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What Is A Simple Scrapbook?

Getting Started
by Gayle Humphreys for Simple Scrapbooks Magazine

Simple scrapbooks. You’ve heard the term, seen the magazine and maybe even read the book that started it all. But perhaps you’re still wondering — what exactly is a “simple scrapbook”? Does “simple” imply that it’s just for beginners? Or lacking in creativity and content? Not at all!

A simple scrapbook isn’t your everyday chronological album. Instead, it’s a smaller, more manageable project that generally focuses on the “non-event” aspects of your life that can get left out of a traditional album—things like relationships, hopes and dreams, daily routines and family traditions. It helps you get back to the basics and record the less-heralded details of your life that really matter in the grand scheme of things.

A simple scrapbook is defined in terms of the “Five F’s”: Framework, Format, Finished, Fast and Freedom. These five elements—described on the following pages—provide a guideline for what comprises a simple scrapbook. (Note: Keep in mind that every simple scrapbook might not have every single element exactly as described.)


One of the most unique characteristics of a simple scrapbook is the presence of a “framework”—a group of pages, such as a title page and a table of contents page, that provides the overall structure for the album and helps define what it’s all about. Framework pages are typically completed first and defining the album’s overall organization and style allows the rest of the book to come together quickly with a consistent look and feel.

Here’s a brief description of the pages that make up the framework of a simple scrapbook:

Title page. Every scrapbook needs a title page. This is where you give your album a name and list the date and other identifying information (such as the creator’s name). The title page is also where you set the style for your entire album with the colours and design scheme you use.

Dedication/Introduction Page. A dedication or introduction page lets you explain your reasons behind the album—it’s the place to “connect” your scrapbook to another person, place or event in your life. You might also choose to dedicate it to a specific person. This optional introductory information doesn’t have to be on a separate page; it’s often included as part of the cover or title page.

Table of Contents Page. If your album can be divided into sections, you might want to include a table of contents page. This optional page provides a quick overview of what’s included in the album, usually listing section titles. Often, the table of contents introduces a distinguishing design characteristic for each section, such as a specific colour or decorative accent (die cuts, stickers, rubber stamps, etc.).

Section Pages. Section pages, which simply contain the section title, are used to introduce and divide each section of your scrapbook (if you’re using sections). Section pages should coordinate in design with the title and table of contents pages.

Filler Pages. These pages fill up the sections; they’re the “meat” of your album. Unlike the other framework pages, they don’t all have to be completed at the beginning. You might only create one or two initially. The filler pages also coordinate in design with the other framework pages, although the detail is typically simpler (sometimes only a colour or design element is repeated). Here’s where you can be as creative—or simple—as you like.

Closing Page. This optional page is the last page of the album—it’s a terrific way to add an “ending” to your book. You can include a few summarizing thoughts, a short bio about you, an inspirational quote or a parting photograph.

Materials File. While not a part of the actual album, a materials file provides a place to store photos and supplies before you begin creating your scrapbook. It’s also a perfect place for storing your completed “formula” and additional information you plan to include as you update your album in the future.


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Last modified: 02/12/12