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I started crafting by making jewellery and then making cards with my mam, she started a teaching course and as such we tried a number of different classes to see other peoples techniques for teaching, one of which was scrapbooking.
I have seen the idea of photo albums where you can annotate the pictures but never actual scrapbooking and it really grabbed my interest. There are no rules for scrapbooking just that you are displaying and annotating your photos in a creative way.
There are a number of different sizes of scrapbooks, either square or rectangular, I personally prefer the 12" x 12" scrapbook as if i'm spending time doing this I want to be able to get maximum detail in each page. You can buy many different cardstocks for your bases of each page and loads of different pretty papers for layering. Papers can come singling or in pads, some pads have certain themes and some just give you a good selection. There are also a huge amount of different embellishments you can buy for this hobby.
If you have any sort of cutting machines i.e Sissix you can also cut different things in different textures to use on your pages. I started my scrapbook from when my daughter was born 3 1/2 years ago and am trying to work back through important parts of my life. I think scrapbbooking is a fantastic way to share memories and you can put alot more in than just photos, in my book I have added pictures my daughter has done, bits of hair from the first hair cut and name bands from hospital.
The only drawback is this hobby is it is very time consuming
It just goes to show how wrong you can be - I had always had it in my mind that the Victorians were responsible for starting off the craze for collecting personal memorabilia and sticking it into books to preserve for future generations but I have been `Googling` and have found that the first scrapbooks were put together centuries ago.
Some famous `scrapbookers` include Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain.
Scrapbooks can be as personal or as impersonal as you care to make them, I love going off to the local auctions and can often be found drooling over some of the beautiful scrapbooks of yesteryear.
These scrapbooks are often a journal of the creators life and they can include locks of hair, postcards, hand written poems and essays, gift tags, wedding invitation, travel passes, favourite quotes, recipes and war memorabilia.
I have often been sorely tempted to bid for some scrapbooks, sadly at auction many of them fetch very little nowadays but I have always managed to talk myself out of it by the time the auctioneer reaches that particular lot.
It is not because I don't want to own them but the vintage scrapbooks are personal journals or friendship books and apart from being extremely beautiful they have little relevance to anyone except for the person who put them together.
I enjoyed scrapbooking when the children in my extended family were small, I would rush off and buy a sugar paper scrapbook in which I would stick all manner of different things. The children made greetings cards, there were school trips, plays, choir evenings, sports days and there was always a million and one precious bits and pieces that needed to be kept.
When they were born the `Baby books` were about but they were considered to be something that could be done without, instead the parents went off and bought a scrapbook.
I have a couple of scrapbooks that were put together by my Father, these are filled with my school reports, poetry that I wrote, invitations that we received, lots of family photographs and when I open them it brings back lots of lovely memories.
I also have three of my Grandmother's scrapbooks, these are older and the contents are different from the scrapbooks of my childhood, these books are chock a block with cut outs. Cut outs from greetings cards that had been sent by the family, cut outs from magazines and old books and they are a credit to her patience. Some of the fiddly pieces must have taken ages to snip out.
Scrapbooks can be as simple or as complicated as you want them to be, if you love the highly decorated look then you can trim the edges of the pages with smaller cut outs. Personalise them as you wish.
Apparently the art of scrapbooking began to fade during the late 1940s, this was due to the introduction of the photograph album. But in the late 1970's the popularity of the scrapbook rose again and today you can find all kinds of magazines that are ready to offer you help and advice on the art of scrapbooking.
I have looked at the magazines but I have never yet purchased one, surely a scrapbook is what you want it to be ? You stick what you want on those sugar paper pages.
Scrapbooking is a relatively inexpensive hobby and it is also one that young children can enjoy. Yes, scissors may be needed but they can always used the scissors that are especially designed for them. The scrapbooks themselves can be bought pretty cheaply, I know that my £1 store stocks them, they may not have as many pages in as they did when I was a child but they still offer good value for money.
As a child I used to use flour and water glue but nowadays you can buy Pritt sticks and PVA glue .Scrapbooking is a great winter hobby, the children can spend time in the holidays creating their own personal journal and as they get new things to add they can build on the book.
I would imagine that the biggest drawback for any parent of younger children would be setting aside the time to supervise the scrapbooking session, if there are scissors and glue entering into the equation then supervision is obviously going to be the keyword. Or maybe you can rope Granny or Aunty in to help out !
I hope that scrapbooking is not a dying art, lets face it it has been a hobby since the 15th century so surely it will stick around for a good few years yet.
When there is a special family occasion on the horizon it is good to know that those scrapbooks are there, you can bring them out for an airing and they are always well received. I know that my crew love to sit and have a gander through the old books.
I began scrapbooking about three years ago after being introduced to it by a friend. It is a hobby that has been around for a very long time in various forms. The Victorians kept very ornate scrapbooks and as a child I had great fun sticking postcards and tickets into colouful paper books, I distinctly remember making a whole book about the Queens Silver Jubilee. The scrapbooks I produce now are completely different in appearance but the point is the same- to preserve memories for the future.
I have been given boxes of photographs from members of my family that contain pictures of people and places that we no longer know anything about. I find it sad that if my grandmother had thought a photograph was so important that she kept it throughout her whole life that I now know nothing about it and the history is lost. With the rise in interest in family trees and our ancestors scrapbooking fits in well as it can give a visual representation of what information you find out.
