Your Scrapbooking Advice, Please

uhu logoOnce upon a time...I was an avid scrapbooker who attended crop nights and expos, shopped at the local scrapbook store, and created beautiful masterpieces on paper.

Then, I had kids.

uhu scrapbookers glue penI still love the hobby...and especially the finished product. 

BUT scrapbooking takes time. It creates a mess and it requires a certain precision and focus that is difficult to attain in the infant/toddler stage of life.

I'm trying to figure out how to get "caught up" with my albums. It really would be nice to have some way of chronicling our daughters' lives - recording their milestones, their funny sayings, their favorites, and their friends.

We have hundreds of photos saved on our computer (which is nice...), but I'd like to pass something down to my daughters that is more meaningful and organized than a flash drive full of pictures. 

All that said, I'm asking for your advice and any tips you have:

  • How do you fit scrapbooking in? 
  • Have you found another "way" to record memories that is less time-consuming?
  • Should I give up scrapbooking altogether and make slideshows/collages/framed art instead?

Answer one or more of the questions above for your chance to win...

WIN IT! One winner will receive 5 2-packs of UHU Scrapbooker's Glue Pens (enough for you and four of your friends!!!). To enter, leave a comment on this post prior to Tuesday, January 20 at midnight (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.). * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.

*UPDATE* The winner is #55 MaryAnn. Congratulations!

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83 comments on “Your Scrapbooking Advice, Please”

  1. I prefer to take digital pictures instead of scrapbooking. I find that it's less expensive and takes up less room for supplies and materials.

  2. Actually, my daughter is the scrapbooker - and her work is gorgeous! She is organized and makes time for scrapbooking whenever necessary (after vacations, family functions, etc.). Me? I have pictures of me as a baby that have never been put into any kind of book. Now that's a lot of neglected pictures! Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this giveaway!

  3. I am not a big scrapbooker but I do not think you should give it up. I think scrapbooking is much better than making slideshows or collages because of all the different things you can include on a scrapbook page along with a picture. That's why I like scrapbooking at least. This is a great giveaway and I really hope I win. Thanks.

  4. I can barely find time to fit in scrapbooking also. I've started picking out just occasions that are very special to me and scrapbooking them to cut down on the shear quantity of work. For any other events that I wnat memorialized, I too have taken to doing the photobooks.

  5. I desperately want to start getting into scrapbooking. I have been wanting. I guess the big thing is to find time. We need to set time aside every month and schedule it in as we would another important appointment

  6. I have my scrapbooking things in bins by my kitchen table.
    Everything is within arm's reach & that makes scrapping much easier and more fun.

  7. I try to set time aside once a week, but even that's not always successful. I scrap the best pics and put the rest in the divider photo pages.

  8. The only way I get time to scrap is to go to weekend crops where I spend the night. Unfortunately I only get to these a few times a year.

    One suggestion for you is digital scrapbooking. I haven't done it yet so don't know the difference in time commitment. I would guess that $wise it would be cheaper. I am guessing that the traditional scrapbooking ends up being quite expensive.

  9. wow - I never seem to have time but there are some good suggestions here - the digitalo scrapbooking seems to be a good hint - I have not even sorted my photos on line!

  10. oooo...these would be great for the book i'm am putting together for my new 3 month old:) i scrap just a little at a time while both my kiddos are napping(if I'm not napping with them LOL!) it definitely gets harder to fit in the older they get, not to mention the photos that pile up in that time:) luckily, i also have a younger sister who scraps and has no kids so she has plenty of time to put together books for all of our family:)

  11. I don't scrapbook, but my 12 year old does and she is pretty good at it. Lately, she's been teaching her brother to do it too!

  12. A reason to pull the scrapbook stuff out that's hiding in my closet. I keep meaning to do that, if I win I will have no excuse. Thanks, Angie

  13. I love scrapbooking. I set aside an hour or two, sometimes more, every week just for scrapbooking. It works for me and now that my daughter is hooked, we do it together and have a great time chatting while we scrapbook. It's very relaxing when you have a partner. Thanks.

