Dear New Scrapbooker

In a Facebook group that I'm a member of, someone posed this question:

Ok quick question. If you were just wanting to learn about scrapbooking, what are some of the things you wish someone had told you before you got started?

With 20 years of scrapbooking experience, I have a few ideas and pieces of advice for anyone who is new to scrapbooking. 

1. Copy what you like! You have access to so much inspiration via the internet...don't try to reinvent the wheel with every layout. Copy! 

2. Do not (under any circumstances) begin scrapbooking with your wedding photos! I'm begging not do this. It will take you a little while to find the techniques you truly love and to learn what you don't enjoy. Don't let your important photos be your guinea pigs. I promise, you will thank me for this advice in a few years.

3. Scrapbooking doesn't have to take over your life or your house, but don't be surprised if it does. Making things with your hands is very good therapy and is something many people enjoy. Scrapbooking is very rewarding and the community of scrapbook enthusiasts is rich with connections. 

4. Scrapbooking doesn't have to be expensive but there are a few things that I advise you to never go cheap on--albums, page protectors and adhesive. These are the most important, staple items that you will buy. Choose wisely.

5. Not every photo has to be scrapbooked. Not every photo deserves to be scrapbooked. Choose the pictures that speak to you--the photos with a story you want to telll. Scrap those! Scrap the best, store the rest.

6. When building a page, don't put off the journaling. I see this happen quite a lot and it breaks my heart. Without journaling, a scrapbook page is limited in its lifespan. Unless you write the stories that go along with your pictures, those stories will be lost when you are gone. Don't discount the value of the written story. From the start, make the journaling just as important as every other element in your page. 
So now you know. 

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