Scrapbooking: When you hear the term, it’s likely that the first thing that comes to mind isn’t young, hip street style mavens sitting around their apartments gluing scraps into books—in fact, we’re willing to bet it’s more likely to conjure images of your great aunt crafting at her doily-covered kitchen table. And while that wouldn’t necessarily be an imprecise image, we’d like to come out of the closet now: We’re die-hard fans of the hobby.
What’s more: the activity isn’t just a way to keep track of old photos, ticket stubs, and other knick-knacks commonly associated with the broad category of “crafting,” but it’s also be a cool way to create a constantly evolving fashion mood board, where you have free reign to spin narratives with everything from editorial tear sheets to random color swatches.
You might be asking: why should I start scrapbooking when I can just keep using Pinterest? We love a good style Pinspiration board as much as the next girl, but we think there’s no replacement for having blank papers in front of you and hands-on materials to work with. While a Pinterest board offers plenty of creative freedom, there are still certain limits in terms of design. With a scrapbook, the page is your oyster.
Feeling inspired? Read on to see our top six tips for getting started!
1. Free your mind.
The first and most important step to beginning a successful scrapbook (and any worthwhile project, we think!) is breaking out of any creative boxes you may find yourself in. A really good way to do so is to (gasp!) step away from the computer for a while. Do something non-screen-related that forces you to think in other ways and utilize other media. Great example: take a painting and wine class, which packs a double punch of getting your creative juices flowing: visual art and wine. Huzzah!
2. Gather inspiration.
The key to a good scrapbook is what’s inside. The book itself is the easy part—just go to your local hobby or stationery store and pick out a sturdy binder you like—but what you put inside it is what makes it. Since we’re focusing on a fashion scrapbook, this should also be the fun part. Since you’ve probably already got a Pinterest board of snippets from the Internet, turn to other sources: magazines and books are obvious choices, but also be sure to consider non-traditional ones that aren’t made of paper.
Go to a fabric store and pick out pieces you like, or head to a paint shop and pick up color swatches. You can even include things like extra buttons and threads that sometimes come attached to blouses. Anything you love that reminds you of fashion and helps tell your story, feel free to use it.
3. Figure out your stories.
Once you are feeling creative and you have all your materials and fabrics in front of you, the fun can really start. Look for common threads amongst the stuff you picked out: notice a denim trend throughout the tear sheets you pulled from magazines, plus a swatch of denim that seems to fall in line with that trend? Maybe you want to design a “Denim Obsessions” page—you might even consider lining the entire page with denim swatches and then gluing photos of street style stars in denim on top of it.
And be sure not to constrict yourself to just telling one story in your book; each page can be a new story, you can have totally random pages that are strictly mood boards that have nothing to do with trends or stories at all. This is truly your project, and probably for your eyes only—so do whatever you please.
4. Don’t be afraid of color.
One of the main bonus features a scrapbook has that a Pinterest board doesn’t is total and complete freedom when it comes to layout and use of color. It’s a known fact that Pinterest on the whole loves vertical images, and photos are laid out automatically; once you start scrapbooking, you might actually find that the visual aspect of Pinterest bores you a bit.
Want an entire spread with a chartreuse background that features all chartreuse accessories collaged on top? You can’t do that on Pinterest, but you can in your scrapbook. Definitely think outside the Pinterest-created box when you sit down to start laying out your pages!
5. Leave room for expansion.
Now that we’re firmly planted in the digital era, the physical world is trying hard to keep up. They now have these fancy, new-fangled notebooks that have powers of expansion. The spines aren’t fixed, so you can add as many sheets of paper as you like. This is perfect for scrapbooking, which should be an endless process that allows unlimited room for growth (not unlike a Pinterest board, which is similarly endless).
6. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Another fun experience Pinterest doesn’t really offer: The ability to use what you’ve created. Every Pinterest board is unique, but there’s something even more special about looking at a book you designed, filled with items you picked, and knowing it can sit on a shelf indefinitely and live there, representing your taste during a certain period of time. You can pull it out and look at it whenever you’d like and re-live your thought processes while you were creating it, and you can similarly share it with people you love.