember anything about the photos, once important enough for her to keep. I'm still trying to continue the research and put together some sort of heritage album, but the process would have been much simpler if someone had taken a few minutes to jot down basic details nearly a century ago. Okay. So that's the why of journaling. Now, let's talk about the how. Really, there's no right or wrong way to journal. If you're a natural storyteller and you want to weave lush narratives to include on your layout, go for it. If you're more comfortable with the who-what-where-when-why school of thought, that's cool, too. A little or a lot, you just wanna make sure you get some journaling on your page. Include the details about what the event or occasion was, who was involved, where it took place, when it happened and why. You can do this in basic captions in these photos or get more fancy. The choice is totally yours. We could talk for hours about journaling prompts and techniques for breaking writer's block, but that's probably another class. So, right now, let's get into the nitty-gritty of how the journaling you do gets on your page. The simplest way to get your thoughts down on paper is to handwrite and there are tons of scrapbookers who choose this method. It's easy, inexpensive, doesn't require any fancy equipment, and can be done anywhere. Using your own handwriting on your page is also a great way to infuse the page with your personality and leave a bit of yourself behind. In a hundred years, readers of your albums will not only see the photos you took and read the stories you tell, but see it in your own hand as well. If you do choose to handwrite, here are a few tips to keep in mind. Do a rough draft first. Write out what you wanna say on a scratch piece of paper and a space that's about the same size as the one you have to fill on your layout. Check it for spelling errors. You may even wanna have someone else give it a quick glance to be sure you haven't missed anything. Use a scrapbook-safe pen. Remember to only use acid-free, photo-safe pens when journaling. If you're worried about slanting or spacing, do a test run. Use a ruler and pencil or just a ink pen to draw straight lines on your page and then pencil in the text using a light hand. Once you're happy with it, go over the pencil marks with your pen. When the ink is completely dry, erase the lines and pencilled word and there you have it, perfectly straight journaling. If you're still stressing, try writing out your text on a separate journaling book or strip that you can add to your page later. I do this a lot 'cause I'm really not that comfortable with my handwriting all the time. Then, if you make a mistake, your just out the single block and not an entire page. If the prospect of handwriting on your journaling seems like too much, consider using your computer and printer instead. Obviously, going the high-tech route allows you to create perfectly spaced and sized journaling with ease. It also enables you to take advantage of a spell check to rid your texts of pesky typos and with the thousands of fun fonts available, you can match your page mood with ease. You don't need anything fancy to get started. A basic word processing program and a standard printer will do. As you get more comfortable with the practice, you can experiment with formatting your text in different shapes, play with changing font colors, and even try using computer type with a graphic element on your page. You can learn more about all sorts of type tricks on our website. Whichever route you choose, I encourage you to try tucking just a bit of your handwriting onto your page somewhere. Jot down a date, sign your block of printed text, write a "Made By" label on the back. Anything to preserve the one thing no other scrapbooker has, your handwriting. One of the easiest ways to get started printing your own cases is to be inspired by others. We call that scraplifting. I've asked , a good friend and contributing editor for Scrapbooks, Etc. magazine to join me here today to talk about how we were both inspired to create our versions of the same project. We found the layout in Let's Start Scrapbooking book and we picked it because we thought it was a really clean structure that could be applied to a lot of different themes or topics or treatment. -What really appealed to me is this strip of journaling. I like the question and answer where Heather has stolen favorites and maybe she'd let him pin his own answers in. -And I really liked it because while I really enjoy doing multi-photo layout, I also have some great one off shots where I just really wanna showcase one favorite photo and this one's really nice because it features one very large and I knew I could get a lot of mileage out of that. -Uh huh. -The first thing you'll wanna do when you find a layout that you love and you wanna lift is identify all the pieces. If you can't easily tell what all the different pieces are because they're layered, break it down into a sketch. When you're creating your sketch of the page, it doesn't have to be perfect. You just need basic lines and shapes to help you identify the core element. Use simple squares or circles to represent photos and embellishment and long strips to represent pieces of paper. Fill in the journaling space with simple lines and then maybe write "Title" where you plan