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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The History of Scrapbooking

Is it any wonder scrapbooking is such a popular pastime? People have always sought ways to remember the important people and events in their lives. In a way, quilts could be thought of as the first scrapbooks. Quilts were made from old clothing and bedding that was no longer useful in its original state. Thus the quilt became a way of remembering those people who wore that clothing or slept under that sheet, and the events of their lives could be passed down in little squares of fabric.

Today, paper scrapbooks (and Digital Scrapbooking) provide ways for modern record keepers to present the history of their families in a beautiful, meaningful way.

Scrapbooking Through History

The scrapbooks of old understandably look a lot different from those we have today, since for a long time photography, color printing and decorating methods we take for granted today were not available to scrapbookers.

The most common form of scrapbooking in the 1800s took place in what were known as commonplace books, which were little journals where people recorded sayings, events, newspaper clippings and wrote about their hobbies. These books were often homemade and decorated with things like leftover wallpaper.

Mark Twain designed scrapbooks with gummed pages that you could moisten in order to stick things to them, and he sold nearly 60 different scrapbooks through the Montgomery Ward catalog.

The first book on scrapbooking was published in the 1880s and various kinds of scrapbooks were very popular at that time.

Modern Times

As photographs became more widely available, some people stopped scrapbooking in favor of photo albums. But the resurgence in interest in genealogy in the 1970s sparked a trend back toward making scrapbooks to record family history, past as well as present.

Today, scrapbooking is one of the most popular crafts out there. Combining rubber stamping, card making, stickers, art, design, journaling, photography and many more crafts, scrapbooking is a versatile and very creative craft.

A visit to the craft store will offer a huge selection of scrapbooks, papers, die-cuts, stickers, glitter pens, pre-made layouts, stamps, brads, envelopes and much more that can be used on your scrapbooking pages.

Digital Scrapbooking

The newest technological development in the world of scrapbooking is the digital scrapbook. Since more people have digital cameras today (or use a scanner to make digital copies of older photos) a whole new market has cropped up around building scrapbook pages entirely on the computer.

You can add your own borders, layouts, pictures, journaling and other effects, then either print out the finished page, post it online, e-mail it to friends or burn it onto a CD to share with family and friends all over the world.

While traditional scrapbookers might not like the lack of sensuous appeal of a digitally designed scrapbook page (compared to the funky textures and complex combinations of materials available for paper scrapbook pages), doing your scrapbooks on the computer is a great way to share them with others.


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