Scrapbooks are made up of individual pages known as layouts, the main feature of the layout is usually a photograph or sometimes several. The story about the photograph is recorded as journalling, sometimes this may be as simple as names, date and place but often it contains more. Journalling will often tell about events that occured or feelings or thoughts in a situation, this may be on show for everyone to read or it may be "hidden" behind something if the sentiments are more private.
Each layout is created using coloured card as the main background and then embellishing the page to give an interesting appearance. This my husband refers to as my "sticking and gluing" time. All sorts of things can be added to the layouts such as patterned paper, ribbons, buttons, memorabilia such as tickets,and brads (known to us oldies from Blue Peter days as brass fasteners!)of various colours. The embellishments look nice but they are also there to help convey feelings and atmosphere.
All products used in Scrapbooking should be archival safe, that is they shoud not contain acid or lignane as they are the chemicals that age paper, the stuff that makes your newspaer go yellow! Specialist companies retail all the necessary products. Equipment can start off as scissors and glue and end up with expensive cutting machines, most scrapbookers collect equipment as they go along and start with the basics. However for most of us it is not a cheap hobby as there is always some lovely paper or irrisistable ribbon that we just cant live without!
It is a hobby I enjoy as with two children I want to preserve things so that they can remember stuff as they get older. Photos and stories together can remind them of what they were like at a certain age or which part of a holiday was most fun for them. My daughter is now 15 and has started scrapbooking and regularly goes to a local craft shop with her friends for several sociable hours of "cropping" (term used for time spent actually scrapbooking). Overall it is a relaxing way to spend my time, there are no rules and no right or wrong way to make a layout. Everybody has a different style and most scrapbookers love sharing their ideas so it is an easy way to make friends if you have a local craft centre that offers crop time or join an online forum.
I started scrapbooking a couple of years ago when I had just returned from working at summer camp and had a gazillion pictures. Much as I love digital cameras, I do find that I tend to forget to get prints made and after I dump them onto my computer, and usually Facebook, that's the last I see of my pictures.
So I went off to the craft shop and bought a nice 12 x 12 scrapbook and whatever pretty little things caught my eye. I know scrapbooking does have a bit of a reputation as being an old lady hobby, but it's not! I really enjoyed making pages for my camp experience and wrote my favourite quotes from the summer, words from camp songs, and random memories amongst my pictures and keepsakes. It's nice to be able to flick through and laugh at some of the things I'd forgotten.
In scrapbooking the only limit is your imagination. I'm quite particular and tend to try a few layouts before I decide what looks best. For newbies who need some inspiration to get started, Googling "scrapbook layouts" will bring you literally thousands of results which you can make your own to get you started.
Besides your pictures, decorative paper and any writing you want to use, you can adorn your pages with ribbon, stickers and embellishments, rubber stamping, decorative "brads" (I believe this is the American term for split pins - scrapbooking stores have colourful ones which you can attach to the page with tags of writing etc, on) and die cuts.
With so many add-ons, scrapbooking is a pretty expensive hobby. I find it very easy to get carried away in craft shops, and supplies are not exactly cheap to begin with.
Say you buy a decent 12x12 scrapbook. That can be up to £20. There are certainly cheaper alternatives and sizes, but that is the general price tag across the board for various of the big name brands. I have a Pioneer album, which I somewhat regret because I bought it in Canada and it looks like I will have a hard time finding refills over here. Despite the fact that the size is the same, bindings etc are not so you generally need to get refills for your specific album.
Okay, so you have the scrapbook. That has 10 page protectors inside, which means 20 pages. While you can buy paper packs and books, paper tends to go for about 50p plus a sheet. Another £10. Photo corners £3, various pens £2 each, rubber stamps or alphabet stickers, stickers and embellishments...as you can see it soon adds up.
Now I mostly buy online so I can fully evaluate my cart before I check out (to see what I really truly need or will use) and there is a far better variety. My favourite site is paperarts.co.uk where they have a really wide selection, reasonable prices and really fast delivery.
For your scrapbook to stand the test of time it is important that some things you buy such as glue and pens are specialised, as they are acid and lignin free. This is important if you don't want your hard work to fade and pages yellow.
For a new scrapbooker - I would suggest investing in a decent 12x12 album (it seems the widest range of papers are this size), a paper cutter, photo corners/double sided tape/photo glue, a rubber stamp alphabet and some useful stamp pad colours eg. black/gold/silver, a few papers in plain colours and some decent pens. At first I got carried away with whatever looked pretty, but I still have the majority of those patterned papers unused. Investing in decent basics to begin with means you will pick up embellishments and papers related to specific page projects as and when you need them and waste less money.
I find scrapbooking to be a relaxing, creative hobby. I like to get my pages just right so I it takes me a while - I still haven't even finished the pages that came in my album because I keep adding and improving those I've already done. It's nice to come back from a holiday and spend time choosing the best snaps and thinking about how they can be displayed, and scrapbooks are great to share with friends and family to show what you've been doing.
For more info on scrapbooking, check out ukscrappers.co.uk for layouts, information on basic techniques and links to online shopping.
