Save Your Favorite Memories The Old-School Way By Making A Scrapbook

If you're feeling completely sentimental about special memories you have stored in your brain, putting together a scrapbook can be a great way to express your feelings in one thoughtful and endearing place. Scrapbooks are an amazing way to preserve your memories and give yourself the opportunity to reflect on all the highlights of your life. Your loved ones will also be able to see what you create when you invest your time in such a project. Scrapbooking can even serve as a great at-home date-night activity or just a good activity to do at home in general.


The art of scrapbooking has been around for a while, and it's not going anywhere. Why? Folks absolutely love seeing visuals of their most exciting and unforgettable moments. On top of that, scrapbooks allow you to think back on your most meaningful memories in a simple, visual way — no need to dig through old dusty boxes when you have access to a scrapbook.

With the visuals laid out in front of you, it's pretty hard for memories to completely fade away. You might be thinking about creating a scrapbook as a gift for someone you genuinely care about such as a parent, sibling, significant other, or friend. You may also want to create a scrapbook for yourself following a major life transition, a fun vacation, or something else. Regardless of your reasoning, here are some of the steps to follow to make sure your scrapbook turns out amazing.


Narrow down your favorite photos

The first step to take when building a scrapbook is to narrow down your favorite photos. Although this might not sound like the most complicated step in the process, it can actually become quite a challenge if you have a hard time letting go of things. The scrapbook pages are only so large, after all. Typically, scrapbooks are sized at 12x12 inches. You're not going to have an endless amount of space to use hundreds of precious and sentimental photos. 


Instead, you'll have to decide which pictures matter the most. A good way to do this is to compare a group of similar images and decide which tug on your heartstrings or evoke the most emotion in you. You'll also want to take note of which pictures capture the entire memory the way you picture it in your mind. If some of the pictures leave a friend or family member's face cut off, you already know those aren't the options you'll ultimately want to use. As long as your chosen pictures make you feel as if you're mentally traveling back to a special moment, you're making the right choices.

Crop photos to size and print them on glossy paper

The next step in the scrapbooking process is to crop your photos down to size and print them out on glossy paper. If glossy paper isn't your vibe, you can always opt for matte paper instead. Matte paper takes away the shine you'll otherwise get from a glossy finish. This step is hugely important for the same reason you should narrow down your selection of photos with a picky eye. The pages of your scrapbook aren't going to hold loads of images unless you're okay with them slightly overlapping each other. 


If the spacial design of the pages of your scrapbook is a big deal to you, crop your photos to get rid of any wasted space around the edges. You can make this happen using photo editing apps such as Photoshop, Facetune, or Canva. Most laptops also offer simple crop editing options on your home screen. This means that if you've got an adorable picture next to your dog with a blank white wall behind you, you should crop out the majority of that white wall before printing your picture. If you wait until after your pictures are printed to size them down with scissors, that also works.

Gather ticket stubs, receipts, and other flat mementos

Your scrapbook will be much more exciting if it's filled with tons of flat mementos. Gather ticket stubs, receipts, hotel room key cards, and other flat items that symbolize fun and memorable events you've experienced. This means that if you went to a Taylor Swift concert with your bestie, those ticket stubs should have a designated spot in your scrapbook beside all your pictures from those nights. 


Hotel room key cards are ideal for travelers who spend a lot of time going to different places. If you attended a comedy show for date night with your partner, those ticket stubs also belong in your scrapbook along with any pictures you captured together. Ticket stubs to gain entry into a theme park, such as Disneyland, with your younger family members are also worth including. Any receipts that prove you purchased something cool or went somewhere awesome belong on the pages of your scrapbook. 

Collect handwritten cards, letters, or notes to include

If you're having any doubts about adding handwritten cards, letters, or notes to your scrapbook, here's your sign that these sentimental items should definitely be included. Since many handwritten items are larger in size, you might consider dedicating an entire page or two in your scrapbook to display them. Keep in mind that it's not the end of the world if you can't also fit pictures or other mementos on the same page as your handwritten cards, letters, or notes. 


If you received something in handwritten form from a person who deeply matters to you, this is something you will most definitely want to make space for, even if it means sacrificing something else. The reason why this is such a good idea is that, oftentimes, sweet handwritten notes get hidden away in boxes or tucked away in storage without ever seeing the light of day. Handwritten notes and letters get forgotten. When you add these items to a scrapbook, you're able to lay eyes on them at your convenience.

Absorb scrapbooking inspo from social media

Two of the best social media platforms to use for inspiration while building your scrapbook happen to be Pinterest and TikTok. Pinterest is ideal for people who want to pin different images and videos that apply to what they're researching. TikTok is also great because you'll see people making scrapbooks step-by-step with directional commentary throughout. One social media platform that might even be better than Pinterest and TikTok for this purpose is YouTube. 


YouTube is a wonderful video-sharing platform that allows users to upload content on the longer side. If you are in dire need of more specific hands-on instruction when it comes to making your scrapbook, YouTube is a great place for you to start. Getting answers regarding the best types of supplies to use and finding inspiration on how to design specific pages will be much simpler using these platforms.

Consider choosing a specific theme

Deciding whether your scrapbook should follow a specific theme is another great starting point that will help you get far in the scrapbooking process. If you approach your scrapbook creation blindly without any particular themes in mind, it can end up looking confusing, chaotic, or messy. Rhyme and reason are needed here. When you have a specific theme, it's easier to stay organized and keep each page on track according to your initial vision. 


