Emily Falconbridge is a free spirited creative soul who has been working as a writer and designer in the scrapbook industry for years. Her love for photographs and creating began when she was very young and she loves to used mixed media in her scrapbooks and play around with new techniques. She is mama to 3 and you can catch up with her here.

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No Supplies? No Worries!

Scrapbooking can be a costly little hobby. What with all the trendy papers, embellishments, stickers and those must have tools, a girl can do some serious damage to the monthly budget.

If you’re new to scrapbooking, you may feel overwhelmed at the thought of stocking up on products to get yourself started. I’m here to help! Scrapbook products are fun, but not totally necessary. With a few basic supplies and a little imagination, you will be whipping up creative keepsakes in no time.

Start simple
Like anything, you’ll need to make a small investment to start off with (but hey, it’s going to be worth it ok?!).

*Get yourself a good 12” paper trimmer. There’s nothing more tedious than having to rule a line and cut with scissors.

*Stock up on some good old acid free cardstock. Get plenty of classic ‘you’ colors as well as black, white and chocolate (erm, cardstock that is!)

*Hit the adhesive aisle in your craft store to grab some photo tabs, acid free glue and double sided tape. You may be sucked in and confused by all the different adhesives on offer. Stay calm. Stay simple. Start with basics and work from there.

*Invest in a couple of good black pens (try a few different point sizes), colored markers and/or acrylic paints.

With these basics and stuff you’ll find lying around the house, you’re ready to rock! Sometimes the less you have, the more creative you will be., as you will be forced push the artist within you (yes, she’s in there I promise!) Hunt around for masking tape, staplers, buttons, trims, lace, fabric and ribbon scraps, cool packaging, ephemera and other elements of your life to incorporate into your art. (in my ‘smile’ layout, I cut the frame from an urban outfitters plastic shopping bag).

Play = work

Experimenting is the way you will learn. It’s only paper so DON’T STRESS! You can always start again, or layer on top to create results you are happy with. It’s about finding what works for you and pushing yourself creatively as an outlet. Try painting backgrounds, doodling with your pens, recycling old packaging into cool collages, finding household items to us as stamps (bubblewrap, keys, potato shapes etc), sewing as decoration and function on your pages. Don’t be afraid to make a mess, or make a mistake. Some of my most creative ideas have come from total disastors!

Shop elsewhere

There are no scrapbook police waiting to fine you for shopping somewhere other than your LSS (learn the lingo gals – local scrapbook store!). Many a lightbulb moment have hit me while cruising down the aisles in hardware stores, office depot, grocery stores, and my oh so favorite thrift stores as well as regular ol’ craft superstores such as michaels and joanns. Find hinges, buttons, flowers, pipe cleaners, yarn, labels, envelopes, book rings, acetate, notepaper, tape and all kinds of treasures at a fraction of the cost! When I’m in need of inspiration, one of the 1st places I’ll hit is an office supply store. I get giddy just thinking of all the possibilities of a humble manilla folder. Send me into a thrift store and I will find a shamefully too small dress that had cool buttons on it for me to cut off, or an old stained tablecloth that will be perfect for cutting sections from. Once you open your eyes to all the possibilities, you’ll never be able to close them again! (husbands beware! nothing is sacred anymore, not even your belt buckle!).

Pens are a girl’s best friend

Forget diamonds, all you really need for endless happiness are some good pens. Photos and journaling are the heart and soul of scrapbooking – sharing the memory and the story are what matter most. Years from now, your kids are really not going to care about the (what might now seem) stylin’ letter stickers you put on your pages. They are going to care about YOU, your stories, your handwriting, your touch. Try out different pens for your own funky lettering, doodling and hand journaling. The humble pen can do so much! Bow down to the pen my friends, bow down to the pen.


Remember…this is FUN. So if you are holding your breath right now, stressing out about where to start, or what to do, or how to break free…then just take a deep breath. And another one. Now go and hunt around your house…I guarantee you have everything you need already to create a little piece of art with heart 😉


Project: Fabric or felt layout

*Roughly (and I mean roughly – the shabbier the better!) cut a piece of fabric or felt just a teeny bit smaller than your cardstock base.

*Cut a ‘hole’ (again, no straight lines please!) slightly bigger than your photo. Lightly adhere the fabric to the cardstock, and use embroidery thread to hand sew it onto the cardstock – going all around the edges and then a couple of small stitches to hold the ‘frame’ part down.

*Adhere photo and add any journaling or embellishment (here I used a piece of an old doily I colored green with food dye, and old old flower which I pulled the centre out of, and a button).

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