I absolutely love scrapbooking and have been doing it since my children were little. Techniques, styles and products have changed dramatically over the years and these days there is so much on offer that it is probably hard for a beginner to know where to start!
I think the first thing most people scrapbook is their child or children. You can include everything from their hospital tag to a lock of hair all surrounded by gorgeous photographs and flattering complimentary embellishments. You can be as simple or as fanciful as you like, that is what is so lovely about creating a scrapbook, it is completely down to your personal tastes and preferences.
Once you've successfully complete one lovely scrapbook, it is hard to resist scrapbooking every occasion thereafter! I have Christmas books, birthday party books, general family books and holiday books from all kinds of occasions. Most recently I compiled a scrapbook of our family holiday from this summer just gone.
My top tips for new scrapbookers include always mounting your photos, even if you just use a piece of coloured card to do it with, because it is what separates a plain photo album from a nice scrapbook. If you want nice even lines then stick your photo down onto the card or paper you are mounting it on and then cut around your border using a metal ruler and a craft knife. For something a little more jazzy you can use shaped edge scissors to cut around your photograph, stick it onto your mount and then cut the border down to size with the same edged scissors.
I also like using tags instead of just writing in my scrapbooks. I like to decorate a tag to go with a photo or series of photos and maybe just put one or two words on the front. I then journal, write a little about the photo, on the back of the tag and fix it into my scrapbook in a manner that allows for it to be turned over.
My favourite technique is called "hidden journaling" which is where you hide a little story or two in your scrapbook. One way to do this is to mount a photo on a piece of patterned paper and fold the top edge of the paper down to create a hinge. Stick the photo into the scrap book using only the hinge and then write your secret journal underneath it. If you use paper rather than card it will sit flat in the scrapbook and even more so if you then place the scrapbook page in a plastic cover. The other good method for this technique is to create a little pocket on your page and slip a tag down into it that has journaling on the back of it.
Scrapbooks really bring old memories to life because they are so much more fun and enticing than plain photo albums. They are great fun to create if you love being creative and enjoy papercrafts in general not to mention all the fun you can have at the craft shop trying new products.
Scrapbooks are a thing that my mum always encouraged me to do as a kid putting in all my little coach tickets from special journeys, photos, hand drawn pictures, magazine cuttings, special little objects into my special little books. Although when about 5 and first scrap booking, I found the concept that I couldn't stick my teddy bear in my favourite things very hard to understand. I'm now 20 and my mum still has all my scrap books from through the years. It also a hobby that I tend to use for special occasions like a scrap book I have been making for my boyfriend, It has all the things like cinema tickets, photos, hotel card keys, train tickets, little hand drawn pictures. I find this a fab present as its more than just a photo album, it has all the extra little memories.
Scrap books are a very personalised gift and the person you're creating them for will be able to see how much time and effort has been put into them.
Scrapbooking stuff is easy to get from hobby shops but I find ebay to be a cheaper option and it is easy to find a wide range of items as well.
Scrapbooking is a fab hobby and the end result is a momento to keep for life. Just beware it can be quite addictive.
When I was young the only scrapbooks that were readily available were the rather cheap-looking sugar paper ones that were stapled together & were very flimsy.
Scrapbooking's a great idea if you want to present special photos or memory items in 1 place & a single page, lovingly decorated, helps re-live the memory of a special moment in time.
They are no longer just baby albums or wedding day books - we all have special times throughout our lives so it's a good way of remembering but in an organised yet crafty way.
Although scrapbooking dates from before Victorian times it seems to have become a lot more popular in the last few years especially in the USA.
QVC & Create&Craft often have programmes solely featuring scrapbooking techniques & items for sale which cater for this ever-growing hobby.
Craft shops, eg Hobbycraft, often sell scrapbooks ranging from around £5.99 to £25 but you can usually buy scrapbooking stuff from ebay more cheaply.
There are loads of magazines which give ideas on this pastime or the local library will probably have books dedicated to this area.
The most popular scrapbook pages are a standard 12" x 12" size & usually slip into plastic folders which are with the scrapbook itself. These folders can be bought separately & added but they can become extremely bulky.
The prices of the paper themselves vary enormously - a single paper can cost over £1 if it's embossed & gilded so it's cheaper to buy a pack of plain which can be decorated & personalised.
There are masses of stickers & embellishments available which are usually themed which add interest to pages - eg adhesive letters spelling names, die-cuts of anything from prams & bottles to champagne glasses & pumpkins - there's a huge amount of choice.
The type of adhesive used is acid & lignin-free otherwise the pages/photos can get damaged over time.... can you see how expensive it's all becoming?!
Scrapbooking is a good hobby to have any time of year but especially in the winter when you can get out the holiday photos & share the memories with family & friends.
It's also something to share with children or to do as a family.
I think that a scrapbook would be a great gift for many people - children to retired folk - but warn them, if they start scrapbooking, they may become addicted!
I keep meaning to start a scrapbook for each of my daughters containing photos, locks of hair, notes & letters etc but have never had the time - hopefully I'll start one day before they get too old!
When i was a kid, a scrapbook was a big blank cheap paper notebook designed to stick various pictures, handrawn works of art and leaves in until the leaves went mouldy and the whole lot was thrown away...or was that just mine?
