Creating a scrapbook is a great way to record your family's most precious memories -- including summers, vacations, special birthdays and graduations. Photos are the heart of most scrapbooks. Below are some tips on how to gather these and handle them safely, as well as ideas on other kinds of keepsakes you might want to include in your own scrapbook.
Gather as many photographs as possible. Sort them so they relate to one another and to the album's theme. You can affix the original photos in your album. However, if you want to save them for other purposes, make copies of the originals on a color photocopier.
Remember your collection of slides and reel-to-reel 8mm films. These can be converted to photographs at a relatively low cost. Check you local photography supply shops and photo studios.
Handling Older Photos
Be sure to wash your hands before handling your old photos. The dirt and oils from your skin could damage them. The same is true for handling photo negatives.
A family photo that has yellowed, become brittle, or been affixed with tape should be moved to a safer environment. However, you may want to copy the photo before moving it or have it professionally photographed while it's still in its current site.
Use your heirloom photos in your album or make color photocopies of them. If you decide to use the original photos, consider securing them to the scrapbook pages with photo corners, instead of permanently adhering them.
Collect everything! Save small items that relate to your theme -- old letters, awards, certificates, ribbons, calling cards, a lock of hair, menus, place mats, brochures, business cards, newspaper and magazine articles, programs, announcements, matchbooks, and food wrappers. These items add interest to the pages -- and to your family's history. Even objects from nature make interesting mementos. Use a pH tester pen to determine the acidity or alkalinity of such items.
Protect scrapbook pages by photocopying or by placing the item in a clear, self-adhesive, acid-free memorabilia pocket. They're available in several sizes with scrapbooking supplies.