Capture a world of your own

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 July, 2012, 12:00am


Scrapbooking is a popular pastime that involves preserving personal memories. But it's more than just sticking a bunch of photos in a scrapbook.

The beauty of the craft is that it combines a diary, photo album and art book all in one. The idea is to capture particular moments in a colourful, special and enduring way.

Vivian Chan Wing-man from Hong Kong Memory Chest, a society of scrapbooking enthusiasts, can help you get started. Here are some useful tips about how to create a scrapbook of your own.

1 Gather the basic equipment

There are some things every scrapbooker needs - coloured cardboard, pens or markers, scissors, acid-free adhesive (glue or tape dispenser) and a binder.

2 Convey a story

Think about the story you wish to tell. That will give your work more focus and character. Begin with recent photos to take advantage of fresh, vivid memories.

3 Print your photos

Once you have a theme in mind, think about how many photos you will need to illustrate a specific occasion or a message you want to record. Sometimes it is a good idea to use just one large picture on a page; that way, you can highlight its special importance.

In other cases, such as when you want to show a series of freeze frames from an active scene, like a sporting event or party, you may want to use two or more pictures.

4 Save space for words

Make sure to provide titles for pages and captions for pictures. As time goes by, many memories fade. You may forget specific details of some pictures you once took.

Captions will help remind you or your reader of what those pictures show and when they were taken.

5 Decorate

Scrapbooking is a form of paper art. Its practitioners usually enhance their pages with details such as letters of the alphabet, stickers and stamps.

These days people use almost anything they wish in their scrapbooks, from lace to distressed ink and beads to keepsakes.

Experiment with different materials to give your scrapbook a unique tone or more dimension.

6 Balance different elements

Scrapbookers talk about the rule of thirds - a technique also popular in photography and layout design.

It means that you visually separate your layout into three equal parts either horizontally or vertically and then arrange elements so that they occupy individual thirds. That scheme gives your pages an eye-pleasing design.

Make sure not to overload one part of your layout without balancing it on an opposite space. Also, it is a good idea not to clutter your background with too many elements.

7 Pick suitable colours

The colours you use should correspond to your theme and photos. You may want to use green and red for an album on your last Christmas holiday, for instance.

Or you could use pastel colours to match your baby sister's pink blouse in the pictures.

8 Start with ready-made kits

The endless possibilities and materials in the scrapbooking world can make beginners dizzy. So why not start with themed packages created by designers? They contain paper, tags, letters and stickers.

9 Inspire yourself through websites and workshops

If you still don't know where to start, get some inspiration online or sign up for a workshop with, for example, Hong Kong Memory Chest. Visit