During the first year of your baby's life, every day is an adventure. From baby's first smile to his first steps, there are hundreds of special moments you will want to document. Assembling a customized baby scrapbook is a wonderful way to create a keepsake from this time in your child's life.
Essential Scrapbook Supplies
As a sleep-deprived new parent, you may think the selection of supplies available at craft stores such as Hobby Lobby and Michaels seems intimidating. Fortunately, you don't need to buy all of these items to start making a baby scrapbook. Creative layouts can be made using just a few basic supplies.
Necessities for scrapbooking include:
- 12x12 scrapbook album
- Patterned paper, purchased by the sheet or as part of a coordinating package
- Cardstock in neutral colors and colors that match your patterned paper
- A paper trimmer large enough to cut 12x12 paper
- Acid-free glue sticks
- Photo corners
- Pen with archival safe ink to use for journaling
Stickers, rub-ons, charms, and chipboard embellishments are fun to look at, but these items aren't necessary for the beginning scrapbooker. Many of your baby scrapbook layouts can be decorated with memorabilia such as ribbons from the gifts at your baby shower or fabric scraps cut from some of your child's first outfits. Plan to purchase embellishments for your baby scrapbook on an as-needed basis.
If you don't want to purchase your scrapbook supplies individually, buying an all-in-one baby scrapbook kit is an option to consider. Kits include everything you need to make an album, including supplies for baby boy or baby girl scrapbook themes. Depending upon the manufacturer of the kit, the cost may be lower than buying items separately. You'll have less flexibility when creating a baby scrapbook using a kit, but the added structure may make the project seem more manageable if you're pressed for time.
Baby Scrapbook Freebies
When starting your baby scrapbook layouts, don't overlook the value of online resources. Websites offering free clip art, such as About Web Clip Art, are a good source of accents for your baby's scrapbook. Free fonts can be used to dress up your favorite baby scrapbook sayings for page titles, photo captions, and journaling. Digital scrapbook freebies can be printed onto acid-free cardstock and cut apart to use like your favorite traditional scrapbook supplies.
Organizing Your Baby Scrapbook
Staying organized is the key to making great baby scrapbook layouts. Many new parents find it is most effective to assemble page kits for each layout in their album. File your photos by the month they were taken, then add a note card with key details from each event. Place the photos and any coordinating cardstock, patterned paper, and embellishments you wish to use in a large envelope. When you find a few free moments to work on your scrapbook, all you'll need to do is grab an envelope and start creating.
If you're having trouble deciding how to arrange your photos on the page, consider printing a few scrapbook sketches to use as a reference. Sketches are diagrams that show where to place your photos, page titles, embellishments, and journaling. The magazines Creating Keepsakes and Scrapbooks, Etc. both feature scrapbook sketches each month, but you can also find a nice assortment of free sketches online at Becky Fleck's Page Maps website.
What to Include
The pages you include in your baby's scrapbook will likely fall into one of three categories:
- Milestones such as arriving home from the hospital, meeting relatives for the first time, and celebrating each holiday
- Diaper changes, nap time routines, snuggling with Mommy, and other small daily activities that are important parts of your baby's life during the first year
- The moments that make parenting difficult, such as illnesses and tantrums