Scrapbooking for the 50 and Over Crowd: A Complete Guide

50 Plus Hub Research Team


Scrapbooking allows you to showcase photos and memories in creative ways. This rewarding hobby has exploded in popularity among the 50+ crowd. I should know – I took up scrapbooking after retirement and have now filled over 50 albums reliving life’s special moments!

In this guide, we’ll cover getting started, album formats, designing appealing pages, essential tools and supplies, sources for materials, displaying work, archiving, and much more. Let’s explore the captivating world of scrapbooking!

Understanding the Draw of Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking appeals to 50+ folks for many great reasons:

  • It’s a fun way to cherish family history and photos. Future generations will thank you!
  • The creative process keeps your mind engaged and sharp.
  • It provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
  • Expressing yourself through art is therapeutic and reduces stress.
  • Designing pages helps exercise fine motor skills and dexterity.
  • Fellowshipping with others that share this hobby is rewarding.
  • It gives you an excuse to socialize through crop parties!

Scrapbooking allows you to tell the story of your life while leaving a legacy for loved ones. Now let’s cover album formats.

Choosing Album Styles and Formats

Scrapbooks come in many forms to suit your needs:

Traditional bound albums – Classic thick albums with page protectors to insert finished layouts. Sturdy but bulky for storage.

Post-bound albums – Pages insert directly onto posts built into album covers. More compact but limited page capacity.

Smash books – Let you paste items directly into a book without page protectors. Great for travel journals.

Pocket scrapbooks – Layouts tuck into built-in envelopes or pockets rather than page protectors. Fun reveal as pages turn.

Accordion albums – Pages connect in an accordion style. Concertina albums fold out into a long panel.

Canvas albums – Insertable pages in a wrap-around canvas cover. Feel more like a piece of art.

Digital albums – Design your layouts digitally through apps and services. Modern way to build a scrapbook.

Try out different album styles as your experience grows. Now let’s move on to designing eye-catching pages.

Design Principles for Great Layouts

Follow these tips for scrapbook pages that wow:

  • Choose a focused theme– Decide if each page will highlight a person, event, interest, or time period. Staying thematic creates cohesion.
  • Optimize photo placement– Arrange photos intentionally using principles like rule of thirds. Avoid cramming too many on a page.
  • Select bold backgrounds– Vivid patterned paper or textured cardstock makes photos pop.
  • Incorporate meaningful embellishments– Decorations like ticket stubs from that concert add storytelling detail.
  • Utilize big titles– Headlines should grab attention. Use interesting fonts, sizes, and colors.
  • Journal memories– Your own written stories and captions are priceless. Pen them in journals to use.
  • Keep it clean– Too many clashing patterns and trinkets looks messy. Allow breathing room around elements.
  • Vary page orientation– Mix some landscape layouts into your mostly portrait pages for diversity.
  • Mind the margins– Photos and papers shouldn’t extend past the page edges. Leave small borders.

Let your creativity shine through on each unique page without going overboard. Next we’ll cover must-have tools and supplies.

Scrapbooking Tools and Supplies You’ll Need

Start off right by gathering these essentials:

Album – Choose your preferred format to start building.

Cardstock – Forms backgrounds. Get an assortment of weights and colors.

Patterned paper – For accenting. Scraps work great.

Adhesives – Opt for tacky, photo-safe brands. Tape runner and dots are very handy.

Scissors – Invest in quality photo scissors like Fiskars.

Paper trimmer – Essential for straight cuts and precise sizing.

Ruler – Metal is best. You’ll use it constantly for measuring.

Pens/markers – For journaling. Gel pens, Sharpie pens, brush markers give variety.

Embellishments – Have fun with stickers, florals, tabs, frames, letter stickers, etc. The options are endless!

Photo corners – For mounting photos attractively on pages without adhesive.

Protective sleeves – Preserve your finished pages in albums with sturdy sleeves.

Build your scrapbooking stash gradually. Next we’ll explore sourcing supplies.

Where to Find Scrapbooking Materials

With scrapbooking’s popularity, materials are easy to find:

Craft stores – The entire aisle at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Joann Fabrics will make you giddy!

Scrapbook expos – Attend local shows to see latest products and get steep discounts.

Online retailers – Sites like Scrappin’ in the Moonlight have great variety and deals.

Etsy – Wonderful for unique handmade embellishments like ribbons, frames, and buttons.

Thrift stores – Scan books sections for vintage postcards, greeting cards, and ledger pages to cut up.

