Use a scrapbook to improve your vocabulary

Scrapbooking has been around for ages, but it has recently experienced a surge in popularity. People from all walks of life have discovered the joys of creating albums to showcase their treasured photos and keepsakes, and it can be a great way of keeping a record of your progress learning English.  There are many quite elaborate scrapbooking techniques and embellishments available, but the truth is, anyone who can use scissors and glue can scrapbook (yes it is a verb). You don't have to spend ridiculous amounts of money to create attractive pages. With some basic supplies and a little imagination, you can create lovely scrapbooks that will be adored for years to come.

 

What You Need to Begin Your Scrapbook

You can get started scrapbooking on a small budget. Here are the things you'll need.

* An album - Scrapbooking albums come in all shapes and sizes. The most popular are 8 1/2" x 11" and 12" x 12". They can be found at most craft supply stores or if you want to be really *crafty* you could make your own scrapbook.

* Paper - Scrapbooking paper can be found in a variety of solid colors and patterns. This will be the basis for each page. You could also use scrapbooking paper for journaling and to create your own photo backgrounds and embellishments.

* Cutting tools - You can easily get by with just a good pair of scissors. But a good craft knife might make photo cropping easier. If you're no good at cutting straight lines, you might want to invest in a paper cutter.

* Glue - There are all sorts of adhesives you can use for scrapbooking. Glue sticks and double-sided tape are quite popular. Some scrapbookers also use rubber cement or glue dots for certain applications. But when you're getting started, just use what you're most comfortable with.

* Photos - Beginning scrapbookers often start out with old photos that they've accumulated over the years. This makes for a nice, nostalgic album. Of course, you can also take new pictures for your scrapbook. A digital camera and photo printer are two modern conveniences that make scrapbooking easier, but they are not necessities. 

When purchasing scrapbooking supplies, it's important to make sure they are acid-free. This will keep them from harming your priceless photos.

Basic Techniques

You don't have to know a lot about scrapbooking techniques to create an attractive album. Just a few simple techniques will suffice.

One of the first things many scrapbookers learn is how to create backgrounds for photos. This can be accomplished by simply cutting a square or rectangle that is about a half inch longer and wider than the photo you want to display. Then glue the photo to the center. To make a photo really stand out, double mat it by cutting out a shape a half inch longer and wider than the first one, and center the matted photo on it.

Journaling gives scrapbook pages a nice personal touch, and helps you practise your English. Simply write a note about each of the photos on a page.  Write about what was happening or share your thoughts on the subject. Use paper that coordinates with the background, and be sure to write with an acid-free pen.

Adding borders to your pages gives them a finished look. You can make them out of strips of coordinating scrapbook paper. You don't have to border all four sides. A strip along the top, side or bottom will do. For easy embellishing, use some stickers.

There's no need to throw in the towel if you feel you don't have the time, money or know-how to create attractive scrapbooks. Just start off simple, and learn new techniques as you go.