10 Easy Scrapbook Photo Album Ideas for Beginners

Last Updated: December 30, 2021

Scrapbook ideas for beginners aren’t that hard to find these days. In this digital age that we’re living in, a quick scroll through your Pinterest and Instagram feed will probably produce a few ideas that you can try right away. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t done any scrapbooking before. This relaxing and rewarding hobby isn’t exactly rocket science. Armed with nothing but your beautiful memories, photos, and basic scrapbook supplies, you can start your crafting journey today!

Scrapbook ideas for beginners using stencils

What is a scrapbook?

“Scrapbook” is a blank book with pages that you can use to stick photos, clippings, drawings, or memorabilia. Memorabilia can be a simple newspaper or magazine clipping about a significant event, a person, a movie or plane ticket, or a letter from a special someone. A scrapbook photo album is different from a store-bought photo album because each page’s layout and design can be customized. It also includes handwritten or typed journaling. According to Wikipedia, it is “a method of preserving, presenting, and arranging personal and family history in the form of a book, box, or card.”

Enjoy the ride scrapbook collection from Altenew

The primary purpose of this hobby is to document precious memories and keep souvenirs. When you create a scrapbook page, it usually contains photos, journaling, ephemera, clippings, letters, tiny trinkets, and other souvenirs. Each page is then decorated with stickers, die-cuts, stamped images, colorful washi tapes, sentiments, doodles, etc. This activity is an excellent way for people to unleash and discover their inner creative soul. 

Tulip 3D Embossing Folder from Altenew

Is Scrapbooking Still Popular?

The simple answer here is yes. Scrapbooking is a type of paper crafting activity that is fun, creative, exciting, and addicting. While considered an archaic hobby, it has adapted very well. Now, more than ever, people from all walks of life find themselves drawn to handmade arts and crafts. Despite everything being digital and automatic, thanks to the Internet, the manual process of creating handcrafted projects has been somewhat enjoyable and relaxing for most people. Moreover, social media channels like Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook have provided a creative space for crafters to share their work, admire others’ creations, and find scrapbooking ideas instantly.

Scrapbook ideas for beginners

The rise of handmade crafts such as jewelry, bags, DIY home decor, vintage clothes, etc., being sold in e-commerce stores such as Etsy has definitely spotlighted the wonderful world of crafting. Although its popularity has tamed down since its heyday in the mid-2000s, its success paved the way for hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores dedicated to selling scrapbooking materials. Not only can you find scrapbook album ideas easily online, but there are also more choices when it comes to tools and supplies made explicitly for scrapbooking. Scrapbooking workshops and retreats, also known as crops, have exploded in popularity. These events have also been translated into the digital world through online paper crafting classes providing scrapbook decoration ideas for both beginners and experts.

As mentioned earlier, social media has given scrapbooking a much-needed push into the limelight. While there are fewer brick-and-mortar specialty stores for scrappers, the number of online scrapbook stores where you can easily buy supplies like custom scrapbook papers, embellishments, stickers has increased exponentially.

Scrapbook theme ideas using party banner dies

Nowadays, the many benefits of scrapbooking include relaxation and self-care, so it’s unlikely for this popular hobby to disappear. Crafting trends and innovative supplies may come and go, but this seemingly old-fashioned hobby will continue to fascinate crafty people of all ages.

How Do You Make a Scrapbook Album at Home?

Celebrating simple everyday moments in your life is now as easy as creating a scrapbook page. While scrapbook theme ideas include special occasions and celebrations like birthdays, weddings, graduation, or travel adventures, you can scrapbook about almost anything under the sun - even about the most mundane happenings in your life. Unlike other creative hobbies, though, scrapbooking won’t require you to be super artistic or creative. A little creativity can go a long way, as long as you find a suitable theme or topic and invest in the necessary tools. 