An example of this is creating a scrapbook that honors an upcoming anniversary you have with your significant other. The theme of the scrapbook should revolve around love and romance if this is the case. Each page can show glimpses into what each previous month of your relationship with your partner looked like. Another example would be a scrapbook celebrating a loved one's pregnancy or a newborn child. The pages of the scrapbook should follow a familial theme with images alluding to infancy and parenthood.

Add optional virtual elements

Adding virtual elements to your scrapbook could be the factor that sets it apart from other scrapbooks you've seen. Adding virtual elements is a great idea because it allows your scrapbook to become interactive in a way that incorporates modern technology. Instead of only having access to still pictures and flat mementos, think about adding QR codes that can be scanned on any phone or smart device. 


The QR codes should lead to video clips of content posted on different social media platforms including Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or YouTube. The coolest thing about QR codes is that they can link to any URL you choose. You don't have to limit yourself, though. Adding these QR codes as a virtual element to your scrapbook means you'll be able to see images of the best day you had playing mini golf with your best friend while also seeing cute video clips from that day after scanning strategically-placed QR codes on your phone. You can also have the QR codes link to a song that brings value to memories from a certain page.

Determine how to divide up each page

How exactly do you want to split up the pages of your scrapbook so that it makes the most sense and looks clearly organized? If you're hoping to achieve a scrapbook that's leaning in the direction of storytelling, you'll probably want to divide your pages based on months, events, or some other metric that makes sense to you. Organizing your scrapbook by months is an easy way to go because you can easily keep images and mementos from each month specific to the correlating pages. 


Organizing a scrapbook by events is also brilliant because you'll know you're laying eyes on everything you want to remember with each page flip. In other words, pictures from your nephew's soccer game won't be mixed up with pictures from your evening at a local carnival. When you keep the pages of your scrapbook separated for reasons such as these, it allows you to keep your memories perfectly sorted from start to finish.

Create a rough draft or outline of the final project

Before you get started with your scrapbook, you should consider creating a rough draft or outline of what you want the final project to look like. This is not going to be a waste of your time if you're hoping to achieve the sweetest possible results. Draw up an outline and start organizing your pictures and mementos to correlate to the specific pages you're thinking of. If you start making your scrapbook with everything mixed up together in one chaotic pile, you'll end up taking way longer to complete the project than intended. 


You'll be surprised at how quickly you're able to finish putting your scrapbook together when you're following the general ideas you've written down in a rough draft. Rest assured knowing you don't have to follow every single thing you put in your rough draft to the very last detail. You are free to change your mind and switch things up as you go. A rough draft is simply there to help guide you on your way but isn't something permanent to force upon yourself or adhere to.

Purchase an empty scrapbook

After narrowing down your favorite pictures, gathering mementos, and determining how to divide each page, it's time to purchase an empty scrapbook. The scrapbook you choose should come with the page count of your choice to begin with. Some scrapbooks have 12 empty slots to use, representing the 12 months of the year. Other scrapbooks have 24 pages, which means you can add way more events if you'd like. 


There are also scrapbooks for sale with page counts under 12, more than 24, and in between. Some of the places you can shop for scrapbooks in person include Walmart, Target, Joanne's, Michael's, and Hobby Lobby (here are some ways you can save money at Hobby Lobby). Craft stores are full of yarn, buttons, and ribbon, of course, but they're also full of scrapbook options to consider for yourself and your project. If you're hoping to purchase your ideal scrapbook online, you can find what you're looking for on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, or

Make sure you have the necessary tools

You simply won't be able to move forward on making your dream scrapbook if you don't have the necessary tools on deck. To complete artistic projects like these, there are tools and supplies you absolutely need to have on hand. For example, make sure you have glue, tape, and scissors available to you for your scrapbook creation. If you're going back and forth about whether to use glue or tape to attach different items to your scrapbook pages, think about which option will keep everything as secure as possible throughout the building process. 


While some people prefer the benefits of glue, other people prefer tape. They both have their pros and cons. Glue, for example, can get messy sometimes. Tape can lose its stickiness if it touches the wrong surface. Still, they both serve a purpose and can be of use to your project. Scissors to trim different pictures and mementos down to size are beyond essential as well.

Stock up on colorful scrapbooking supplies

Making a scrapbook means it's time to stock up on colorful construction paper, markers, and colored pencils. If there are other colorful tools you want to keep on deck, don't be shy about stocking up on those as well. Colorful construction paper makes an impact in a scrapbook because it's what you'll be able to use as the background and base of each page you're designing. You can also trim construction paper down to act as borders for your pictures and mementos. 


Lastly, you can use scrapbook paper in the shape of letters to write out different labels, captions, and stories to include. Colorful markers and colored pencils are equally important, based on the vibe you're going for. Markers can make a much bolder statement since you're dragging liquefied ink across pages to write different messages. Colored pencils aren't as dramatic as markers, but they can still be used in ways that help your scrapbook turn out beautifully. There's no shame in using markers and colored pencils in conjunction with each other, either.

Have fun with embellishments that add texture and flair

The last thing you want to do when building your lovely scrapbook is make sure you're having fun with embellishments that add texture and flair. While it's super smart to fill your scrapbook with pictures and mementos that are flat to the touch, it's more enjoyable to flip through a scrapbook that has some texture to it. This means you'll want to find items that are slightly raised with the ability to sit on the pages of your scrapbook with some lift. 


Rubber bracelets, metal jewelry, plastic straws, and coins are just a few creative ideas of things you can add to bring more life to your scrapbook. You'll know that your scrapbook has way more vibrancy and energy if the pages aren't flatly laying on top of each other for every single flip. You should probably avoid items that are too large or thick, but don't feel the need to restrict yourself too much. Scrapbooking should be playful and fun, as it brings out your artistic side.