Scrapbooking is a big business these days. People enjoy creating large albums full of customized pages that can hold photos of their weddings, children, vacations, and other life events. When creating these keepsakes, however, it is vital to ensure that the photographs included will be preserved as well as possible and kept from harm. There are some things that should be kept in mind when assembling a scrapbook with precious and one-of-a-kind photos.
1. Finding a Binder
The binders on your art and crafts store shelves may all look alike, but the truth is far from appearances. If you want to include small mementos, avoid any scrapbook binders that have snap or velcro closures that might be binding to the contents. These can damage mementos and photographs alike by crushing them against one another. Find a binder with oversized rings that will allow easy flipping of pages.
2. Choose Paper Carefully
When choosing paper for the scrapbook pages, which will be the background for the photo as well as any other little souvenirs, it is important to be very discriminating. Not all papers are appropriate. When choosing, look for paper that is acid free and archival quality. Cheap paper that does not declare these features can damage photographs over time, eventually destroying them.
3. Attaching Photographs
Never, ever use glue, tape, or stickers to attach photos to a scrapbook page. Not only can these damage the photo and distort its appearance, but they also prevent removal of the photos in the event that you want to remove one for framing or scanning sometime. Use old fashioned photo corners or clear acetate photograph mounting sleeves. These sleeves are acid free and archival quality, as well as having adhesive on the sides and allow a photograph to be slipped in, providing enough cling that the photo won’t fall out while keeping your photo safe and away from glue or fingerprints.
4. Choosing Mementos
Things like movie tickets and stickers attached next to and on the opposite pages of photos are generally harmless. Some items, though, can damage pictures. Anything 3-D, with glitter, sharp edges, or raised letters can scratch or cut a photograph. When placing these in your scrapbook, consider how the pages will flip together. Position them so that they won’t touch the photos on the opposite side. This can take some arranging, but it will be worth it to keep the photographs in their best condition.
5. Avoid Overstuffing
Don’t overstuff your binders. It is better to divide pages into a Volume I and Volume II than to attempt to cram everything into one binder. This only ends with damaging the pages where they attach to the binder rings and the items attached to the pages alike. Make sure that everything has room to move.
As a parting suggestion – take care when filing your scrapbooks away on shelves. Allow them room to breathe, so to speak. Squishing too many binders on one shelf can damage the beautiful cover of the binder as well as everything inside. A little attention and care when assembling scrapbooks can help everything contained within last decades longer and will allow your family to enjoy them for generations to come.