It was only recently when i started work in a craft supply shop that i realised that scrapbooking has come a long way since then. Starting in America it has become the new craze in crafting and is getting to be just as popular as card making.
The scrapbook is a kind of photo album,the difference being is that instead of just photos you add embellishments and journalling to add a more personal touch to your album and give future generations more in depth information of why and where the photos were taken.
The basic idea is you have your scrapbook album, usually 12"x12" or 8"x8", this consists of a cover with insets inside that you slip your pages into, extenders can be bought to make your album bigger as you go on.
To start your page you take a piece of cardstock in the size of your album pages, this is the base to place your photos and embellishments onto. After that you're on your own! everyones pages are different, at the scrapbooking crop (club) I attend even if we are given the same layout to copy it always ends up being tweaked in certain ways so no two look the same.
There are loads of websites dedicated to the craft, a good one is pagemaps.com which gives you a lot of layout ideas-ideal for beginners.
An important point is to make sure that any supplies you buy for your scrapbook are acid free, other wise the acid can react with the photos you use damaging them which is not good if you want to pass your album down throught the family.
I thoroughly recommend this as a hobby particularly if you join a club as you get to meet new people whulst making a record of your family that future generations will treasure.
I am a great fan of scrapbooks and always have been, i would have loved my mum to put one together for me to look back on. It can be really time consuming but its definately time well spent.
I had twin girls and knew straight away i was going to put one together for them to look back on when they were older. Make sure when you first have yuor baby you save all the 1st like hospital bracelet, photos, anything else that could have a memory behind it.
From the day my girls were born ive never stopped taking photos i have to admit ive often got them posing together to get a great snap for their scrapbook.
i first of all went out and looked at all the scrapbooks and to be honest for the book you get think their overpriced so i decided on an A4 folder which ive decorated the front myself with a photo of them a nice title and some embelishments.
Esch couple of pages is a new theme with a new story to tell. Ive continued this through their whole year and luckily got their first crawl etc which is really nice.
I also found a website called www.scrapbook.com This is a fantastic website and totally free, you can view the gallerys to get some ideas from what other people have done and htey also have pages of titles, poems (which i added but adjusted them to be my own). it really is a great site and couldnt recommend enough for you to have a look.
I will also be completing a scapbook for each of their birthdays and Christmas and will continue to go up through their years. Its a great way to spend your time and really nice for others to look at.
Scrapbooks are enormous fun, especially for children. The type of scarpbook that Im going to describe to you, is one that I made with my little girl when she was about 12-18 months; it is, however, a great idea at any age, and the idea can be expanded upon as the child grows intellectually.
*A Photo Album Scrapbook*
This scrapbook is a glorified photo album that can be handled by young children whenever they want- without adult fears for their beautiful 'official' albums on display.
Creating a photo album for your infant only, means that you can design it to be attractive and appealing to them, and not worry if it gets torn or man-handled.
~Why Make a Youngster a Photo Album?~
Even pretty young babies will derive joy from looking at a homemade 'album' or scrapbook with pictures of their main family members inside. Flicking through the pages of this scrapbook, with your baby, allows them to identify family members and friends, and so form an early social attachment or recognition of the main people in their life.
As your child gets older, you could annotate the pictures with the relevant names, like 'Nanny', 'Daddy', 'Mummy', and 'Cousin Milly', for example. That way, they learn how the words for peoples names are spelt- the repeat exposure to this album could help speech and written language development. Furthermore, a preschool child might wish to add comments about the family members in question, such as: "Nannys favourite food is pasta", "Grandad loves gardening" etc.... They could even draw extra illustrations beside the photos in the album.
~How to Make a Photo Album~
You will require the following:
- A scrapbook (maybe with sugar paper pages inside)
- A pair of scissors
- A Glue stick
- Some old/spare photographs of family (ok to cut up)
- Felt Tips
- Sequins/Tissue Paper/ Any Embellishments you fancy
- Pretty Wrapping Paper
-White Sticky Labels
*What to Do*
1) Take your scrapbook and cover the front and back covers with wrapping paper. Stick it down with sellotape or pritstick. This will give you a nice front cover for your album.
2) On a sticky label, write "My Photo Album" (or "Amelias Photo Album" etc...). Decorate the front cover with anything else your child fancies...sequins, feathers, stickers, scrunched up tissue paper maybe.
3) Cut out some photos of your family and friends, and devote a page or two to each person. You can cut the photos in any shape you fancy, a heart, square, circle, whatever. If you're feeling creative, you could mount your photos on a separate piece of coloured sugar paper, and cut it so that you create a pretty border for your photos before you stick them in the album.
4) Write the family member or friends name at the top of the page, in the scrapbook, and underline in bright colours. Or decorate and annotate as you and your child want to. A picture of your little one could go in the inside cover, with their name written beneath too.
5) Stick the relevant persons photo beneath their name. Add more pictures, trinkets, photos, memories of that person as time passes (maybe a cinema ticket if your child went with their Nanny, or a squirt of Mummys favourite perfume).
6) This album can then be looked at as a subject of interest as your child grows. It doesnt matter if it becomes a bit thread bare, as its the kiddies special scrapbook/album for their personal use.
