Scrapbooking is a fun and addicting hobby—once you get started, and discover the world of pretty paper and embellishments, and all the amazing things you can do with just a bit of glue (acid free, of course!), you want to do it forever.
Except life gets in the way. Even the most enthusiastic scrapbookers end up giving up the hobby, or putting it on hold, because they can’t find the time. Here are some easy tips on how you can squeeze scrapbooking into even the busiest schedule.
Cut the creative process into chunks.
Each scrapbook layout involves four steps: choosing photos, writing the journaling, choosing embellishments, and assembling the page. You don’t have to do this in one sitting. Go through your photos while the baby’s napping. Write a draft for your journaling while waiting in the dentist’s clinic. Grab a couple of matching papers, ribbon and chipboard and place in an empty page protector, so it’s ready and waiting when you finally have time to cut and paste.
Keep an idea notebook
You’ve probably seen thousands of beautiful scrapbook layouts in scrapbook magazines or the member galleries of scrapbook websites like twopeasinabucket.com and scrapbook.com. But when you’re actually at your table—faced with your photos and the embellishments you’ve picked—your mind hits a blank. You spend hours shuffling those elements around or end up reverting to your usual scrapbook style (which isn’t wrong, of course, but didn’t you bookmark those scrapbook layout ideas because you wanted to try them?)
An idea notebook lets you have all those amazing ideas ready and accessible when you’re actually going to create. The trick is to use a small notebook, just enough to have one idea a page. On the first line, write a summary, ex: ‘Page sketch for 4 small photos’ or ‘using Glimmer Mist on chipboard.’ Then either create the sketch or print out a thumbnail of the idea. Number the pages of the notebook as you fill each up.
When you’re stuck, you just have to quickly fill up your idea notebook. (Even better, stick a post-it with your plans for a layout. Exampl: ‘First Day of Kindergarten layout. use page sketch on p. 12 and glimmer mist chipboard on p. 14.’
Do one simple, creative thing a day.
Our busiest days leave us too drained or distracted to attempt a ‘big’ creative project. Even just the idea of making a mini-album or wading through our children’s baby photos makes us feel overwhelmed. ‘I’ll do it tomorrow…next week…next month…by the end of the year.’
But the longer we wait, the harder it is to rebuild our creative momentum. Instead, look for a 10-minute creative step each day. There’s a lot you can do in 10 minutes! Look for a nice quote for your layout. Cut out something from the patterned paper. Stamp something. Run those leftover paper scraps through your die-cutting machine. In this way, you have all those elements ready for your next layout, and you inspire yourself: ‘Yes, I did something I love today!’
Keep things simple
Not all layouts have to be elaborate. It’s perfectly okay to have a straightforward ‘photo + journaling + title + one pre-made embellishment’ formula. Your kids will not love your layout any less because you didn’t spend an hour hand-cutting the paper flowers in a corner. And at least you were able to satisfy your scrapbook itch, despite the fact that you did it in the 30 minutes while waiting for your chicken to finish roasting in the oven.
Shop with a layout in mind
Yes, we completely understand the feeling of falling in love with a product and thinking, ‘I need to have it now, it’s just too stinking cute!’ So go ahead and indulge… just have an idea of how you’ll use it and what else you may need. Nothing is more frustrating and time consuming then having a cabinet-full of scrapbook materials that don’t work together. After all, something that cute should be displayed on a page, not stored in a drawer.
Find more ideas on how to make time for your hobby, or get creative inspiration with our article on how to use leftover scrapbook supplies to make gifts . Better yet, motivate yourself by thinking of why making time to scrapbook is the best thing you can do for your family: me time makes you a better mom!
Photo from h2os.org