Nature – Press flowers and leaves from your garden between books to use later.

Family heirlooms – Old jewelry, handkerchiefs, event programs, and photos make priceless embellishments.

Keep an eye out everywhere for materials to incorporate. Now let’s discuss ways to show off your scrapbooking creations.

Displaying and Sharing Your Scrapbook Creations

Scrapbooks aren’t meant to be tucked away unseen. Here are ideas for exhibiting your art:

  • Set out albums in your home for guests to browse and admire.
  • Build specialty books as gifts for family. Make treasured memories come to life!
  • Create a digital scrapbook and email to faraway relatives who would appreciate it.
  • Enter layouts in contests and exhibitions at scrapbook conventions.
  • Volunteer to teach scrapbooking at local senior centers or schools.
  • Start a neighborhood scrapbooking circle to share ideas and enjoy fellowship.
  • Display particularly stunning pages in decorative frames on walls, changing them periodically.
  • Have a “show and tell” swap party where everyone brings finished pages or albums to share.

Scrapbooking is meant to be seen! Find ways to proudly put your work on exhibit.

Archiving Scrapbooks for Generations

To preserve your scrapbooks long-term:

  • Store albums in cool, dry, dark spaces to prevent moisture damage, fading, etc.
  • Handle albums gently to avoid tearing fragile items like old photos.
  • Digitize your scrapbooks if possible by carefully scanning pages for backup copies.
  • Occasionally check albums for any loose embellishments that may need re-adhering as glue ages.
  • Pass albums down to family while you’re still here to explain the meaning behind pages.
  • Label albums and page sleeves clearly so future viewers understand the content.
  • Consider donating especially historically significant scrapbooks to museums or archives for specialized preservation.

With care, your scrapbooks can become family keepsakes and snapshots of history for generations to come. Now let’s look at ways to expand on this fulfilling hobby.

Taking Scrapbooking to the Next Level

Once you’ve mastered the basics, creative new worlds open up:

Document an ancestral history – Design a scrapbook chronicling your family tree with heirlooms and extensive journaling.

Try new page elements – Incorporate 3D embellishments, bundled ribbons, and intricate die cuts for depth.

Get artsy – Use watercolors, acrylics, or mixed media on pages to take it up a notch.

Scrapbook a trip – Immortalize a meaningful vacation from start to finish in a dedicated album.

Go digital – Explore computer scrapbooking software and design pages you can easily duplicate.

Sell your work – If you’re prolific, offer completed scrapbooks or custom page design services.

Write an article – Share your skills by contributing a tutorial piece to a scrapbooking magazine.

Teach classes at local shops, art centers, or conferences to help other learn this art.

The possibilities for taking your hobby to the next level are truly endless. Scrapbookers are limited only by their imaginations!

The Gift of Documenting Your Life

I hope this guide has shown how rewarding scrapbooking can be during your golden years. This hobby keeps hands nimble, stimulates minds, and creates priceless family mementos. When those boxes of old photos and other memorabilia beckon, don your crafter’s cap and let your creativity flow.

Your life story and family history deserve to be told and preserved through this wonderful art form. Become the family archivist. Set aside time to build your scrapbooking skills so you can chronicle precious memories. The joy you’ll feel when loved ones marvel at your completed pages is indescribable.

Get ready to unleash your inner scrapbooker! A workshop filled with materials and albums awaits. Let’s start telling your story, one creative page at a time!

Recommended Scrapbooking Resources

Scrapbooking 101 Books

  • Scrapbooking for Beginners by Alison Kinnaird
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Scrapbooking by Julie Johnson & Jessica Lipowski
  • Scrapbooking Your Life: A Visual Record of Your Memories by Deborah Adams

Online Classes

  • Big Picture Classes – Video workshops taught by experts
  • Creativebug – Hundreds of arts and crafts video tutorials
  • com Academy – Extensive online workshops and ideas

Useful Blogs

  • Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine – Tips from industry experts
  • Creating Keepsakes blog – Features trends and album inspiration
  • com blog – Covers tools, techniques, layouts, and more
  • Two Peas in a Bucket blog – Active community sharing scrapbooking journey

Are you all set now? I hope this guide has equipped you to begin preserving precious memories through the art of scrapbooking.


Your loved ones will thank you for creating this priceless family keepsake. Happy scrapbooking!


Never miss any important news. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Picture of 50 Plus Hub Research Team

50 Plus Hub Research Team

Never miss any important news. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Recent News

Editor's Pick