I hope you enjoy this little creative gem!
I am well aware that i am 22 going on 60. I'm rather boring and enjoy crosstitching, jigsaws anything that you would find in an old persons home really. My latest thing is scapbooking. Nobody seems to do this anymore so i thought i'd write about it and let all you folks know that its a great think to do epecially for new mums.
Like most mothers to new babies i started taking photo's the day Jasmine was born and have not stopped since! To make matters worse we bought one of those photo printers that prints out your photos from the card. We churned out hundreds of photos and filled albums and shoe boxes.
I really felt it was a shame that the photo's were getting hidden away like that so i decided after seeing a scrapbook kit on a T.V shopping channel that i would have a go.
I bought the kit which contained everything i would need, backing papers, frames, embelishments, stickers, lettering, borders and a large and small album.
I got to work on my first page which was of my man. I soon realised that you need more than glue and scissors to make an interesting page.
I started picking up bits and bobs from craft shops. Fancy scissors that cut different shaped edges, mini punches that punch out shapes such as angels, hearts, teddy bears. Loads of weird and wonderful things that make your pages much more interesting.
I had lots of fun decorating pictures of my babies, my dogs and even random things like one of my dogs favourite toys.
The idea is to highlight something that perhaps the photo would not tell you on its own. For example a picture of Jasmine wearing some little socks. By looking at the photo its just a picture of a new baby. How cute. But by scrapbooking the picture and attaching a tiny little sock to the page with some journaling you can learn that that sock was the first ever thing that was ever put on her feet, it was her first ever sock and she wore it when she was one day old. (OK this sound crazy to men and maybe some ladies who dont have kids, or maybe its just me! lol, but little things like that are really treasured).
You can put anything in your scrapbook, even weird things like the front page of the newspaper the day Jasmine was born, first bibs, her cord, birthday cards, receipts of special things you've bought, ANYthing that has some sentimental value or which tells a story.
So what are the basics you need to get started?
First you need an album to put your pages in, preferably one with clear page protectors. Remember that this scrapbook will still be around when your babies have babies so you want to protect your pages.
Papers, you can get papers any where but its great to look on the net as you can get all sorts of patterns, colours or textures.
Craft knife, its a must. There is nothing worse than ragged edges, its great for cutting out small details too.
Rulers and other stationary. Gold and silver pens are great for writing some sentances to personalise your page.
Glue make sure you get scrapbook friendly glue as some glue's contain acids that can discolour or even rot your pages over years.
Bits and bobs. Before you throw out anything have a look at it and see what you can make out of it. For example a gift box with chocolates in it. It had some ribbon over the lid which i took off and used on a page. Christmas cards are great to cut out the santa's to add to Christmas pages. The list is endless.
My best project was for Jordans mum, she lives in K.L, Malasia so we only see her once a year. She missed Jasmines's first 6 months and most of Lucy's life so we decided to make her a mini scrapbook of their lives and growing up stages. We used a small photo album that flicks like a book showing one photo at a time. It was great and Jordan even helped me do it. It was really beautiful and his mum and stepdad were so thrilled to have pictures of the babies.
I hope somebody out there is inspired to try this hobby as it is time well spent. Your kids will dread the day you whip it out to show their boyfriends and girlfriends.
If you are going to have a bash get a copy of scrapbook insparations magazine as it will give you some ideas and tell you loads of websites you can buy scrapping stuff from.
What great things scrap books are. When I was really little I made a scrap book of pictures of flowers. Cut from birthday cards,magazines,seed packets,pressed flowers(does anyone still do that?) It accumulated over a couple of years an brought me hours of fun. I used to be a dancer and my mum encouraged me to keep a scrap book of photos, newspaper clippings etc as something to look back at. I still have it and my kids get hours of fun looking back at me in some of those clippings. My daughter has started dancing now and we have already started on her scrap book. It has got her exam certificates,newspaper photos and competition snaps in it already. This is something that we do together and it is lovely. I hope her kids laugh at her "funny pictures" as much as she has laughed at mine.
