Wondering what to do with all of your photos? Scrapbooking might be just what you're looking for!

We all have tons of photographs saved over the years, and they may be sitting around in boxes or worse yet! In old non-archival-quality photo albums which are slowly destroying the pictures. We may also have our parents or grandparents old pictures. Some of these photos may have been around for 50 or more years. As people began to notice their photos deteriorating in the old adhesive albums, someone began making acid free, archival safe albums, paper, sheet protectors and other supplies to house our photographs. Now, scrapbooking has become one of the fastest growing hobbies in America. If you've been wondering what to do with your photographs in their unsafe albums, or the ones lying around in drawers and boxes, here's information you can use to begin, and places to go to purchase just what you'll need to start preserving your photographs for future generations.

Where to Start:

First, gather all your photographs in one place. If they are in albums that are not acid-free, get them out of there as quickly and carefully as possible. Gather them in from the drawers and boxes and get them all together. You can buy special photo boxes at reasonable prices from your local craft store, complete with dividers so you can sort them chronologically or by event. Getting your pictures in order is the first step, before you begin making your photo albums. You may find it easiest to begin with the most recent pictures and work your way back through the rest. The closer to the present time your photos are, the quicker you can deal with them. When you have finished the more recent ones, the earlier ones will be easier to work with. Also, decide on how you'd like your pages to look. Do you want to follow a certain style, having your pages look similar, or do you want a different look for each event you are working with? Will you be using the cute stickers and die cuts to give your pages personality, or do you want them to be simpler? What type of adhesive do you want to use to secure your photos to the page? Once you've determined that, you are ready to shop for your supplies. Following are just a few of the many sources for ideas and supplies that we found.

  • Addicted To Scrapbooking, the world's largest scrapbook store, boasts over 1,000,000 scrapbook-related products for sale. Sign up for their online newsletter, too.
  • Two Peas In a Bucket is an online site which sells albums, paper, stickers, die cuts, stamps and more.
  • offers how-to's, a newsletter, and will sell you all the supplies you need to get started with scrapbooking.
  • is another site loaded with tons of ideas and supplies you can buy. Also offers a free email newsletter.
  • You may also have local sources to check, such as Michaels, Craft Warehouse, or Hobby Lobby. All of these sources should have some how-to books, or you can check those out at your local library if you need some additional ideas to get started.

Picture this:

While you'll probably be spending a lot of time taking care of your past photos, you're still going to be taking more to add to the collection. Now that you have a better idea of what you want in your photos, here are a few tips to help you take better pictures. Take a variety of photos of each event. Try to include as much activity in your photos as you can. You'll be able to tell the story of the event much easier with a wide variety of photos to choose from.

Try to focus on the event, as well as the people. You're wanting a record of what happened, as well as who was there. While you may want a picture of the people who attended, you are sure to want to capture some of the activities as well.

Try to get your "people pictures" in a non-posed pose. Spontaneous expressions will also add to the story of the event.

Now's The Time

You have your photos--the old ones plus the ones you are taking now. You've decided on the format for your albums and have bought the supplies you need to begin creating wonderful pages full of memories. You may even have some ideas of how you want to lay your photos out on the pages. But you may be missing one important ingredient to getting this project done: Time!

We're all busy people. You may have a job, home and family to care for. By the time those responsibilities are fulfilled, what time is left for you? Since it's important to preserve your photos, you will need to commit yourself to spending some time on the project. Don't feel like you have to spend large blocks of time on it, if you don't have time to spare. Even half an hour or an hour once or twice a week is better than nothing. And don't let yourself be overwhelmed when you look at the drawer or boxes full of photos. Rome wasn't built in a day, your pictures took years to accumulate, they're not going to fall into albums overnight, either. Just do what you can when you can, and soon you'll find yourself making the time to do more. Tackle a page or two at a time, and like the old joke about how to eat an elephant (one bite at a time), you'll soon find yourself making a dent in your current photos, and in need of some more.

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Plasma TV, LCD TV, MP3 Players, TIVO, Satellite TV, Dgitial Cameras, Digital Camcorders, Bose iPod Speakers, Multimedia Projectors, GPS, Blu-ray Disc

Computer and Accessories:
Choosing a Laptop Computer, Computer Memory Upgrade, Copying a Hard Drive, Dual Monitors, Networking Computers, Microsoft Office, PDA's, Cheap Ink/Toner, Color Laser Printers, Multifunction Printers, Scanners, USB Flash Drives, Wireless Printers, Dell computers, Wireless Routers, Wireless G Routers, Wireless N Routers, Laptop Carrying Cases

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