What is scrapbooking and why scrapbook?

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If I was asked why scrapbook and why is it such a popular hobby, I could give numerous reasons.

But before we get into the reasons to scrapbook, let’s first find out what’s a scrapbook and what exactly is scrapbooking?

Scrapbooking is a method of capturing information in one place. It is one method of documenting life.

The idea of scrapbooking is not new. Scrapbooking has been around for as long as people have been collecting ephemera in books. Commonplace books were an early form of scrapbooking, and they were used to collate information that was important to the book owner. These commonplace books were popular in the UK as early as the 1400s.

Scrapbooking is considered a craft hobby. You can find many craft and hobby stores online that carry scrapbooking supplies. 

why scrapbooking is important

What is a scrapbook?

A scrapbook is a photo album with a twist. The twist is that the album includes photos, and it also contains headings, journaling, patterned papers, ephemera, and embellishments.

What is the purpose of scrapbooking?

If you’re wondering what is the point of scrapbooking, I think the purpose of scrapbooking is to preserve memories and moments. It is a visual representation of moments captured in time.

Ways to scrapbook

Scrapbooks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and types!

Let’s start with standard scrapbook albums. These albums come in several sizes, from mini albums to a large 12 x 12 inches.

In addition to standard albums, other scrapbooks include:

  • Junk journals
  • Traveler’s Notebooks
  • Pocket pages
  • Project Life
  • Digital albums
  • Art journals
  • Altered books
  • Bullet journals
  • Chipboard albums

The list goes on. Many people even create their own handmade albums.

The best part about the diversity of scrapbooks is that every person will find a size, shape or type that suits them the best.

Let’s go into some deeper detail.

what is the point of scrapbooking?

Standard scrapbook albums

There really isn’t such a thing as a standard scrapbook album. But there are types and sizes that are much easier to source than others.

When scrapbooking first started as a large commercial adventure, Creative Memories was probably one of the biggest manufacturers of scrapbooking supplies. The most popular size of album they manufactured was a 12″x12″ album.

This sizing set the scene in the scrapbooking world for a very long time, and this size still dominates today. It also helps that most patterned papers are also this size!

These types of albums are your general D-ring style to post bound albums. This refers to the mechanism for holding your page protectors within the album.

Other popular sizes of scrapbook albums include:

  • 12×12
  • 8.5×11
  • 9×12
  • 6×8
  • 6×6
  • 4×4

We R Memory Keepers 12x12 D-ring Album

The WRMK albums are some of the best in the business! They are a sturdy, durable album that will last the test of time. They come in a huge variety of colours. The d-ring system allows for the easy addition of page protectors. You won't be disappointed in this album.

Explore the range here!

Junk Journals

You’re probably wondering what is a junk journal?

Typically it is a handmade album created from any paper-based item you have lying around. The pages are an eclectic mix of patterned papers, cardstock, things like manila folders, writing paper, envelopes, anything!

A junk journal can also be a regular notebook in which you collect random pieces of ephemera. It’s a place for scrapbooking bower birds to keep their beautiful treasures. 

So why scrapbook in a junk journal? Because it’s fun just to grab some of your favourite bits and pieces and pop them in a notebook with some of your favourite and heartfelt words.

Below is a video of a junk journal page I created in a spare notebook I had.

Traveler’s Notebooks

Midori Traveler’s Notebooks are a brand of Japanese notebooks that come in various sizes. There are other accessories that you can buy in the same brand, and they’ve been the inspiration for other scrapbook companies to bring out folios and notebooks.

For one month I documented every day in a Traveler’s Notebook and it’s one of my favourite projects that I completed.

Midori Traveler's Notebook

Midori Traveler's Notebooks are so much fun! The pages come in a range of designs, including blank, lined, grid and dots. Additionally, the Traveler's Notebook range has accessories such as leather folios, labels, paperclips, and stickers.

Explore the range here!

Pocket Pages or Project Life

Often the terms pocket pages and Project Life are used interchangeably, but they are the same thing.

Becky Higgins created Project Life, and it initially started as a simple way of documenting the everyday.

It consists of page protectors that have individual pockets to add photos and journaling cards to.

Digital albums can also be created using templates. I’ve completed a couple of yearly albums and I love going back and looking at them.

Why scrapbook with pocket pages or Project Life? The smaller format of the individual pockets can be less overwhelming than a blank piece of 12×12 paper! This was of memory keeping is about getting it completed quickly and with little fuss.

