Scrapbooks as an artform

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 December, 2010, 12:00am

Scrapbooking has been around for centuries. A scrapbook is basically a book of 'stuff': photographs of people and places, airline tickets, writing, collages and drawings to record special journeys or memories.

Now scrapbook art has expanded into all kinds of handmade products, from seasonal cards and pop-up calendars to simple, framed displays. The key is to collect different kinds of materials, including ready-made products, and turn them into a unique product of its own.

Jasmine Lee Nga-shan works at an international paper-making company. Inspired by her friend's hand-made products, she took some classes in scrapbook art and instantly fell in love with the creative process. Instead of buying ready-made gifts, she now makes her own cards and scrapbook art displays for friends, who are impressed by her work. 'Some friends have thought the card I made for them was bought from a gift shop,' says Lee. 'It's a wonderful feeling to see how happy my friends are when they receive my handmade gifts.'

Here, Lee demonstrates how to make a simple scrapbook art display for the Lunar New Year.

What you need

A white paper coaster and a lace paper coaster, slighter bigger than the white one; patterned 'Japanese' paper, different patterned stamps and ink; jewels and beads for decoration; coloured pencils; glue.

Most of these materials can be found in a scrapbook or arts and crafts store.

1 Choose a stamp to be the main focus of the product. Lee chose one with a rabbit for the 2011 Year of the Rabbit. Stamp the picture in the centre of the paper coaster.

2 Decorate the edges with another stamp, for example, flowers, in different colours. Wait for a few minutes between colours so the ink can dry.

3 Colour the rabbit with coloured pencils. You can use glittery pens as well as or instead of the pencils to add another element.

4 Decorate your picture with jewels and beads. These are often sold as stickers, so you just have to peel off the backing and put them where you want.

5 Cut the Japanese paper so it's slightly bigger than the lace paper coaster. Lee chose a round-edged square. You now have three pieces which will be layered together.

6 Glue the designed paper coaster to the centre of the lace coaster. Make sure the pretty lace edges are visible. Then glue the whole thing to the trimmed Japanese paper.

To finish the product, you can cut a hole and thread a ribbon through it to make a bookmark, stick it on the front of a small calendar, or you can simply put it on a mini-stand as a display (main picture).