Why Do I Scrapbook?

Scrapbooker (scrap.book.er)- (n)

1) one who preserves their memories in an artistic form. 2) one obsessed with photos, paper and glue. 3) one who strives to capture the everyday. 4) one who lives to create.

Hi! Today, I am pondering an important question…well, I think it’s important anyhow. Why do I scrapbook? I’ll be honest, it has taken me a while to even think of myself as “a scrapbooker”. Well why?! you might ask. And it is almost ashamedly, that I admit to you dear friend, that I was always and still am to a certain degree…a little bit embarrassed. Again I hear you say why?!?! (You sound outraged in my head by the way.) So, in an attempt to justify myself I will try to explain…

I’ll start off by saying that I live in a part of the world (England) where scrapbooking isn’t really a ‘thing’ as such. As far as crafting goes it has always sort of been knitting, embroidery, cross-stitch and card making that’s popular. Yes, we have a store called Hobbycraft but…their scrapbooking supplies are always a bit thin on the ground or just old collections. And yes, we do have 24hr shopping channel dedicated to craft…but again scrapbooking doesn’t seem to be very high on the agenda. Papercraft in the UK, to my mind at least, has always been geared towards card making, by which I mean the die-cutting, embossing foldered, layer-upon-layer, decoupage, tiny sentiment style of card making, and that has never really caught my fancy. Now, don’t get me wrong, some scrapbooking has filtered through but it is nothing compared to that in America. The first time I went to Michael’s…oh man, I thought I was in scrapbook heaven! But I digress…

Right! Embarrassment… so it’s not a ‘thing’ over here, which then leads to people not talking about it if they actually do it. Like it’s a big secret, or perhaps looked upon as a waste of time. Until now, family photographs are shoved into a tradition pocket 4×6 album and forgotten about, until the time comes that your parents break them out to embarrass you in front of your friends with baby pics!  *hides face behind hand*

Then of course there’s the stereotype! Shimelle Laine talks about this in her video. She says that the scrapbooker stereotype tends to be;

  • female
  • likes to take photos (but not be in them)
  • has children/grandchildren who feature in all her pages.

You know, the sad thing is, she’s right! This is the picture that is formed in the heads of people when you say, “I like to scrapbook”. Now, like Shimelle, I have a few problems with this. Yes ok, I am female. And yes ok, I like to take photos. BUT I am in those photos too! I’m taking note of and recording MY memories, so why would I not be in those photos too! As for that last one, well, I’m 22 and I don’t have children and therefore definitely do not have grandchildren…so does that mean I can’t scrapbook? Do I have nothing to scrapbook about? In a way, I guess not. I mean; I go to work, I come home, I eat, sleep, repeat. BORING!

But what about those moments when I’m having fun with friends? Or on holiday? Or on a spontaneous outing? I want to be able to record these things, these moments, memories and stories, so that when I am older and have children, I have something to pull out and show them when they ask, “What were you like when you were little?” I’ll have not only an answer for their question but something pretty and interesting to show for it too! And what, I ask, is wrong with that?

So in return I pose the same question to you: Why do you scrapbook? If you’re in the UK have you felt the same as me? If not, what’s the general attitude in your part of the world? Feel free to comment below or send me a message, I’d love to hear from you.

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3 thoughts on “Why Do I Scrapbook?

  1. tontaybla says:

    I am in the US and I have only seen women with children or grandparents who scrapbook. I am a parent who only started scrapbooking after I had children. I want them to have this to look back on and see how they were as children and some of the fun exciting things we got to do. I am in some of the pictures as well, and I am trying to add in more of the ones with just me in it, I try to do things with out them sometimes although it’s hard.

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  2. Baum17 says:

    Excellent post! I’ve been wondering why the UK is so late to the game with scrapbooking and spend hours (too much of my time) pouring over embellishments, kits and tools that only the U.S. has to offer and therefore costs a tonne to get shipped over here! I agree, Hobbycraft really are thin on the ground with their scrapbook stock (didn’t stop me spending the last of my money before payday in there yesterday though!) and it makes me wonder if it’s a reflection on the market demand for such materials or just a buying oversight? Either way, we need to make scrapbooking young, vibrant and accessible in the UK as we all know that people love it here (well, the ones that don’t hide it). 😀

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    • pollyspapercrafts says:

      First off, I am so SO sorry its taken me so long to reply to your comment! Super sorry! But I totally agree that the UK has been slack with scrappy supplies and very much the same as you, I have spent far too much time browsing the US products and wishing they were available (at a reasonable price!) in the UK. I do think more and more young people need to see not only the fun, but the importance of scrapbooking. After all, nearly everyone already does it by documenting their lives on Facebook, Twitter etc. We just put it into a tangible form. Say it loud and say it proud – we scrapbook! LOL! Thank you for reading and again sorry it has taken so long to reply! – Emma x

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