12 x 12 scrapbook idea for beginners

If you are ready to awaken and hone that creative skill or simply have fun, here are a few things you need to remember before you start making a scrapbook photo album at home.

1. Get supplies! You cannot start this activity if you don’t even have a piece of paper or cardstock. You may have the best scrapbooking ideas, but you won’t be able to create anything if you don’t have the right tools. Here are some basic scrapbooking supplies that will help you get started.

Scrapbook kit collection from Altenew

  1. Cardstock - This can be plain or white cardstock or colored cardstock. 
  2. Patterned paper - Also known as designer paper, these are colorful scrapbooking papers with patterns and designs. Patterned papers usually come in sets and can be 12” x 12” or 6” x 6”. Some are also double-sided.
  3. Scrapbook photo album - Ideally, you might want to buy a ready-to-use scrapbook album. This will make things easier for you as a beginner. Most of these albums already include page protectors, so you won’t need to worry about that. You can always create a DIY album if that’s what you prefer.
  4. Scissors or paper trimmer - You’re going to cut many things - paper, cardstock, stickers, embellishments, ribbons, tapes, etc. Make sure to invest in sharp, stainless steel, and anti-rust scissors. 
  5. Adhesives - Glue tape is an excellent and beginner-friendly adhesive. It’s easy to use and mess-free. Go for acid-free ones to ensure longevity. It’s ideal to invest in a couple of different adhesives for various applications, such as foam tapes (for added dimension) and liquid glue pens (for more intricate and small pieces).
  6. Embellishments - The plethora of embellishments readily available to scrapbookers could make it a bit overwhelming, even for the most experienced ones. Embellishments can be clear stickers, ribbons, die-cuts, sequins, wood veneers, puffy stickers, alphabet stickers, twine, beads, washi tapes, ephemera, and more! Basically, you can use anything you want to decorate or embellish your page. When you have the right embellishments, it’ll be easier to come up with scrapbook decoration ideas for your next project. 

Enjoy the ride ephemera set for scrapbooking

2. Prepare your photos! Let’s face it; photographs are the centerpiece of your scrapbook photo album. This is literally the whole point of scrapbooking. The first thing you need to do is sort out and organize your photos. If you are like everybody else in this day and age, you probably have most of your pictures saved in your phone’s camera roll, posted on Facebook or Instagram, or kept in a folder on your computer. Go through them, pick the best ones or your favorites, and print them out! Don’t go crazy, though. Make sure to choose ones that you think are worth scrapbooking about. Always remember, less is more.

3. Do your research! Don’t worry; you don’t need to go through pages and pages of tedious research. Aside from scrapbook album ideas, it wouldn’t hurt to know a few basic things. Whether it’s about scrapbooking’s humble beginnings, hottest trends, basic techniques, and must-have supplies, there’s a lot to learn about this exciting paper crafting activity. Here’s a 10-minute read on everything scrapbook-related.

Daisies 3D Embossing Folder for scrapbooking

How Do You Scrapbook for Beginners?

Scrapbook ideas for beginners aren’t that hard to find. You just have to know where to look and what you’re looking for. Anyone can start this fun activity as long as you commit to it and have the necessary tools. Before you begin this journey, however, here are a few essential tips to keep in mind.

  • Pick a topic. You can either pick a story or a theme. Remember, you are a storyteller, and your purpose is to document special events and precious moments. Here are a few scrapbook theme ideas:
    • Graduation
    • Birthday 
    • Anniversary 
    • Baby book
    • Holidays
    • Travels
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Couple
    • Food
    • Pets
    • Gardening
  • Pick your photos - As mentioned earlier, photographs are the focal point of each page you create. You need to be smart about choosing the right images. You can’t just go to town and print out 200+ photos from your recent trip to Europe. Just highlight a few photos, and you’re good to go. Less is more - remember that.