When my elder son was born I tried to buy a scrap book, as a lot of the tiny baby books, such as the touch and feel ones which have textured parts of the page for kids to feel, are very expensive. I decided that while he was tiny and into chewing, spitting, puking etc., a home-made scrapbook would be better for him to practise on then expensive books. He's now two, and has neither outgrown scrapbooks or unfortunately, his yucky baby habits! I had a lot of trouble finding one, neither the ELC, or the W H Smiths in my town centre had any, and Woollies were out of stock. I thought this was rather sad, as it suggests they are no longer as popular as they were when I was younger. A few weeks later I finally got one from Woollies, for under £2,and now snap up at least one or two whenever I see them as they have so many uses. Here are a few ideas, with those for younger babies at the start, getting progressivly older. FIRST BOOK - Babies find it easier to focus on black and white images when they are tiny, so if you draw some simple designs on white paper with a thick black marker and stick them in you may find your baby enjoys focusing on them. FACES - Babies tend to enjoy looking at smiling faces, so if you fill a book with either black and white drawn images of smiling faces, or cut images of smiling faces, particularly other babies, from magazines, this should also prove popular. FAMILY AND FRIENDS - When babies are tiny they do not understand the concept of object permanence, that objects still exist even when they can not see them. Filling a scrapbook with photos of friends, family and familiar objects such as their own teddy bear will help them as they are learning this. TOUCHY BOOKS - Fill a book with samples of materials for your baby to touch. When I give old clothes to charity shops I see if there is a seem or hem I can take a sample from without it damaging the clothing. Other things around the house t
hat are interesting for your baby to feel are washing up scrubbers, flannel, shiny card, thin sponge, net from citrus fruit, dried candle wax, ribbon, very fine grade sand paper. FIRST WORD BOOKS - As your baby learns to speak stick pictures of words they know in a book. You could try getting images from clip art, or use photos, drawings or magazine clipppings. COLOURS AND SHAPES - Name a page 'red' or 'circles' and fill it with images that fall into that category. ABC - Name a page with each letter, then fill with words starting with that letter as your baby learns to say them. This way you avoid silly words your toddler doesn't know, that often seem to appear in alphabet books. You could also do a number version. THEMES - A theme book really helps when you are teaching your toddler more complex concepts like 'night' and 'hot'. A page full of images of things like candles, radiators, steamy baths, cookers which you point at and say hot will help your toddler realise that they are not called hot, hot is a way to describe them. CLOTHING BOOK - You can staple or glue a ribbon in a book to help learn to tie bows. Use the white stickers that are suppose to strengthen holes for ring binder file paper to strengthen holes you have made in a page, then string a shoe lace through. Stick two large pieces of cloth, felt is very light and cheap, and sew a button on one side while cutting a buttonhole in the other. Do the same for a popper, hook and eye fastening and some Velcro. Also in this book have a picture of a body labelled with the different parts. You could also include related rhymes, like heads shoulder knees and toes etc. ACTIVITIES - Stick in the various colouring sheets your child gets given in restaurants, Sunday school etc., then they don't get lost and you can pull out the book on a rainy day. RECIPES - Collect recipe leaflets, your Health Visitor wil
l probably have some, as will your supermarket, and keep together in a scrapbook so your child can choose one to make on a rainy day. DIARY - Let your child who is too young to write keep a picture diary, sticking in things from the day, even if it's just a leaf, or the wrapper from a chocolate they ate. STORYBOOKS - Older children usually enjoy making stories, help them to make their own books, which they can illustrate. ALL ABOUT ME - Most kids enjoy reading about themselves, help them to make a book with a family tree, photos, stories about their birth, first words they said etc. HOLIDAYS - Any event they are looking forward to can be anticipated with a scrapbook dedicated to it, such as a Christmas book, or a New Baby book. SEASONS - Collect things from your walks to show the changing seasons, and either press to dry, or do so in a microwave (this only takes a few seconds, be careful you don't do it for too long). Just be careful when its snowing, my toddler was not impressed when mummy wouldn't let him stick snow in his book. FAVOURITE THINGS - If they have a hobby a scrapbook can be used to store associated bits. My son has an aeroplane book, with sachets people have got him when they went on planes, postcards, photos, and brass rubbings from Heathrow visitors centre etc. Very sad and anoraky, but hey, he enjoys it! His Thomas the Tank Engine one has the wrappings form every Thomas product we have ever bought him! SPORTS CUTTINGS - As King Herold and Smark 1985 suggest in the comments on this opinion, your older child may enjoy keeping a selection of clippings relating to a sport they enjoy. You may even be able to persuade them to put their stickers in a scrap book, which may prevent them buying endless packs of stickers to complete a sticker album, as missing stickers wouldn't show up so much. My exuse for not thinking of this is because I support QPR, and when I was a fan
atical season ticket holder we were doing awfully (as we still are) so press clippings weren't exactly abundant. The main time we were in the news was regarding are lucky black cat going missing... If you have any more ideas, please post them in the comments section for me. Happy sticking.
