Step One: Photos

So you've got the basic supplies. Now what? Start by choosing some photos that have meaning to you. Maybe photos from your high school graduation or reunion, a new baby, or even the barbeque you had last summer. Try not to choose too many, just pick two or three that best sum up the story you're trying to convey.

Start with digital prints, you can always re-print them if you cut one the wrong size. Before cutting an original or a vintage photo scan it. Starting 
with your Wedding or Baby album can be overwhelming. What not start with a summer vacation or birthday celebration.

Step Two: Paper

Now that you have the photos you want to use, it's time to choose the paper. What colors do you see in the photos? Is someone wearing a red shirt or is there a theme you want to play on, such as school colors? By using colors that appear in the photos when choosing the paper, you'll find that your layout, as a whole, has more continuity. Take your photos and try laying them on top of different colored and patterned papers. Which paper makes the pictures "pop" without overwhelming them? If the patterned paper is very busy or detailed, you may want to choose a coordinating color of cardstock to mat the photos on so they aren't "lost" on the paper. You can also have your photos printed in Black and White.

Step Three: Cropping

Next, you may want to trim, or "crop," your photos. This is not always necessary, but is very helpful when wanting to edit out distracting background in your photos or to adjust the size so that it fits better on the layout you're working on.

Step Four: Composition

This step can be one of the most challenging but with the help of our How-To-Patterns you will be well on your way. These books include simple diagrams and easy-to-follow instructions. Each concept/template can be rotated, swapped or flipped. The possibilities are endless, let you imagination and flair shine through.

Step Five: Adhesive

If you wish to mat your photos on cardstock or other paper, do so at this point. Then, simply place the photos where you've chosen for them to go. With the exception of glue sticks, most adhesives are pretty forgiving if you decide to move them around after sticking them down. Just be careful not to bend your photo.

Step Six: Embellishment
This is the fun part! In the area surrounding the photos, adhere stickers, tags, chipboard designs, whichever embellishments reflect the mood and theme of your layout. Make sure the embellishments don't take center stage; you don't want to distract from your photos. They are just what their name implies, made to embellish what you already have.

Step Seven: Title and Journaling

This step is easily forgotten or dismissed, but is so very important to your scrapbooks! Journaling is simply writing down the story of what is happening in the pictures. What do you want to remember about that day? What year was it and how old was the subject? Was there a funny story that went along with the pictures?

Your journaling may simply be dates and ages or it could be a full page narrative of the event or person. Don't let it overwhelm you, just write what you feel someone 50 years from now would want to know, whether it be the basic details or a little more.Don't forget a title that sums up the layout. This is your chance to be funny, creative, or just make a statement.

Well, you did it! You've just created your first scrapbook layout! Take a look at the finished project and give yourself a pat on the back. With time and practice, you'll be cranking them out in no time. Just remember, there is no right or wrong way to scrapbook and each of us has our own style-even you!

Step Eight: Building your Album

If you are using a post and screw album, here are a few tips.I found its best not to expend the album beyond 3-1/2". You will most likely want to assemble your album chronically.
a) open your album add two 1" extender posts. (max. height).
b) add your page protectors (30-35 pages),splite the spine expanders in two and insert one between each pages to create proper page spacing for a full album.
c) work on which ever layout you want and insert in album. I have yearly family albums, the layouts are placed by month. Remember you Scrapbook tells a story, what you're story about?

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