  14. Don't give up scrapbooking. I got two of them for Christmas one from my son and another from a daughter in law. They mean so much to me. Homemade is meaningful.

  15. I recently (about 2 years ago) sold almost all of my scrapbook supplies. As Flylady would say, it wasn't bringing me joy. I didn't have time to scrap, and whenever I thought about it I would feel guilty. If I did try to scrap, I would have to pull my boxes out of storage. I feel so much free-er since I gave it up! I've thought about doing digital, but I just havne't gotten into it.

  16. The best advice is to be organized with all your scrapbooking supplies. It makes things a lot easier & much more enjoyable :o)

  17. I don't know. I just love scrapbooking the oldfashioned way. Digital scrapbooking doesn't feel quite as personal to me.

  18. I find that more people can view your photos when they are in a digital format or online than regular scrapbooking...I still love to have printed out pics and albums...but also having trouble finding the time

  19. My wife is a scrapbooking fanatic. I haven't seen this around so I would like to show her I am interested in her hobby too.

  20. I love the new digitial scrapbooks. I just recently finished one for my granddaughter (birth-6 months) My daughter loved it. I didn't use pre-made pages, although there are some beautiful ones out there. I used Photoshop Pro and did all the pages from scrap.

    You can download literally thousands of elements (ribbons, beads, frames etc.) And you can never missplace them, miscut them, or run out of a favorite paper! And if you are handy with PSP a favorite element can become hundreds just by using "colorize".

    I hope you get a chance to get back to your hobby!

  21. Once a month my sister, SILs and I go out to Archiver's and scrap for 5 hours. It's our "girls night". We make the time because it serves dual purpose: we spend time together, we scrap and we get away from the kids.

    Don't give up your hobby.


  22. I've gone digital for most of my photos, but I still like the occasional quick project for one particular photo. The kids can get involved and it only takes half an hour or so.

  23. I make myself find time to do my Scrapbooking. Its so relaxing and I love finding a perfect setting for each of my pictures. No, please, dont give it will be so worth your efforts for years to record your family and their day-to-day events.

  24. I have a room dedicated to scrapbooking and have done almost none in the past few years. But, I say don't give up.
    Figure out a way to reward yourself (like do 5 pages and you get to buy $10 of new supplies).
    If you have old magazines, look for simple page ideas that focus more on getting your feelings and thoughts down and less on creating art. It's ok if only the occasional page is a "creation".
    Also, consider each page an accomplishment and don't worry about catching up". A single scrapbook using a small percent of your total photos is still a wonderful memory.

  25. My vote is to not give up! I am over a year behind and just recently a couple of friends of mine decided to do Scrapbooking Night every other Friday- it's fun and it is a set time to get things done!

  26. My biggest tip is to organize your photo's before you start. Also, I do all my pages on a piece of 12x12 that way if I have to add pages later I can do so and they are not in scrapbook already. When I am done and ready I assembly by gluing in 12x12 papers into pages.

  27. I fit it in during "me" time, nap time, etc. I get up at 4am to get that time alone. I love scrapping but it helps that I have a dedicated room just for that :)

  28. How do you fit scrapbooking in? I don't.....
    Have you found another “way” to record memories that is less time-consuming? I have a blank journal where I started making lists - first time to a state, first movie etc. And using on-line photo album services.
    Should I give up scrapbooking altogether and make slideshows/collages/framed art instead? Sounds just as time consuming.....

  29. I use to have a weekly scrapbooking night with girlfriends but then came DD now I do most of my stuff online at shutterfly, snapfish, or heritage makers and I make photo books. Much easier, cheaper, and less mess. But I love to scrapbook so I save important events for that like birthdays and holidays

  30. I must say that I have the same problem as you do. I love scrapbooking, but with a toddler and a 5 year old haven't attempted it in so long.

    I did win a contest recently for a Shutterfly photobook, and although it isn't as pretty as a homemade scrapbook, it is a close second. I was able to choose the backgrounds and personalize the page with comments. In the end, I loved it! So maybe you can try that.