We are now into the Easter holidays. It is a constant struggle to keep sane at times, with my children arguing amongst themselves and it’s a never-ending battle to keep the house clean and tidy enough to live in! So, with Easter now and the Summer holidays in a few months (ARGH!), I decided to do a bit of forward planning and list some ideas to try to keep my little munchkins out of mischief. I thought I would share them with you too. Being on a limited budget myself and unable to drive, these are all free or cost less than £2, and you don’t need access to transport either. I have four children – three daughters aged ten, nearly five and nearly eight, plus a son aged nine. They enjoy spending time on the computer or doing online wordsearches, quizzes and so on, but I have written an opinion on this already. (Check out “Mum, I’m B-O-R-E-D!” Part 1 – Online) So this time, I am concentrating on those days where everyone’s screaming at each other, and you desperately need two Migraleve and a cup of tea. Print up these suggestions, stick it on the noticeboard or fridge and when you’re at the end of your tether, have a look. Maybe some of these suggestions will save your sanity. It’s too late for mine! INDOORS Let the children eat their midday meal under the dining room table. Put a blanket over the top, shut the curtains and make it into a tent or a cave. If you’re lucky, they might stay in there a few hours! Watch a video together. If you’re bored of the usual Disney films, find something from your own collection – no, not The Silence of the Lambs or Naughty Nurses Go Naked! Put a keep fit video on and exercise together. (My kids love Glenda McKay’s workout video and have certainly used it more than I have!) Put a Carry On film on - my kids love these and the sexual references will go over their heads, they will just enjoy the come
dy. Or bring out old home videos of themselves when they were younger, my kids love these! You can even draw the curtains and bring out the popcorn or ice-lollies, to reproduce the cinema experience! Dig out those old board games – Monopoly, Scrabble, Cluedo, whatever. In this age of Gameboys and Playstations, try reverting to the old-fashioned sort of games and see what the kids think. Evenings spent playing the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire board game have been very popular in our household. If your kids are good with their imagination, you can encourage them to perform plays with their dolls, puppets or cuddly toys. I remember last year, my kids performed a play based on Cinderella with their Barbie dolls. My eldest wrote a script, they worked out costumes between them and even played music for one scene! Of course, your role will be to watch it and applaud heartily at the end. Buy a few packets of sweets, wrap them up in wrapping paper / newspaper / pages from old magazines and play Pass The Parcel. Just make sure you’re in charge of the music, so you can ensure each child gets something! Kill two birds with one stone - Sort out your wardrobe! Get rid of your old clothes (You know, those lovely Size 8 tops you’re never going to squeeze into again!) and amuse the kids. Let them play dressing up games with them. If you have the space, create a dressing up box for them. Otherwise, donate them to the local charity shop. Dig out those old odd socks (I’ve got a bag full, if anyone wants some!) and make sock puppets with them. You can use felt and glue, wool, buttons or if you haven’t got anything around like that, just draw on faces with felt-tip or marker pens. Make playdough. One recipe is to add two cups of flour, one cup of salt, two cups of water, two heaped teaspoons of cream of tartar, two dessertspoons of vegetable oil and a few drops of food colouring. Cook the mixture slowly
over a low heat, stirring continuously. You can store it in an enclosed plastic container to prevent it drying out. Incidentally, if you are in a hurry or don’t have all the ingredients, it does work mixing the flour, salt and water together (without the cooking), but won’t last as long. Read a story together. For younger children, you can play schools. You can be the teacher, while your child can get her dolls and cuddly toys out to be the class. Call out a Register and ask your child to “tick” who is there or away. This is also a fun way to introduce simple educational activities, like reciting the alphabet, counting to ten or using flash cards. If your younger kids are always complaining you spend too much time on the computer, make them one of their own. All you need is two small cardboard boxes (shoe boxes can work), sit them on top of each other – one for the monitor and one for the keyboard. You can put a picture on the monitor, then print out the letters on a keyboard and stick that on the bottom box. Give your child a mousemat (I have several spare ones, courtesy of MyOffers, if anyone wants one!) and see if you can find an old mouse or build one from a small multipack cereal boxes. (I don’t suggest you try a real mouse, they don’t like it!) Buy a scrapbook (about £2), get your child-safe scissors and glue, and a big pile of magazines. (Get these from your children’s own collections, not from the pile under your husband’s side of the bed! You don’t want them asking awkward questions!!) They can enjoy sticking things, creating pictures and making collages. Old Christmas cards, junk mail and stickers can also be used. Older children might want to keep a themed scrapbook, perhaps writing about themselves and sticking in pics of their favourite pop groups or actors. Raid your kitchen and see what you can find – containers for modelling, pans for playing music
al instruments with (Not if you’ve got a headache!), cereal boxes and the like for playing shops, etc. Find a few empty toilet rolls or kitchen rolls and make things. A few strung together can become a necklace or a snake. You can use string or wool to join them together and colour them with crayons, paint them or glue magazine pictures on them. You can stick two kitchen rolls side by side to make a pair of binoculars and play at bird watching or being a detective. Do some baking with your kids – chocolate rice krispie cakes are cheap and easy to make, or you can buy cake mixes (for around £1), pastry (I use the frozen pastry, about £1), or bread mixes (around 50p for a basic one). Pile together all the “rubbish” you have in your house, the things you would normally throw away – toilet rolls, kitchen rolls, cereal boxes, plastic bottles, squash bottle tops (not sharp ones), cardboard inserts (the type that keep your shirts straight), etc. Add child-safe scissors and glue, wool, string, buttons, coloured paper, tissue, etc. and see what your little ones can create – besides a big mess, of course! This can be tailored to the age of your child, of course. Older kids can use empty coffee jars to make pen holders, for example or try their hand at glass painting or sticking shells onto jars. Buy a children’s’ magazine for your child (around £1.50 for the likes of Tweenies, Toybox, etc.) and go through the whole magazine, reading all the stories, doing all the games and making the suggested things. You will definitely get your money’s worth and your child will appreciate the time spent with you. Buy a cheap photo album (around 50p) and finally get all those loose photos sorted out. I have done several for each of my children and we have had some lovely times reminiscing about the past and chatting about the photos. They can also choose which photos to put in, how to arrang
