Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

Scrap Booking 101 – Basics

I’m about to reach my 8th anniversary as a consultant for a great scrap booking company called Close To My Heart. In the last 8 years, and even before when my Creative Memories buddy got me started in the craft, I have learned so much.

Scrap booking is a creative outlet that perpetrates a legacy. There were times when I enjoyed it so much that I felt downright guilty. But I remembered that the pages I put together would be wonderful reminders for my kids and their kids. Not to mention me – and my LOUSY memory. Here are four ways to make your projects easier for you.

1. Have your supplies handy!

There is nothing that squelches creativity faster than having to stop and run for a ruler, or a pencil, or a different pair of scissors. Or worse, having to go back to the craft store for another adhesive refill. Blck! So have your supplies nearby. If you aren’t blessed with a craft room (or your college son moves back home and takes over your perfectly arranged office, ahem!) unpack just what you need for the pages your doing and surround yourself with easy to reach piles.

You’ll need acid-free, lignin-free, buffered paper that will keep your photos safe. I use card stock as a base most of the time, but a thick design paper also works well. Other items you’ll need are a ruler, pencil, personal trimmer, micro scissors, adhesive, and photos – to start.

2. Create a plan before you start cutting.

Unless you want to waste a lot of paper, this isn’t the time to be a seat-of-the-pants creator. Have a plan in mind. A starting place. I use the books by Jeanette Lynton (and I sell them too!) that give not only great ideas, but detailed sketches on how to cut my paper and layout my pages. Even if you just copy a design you’ve found online from a Google search (some great ones at have an idea of what you want your page to look like.

Basically, you want places for the pictures you intend to use, some way to create a title, and an area for journaling. Pictures are nothing without an explanation – names, date, location, and a little about what’s happening or something memorable.

3. Take your picture shapes and number into account.

I must say, I don’t always scrap book with pictures in hand. And that’s okay. But if you are intent on putting a certain event onto your pages, make sure you have spots for all of those gorgeous pics. Not all of them need to have mats, but for those that do, you need to address the portrait vs. landscape issue. If all you have are landscapes, then don’t do a page that is mostly portrait mats or you’ll find yourself cropping way too much out of your photos.

4. Embellish with textures as well as colors.

Once you have your design set and your photos down, add titles and some journaling, but don’t forget to sprinkle liberally with curiosities. Buttons, brads, material, clips. They add so much to the creative feel of a scrapbook. Don’t toss them aside. Simple to use and often set up to match specific papers and patterns, these doodads can take your page from “oh” to “OHHHHHH!”

These are a few examples of some pages that I’ve done. These are all made with the My Reflections kits from Close to My Heart. Each kit comes with 2-sided matching paper and coordinating cardstock. In addition, matching accents and stickers or rub-ons are available for each set. To see the ones that are available now, visit my website and hit the shopping link. Or see the new My Reflections Kits at this direct link.