3D pop-up scrapbooking idea for beginners

  • Pick your layout - Choosing a scrapbook layout is probably one of the most intimidating parts for beginners. When you look at a scrapbook page, you may think it seems pretty straightforward, but there’s a lot that goes into it. It’s not just sticking a photo in the middle then surrounding it with a bunch of embellishments. You have to think about the placement of your photo (or photos!), which decorations to use, what colors to use, where to put the title and the journaling, etc. Always ask yourself this: where do I want to draw attention? Start small and search for a few basic layouts. Once you’ve mastered this, you can venture into more complicated and intricate ones.  

Easy scrapbook album idea for beginners using stamps and dies

  • Pick your album size - Your scrapbook photo album’s size depends on your personal preference. The average sizes are 12 inches by 12 inches and 8.5 inches by 11 inches. With the former, you can have more space for your pictures, ephemera, and decorations. On the other hand, the latter might be better for those who want to keep a minimalist style scrapbook. Other album sizes are 6 inches by 6 inches and 8 inches by 8 inches. You can even create mini albums if you want to keep them small and compact.

Easy scrapbook theme ideas

To help jumpstart your creative journey, we’ve gathered 10 quick and easy scrapbooking ideas that beginners like you can instantly whip up!

1. One-Image Scrapbook- Here, you want to highlight a single moment, memory, event, thing, or person. This is the best idea for those new to scrapbooking because it allows you to focus on this one photo and really think about how to make it pop. You want to draw attention to it; make it the star of your page. Check out this example.

2. Mini or Pocket Scrapbook - When things get too confusing or overwhelming, go small! You don’t always have to “go big!” Mini scrapbook album, also known as pocket scrapbook, is one of the trendiest types of scrapbook. Plus, it fits in your pocket, so you can take it with you and scrapbook on the go. Win-win! Here’s a cute example that you can try.

Embellishments for scrapbooking

3. Mixed Media Scrapbook - With mixed media scrapbook, you can experiment with a wide variety of tools - especially mixed media supplies. You don’t need to limit yourself to just a few stickers and ephemera. Check out this fun and easy example!

4. DIY Scrapbook - If you are running out of scrapbook decoration ideas, try this! Create your own embellishments from leftover scraps, bits, and bobs! This will also allow you to tap into that inner creative soul. Here’s an inspiration for you!

5. Planner Scrapbook - Yes, you can use your boring, old planner for scrapbooking! Depending on your planner’s size, you may have to downsize (or upsize) your layout and design. Click here to see more planner scrapbooking ideas!

Planner scrapbooking using floral stamps

6. Make a Shape - If you’re finding it challenging to choose a layout, you can simply make a shape using your photos and embellishments. It could be a heart, star, circle, triangle, or even a Christmas tree - the possibilities are endless. Here’s an idea for you!

7. Tell a Story - At its core, scrapbooking is basically storytelling in a more decorative, personalized, and creative way. Although your journaling will take care of the “description” part, it’s still essential to create a story through your photos and embellishments. Check out this example!

8. Journaling - Scrapbook journaling has gained popularity in recent years, thanks to Instagram and YouTube. With art journals and bullet journals already being trendy, it only took a hot minute for journaling enthusiasts to do a fusion of scrapbooking and journaling. Find more scrapbooking ideas on journals here.

9. Mini Envelope Album - If you’re into small and cute projects, or you simply find it intimidating to fill up an entire 12” x 12” layout, then this is for you! With this album, though, you’re going to either trim your photos or print them in smaller sizes. Check out this sample project that you can try today! 

10. Traveler’s Notebook - Also known as a TN, this is for those who love adventures and, well, traveling. It’s basically a notebook where you highlight your most memorable trips and add a bit of journaling. Here’s an inspiration for you!

There you have it! We hope these 10 scrapbook ideas for beginners have sparked your creativity and helped you decide where this fun hobby is for you! Say goodbye to plain and boring photo albums! Celebrate and document your most precious memories (or even the most mundane ones) through the beautiful art of scrapbooking!

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