So youve seen some of the eye-catching and heartwarming creations your friends have made scrapbooking, and think, “I can do that!” Visions of four-year-old photos stuffed in random boxes in secret corners of closets nag at you, and you think, “Oohh- organized picture albums!” Truly, these are some of the thoughts and motivations that compel woman the world over to trim, journal, crop and create the most inspired photo albums ever seen.

Yet, for a beginning scrapbooker, the choices can be overwhelming. During my first crop, I spent most of my time awed by the dazzling array of paper, stickers and cutters. I was so afraid to commit to any one decision, I didnt get a single page completed. So, if you are just embarking on your scrapbooking journey, here a few pointers to help you enjoy this great hobby, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Where to Start?

Scrapbooking for beginners can be a daunting task. I truly believe the key is to start where you are. Yes, I know there are childbirth photos of your 8 year old sitting in a box under your bed. You will get to them eventually. If you start back in time, you will feel like you are forever catching up. I strongly advise that you begin with your most recent set of photos, and get into the habit of cropping regularly. Eventually, you will find you are up to date with current photos, and then you can start to travel back in time.

Step by Step

First of all, it is helpful to use a scrapbook with removable pages. This will allow you to decide on placement of the pages as you go, and allow you to add pages at a later date. Just knowing that the page placement is not set in stone will help you to go ahead and try new things without fear of “ruining the page.”

Beg, Borrow, and Steal

Your best sources of inspiration will come from looking through other peoples books, and getting ideas from websites and catalogs. Dont be afraid to “borrow” someone elses idea. Eventually, it will morph into something uniquely your own.

For your first page, a prepackaged kit can be really helpful. These come assembled with pre-cut paper in coordinating colors, with lined paper for journaling, or with event appropriate stickers. Think of it like teaching a child to draw. They need to start with the basics of drawing a face: the shapes, the features and the correct placement. Eventually, every child will develop a unique style of drawing.

It is the same with scrapbooking. If you start by following a plan, you will soon be comfortable enough with the techniques, tools and methods to branch out and create your own masterpieces. And dont worry, with a little pre-planning, your pages will look great!

Tools for Beginner Scrapbookers

One of the keys to scrapbooking for beginners is to have the proper tools. The most basics are, straight and sharp scissors, a high quality photo album (with removable pages!), an adhesive tape runner, writing implements, and decorative papers.