    Good Luck!

  31. My tip is alwys check the craft store for Clearance items. I find alot of cheap items at
    Jo-anne's craft store they have clearance and many times the price is chaeper with the price it has on it! I also find alot of unique craft supplies at thrift stores!

  32. I don't do scrapbooking but my daughters do. They haunt the dollar tree because it has amazing items all the time. And Michael's, too.

  33. I barely do! I get about a couple of hours on the weekend, IF i am lucky. I wish I could just have a week all by myself to get caught up! My daughter is about to turn 7, and I just finished her 5th birthday party scrapbook!!

  34. I really love to scrapbook but I've also put it on the back burner in favor of blog design, blogging and trying to keep up with the kids and their messes. The one way I've found that actually keeps me doing it on occasion is to have a once monthly scrap night with friends. We all bring our stuff to work on while we chat and snack. So I get a few pages done every month at least.

  35. I find that I try and do a little bit whenever I have a little time. I leave my uncompleted work out on the table so whenever i have time, I can paste a picture or add some stickers, it takes some time to complete an album, but at least I'm doing the hobby I love with just a little time.


  37. How do you fit scrapbooking in?
    Have you found another “way” to record memories that is less time-consuming?
    Should I give up scrapbooking altogether and make slideshows/collages/framed art instead?

    Well, i've been makingg scrapbook about my life for projects at school. I think photo albums with memos, making videos, writing a diary are some of the ways that really worked. No! don't give up! It will all be worth it. After your done making it, you'll thanks yourself for not giving up.

  38. Try this site- You can design and print scrapbook pages from photos you have stored on your computer. There are tons of designs and they look like the real thing!

  39. How do you fit scrapbooking in? I go to scrapbooking retreats. Ideas, sharing, and convenience abound! And, I get something done without my cats finding new "toys"
    Have you found another “way” to record memories that is less time-consuming? I have started making magents with mementos from trips. It is easy and quick and I can look at them all the time.
    Should I give up scrapbooking altogether and make slideshows/collages/framed art instead? That depends. Would you find them more useful and enjoyable?

  40. DO NOT give up scrapbooking, just be willing to do small books, simple pages, etc. Set up in a closet or tall credenza where you can leave things spread out, under a cover of some kind. come back to it till it is finished, even if it takes a few days!

  41. I am a beiginner scrapbooker so I need the tips more than I could give them. My best advice though is just to simplify.

