Preserving Your Photos With Scrapbooking

By: Jacqueline M. Schimmel

The first thing to do is get those photos out of the magnetic albums immediately and throw away the albums. That takes care of a lot of it right there. But then you might have some pictures that are stuck! You'll want to remove them very carefully, maybe with a letter opener or a butter knife as they might tear. If they are very valuable to you, take them to a photo shop and have them do it for you.

Next you will want to sort your pictures out chronologically and by subject or person. You might want to work from the present and go back, since recent events are much easier to remember.

If you want to scrap them, start from the present also and use archivally safe materials. All materials should be acid-free with a ph level of 7 or above. Acids might cause discoloring of paper, become inflexible, and eventually become brittle as time passes. It can also destroy photographs or other memorabilia it comes into contact with. Your memories are precious to you and you'll want preserve them properly to pass them on from generation to generation.

If you're just starting out with scrapbooking, you will also need an acid-free adhesive, a paper cutter, acid-free pen, and of course acid-free cardstock and patterned paper.

Journaling is very important in a scrapbook. It tells the "story" of the photos. Remember that your journaling should include the who, what, when, where and why or else it is really of no interest to the generations that follow if they don't know who the person is or the story behind it.

The photos that you have not scrapped yet should be placed in an acid free photo box and properly labeled. If you have as many photos as I do, then you will know why this is very important to sort and label everything. It saves a lot of time, confusion and chaos.

Make sure you only put your favorite or best photos in a scrapbook. If they are blurry or too dark or light, it's not likely to look any better in a scrapbook. Although you can crop or cut your own photos improving them to a certain extent. The person or object may appear larger or you might want to just cut off objects or people that do not belong in the picture.

When using cardstock or patterned paper, make sure that you color coordinate the paper with the picture and mat the photo. Matting a photo means adhering the photo to a piece of cardstock slightly larger than the photo creating a small frame around it. This emphasizes the photo and makes it stand out.

There are various embellishments you can use to give your layout an added touch, such as, eyelets, buttons, ribbons, metal letters or other objects, clips, brads, snaps, hinges, stickers, diecuts, embossing, vellum, etc. This list is very long! Have fun getting started!

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