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Scrapbooking Inspiration 

and Solutions

Before you design another page, you must see our "Before and After" gallery and the topics on this page.


Contents of this page:






More Than A Scrapbook Introduction

Scrapbooking Sources, Ideas and Solutions

A custom or Theme, 12"x12" scrapbook page. 

Some Tips For Taking Photos

Salvaging Images From Poor Quality Paper or Newspaper

Preventing Deterioration - Handling and Storage of Photographic Materials

The Digital Age, What Photos Made Perfect Can Do For Your  Scrapbook

Books and Bible restorations, leather or fabric see the" The Book Craftsman" established in 1931 Or try PastFinders Fast Binders, call 714-528-4977 or email both in California.



More Than A Scrapbook


A scrapbook is not just a method of recording significant events, milestones and traditions of our lives.  In the process of creating a scrapbook you develop a sense of belonging and history. It builds self-esteem in children and adults by providing a place to display photos and memorabilia that is special to them.  It facilitates memories of the things we value, birthdays, graduations, weddings, vacations, and annual school photos.  It also aids in the healing, to go through the pages and reminisce.

  Scrapbooks give you the opportunity to keep the stories straight with journaling.  Wouldn't you rather write the story, then to have someone else give their interpretation of your character or life story.  You wouldn't want hear say from another relative that had a habit of bending the truth! Scrapbooks can have treasures in them like recipes, letters, keepsakes and more.  

How many of  you, can name all 16 of your great-great-grandparents? Or even just 8 of your great-grandparents. Don't wait until you get married or have children to start. When you start early, you will  find yourself planning events more frequently, and taking better photos with your scrapbook in mind. They help you make a personal connection and continuity within your family. 

 Scrapbooks are an heirloom, to pass down traditions, values, and, who had the foresight to leave a very personal gift with them in mind as they see something of themselves in your photos? You!  Consider how Photos Made Perfect can revolutionize scrapbooking, as we provide you with solutions to your scrapbooking dilemmas.  

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Tips For Taking Photos


These are samples (taken by amateur photographers) of photos taken with a digital camera, (not scanned photos).  You don't have to be a professional, as long as you do the following:

Don't Shake... you must stabilize the camera while shooting.  Professionals use tripods, you can find something to set the camera on.

Have good lighting so you don't have to use flash, avoiding the reflection of the flash or shoot at a very slight angle, until you don't see the reflection.  Notice even the reflection of the flash can be removed if this is all you have.

Take many shots, some are bound to be good.

When taking photos of people who are sitting or children, take the photos at eye level.

Be sure to check that everyone looks their best, (hair out of eyes, maybe glasses off or where to stand so that their in the shot) and be aware of unwanted items in the background.

Don't forget to include yourself, try using a tri-pod and timer.

Scrapbookers! don't forget to let kids take pictures at events too.  Shoot quiet moments when the kids are winding down.

Especially during the Holidays make your photos special by shooting by candle light.

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There are stories behind all our restorations.  Some are unusual, some funny and some sad, but all true.

Our client was visiting the home of a relative that wouldn't share their photos.  This is not uncommon, we hear this often. They don't want the photos to leave the house. So this client took this hasty shot of this photograph that was sitting on a table, while their relative left the room.  They brought it to us, to see if we could make it better.  Since we specialize in vintage photos, we had another unrelated photo that had just the right piece we needed to replace the glare on the original. Both knickers, both wore boots but the legs were in different poses but that was okay with the client. We cropped the frame out and lighten the right side that was too dark.  This same reason is behind the photos that people some times bring to us of a photograph that was copied on plain copy paper or on a Xerox copier. The results are horrible, you can see the sample on the left margin/banner of the "Challenge of the Year" 2006.

Copies of Photographs on Buttons

During the 1930's putting photos on buttons were very popular.  Trouble with these is there are no negatives and no duplicates.  Let us recreate the digital image needed to make copies, like you see here. Now everyone in your family can have a copy.




Sources, Ideas and Solutions

Researching, if you don't do a little, before you could start a scrapbook. Later down the road you may be very disappointed with your scrapbook, once you see all the options and products available. You may feel paralyzed by with indecision for lack of creative confidence. There are many sites (Sources) available that teach you about  themes and journaling and even software for scrapbooking and it could become overwhelming and expensive.