to place your page title. You need just enough so that you can identify the basic pieces you'll need. Now that you've created a sketch, you're ready to start work on your version of the layout, substituting your photos and your papers for the choices the original artist made. I was so inspired by this layout that I actually created two versions of it. Let me show you what I did. For my first version, I created a near duplicate of the original. I kept the structure the same and simply swapped in papers and embellishments that I like. I used a large photo in the upper corner just like the original did, I kept my pile large and down below the photo, just like the original, and I even replicated the bands of pattern paper and card stock that ran up the side. I swapped in a star embellishment where she used a star and used the same general space for my journaling but I changed up the formatting. It was a really simple layout to do because I borrowed so many elements from the original. It made it quite in no time. For the second version of this layout, I actually added a photo. I still kept the structure pretty much the same. You can see I still have a large photo in the upper corner, still did my title down below, and still used the bands of pattern paper and one margin embellishment over those, but then I wanted to add another photo. I had just another great shot of Olivia in her little soccer outfit that I wanted to include so I simply made a home for that below and formatted my journaling a little bit differently so it would all still fit in the space. Again, a really easy layout to finish but my own spin on the artist's original. -I'm a 12X12 scrapbooker so I was inspired more by the theme than by the structure of the original design. I really liked the Q&A style of journaling used on the original design so I took that part and repeated it across my layout, documenting all the family favorites. -Now you can see how many ideas you can get from a single scrapbook page. Let me show you some more designs that I've borrowed from the ideas of others. Here's a page by that we published in our Made In Minutes special issue a few years ago. I really loved the way that she used a single panoramic photo and kept things really simple with basic script journaling, but I didn't really have a photo that ran horizontally. I did have a vertical one, however. So, for my version, I rotated the original page 90 degrees clockwise and I built a vertical version. I brightened up the color scheme a bit, pulling the colors from the clothing that my son is wearing in the photo, and I copied the script journaling idea for my short text. Here's another layout from the Made In Minutes special issue. I really loved the way Erica Hernandez used a really big photo in such a small detail to make a really big statement on her page. And even though that image takes up space, she still fit in two more photos and some journaling. Here's how I interpreted Erica's original. I stayed pretty true to the structure that she'd put in place but I swapped out a single horizontal photo for the two smaller vertical ones she used. Just as Erica did, I used a large photo of small objects on the left side, and I also copied her placement of the journaling, title, and even the embellishment in the lower left corner. When I saw this layout by Jillian Hembeck, I was immediately drawn to the rounded corners, layered papers and the striking close up portrait that she used. But I'm not a 12X12 scrapbooker so I knew I'd have to make a few adjustments for my interpretation. No problem. I scaled down the size of the background papers I cut but I still worked in several different patterns for a layered look. I also found a spot for a single close up photo of my little Olivia and swiped Jillian's idea of using a large letter on the page. Oh, and one more thing. Jillian stitched along the edges of her layer of that papers, now, I love the look but I don't have the patience so I used rub-on stitches to fake it. Saves time and frustration. You can lift pretty much any layout, even ones that don't immediately seem like your style. If you break them down into a sketch and strip away the busy pattern papers, embellishments and someone else's photos, you can see the brilliance of the design and start your build from there. Plus, you can find tons of page sketches to work with online and in magazines. In every issue of Scrapbooks, Etc., you'll find a pullout sketch and pattern pack with copyable ideas. For even more, just visit the website and click Pick Sketches on the left side. Now we're going to get started putting together a year-in-review album that brings together a lot of what you've learned today. This is a great project for a beginner because it can help you document a whole year without being overwhelming, but the structure of this album is really simple and it could be used for nearly anything, so if you have another project in mind, just adapt to fit your needs. You have complete directions for this project in your PDF download but I still wanna walk you through the steps I took in creating it. Another thing I wanna point is that you can use any pattern papers or card stock for this project. I chose these papers by American Craft but, really, you could pick any patterns you like or even just use solid papers to keep it simple. It's totally up to you. The