One of my favourite hobbies is scrapbooking. I think it is such a beautiful way to document your memories and keep them forever. Every scrapbook page you create is so unique, different to anyone else’s and the best thing? There’s no right or wrong when it comes to scrapbooking – it’s totally up to you!
I started scrapbooking at a young age and even had a scrapbooking party for my 10th birthday, but it wasn’t until last summer that I actually made a travel scrapbook. I had tried documenting holidays before but I always got bored half way through. Last Summer I went on a month long trip to America which was an absolute dream of mine so was determined to document it. I prepared a few little things for both before and during my trip which kept me on track. I now have a scrapbook which I am very proud of and is on display in my room.
- Before you go away get some envelopes or plastic wallets and label them with the names of the places you’re going or number them according to the days you’re away. Whilst you’re away just add any tickets, leaflets, cards, receipts etc to the corresponding envelope. This will make your life a million times easier when it comes to doing your scrapbook. Everything is already sorted for you into days/places!
- Take a notebook and pen EVERYWHERE. It’s so handy to jot down little bits of information you might forget easily; words you learn, the names of people you meet, how you feel etc. You’ll realise how important these little things are when you come to do your scrapbook – they make all the difference!
- Note down the weather and temperature EVERY day. It sounds a bit silly but when your scrapbook is complete it makes such a difference. (Plus, every Brit loves talking about the weather right?)
- Photograph EVERYTHING. There’s no such thing as “too many photos” when you’re on holiday. Obviously everyone takes photos of landmarks, people, places they went etc, but take photos of the smaller details. Photograph the menu at the café, your room number, the street you walked down, the ice cream you ate. Yes, a lot of these photos might be deleted but you’ll be surprised how much detail of a place you forget. When it comes to describing the town or city you were staying in you want to remember the finer details.
- Make time to note how you feel. On my USA trip I faced a lot of fears and did things I was terrified about doing. When I came to write about them in my scrapbook I wished I’d written about how I felt at the time of the event instead of having to rely on my memory which was more focused on how I felt during and after the event. Did you go to a museum that really moved you? WHY? What was it about that conversation that made you emotional? What was it that pushed you to do what you were terrified of? These emotions are so great to add into your scrapbook because they make it so personal and it’s a great way to be transported back to the place.
- Make time to sketch. When we’re travelling/on holiday, so often we take the things around us for granted or we don’t really notice them. Take time to just sit and sketch your surroundings whilst you’re in a café or relaxing on the beach. These little sketches can be paper clipped or glued into your scrapbook and again add a personal touch. *YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE GOOD AT DRAWING TO DO THIS!*
- Notice the little things: the name of the restaurant, the name of your waiter, your hotel room, the time you arrived etc.
- If you think of something you want to remember write it down immediately! You’d be surprised how much you do in a day, let alone an entire trip. Don’t over estimate how much you can remember.
- Write about the people you meet. It’s so nice to have sections on the people you meet rather than just the things you did and the places you saw. What did you learn from them? How do your cultures differ?
- Before you go write down some questions you want to answer both before and after your trip, eg. where do I think I will like the most? How much money do I think I’ll spend? What will I miss the most about home? I did this for my USA trip last year and did a before and after page. The answers I wrote after my trip hardly ever matched the answers from before my trip!
- Keep EVERYTHING. I kept things like a mardi gras style necklace I was given on a night out, my metro card, a toy shark from a cocktail, room keys, stirrers from the Hard Rock Café, wristbands, tags from clothes or souvenirs I bought and of course all of my tickets and receipts! Everything I saved (minus the shark because it’s too big) went in my scrapbook and made my pages so much more personal. They also evoke memories when I look at them and isn’t that what scrapbooks are for?
- Use maps and receipts as backing for pages or photos. Sometimes you want to include things like maps and receipts but don’t want them to ruin the look of your page. I’ve found that cutting them up and using them as backing paper or as photo borders works really well.
- Buy things on your trip to be used in your scrapbook. When I was in the Grand Canyon I bought a bumper sticker that said “I hiked Bright Angel Trail” and die-cut pin that says “I hiked the Grand Canyon”. At Sun Studios I bought a guitar plectrum and all of these made their way into my scrapbook adding so much authenticity to the pages.
- Start your scrapbook before you go away. I completed 3 pages in the weeks leading up to my trip. I included my itinerary and my “before” page of Q&As. This meant that when I got back I could get stuck straight in to the trip and didn’t lose motivation before I’d even begun!
- Sort through all of your scrapbooking things before you even begin. THIS IS MY NUMBER 1 TIP! When I got home the first thing I did was sort through all of my stickers, washi tapes, papers, stamps and little paper embellishments. Anything that I found that I thought I might want to use, I put into the envelopes I mentioned in the first bullet point. It was a laborious process but SO handy! Everytime I got to a new destination I just grabbed the corresponding envelope and I was ready to go! It gave me a starting point when I had a blank page staring at me!
So that’s it! My top tips for creating your ultimate travel scrapbook! I know some of them sound a bit tedious but they really don’t take much time to do and they make SUCH a difference to your scrapbook! Everyone has different ideas on how to display their memories so these tips won’t work for everyone. Check out my pinterest board on scrapbooks for more inspiration!
Just as pieces stitched together in a quilt warm our bodies, scrapbooks bind together memories to warm our hearts.