Personally style and purpose is a consideration. Some personalities, love busy craft pages, while others own vintage photos and need more conservative approach to their pages. Some may have hundreds of photos and choose to create a book with one image of each member of the family to keep the book simple and store the remaining photos in an archival box. While others have few photos and want to use every last one, even if they are not in good condition. You may find scrapbooking relaxing and have a great talent for it and others, don't have the time or the desire and rather hire someone to put a book together for them. You may be equip to scrapbook your originals while others rather design a page on the computer. If you only need one scrapbook either method is fine, but if you want to share your photos, the electronic scrapbook is your best choice to reproduce many copies.

Professional consultants like Photos Made Perfect take the guess work out of equation, making decision about your photos, much easier.  We consult on digital restoration and companies like Creative Memory are also excellent at breaking your options down.  What kind of scrapbook you create is a reflection of you and your skill level, to put one together. Depending you how many photos you have, if the photos are contemporary or vintage. 

Here is a friendly representative from Creative Memories I met at a convention.  Visit her, site she may help you or direct you to a rep near you. Janet is the rep that told me about scrapbooking software you buy then design your own pages. When your done, sent it to them and they bind your pages into a hard cover coffee table book. I loved it because it looked like a published book. 


Below are other related links.  Scrap It For Me. Pre-made scrapbook pages. All you have to do is insert the image. When you click on the image is sends you out to Ebay so you can bid on the pages. Pages go for $1. - $30 per page! 


The definition of theme is:  A topic of discourse or discussion. A subject of artistic representation. An implicit or recurrent idea; a motif: a theme of powerlessness that runs through the diary; a party with a tropical island theme.  Or a  short composition assigned to a student as a writing exercise.

Scrapbooking today, is very sophisticated with the digital alternates we now have. Take for instance; if you have a huge portrait it obviously can not go in a scrapbook but you can have it scanned and reduced, now you can include it in the scrapbook.  Maybe you have the opposite problem and have a tiny photo that could be the center of the page or theme but because it's too small it's just not can enlarge it. 

You may have a photo of a couple and not one photograph of either of them alone and you would like to make individual books, you can split them up.  You can even make custom pages.  Any image/photo can be made to fit a 12x12 page.  Visit our Photo Gallery Categories to see restored documents and paintings.  

There are Scrapbooking Conventions that come to your city, check your local newspapers, chamber of commerce or browse the internet for local events.  Make sure to wear comfortable shoes there is plenty to see.  Things you won't find at your local craft store.  Conventions have specialty items to die for.  There are scrapbooking stores in your neighborhood with "how to" classes.  More on Scrapbooking History & Background by Tracey M. Boudine.  

If you're interest is in Vintage/Antique photo albums visit our Genealogist Corner to see some from the 1800's.  These albums are here in hopes that the descendents are searching for them.  We have listed the information about them such as surnames found written on them as well as the names of the photographers.

Scrapbooks have come along way since the days of cutting up your photos and pasting them on a black page.  Look at this solution.










What if you have a photo that's too small that you wished were larger because that photo would be best used as the main theme.  PMP can enlarge it too.

When your working with copies, you won't mind cutting them into shapes to suit your artistic designs for that page.

We have bulk rates for those who want to duplicate an existing photo album.

Scrapbooking today has developed styles of layouts.  Some formal other whimsical.  One of our clients had a beautiful formal scrapbook.  She said every photograph in her scrapbook was in taken in a studio, with except of this one relative. So PMP changed the background, now it's formal too.

The emphasis on this here is the restorations, not the page layout/design.

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Your descendants looking at your scrapbook






and after Photos Made Perfect

Need we say more? 



Look at my grand daddy!



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Wedding Collage Before

What to do with photographs that are either too old or too damaged and you can't bare to through them out.  Every time you look at them, you wished you had better ones.


Wedding Collage After


Have your originals scanned and digitally restored. Store the originals in a acid safe box, and use the restored set in your scrapbook.

Find a  Scrapbook Expo convention is in your area.

This link is handy, a convention and events link in your area.

Creative Memories can help you with all your scrapbook supplies and ideas.

Scrapbook Suppliers R US is a good source of ideas for your scrapbook

Go to a site that tells you of the top 50 scrapbooking sites!




The restoration is the focus on these pages not the page design.  We like plain black pages for vintage photos.

You may want uniformity by similar coloring, more of the image instead of background and consistent sizes.

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Think about this! A custom Theme, 12"x12" scrapbook page. 

