A Hobby for the Whole Family

Scrapbooking, either working together with your grandchildren, or using all the tools to make a scrapbook for your grandchildren to enjoy when they are older, is one of the best possible ways of bringing the generations together.

It is an ideal way to spend those long winter evenings. With your older grandchildren, sorting through your family photos brings back so many memories of good times, and quite a few laughs as you remember when things did not go quite right. Have you ever noticed – it is the “disasters”, the birthday cake that slid off the plate, the toddler caught with a mountain of unrolled toilet paper… that make us laugh later.

I started scrapbooking way back in the early 60s. It wasn’t called that then, but driving from Montreal to Vancouver with three Irish friends, I collected postcards, maps and souvenirs from all over the States and Canada. Later, we went back to England by sea, the long way round, and I still have that album too, full of memories and pictures of exotic places (I saw the King Tut collection in the Cairo Museum, decades before it came to North America, visited the Pyramids, rode on a camel…....)

These days scrapbooking has become an art form. Dedicated scrappers make the most beautiful and interesting pages. Craft stores have aisles full of tools, special papers, templates, and there are many online stores as well.


Albums come in various sizes, from 12”X15”, 12”X12”, down to 5”X7’’. The bigger ones allow for more pictures per page and have room to write your story.That is so important. When you look at your pictures years later, you don’t want to be thinking “What on earth were we doing there?”The smaller albums make great presents. Working parents may not have time to put an book together but Gran could gather photos of special occasions to give to their children.


Paper should be acid- and lignin-free to protect your photos from damage and discoloration, so it is best to buy your albums and papers from reputable scrapbooking companies. The variety of colored papers, templates, theme pages and stickers is almost endless. You can make each album distinctly your own.


Trimmers and cutters: A small, photo-sized trimmer is very handy, especially if you like to take your scrapbooking work to parties, other family members’ houses or craft store classes. Scissors are very important and Fiskars has a huge line of decorative scissors, used for making interesting edges on your pictures or matting. Other useful tools are circle and oval cutters.

Punches come in all shapes. Common shapes are hearts, flowers, and stars but there is a great choice of shapes available, including straight decorative border and rounded corner punches.

Stickers are used to liven up your pages and to highlight your theme. They come in many styles and subjects: baby, holiday, seaside and travel, just to mention a few. There are hundreds more collections available.

Pens: again look for pens that are photo safe, of archival quality, acid free, waterproof, fade proof and smear proof. There are several companies making pens especially for this type of work.


For the avid scrapper, there are books and magazines full of creative ideas and layouts.

› Scrapbooking