  42. There are lots of internet sites with free printable frames and also free printable stationary that could be used to make scrapbooking frames. You'll probably have to stay up past the kids bedtimes, but that would be a good time to one night just print out lots and lots of different frames. In your search browser type in Free printable scrapbooking frames and stationery to find links. You should print out frames that would work for all different times of the year. Put these frames in one or two gallon size zip lock bags and write on the front, the months of the year, and put frames that would work in each of these. Remember what months your children are born in to also include frames that could work for their birthday pictures. Remember holidays and put frames in the correct month bags that will work for these.
    Then another night take out frames from a couple of months and cut them all out.
    That way you'll have alot of things already ready when pictures that might work with them are available. You could throw in the month bags extra items like ribbon, flat buttons, embellishments etc.
    There are nice paint pens available at craft stores and if you use your nice handwriting you could forgo using cut out words or even stenciling if you are short on time.
    The fronts of various Christmas cards and other cards you receive have many little items that could be cut out and used for scraping. Put aside a night to cut them out and put them in appropriate month bags. E.G. Valentine cards the kids get at school, cut out some of the embellishments to use for that year or following years scraping. Sometimes Christmas cards have houses with just snow on them and no lights or wreaths in the pictures. They could be cut out to use for winter scraping, likewise snowmen. When the kids get old enough and good enough have them do the cutting out of the items that could go into your months bags. Put the months bag in a large tote or a box in month order starting with the month you are in. Make yourself make scrapbooking pages at least one day or night a month dealing with the month you are in. Then when you are done with the month you are in, rotate or put that month bag at the end or back of the month bags. That way the next month you are suppose to work on is up front in the box (I actually like a see thru box, it keeps me more motivated) or bag.
    Even if you don't have time to cut items as you find them, it doesn't take that long to throw them in the appropriate month zip lock or glad bag
    for use.
    You can also add to pages photocopies of recipe cards you use or reduced sized recipes your family loves from cookbooks, if you have pictures of the kids cooking. If you ever buy store bought cookies or cakes, you can even usually cut off the box mix a picture of a cookie or two, or a cupcake or two to glue to your scraping page. It's best if they don't come directly in contact with the picture in case the paper and ink on these are not acid free, but they could be used somewhere on the page. Likewise if you buy frozen or canned vegetables, you might be able to cut out some of these and use them on a page about a vegetable garden you planted, or about a vegetarian meal you tried.
    Using items you have on hand can save you time from having to run to the craft hobby stores and even some of your hard earned money. E.G. Your son got a truck for a birthday gift, perhaps the packing has a small enough size picture of the truck or other toys on it that they could be used in your scraping about a day he visited a construction site, or about a new house being built etc..
    At first this method takes some time to set up, but once you get it done, it can work to save you time when you actually sit down to scrap.
    Always remember to dry fit or dry layer your pieces before glueing them down.
    I think it's best to always list the month and year at least with the pictures. You won't always want to explain when this or that happened to the ones looking at the pictures, especially when you really don't have time to do so.

  43. My advice to fitting it in is to make a priority to go to a group crop if you can find one. I attend a monthly crop with about 70 other women and I try to make it as often as possible, because frankly, it doesn't happen any other time (so come with me, k?!). Its so fun to crop with other ladies.

    A great tip someone gave me when I started scrapping 11 years ago was to just start with now and then go back and take it a year or theme at a time...whichever you want to do. That way, you stay up with your current stuff and don't forget details of names and places. It was a good tip!

  44. Digital photo books are much easier for me since I am online so much anyway. But you can always embellish them! Did I mention that I love to say "UHU"? It cracks me up for some reason.

  45. To answer your last question, I think you should do whatever you enjoy and appreciate, and what you have time for.

    I know I have saved loads of time by going digital. I can do digital layouts in much less time than it took me to do a paper layout. You can also get "quickpages" from digital scrapbooking designers online where all you have to do is add a photo or two, and you have an instant page. Quickpages are usually sized 12 x 12, but you can also get 4 x 6 sizes if you want to print them and put them in a traditional photo album. Digital gives you a lot of options, still lets you be creative, and saves time. :)

  46. The sweetest accents to a child's scrapbook page are handprints. Handprints are especially appreciated in baby or grandparent scrapbooks.

    To make prints, prepare a flat surface. Next, put acrylic paint into a paper plate.

    Then, have your child place his or her hands in the paint and then on your scrapbook surface, one at a time.

    After the paint dries, you will have a permanent record of your child's handprints

  47. I, like some commenters above, use digital scrapbooking. It's fast and looks great. I tried Shutterfly, which never really cooperated with me (it could have been my computer) so I now make them through Photoshop Elements, which is connected to Kodak. It was easy and pretty reasonably priced, in my opinion, especially when you consider the cost of developing photos, buying photo albums, scrapbook material, etc.

  48. I am having the same problem! I keep hearing all about digital scrapbooking... I figure with the time I spend on the computer, I suppose I should try that out and see how I like it!

  49. I don't have time for scrapbooking anymore, either. After I had kids I ended up just getting some photo books and putting all the pictures in them. I loved doing it, however, so I compromised by making cards instead. I use the same materials, but the project is smaller and easier to handle. I sometimes don't even want to send them because I love them so much, but then I wise up and send them (and I'm proud of my handmade work). As for you, although the scrapbooks are lovely, I'd say "scrap it" if you will be too stressed. It needs to bring you joy. Do whatever will make you happy and your whole family will love it.