Below are examples of a physical page and a digital page. I had the digital pages printed in a bound book through Blurb.

project life layout using multiple photos
why scrapbook a digital pocket page album

Digital Albums

Let’s face it, we are on technology more and more, so I find piecing together a digital album convenient because I can do it as I sit on my couch.

There are apps you can use, such as the Project Life app. You can also create pages in a powerful editor such as Photoshop or several free alternatives such as PhotoPea, Gimp and Paint Shop Pro.

Why create a digital scrapbook? One of the main advantages of digital albums is they take up less physical space. This is great if you don’t have a lot of room for bulky albums. They also come in a variety of sizes.

Below is a page I created of my daughter. These photos were taken before I found scrapbooking! I scanned them from the negatives.

why scrapbook a digital album

Art Journals

Art journals are more about freedom of expression than memory keeping details, facts and figures.

Art journal pages are filled with paint, markers, scrap pieces of paper, and other types of ephemera. They are about letting go and having fun and creating beautiful art.

One of my scrapbooking friends, Lisa, makes the most incredible art journal pages.

Click on the button below to check out her blog and see her amazing journals.

Altered Books

What is an altered book scrapbook? It’s simply a standard book that has scrapbook layouts created on the pages of the book.

A few years ago I created an altered book as part of a scrapbooking competition and it is still one of my favourite projects I have done.

I picked up a hardcover novel from a secondhand store, and I set about glueing pages together to create little windows for my layouts. 

Why scrapbook in a book? The number one reason for me is because it makes a cute gift! This altered book gift was given to my husband for Father’s Day.

I have another scrapbooking friend that creates monthly journals from altered books. Her journals are amazing, but she doesn’t have an online presence, unfortunately. She’s a librarian who simply loves books, so she feels more connected journaling this way.

Click here to see the rest of my altered book project.

make a scrapbook from a book
hardcover book scrapbook

Bullet Journals

Scrapbooking in bullet journals are another way to capture memories.

What is a bullet journal? A bullet journal is a notebook that usually has a dot grid printed on the internal pages.

Bullet journals are used as a planner, to-do list, tracker, diary, and everything in between.

Trackers capture streaks. The streaks can be on anything. They capture daily things like if you drank enough water, exercised or read a few pages of a book.

But essentially, a bullet journal is used to capture information.

Why scrapbook in a bullet journal? If you want one place to keep your memories and other important information, you can’t go past a bullet journal. 

I love the idea of having all my calendars, lists and trackers all interspersed with scrapbook pages. 

Dotted bullet journal

Dotted bullet journals come in a beautiful rainbow of colors, so there's a colour for everyone. These particular journals have 100gsm pages to prevent ink from bleeding through. These bullet journals will make the perfect multiuse journal and scrapbook in one.

Check out the range here!

Chipboard Albums

Chipboard albums can come in all shapes and sizes! They are usually mini albums, and they only have a few pages.

Typically, chipboard albums have a raw chipboard cover with thick paper inside.

Why scrapbook in a chipboard album? They make excellent presents! They are so cute, and because there are only a low number of pages, you can finish the album relatively quickly.

I have started decorating the mini chipboard album below. It’s very fun to decorate chipboard albums.

Why scrapbook?

There are so many reasons to scrapbook!

The importance of scrapbook albums cannot go understated.

For me, the number one reason why I scrapbook is to preserve memories. 

Our lives are so full, and they move at such a fast pace. If I didn’t scrapbook, I would have lost so many memories because I wouldn’t have been able to remember them. 

So why scrapbooking is important is because you don’t realise the value of a memory until it’s gone. 

More reasons to scrapbook

Another reason why I love to scrapbook is that the creative process is relaxing. When I am creating and listening to some music, I feel a sense of calm, a zen-like state.

The final reason to scrapbook is the people you meet. I have made some wonderful, life-long friends through scrapbooking. I consider myself blessed to have these creative people in my life.

If you’re wondering why do people scrapbook, maybe it’s for a similar reason as mine. Or perhaps it’s for another reason. I know that scrapbooking is a profoundly personal craft and people scrapbook for different reasons.

Project life blog

Final thoughts

I hope this article has given you a handy introduction to scrapbooking.

Scrapbooking is a wonderful hobby. I really couldn’t imagine my life without some form of memory keeping in it.

I love playing around with all the different forms of scrapbooks. Although some are easier and more fun to create pages in than others! But I do love them all.

You won’t regret starting a scrapbook because there is nothing better than looking back on your life and reliving special moments.

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