Scrapbooking Tips And Ideas: Great New Techniques For Professional Looking Results

Try some of these techniques and your scrapbook pages will look like they came straight out of a paper craft magazine.

HAND PHOTO COLORING: Spice up your photos by getting them printed in black and white, then color them yourself. There are a number of photo coloring chalks, markers and paints on the market that you can fill in the color right on the photo yourself for a look that is more reminiscent of portrait paintings.

Chalks will give a very subtle coloring, and paints will give bolder colors. You can color the entire photo, or you can only fill in a few elements and make them stand out against the shades of gray.

Chalks can be rubbed on with a cotton swab, as can paints if you want a more toned-down look and for the colors to blend. Use a pencil eraser before the paint dries to remove any mistakes or splatters.

STENCIL PLASTERING: To give your pages depth and dimension, get wall plaster or spackle and some plastic or metal stencils. The stencils can be of lettering, or pictures. You can plaster directly onto the page, or you can do it on small squares or scraps of paper, then place them on the page.

In order to do this, simply clip your stencil to the paper with a paper clip to make sure it won't move, or use a temporary adhesive. Stir your plaster or spackle until it is of a smooth consistency, then, with a small spackle or painters knife, fill in the stencil with a thin layer. Scrape across the top of the stencil with the long edge of the knife to smooth it, or leave it bumpy for extra texture. Carefully pull the stencil off by lifting it straight up. Try not to let it smear the image.

Allow the plaster to dry. You can use a colored plaster, or a white plaster. If you like you can add color to white plaster after it is dry by brushing some colored chalk on it, or painting it.

SEWING YOUR PAGES: For an interesting look, throw out your glue and sew your elements on your page. You can sew on cardstock and heavy paper the same way you sew on fabric. Choose threads in coordinating colors. Use your sewing machine and make either a straight stitch, or fancy zig-zags. This is a particularly great method for putting together a paper "quilt" layout.

EMBOSSED VELLUM LAYOVER: Vellum embosses beautifully, and, because it is transparent, when you lay it over a page it makes a great effect. You can even emboss vellum without using any type of heat or light tables. In fact, if you don't have a stylus, all you need is a paper clip.

It is easiest to emboss with a metal or plastic stencil. Take the stencil and lay it on the table. Remember that the image will come out backwards, so if you are embossing letters or images that need to face a certain way, turn the template upside-down.

Lay the vellum paper face-down over the template. You will easily be able to get it in the right place because you can see the stencil through the vellum. When it is in place, gently rub into the paper with your stylus, or the rounded edge of your paper clip, pushing it into the stencil. For sharper edges, go over them a few times, but be careful not to tear the paper. The more you rub over the vellum, the more opaque the image will become. Pick up the vellum, turn it over, and see the image you have created.

DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING: The new rage is going digital. Basically, with digital scrapbooking, you can scrap the scraps. No glue or scissors involved, with digital scrapbooking you create the page right on your computer with your digital or scanned photos, and print it when it is complete. While for some people who like to get their hands into their work, this can be a downfall, for others who absolutely love the look of the modern memory album, but don't have the time, patience, or artistic drive to hand-craft it, this option is ideal.

There are a number of digital scrapbook programs that can be purchased at craft stores, computer software stores, or on the internet. With literally thousands of options for colors, patterns, fonts, and embellishments, you can still create pages that are unique, but without having to dedicate an entire closet to scrapbooking supplies.

© High Speed Ventures 2011