Back to Basics

Walk into a scrapbook store these days and you can get lost in the maze of tools, paper and embellishments. It’s a lot to take in for a beginner who may be trying to create her first memory book. Whereas I love that the boom in scrapbooking has yielded a deluge of new products, there is something about crafting a basic layout that reminds you of the simple joys of the hobby.

If you are just getting started in the world of scrapbooking, don’t get caught up in the bells and whistles. You will have plenty of time to experiment with the latest and greatest products; rather, take some time to familiarize yourself with some basic items, such as:

Die Cuts: These affordable scrapbook embellishments are among my favorite. They work well with any type of layout and the selection can’t be beat. You can choose from letters, words, phrases, frames, flowers, and seasonal designs, including Christmas trees, Santa, shamrocks, hearts and Easter eggs. Die hard die cut fans often make their own designs by purchasing a die cutting machine.

Rub Ons: Next to stickers, rub ons are the simplest additions to a scrapbook design. They are extremely versatile, but they also require some practice to apply just right. Simply peel off the backing, and use the enclosed Popsicle stick applicator to transfer the design from the sheet to your page. However, you must press firmly to ensure a clean transfer. If the rub on doesn’t transfer completely, you can fill in the wholes with a fine tipped acid-free scrapbooking marker.

Ribbon: I love the way ribbon looks when placed on appropriate layouts. The material adds a welcome texture, plus it’s inexpensive and easy to work with. In addition, the variety of ribbon on the market today is virtually limitless. You can find plain or patterned ribbon in velvet, satin, and cotton mixes. I use ribbon to craft flowers to add to spring-themed layouts, but beginners can easily spice up a page by using ribbons as borders or as decoration for journaling tags.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.