Scrapbooking and Card Making Tips

by Anna Madison

Everybody gets tons of junk mail, and it can be pretty annoying. Recycling it is a good solution, but there's one that's even better for the environment: reusing it to create art. For this craft, you'll need some hole punches that create fun shapes, like a Scottie dog, an umbrella, or a daisy. (If you haven't got any yet, consider getting a daisy punch first: it can double as a firework or the sun, and the shapes can also be cut up to make tiny hearts or fans.)

When you have your hole punches in various sizes and shapes, find the most colorful junk mail and start punching.

If you're going to use the shapes as confetti, you won't need to be too careful about avoiding words and product information. If you're planning to use your shapes in art (like on greeting cards or scrapbook pages), you'll want to be careful to avoid printed text when you create the shapes from junk mail.

You can also use scraps of tinfoil to create shiny pieces, and scraps of leftover card-making material. It's a great way to use up pieces of card or paper that you would otherwise have needed to throw away, and it's fun, too.

Lisa's Response

Anna, thanks for your tip. I'm always looking for ways to tread more softly on the earth, and I love the idea of turning something that's unwanted into something beautiful or useful. So, thanks again for a great idea!

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The Least Expensive Way to Make Stamped Greeting Cards

by Corrine
(Dallas, IA)

I have hundreds of rubber stamps, and I love to make my own cards. However, when we moved to our new home, my stamps had to stay packed in boxes, because I didn't have anywhere to put them. Since I still wanted to make my own cards, I came up with a trick that ended up looking much the same as my stamped cards without having to have any stamps or stamping pads.

I was lucky in that I had several rubber stamp catalogs because I'd sold stamps on the Internet for a number of years. I came up with the idea to make copies of the pictures in the catalogs and use them in place of originally-stamped images. Even the color pictures work just as well, because I use my own markers and chalks and even glitter glue to embellish them before gluing them to the card.

Anyone can find rubber stamp catalogs to buy for very little cash outlay. Then they can either cut the images straight from the catalogs, or they can take the catalog to a store that does copying and have copies made of several of the pages. Either way, it's much less expensive than buying all of those stamps. You can still have some stamps for the times when you feel like stamping, but you'll also have your catalogs to rely on when you need something different.

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Scrapbooking Made Easy

by Kristina Horn
(Raeford, Nc)

If you are just getting started in Scrapbooking, then the most important thing to know is to not spend a whole bunch of money on tools and embellishments. You can create beautiful scrapbook pages with good cardstock paper, photo safe pens and photo safe stickers.

Use different colored paper and patterned paper to highlight your pictures and then decorate the page with stickers that match the theme. Some quick journaling and the page is done, without spending a fortune.

When I started scrapbooking, I rushed out to the store and bought all sorts of "nifty" tools to make things easier. I got a lightbox, a zillion different types of scissors and straight edge cutters, punches, stickers, pens, embossing tools and the like. I have been creating scrapbooks for over five years, and over half of the items I bought are just sitting in a box collecting dust. I find myself just using paper, stickers and pens to create beautiful pages.

An over-embellished scrapbook page takes away from the real purpose of the page, the pictures holding the memories. I have found that my favorite pages have two to three pictures framed on a piece of paper, a journal box with descriptive journaling about the pictures and then just a few pictures to highlight the page.

Scrapbooking can turn into a very expensive craft hobby if you allow it to. But if you focus on just using the basics, you will still have created beautiful memories, but at a price that will not break the bank.

Lisa's Response

Kristina, I agree completely that you don't need to run out and buy a pile of fancy tools and embellishments to start scrapbooking. I don't have a lot of fancy scrapbooking tools, but the tools I do have are good quality, and I find that makes a big difference (especially when it comes to basic cutting tools). A couple of times I've bought cheap tools, but I didn't end up saving money because they either broke and had to be replaced or didn't work properly. Don't run out and buy a pile of fancy tools that you probably won't use; instead, save your money and get started with a few basic tools that are of good quality.

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Scrapbooking Basics to Get You Started

by Sandie Rollins
(Philadelphia, PA)

It can be daunting when you first enter the scrapbooking aisle at your local craft store. There are racks and racks of supplies and you just don't know how to start.

Here's a short list of the essentials needed to start showing off those memories of yours. Read through the list, print it out and bring it to the store with you. You'll be happy you did.

Scrapbooking Starter Supplies:

1) The Album – Find the perfect size, and design that fits your style.

2) Additional pages for refills - It's best to pick up the refills now, so that later on when you are running out of pages, you don't have to hunt all over to find the exact style or manufacture. Sizes vary from one to the next.

3) Cardstock (decorative or patterned papers) – This is what you will need to accent the photographs you have. The come in all different colors and themes to match your pictures.

4) Scrapbooking Scissors - These should be easy to hold and comfy in your hand. Look for fine- tipped scissors made exclusively for scrapbooking and keep them with your supplies so that they don't get used for other things and become dull.

5) Tapes, Glues and Other Adhesives – This area can get kind of sticky. (Pun intended, sorry couldn't resist.) There are so many to choose from. Just remember –adhesives should be 1) acid-free and 2) work with cardstock and photos. Still confused? Just pick one that you feel comfortable with, if it doesn't work for you, try another.

6) Pens and Markers – With so many to choose from, you'll feel like a kid shopping for back to school supplies. Again, acid free is the key here. Picking fine tips is also important for writing captions and journaling in your scrapbook. Be creative and have fun with your favorite colors.

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