Photographs are key pieces in home made scrapbooks, but there is much more that you can do with a photo than most people realize!
Don’t stifle your creative juices when creating a personal scrapbook for a friend or family by pasting in perfectly square or rectangular photos straight from the printers into ready made paper frames!
That’s not a scrapbook by the way, it’s a glorified and costly photo album.
Remember that photographs are only part of a truly memorable scrap book project.
Other embellishments such as news clippings, event tickets, hand written notes from friends and other sentimental and personal effects make a scrapbook special.
You’ll want to choose photographs that are of good quality, printed on lignin free and acid free paper (if you’re using a digital camera and your home printer) and layout each page before you begin searching for the glue.
Any photograph can be used in a scrapbook, even those one shot, 60 second Polaroids – actually they look quite good and fun scattered around scrapbooks.
Just be careful that the chemicals within the layers of a Polaroid photograph do not leak out and spoil the rest of the page – potentially even the entire book!
Using Digital Photos – A Scrapbook Crafter’s Dream Come True
Digital photos, even altered versions of a digital photo is also an inexpensive way to add a lot of different photos and collages to your project. Just be sure to print onto lignin-free and acid -free paper – available at your local Wal-Mart, Best Buy or office supply store.
Speaking of digital – the computer age has lent a giant helping hand to scrap bookers everywhere.
Quite cheaply we can scan and therefore re-print, one-of-a-kind original, find photos of people or items online (that are free of copyright), and even grab some really neat fonts (typefaces) to use in our designs.
Plus, if you pick up some sticker backed 8.5" x 11" paper at that office supply store – you can also print sticker designs, photos on sticky paper and much more.
Cut and Crop Photos for the Most Creative Effect
Square and rectangular photos are boring – there’s just no way getting around it. If they weren’t boring we’d all be working on creating interesting photo albums – which we don’t.
Here’s another reason to crop your photo images – for layout purposes. You’ll be looking for a layout or design that is pleasing to the eye, that makes your scrap book readers want to turn the page and see what’s next, that has balance and flow. Don’t worry, I won’t try to give you a lesson here in graphic design, you know what’s pleasing to the eye when you see it.
Here’s my mat – it’s indispensable…
If you don’t want to buy a cutting mat, you can use a small stack of newspaper as your cutting surface, but this quickly becomes very messy and annoying.
Why do you need an Exact-o knife? The shape and point of the blade makes cutting around irregular shapes easy. Trimming and cutting shapes out of any pre-existing shape is far easier this way than using even the smallest of scissors.
Don’t use the exact-o without something underneath your object – it’s too easy to slip and cut into your scrapbook paper or book, or for that matter the table you’re working on!
Laying Out Your Pages and Photos
Lay your photos down nearby and imagine them in different sizes, or 1/2 of the 3" of sky cut off, or that blank space at the right balance a bit. Photos look great when they are framed by surrounding elements, such as a barn on one side, a horse in the middle and a tree on the other.
Once you have your layout imagined, carefully crop and size the photographs to fit using an Exact-o knife, steel ruler, and a cutting mat.
On the other hand, if cutting photos makes you queasy you could always cut some paper frames that only allow the part you want to showcase to show through.
Cutting and cropping is not limited to straight lines. You can cut around a person’s head, across the mountain tops, along a wave of the sea – you can even cut an entire person out of a photograph and add them to another photograph. The options are only limited by your imagination.
Using Software to Alter Photos
This generally requires quite a bit of expertise, but with a little time and no fear over clicking the buttons, you can get some striking results from scanned photographs in some relatively cheap software. An image, even part of an image, can be lightened or darkened, colored or turned to black and white.
Your digital camera might have even come with such software, but if not, pop over to google and search for "free photo editing software", then investigate the search results.
Don’t forget to check out all our other scrap book related pages for ideas and money-saving tips! Start here with scrapbooks…
I’ve also created a page of wholesale crafting supply information and current deals. You’ll save over 90% of the retail price in many cases shopping wholesale…
If you’re new to the craft though, you won’t want to buy in bulk so take a moment and check out the page that explains how to make a custom scrapbook with tags and embellishments.
Cropping and cutting photos is a fun way to make use of the shots that aren’t good enough on their own…
Have you ever taken a picture of a cat or dog and when the photo is printed realize that standing above the animal was a bad idea? A horrid picture that with a good cut and second photo (such as this cardboard box) could end up being quite fun!
Although this isn’t the same box as in the picture above, it will work. You can find many more like it at sxc.hu
And, you can do the exact same thing with people’s faces and paper frames! You could even take a picture, crop it as the one below, then draw in the ‘other’ image – a brick wall, a for sale sign, or anything else fun that fits your theme.