first thing that you wanna do is cut 12 sheets of 12X12 pattern paper to 12 X 9 inches. So just trim a 3-inch strip off of the side. Cut each of those sheets in half so that you have two 6X9 strips of each pattern. Save the scrap pieces because we're gonna be using them later. After you've done that, cut 12 sheets of 12X12 card stock that matches your pattern papers to 9X9. Again, save the scraps. If you plan to computer print your journaling on the background, format your text to fit within a 2-1/2X6-1/2 space along the left side of your 9x9 sheet. I formatted mine in paragraph with a slight indent at the start of each so that I could add a brad bullet later on. If you're not planning to computer print your text, you can either handwrite your journal now or you could wait until the pages are completed. Start assembling your background by attaching one piece of the 6X9 pattern paper to the card stock background, making sure that it's flush with the top and the right edges of the page. You can cover the seam between the card stock and the pattern paper with a thin strip of white card stock if you like, or just leave it. It's not gonna look bad. You're gonna build the opposite page using the 3X9 scrap of card stock that you set aside earlier and the other 6X9 strip of pattern paper. Flip them over so that the back sides are facing you and so the card stock strip is on the left. Align the seams so that the two pieces form a square, and then use a little bit of photo-safe tape to secure the pieces in place. This is just a little way that you can save on your supplies by using up smaller pieces and fusing them together. They'll never know that we did it. Go ahead and open the downloadable file that you have. It contains the months of the year strip and print them on the white card stock. If you'd rather substitute letter stickers or die-cut stickers for the computer print strips, just go right ahead. Just cut 12 2X9-inch strips of white card stock and add whatever letters you like to spell out each month. Add the month strips to the left page of each thread. Then, go ahead and crop and mat your photos. If you wanna fit more than two 4X6 photos on the right page, you'll need to crop your shots. See the sketches page in your PDF for possible variations so that you can plan your pages but I gave the photo on the left page a thick white mat to make it pop against the background, and then I gave each photo used on the right page a thinner white mat. Attach the photos to the left page to the background. I used a bit of adhesive chrome tape to make the photo stand out a bit more. Add your photos to the right page as well, following one of the sketch arrangements. Go ahead and add your photo caption boxes now. This is a totally optional step, I just found I had a lot to say so use scraps of the card stock left over from your matting or computer print all your captions but one. Simply measure the spaces around your photos to determine how large the caption boxes can be. I rounded the corners of all of my caption boxes because I like that look but it's totally your choice. Punch circles from some of your scrap card stock if you plan on numbering your photos as I did on many of my pages. I added little rub-on numbers to the circles that correspond with the numbers captioned in my journaling. Go ahead and punch more circles from a scrap of your pattern paper to use as accent on the month strip. On some pages, I alternated the pattern paper circles with ones punched from folic card stock so just do whatever looks good to you. If you like, use a push pin or a paper piercer to punch small holes next to your journaling paragraph and insert a tiny white brad. I like the dimension that these added to the pages without being too distracting and since this is such a large album, I really wanted to keep the embellishments to a minimum and not use anything that would be too bulky. Now, to create the title in the last page, I cut two sheets of card stock to 8X8. I cut up a bunch of strips of my pattern paper scraps, at least one-inch wide and in various lengths and then I flipped the pieces of card stock over so the backside was facing me and I used the grid on my trimmer or a scrap sheet of 9X9 card stock as a guide and arranged the strips of pattern paper with the backside facing me around all four edges of the 8X8 to make a 9X9 page so basically, I just rimmed the whole thing in scraps of different patterns. To finish those pages off, I just added my photos and my journaling or my title strip and I accented those pages with circle punches of pattern paper as well. And there you have it, a quick and easy formula for putting together a year-in-review album that shows off your favorite memories. Again, the downloadable directions contain step-by-step instructions for this project as well as photos of all the finished pages so you can see exactly what I did and page sketches of each spread to make it even easier to copy. So there you have it. Everything you need to know to get started scrapbooking. I hope you enjoyed the class and that you have a great time making your final project. And just remember, scrapbooking is an expression of who you are so just have fun with it. Show your personality on your pages and you'll love them for years to come. I'm Melissa Inman and thanks again for joining me for Let's Start Scrapbooking.