  50. How do you fit scrapbooking in? I don't. Although I am trying to find a way. My husband just built me an office and I am going to set up a table in the corner so that I can "sneak away" every now and again and do something.

    Should I give up scrapbooking altogether and make slideshows/collages/framed art instead? No. I think that in the future your daughter will definetly cherish a handmade scrapbook that you made more than anything else.

  51. I can't fit it in anymore either. What I do now, that doesn't really count as recording memories, is make one album each year with our favorite pictures. I don't really even scrap the pages. It's a small album which only has room for one picture per page. I just write a couple of sentences about the photo on the opposite page. I slap on some paint, & embellishments and call it done.

    I like the idea of photo books though. Those would be quicker and easier but they'd have the same effect.

  52. If you want a quicker scrapbooking meathod, I highly reccomend going to an 8x8 size scrapbook album. THe pages take significanly less time to put together, yet they are still big enough to include 1 full 4x6 photo or multiple smaller photos. As for finding time, I don't scrapbook until the kids go to bed, and I have an area in my master bedroom dedicated to my scrapbook stuff, so it is all set out, and doesn't have to be dragged out evertime I want to scrapbook (I would love to have a craft room, but I have too many kids and too small a house for that)

  53. Im not great at scrapbooking by any means, but I've figured out that less is more! I used to put a ton of stuff all on one page and it would look way too crowded, I dont do that anymore!

  54. I can only echo what other people are saying - consider digital scrapbooking. I have a friend who is a consultant for Heritage Makers. I can put you in touch with her if you'd like.

    Such is the case with any hobby when you have kids . . . . there's little time for it. :-(

  55. Don't include me in your contest b/c I don't scrapbook (traditionally) anymore. I made the switch to digital and I love it. I found that it only takes a fraction of the time and there's no mess since it's all online. I also don't have to store all the supplies and print all the photos. I started with iPhoto on my Mac, which is super-easy to use. I'm still exploring some of the other options out there that actually allow you to create pages with background papers and "doo-dads" that look more like traditional scrapbooking.

    I still love it just as much. I'm still using my creative juices, just in a different format. I LOVE having less "stuff" to store and having no mess.

    Good luck!

  56. Are you reading my mind?! This is totally something I've been thinking about lately. I used to paper scrapbook years ago and started to do digital scrapbooking last year but it was taking me a really long time to do pages. Has anyone tried Heritage Makers? I've considered using that system to get all caught up but the only people I've talked to are sales reps - so I'm not sold yet on a "real" users point of view.

  57. Chiming in with a another vote for trying the photobooks. We did it this year. And, we just paid for shipping. There are several sites still offering the photobook for free and just pay shipping~usually about $7.

  58. I still love to scrapbook and will always enjoy it, but I've started making photobooks as a quick way to get those pictures off the computer. They make quick and easy gifts.

  59. Scrapbooking is not only fun, it is a way of telling your family history. I have found it works best if I pile up a few pictures and do a few pages at once (but you have to be careful not to let it pile up too much, or it will feel like a chore, and it shouldn't be that). Have fun with it!

  60. I have a pile of stuff that I keep saying I will get scrapbooked. Maybe if I got off the internet I would get it done. This sure would make it easier.

  61. I do some scrapbooking but do more creations of photobooks lately scanning the work and making books...on scrapbooking make time to express yourself

  62. I never was an avid scrapbooker. And while I really enjoy digital scrapbooking, though I would call myself practically a novice, I simply don't set aside time for it. The end result is that I have about 5 years worth of pictures on my computer, and only about 6 months of it printed into photos.

    I still haven't decided how I'm going to do anything besides had my kids an electronic file when they're older, like you.

    However, I did recently use to make a blog book, and I'm *so pleased* with the final result. If I could convince myself to make a book or two of some of my favorite pictures for each of my kids, I think a simple photo book with interspersed journaling may be the easiest solution to my problem. And maybe, someday when I have time again (lol), I can dig a little deeper into prettier forms of saving memories.

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