The Art of Simplicity


Simplicity is key when you are first starting out in the world of scrapbooking. The hobby has grown exponentially in the last few years and it can be overwhelming to keep everything straight, from techniques to products, tools and supplies.

To simplify matters, concentrate on the basics. Don’t get bogged down with minute details. In fact, you don’t have to stick with tradition at all. When creating super simple scrapbooks, you might consider making versions that are designed for kids.

One of my second grader’s favorite memory albums is made from cardstock, postcards, wrapping paper, photos, memorabilia and a few embellishments. She made it in the car as we drove from Chicago to Minneapolis. She simply gathered all of her items and we stapled them together to form a mini album. She included journaling blocks on the postcards, glued photos and memorabilia on the cardstock, and used the rest as pages which we then covered with those clear-plastic pocketed sheets made for trading cards.

Another great beginner’s scrapbook can be made from an accordion album. This version is ideal in that it is highly manageable and is a wonderful catch-all for special mementos. If you prefer something a bit more attractive, consider making an envelope scrapbook. A number of different craft stores sell origami paper which can be folded into pretty envelopes. You can also bind greeting card sized envelopes together or decorate your own coin envelopes to use as pages.

Once your book is bound, you can easily make page titles using chipboard letters. Bubble quote stickers are another very simple technique to use in order to add some pizzazz to your scrapbook layouts. For mementos that are too bulky to fit into a beginner’s scrapbook, simply snap photos of them and file the pictures in your album. You could also photocopy and shrink brochures, maps or playbills from various events and glue them into your memory album.

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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.