Scrapbooking for Stress Relief & Relaxation
by Jennifer Bennett
The definition of scrapbooking is the method of preserving personal and family history. My definition of scrapbooking is the pure joy I feel knowing I am creating a lasting memory for my family and future generations. I could only wish that I had albums from my grandparents. To know what happened in their lives while growing up would have been amazing.
Imagine years from now when your grandchildren look thru this album that you created for their parent and for them. They will learn more about their family history with photographs and stories written all in one place. The smiles it will bring to the people in the album and the additional stories that will be told all due to this beautiful album.
Scrapbooking has come a long way since my parents and grandparents time. Most products that are available help to preserve the quality of the photograph and the memorabilia in that album.
Traditional vs. Digital Scrapbooking
Traditional scrapbooking is the most popular form of scrapbooking today. This is the method of crafting scrapbook pages together with patterned paper, embellishments and photographs. This is where I feel the most creative. I enjoy cropping my pictures, selecting my color scheme, choosing what embellishment to use and organizing the photographs on that page. The sense of pride I feel when I create something so beautiful is beyond words.
Digital scrapbooking has come a long way and it continues to get even better with each passing year. As with traditional scrapbooking, there is so much to choose from. You are still able to select your color scheme, page layout and embellishments but the difference is that it’s all done digitally. The digital software available today, is really incredible. Not only is it easy to understand but you do not need to be a graphic designer to use it.
Scrapbooking Relieves Stress & Promotes Relaxation
Not only is scrapbooking fun but it's a wonderful stress management activity that helps to relieve stress and promote relaxation.
There is something about setting aside the troubles of the day and losing yourself in the pictures you are working with. Just remembering special times and reflecting on them, to me…this is the best stress management I can think of. As you work with your hands and express yourself through your creativity, you give yourself a time out from life’s stressors.
Many people see Scrapbooking as overwhelming but once you get started you quickly realize that there is nothing to be afraid of. Remember, scrapbooks are your personal creative expression of your memories, likes, dislikes and there is no wrong way to do it.
In fact, people use scrapbooking as a way to express their feelings, both good and bad. Many people scrap as a method of personal art journaling. Embellishments might include personal items and scraps you have saved such as movie tickets, baby’s hair from their first haircut to newspaper clippings, etc. There is no limit to scrapbooking and the possibilities are endless.
10 Tips for Stress-Less Scrapbooking
#1 - Be Organized
When you are looking at hundreds of photographs you may be thinking... where do I start? Well the answer is to get organized. I will usually start by organizing my photos by year, then by child or by event. I do an album for each of my children, but when we go on an exciting family vacation I do one album for that. Once you have organized your photographs you will feel such a sense of relief. Now you have a place to start.
#2 - Have the proper tools
Having the proper tools is another necessity for making your scrapbooking enjoyable. You will need a Scrapbooking Paper Trimmer of some kind . You may also choose to have some shape makers or some type of cutting system. This will enable you to cut out different shapes with your photographs and paper. This is also a very inexpensive way to embellish your pages. I love stickers but they can be costly.
#3 - Start with the basics
When you get started with scrapbooking you want to be sure that you are purchasing the proper types of products. Be sure they are acid free, lignin free, buffered and bleed resistant. To get started you will need an album, pages for the album, page protectors, colorful paper, embellishments and of course pictures.
#4 - Choosing Photographs
You do not need to scrap every single photograph taken. I found that this started to stress me out. So, I decided to choose my favorite pictures and scrap those. It made it so much easier and I was able to be as creative as I wanted. Also, remember that you do not have to use all 4x6 pictures. If you have a favorite make it a 5x7 or even do a 8x10. Also, scrapbook the sad times as well as the happy times. I have a photograph of my son when he lost his teddy bear. This was not a happy time but I wanted to remember that day as much as the day he received the teddy bear. They are all memories!!
#5 - Join a Scrapbook Group
This can be getting friends that love to scrap together as often as you want . I find that I am more productive when I am sharing my passion and excitement with others. I have a group that gets together monthly for 6 hours a night and we scrap, (and talk and laugh)!!! It is a lot of fun. We also do all day scraps, 12 hours of uninterrupted time to work on my albums. I call it my Mommy’s Day Out.
#6 - Start in the Present
I find that I am most creative when I am scrapping something from the present. I got overwhelmed with the thought that I had to do my kids baby albums, then all the years in between. I found that if I worked on current stuff I would accomplish more. Then I would go back and do a couple of pages from prior years. I am not caught up yet but I am enjoying what I am doing and that is more important!!!
#7 - Do not over-buy paper and embellishments
I fell into this trap years ago. And the lesson that I learned is not to over buy. Look at the project that you are working on and only buy what you need for that. You will end up saving yourself a lot of money!!!! And sometimes the stuff you have left over can be used on the next project.
#8 - Read, Read and Read some more
I get a lot of my inspiration from scrapbooking magazines and books. I call it "scraplifting". You see a beautiful page someone created and you make it your own. There are some great books to help you be creative and books to help you plan your page. Look under the title of “Scrapbooking Idea Books”.
#9 - Journaling
Journaling is very important. Although they say a picture is worth a thousand words you need to help. Keep in mind that future generations are going to be looking thru these albums and you want to tell the story of what happened.
#10 - Fancy is fun but simple is done
This has been my motto for many years. This reminds me that I can have as many simple pages as I have fancy pages. They are just as beautiful and meaningful. Do not get yourself crazy that every page has to be a masterpiece in fancy. It is the memory you want to remember not how fancy the page is.