Computer Scrapbook Training site:

Basic Scrapbooking

Are you having trouble knowing where to start scrapbooking?  There are no right or wrong ways to do it.  The main idea here is to just do it.  As long as you are having FUN, you are doing it right.  Here are some tips to get you started.  We are here to help set you on the path to successful scrapbooking!

Note: Sign-up for our FREE Computer Scrapbooking 101 mini-course and we'll give you a link to a FREE Software Suite - $80 to $200 value!  Sign-up HERE.

You must use acid free and lignin free products.  Most computer manufacturers inks are acid free.  Lignin is a natural, acidic substance found in most papers, used for strength and stiffness. It causes chemical degradation of your photos and will cause them to turn yellow over time.  You can buy acid free and lignin free products at your local scrapbook or business supply store.

The best way to begin is by sorting photos.  Organize and sort your photos by subjects, such as People, Events, Places, Activities, Things, Time, etc.  I start by sorting events into shoeboxes.  After you get all your baby photos into their respective shoeboxes and the wedding photos into their boxes (digital photos can be put into their own electronic folders), etc…  You are now on the path to successful scrapbooking.  Sort each category into chronological order.  Don’t panic if this takes you more than 1 day.  There are a lot of photos out there in boxes in dusty attics.

Most people start scrapbooking with a baby book, wedding album or vacation photo album.  Baby pages seem to be a very easy first choice as there are so many things to do with babies or children’s albums.  Choose a corner or room in your house where you can spread out your work for easier scrapbooking.  If you plan on using the dining table any time soon, you may not want to set up shop there.

Ready to Begin

Choose your first album subject (theme).  For instance my first album was for my granddaughter (Baby Theme).  If you want to hand scrap your albums, you will need to purchase cardstock (heavy weight paper, multiple colors), background papers (solid colored or with theme preprinted), acid free pens, scissors, stickers, glue and rulers.  If you plan on computer scrapping, you will need to find a program that works well for you.  I prefer Microsoft PowerPoint, but any desktop publishing, graphics or scrapbook software program will work.  The key is to keep the software simple to use at first.  You can graduate to more complex programs as you learn.  I offer a free Microsoft PowerPoint scrapbook tutorial on my website at under the free goodies category.

Whether you decide to hand scrap or computer scrap your next step would be to search the internet for appropriate clipart or pick up some appropriate die cuts (pre-cut shapes) or art at your local scrapbook store.  A good thing to note here is that many of the pages have the theme and art built into the pages.  To hand scrap, you will need to print and cutout clipart and page headings.  For computers, you can set up your page right on the screen. 

Type in “baby clipart” in your internet browser search field and you will get more sites to look at than you will probably be able to see in a week.  Remember to put your search in “quotation marks”.  This allows the search engine to search for combined words, instead of each word individually, thus narrowing the search to exactly what you are looking for.  Do not capitalize your words unless you only want to find the capitalized phrases.  Lower case searches will search for either capitalized or lower case words.  Also, searching for “baby layouts” will give you some wonderful page examples to get you started with your first page layouts (how you set up the page).  Try our website at on the layout ideas page.  We also have some free pages for you to experiment with on our site.  If you enjoy those, we have many pages for you to print and use in your layouts with a convenient inexpensive annual membership or to buy as individual set purchases.  With our annual membership, you have unlimited download privileges for an entire year.  New pages added monthly. 

For computer scrappers, if your photos are not in digital format, your next step will be to scan all your photos onto your hard drive (preferably in chronological order).  If your files are in chronological order, it makes them much easier to find in a directory.  If you have a digital camera, you can download those photos directly.  Set up your page and begin your layout (page arrangement).  If you get stuck on a particularly difficult page, come back to it another day.  We all have less creative days at one time or another.  For our annual members, we have all our scrapbook papers in GIF format with transparent frames for you to insert directly into your publishing program.  Just layer your photos behind the frame openings and print.  What could be easier for computer scrappers?  Note: if you want a little more detail on how this is done, check out our easy example instructions HERE!

There are 3 basic types of scrappers.  Conservative scrappers generally use very simple, organized basic layouts.  They usually don’t care to have things over done and believe that less is more.  Balanced scrappers usually have everything evenly laid out and balanced across the entire page.  They usually have an even amount of photos, stickers and other embellishments.  Page fillers tend to crowd and over fill their pages.  I myself am a page filler.  I have a very creative mind and am usually doing more than one thing at a time.  None of these scrappers are any more right than the others.  It all boils down to preference and taste.  What you enjoy, your neighbor might not, so just have fun and design what makes you happy.

Don’t be afraid to copy other layouts that you may find, you’ll find yourself making up your own versions in no time.  Scrapbooking can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it.  We at want to make it as easy as you want it to be.  After all, it's not your layouts that are memorable, it is the people included within the pages.  Above all things, remember to have fun while you create those much loved heritage albums.  Your future generations will appreciate all your hard work.

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Computer Scrapbooking 101 - over $100 value

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