e them and so on, maybe even suggesting captions or a message under each one. Make jigsaw puzzles – cut out a picture from a magazine, stick it onto cardboard, let the glue dry, then cut it up into several large pieces. A ready made jigsaw, which can be of your child’s favourite animal, pop star or TV character. Plus, if one of the pieces goes missing, at least you didn’t spend a fiver on it! You can make snap cards in the same way. Find the same picture from adverts, etc. Use magazines, junk mail, etc. but not newspaper, as it will smudge and the print is messy. When I was a child, one of my favourite things to do was play with cut out dolls. Find pictures or photos of kids, cut them out of magazines or catalogues, then your children can play with them. I used to name all mine (writing them on the back, so I didn’t forget), then play schools, gymnastics, Brownies, etc. and award them badges, which I drew on them or medals for beauty contests, etc. If older children are enthusiastic about a topic they are studying at school, encourage them by writing your own quizzes on the subject (Check books or the Internet), making up a wordsearch using words relevant to the topic, make something to do with it, etc. My almost eight year old is learning about Egyptians and made her own Tutankhamun with paper and tissues, who is now entombed in a shiny purple bag! Get a pile of plain paper, crayons and pens and let them draw, colour, write, etc. Suggest they write a letter to a relative or perhaps they have a penpal they can write to. (Two of mine write to children of my own penpals, which is much safer and saves on postage!) Add scissors and they can cut out shapes. Try making paper aeroplanes or origami. If you are into crafts yourself, you can teach your children to knit, sew or do cross-stitch. Unfortunately, I’m not, so I can’t. OUTDOORS Eat your midday meal as a picn
ic in the park or the back garden. You can make this as elaborate or as simple as you want to. Lay a blanket or sheet on the ground, or sit on deckchairs. Invite some friends, if you’re feeling sociable or could do with another adult to chat to. Kick a ball about – football, catch, tag, whatever, make your own rules up! (Why not, the kids do!) Go for a walk. Go to the park. Take the dog out. Feed the birds. Make your own Sports Day in your garden. We did this for a couple of weeks, after my youngest daughter saw her big siblings competing in the school’s annual Sports Day last year. You can create obstacle courses from old tyres and hula hoops. Flower pots can be set up in rows to kick a ball round in a slalom type race. You can throw bean bags into hoops, etc. You can measure out a length, mark it up in 5 or 10cms, then the children can try to jump as far as they can and then attempt to better their score. You can even make little medals (milk bottle tops stuck to wool is one way!) or print out certificates of achievement on the computer. Go to the library. Borrow some books, videos and CDs. Libraries charge a small fee for some items, but the books are free. Look out for special activity days there too. Invest in some chalks. Draw a hopscotch on the patio. Let the kids draw chalk pictures, like Bert does in Mary Poppins! It’ll wash off easily enough or the rain will get rid of it. Take photos of your kids’ work, if they are especially pleased with their creations. Another way to wash off those chalks is to let the kids play with water! Take the washing-up bowl outside filled with soapy water and let the children bath their dolls or wash the dolls’ clothes. They can then hang the clothes up on the washing line. (As always, supervise any water play!) Go for an ‘I Spy’ walk. Before you go, draw bingo type cards for each child, with the words or pictures o
f various objects on, that you are likely to see on your walk – a red car, signpost, dog, bird, baby, hat, postman, bike, etc. Take pens or pencils with you and as you walk, the kids look round and cross off what they see. Maybe buy a small prize for the first one to cross off everything on their card, but remember the ‘losers’ too and make sure they get a treat as well. OVERALL Of course, you can pick and choose from these ideas, expand some, think of your own and tailor them to the individual needs of your child or children. I am in no way a Supermum, but I do have almost ten and a half years’ experience of being a mother and hopefully, at least some of these tips will be useful. Incidentally, if anyone knows how to get my two youngest to tidy their bedrooms well, quickly and without moaning, I’d love to hear from you!
These day's you can be over whelmed with the range of toy's available for children. But sometimes it's the simple old fashioned things that children love, that are also relatively inexpensive. My 3 year old is now into the painting, drawing, cutting and sticking phase, we have been inundated with her latest creations. As a proud parent of a budding Van Gogh, I really hate to throw any of them away, but needed some place to store the pictures, so I bought a scap book to put them in. My daughter was quite taken with the idea of having a book with her pictures in, so at first it was solely used for this purpose. It then started to be used a a kind of a picture diary, we started putting in little momento's from trips out and about, just simple things like postcards, bus tickets, leaves found in the park, photo's of special days and other little souveniors. My daughter really enjoy's putting things into her book, it's not only fun for her to do but she also likes looking back over the book and will proudly show it off to anyone who's got the time to look at it. This scap book has also help build up a little diary of special occasions and will obviously be a lasting momento of her toddlerhood! This is a relatively inexpensive way to entertain a small child, it's has helped her with a variety of skills eg cutting out and sticking. I would suggest that any parent tries it out, even if it does not take off like it did with my daughter it's a great way of storing your little treasures works of art and other souveniors!
There are no hard and fast rules to scrapbooking as it is considered an artform. Some prefer pages where the photograph is the central element and embellishments are minimally applied, others include a variety of embellishments to add to the design. This is a personal choice, each can be effective and create stunning designs. Embellishments may include small, two-dimensional items such as ticket stubs from the theater, love notes from a special someone, or newspaper clippings. Items such as brads or eyelets can be used instead of tape or glue to adhere pictures or papers or be used decoratively. Additional elements may include stickers, quilling, decorated die cuts and flowers (punched, dried, and artificial).