Last year, I created a travel scrapbook for my boyfriend as a Christmas present. It was a collection of memories that we’ve shared over three years together, most of which were of trips we’d taken and he loved it! It was personal and full of little anecdotes that we can look back on in years to come. There’s also enough room so that we can add future holiday snaps to it.
I’m not very arty and after browsing Pinterest and Google for ideas, I was beginning to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of templates and creativity online. There were lots of intricate designs using shapes, arty photos and endless amounts of stickers and coloured paper which looked amazing. However, I decided I wanted my scrapbook to be completely unique and my budget simply didn’t stretch that far. I also wanted the book to be suitable for my boyfriend and not packed with glitter and sequins like a few I saw online.
So here’s how I did it…
Decide on the materials
I went to Hobbycraft to purchase pretty much everything. The place is like a scrapbooker’s dream. I bought a brown paged scrap book for £4, (bargain!) a book containing A5 sheets of patterned paper which was about the same price, letter stickers (£3), silver tape (£2), a heart hole punch (£1) and love heart stickers (£2).
I then printed off 50 photos from Boots for £4 (yes I know I could have probably got that cheaper!) and purchased a pack of Rome themed scrapbook materials (£6 from Amazon) and New York themed stickers (£3 from Amazon).
My personal touch was adding postcard, maps, magnets, tickets and any other memorabilia I’d collected when we were on these trips. This was my favourite part about the scrapbook.
Plan before you create
It’s so tempting to dive right into creating a scrapbook (because that’s the fun bit) but planning how it could look will make it turn out so much better. I couldn’t find much inspiration for scrapbook covers online so I decided it would be best to keep it simple and have one photo on the front with our names on. I was pleased with the result and liked the slight Instagram feel to the photo. I added the date we started seeing each other for a little romance and our names with the coloured letter stickers.
Planning the inside pages is a bit more difficult. I did take inspiration from Pinterest for the page below but the rest were from my own imagination.
My best idea was to split the scrapbook into holidays. So I created a title page such as ‘Rome’ which I illustrated by hand, added stickers to and used one photo on. After this followed a maximum of about 4 pages of photos from that holiday with captions about each photo.
Not all photos were from holidays though so I just grouped these all at the end under a header page of ‘memories’.
I’d also plan which photos are going to go where as they may not all fit on one page or look good next to each other. Work out an order and crop if necessary.
Don’t do one page at a time
I started by doing one page at a time and whilst this was good, I sometimes lost a bit of motivation from constantly cropping and colouring and stopping to decide if I really wanted a sticker here or there. (Probably because I’m not a patient artist).
I did the majority of the page then would move onto the next one, knowing I could come back to the other pages another day with a fresh bout of enthusiasm. It made sense to leave the stickers until last as they were the smallest component of the scrapbook and were the finishing touches to each page.
It also helped to sketch some shapes, words and placement of photos with a pencil beforehand on all pages. This served as a good template that I could go back to then chop and change as needed.
Layer and pack it full of memories
At first, I was a bit hesitant about overcrowding the pages with photos and lots of decor but it isn’t supposed to be a polished, minimalist piece of artwork, it’s a collection of memories. I went through just about every photo we have taken together and made sure I chose the best ones. I then wrote little captions for each one and made it look as colourful as possible.
I found layering actually looks better than leaving lots of space and it wasn’t hard to start filling the pages up, in fact I had to stop myself so I’d have some room to add more photos for next year.
Everywhere we go now, I make sure to buy or keep something as a memento. This could be a postcard, a magnet, tickets or even a hotel key card. Anything like this will make your photos pop and add a bit of uniqueness to the book.
Also, remember to take those photos!
Have you ever created a travel scrapbook? What sort of things would you recommend adding?