This small photo was a newspaper cut-out.  It was scanned and digitally altered to appear as though it had velum paper over it, then printed to archival quality photographic paper, ready to mount your photo on it.  

The subject was a jockey and store bought scrapbook pages with this theme, would be very hard to find. 

Give the scrapbooker in your family a gift card for restoring family history!




Simply put, this saved creative time and money spent on decorating this page to compliment the photo.







Don't forget that even though there may not be anything really wrong with the photo you have... even if it has turned yellow.  You are creating an heirloom scrapbook and you have already spent a fortune on supplies and tools to embellish a page, why wouldn't you go the extra mile to have your photograph be the best it could be.

No matter how you cut it, you must do something with the original photo. There are so many options you really need to talk to us.  After showing you what we can do,  we help you figure out what works best for you.  Depending on the needs of your photo, you do have options.  


We can take away the yellow and and damage like writing and add Sepia tone, which is the least expensive.  We can colorize it, partially or totally.  Look at this 1950s, 8x10 original. 




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We can colorize it, before you embellish or reduce or enlarge it like this photo into a 12x12 page.  


You already love scrapbooking, have you thought about Shadow Boxes for the items to bulky for scapbooking?



Circa 1866. These two cabinet cards found in a bible, were joined to make a more attractive portrait to display (never display originals, unless kept under the best conditions).   This is very popular with scrapbooker's and genealogist.  










These items belonged to John Evans of the 3rd New Hampshire.  These are the ribbons he wore and the wooden pipe and boot he whittled during the Civil war.  Shadow Boxes are a great way to keep collectible items safe and together.



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Salvaging Images from Poor Quality Paper or Newspaper


The photo on the left below, was on Paper.  Depending on the kind of paper used, these types photos may have lines, dots and fibers throughout.  The same with Photos from Newspapers, books and magazines.  They all can be improved. 















Photographs copied onto plain paper






This newspaper photo was completely recreated to appear as though it was a photograph. My client told me that the original was in another State and her relative did not want to part with or even mail her the original. So her relative Xerox copied it and told her this was all she was going to get. 


Read our, guarantee in the "Estimate Guide" or "Be An Educated Consumer", found on either margins at the top of the page.



















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Handling and Storage of Photographic Materials


Short version of handling and storage


If you have your photos in a book like this one...remove them as soon as possible. After years in the attic with extreme fluctuating temperatures, the plastic was actually breaking down, you could smell fumes and the pages become sticky and yellowed. Depending on how long the photos are in this environment you may be able to peeled away the photos easily enough. In this environment they do turn yellow, purple and green or fade away and begin to adhere to the plastic. 

Without a thought to cost, the absolute best thing to do with these photos and film, is to handle them as little as possible, scan them, print them and store the originals in a compact acid free box to accompany the electronic files and or digital scrapbook you create.  See scrapbooking software available by Creative Memories. Restore, color correct, crop, reduce or enlarge and make as many copies as you need to share. There are free digital scrapbook software online and where they make their money is in the publishing.  If cost, time and lack of technical knowledge is a concern, you can simply begin a new scrapbook that is acid and lignin free. Basic rule for preservation, keep the originals out of light and with you. Read on below for the technical version of preservation.

Preventing Deterioration:




Keep photographic materials at proper environmental conditions. Humidity is the most important consideration in preserving most photographic materials.  High or low temperatures with high  humidity levels will accelerate deterioration.  Conditions of around 68° F and 30-40% humidity are easiest to maintain in enclosed areas, such as an interior closet -- not in an attic or basement. 

Temperature, not humidity, is the controlling factor in the stability of contemporary color photographs. Storage at low temperatures (40°F or below) is recommended. Appropriate enclosures for cold storage are available from various vendors.

Exposure to visible and ultraviolet (UV) light is potentially damaging to photographs. Light can cause embitterment, yellowing and color fading in prints and hand-colored surfaces. Extended display of photographs is not recommended; however if they must be displayed, use UV-filtering plastic or glass in framing. Exposure of color slides to the light in the projector should be kept to a minimum. Use duplicate slides instead.

Atmospheric pollutants, particularly sulfur compounds, will cause black and white images to fade and discolor. Gas by-products given off by fresh paint fumes, plywood, deteriorated cardboard and many cleaning supplies may cause accelerated image deterioration. Storage in non-acidic containers is recommended.

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Handling Photographic Materials:

If photographs are handled improperly, they can suffer damage, including tears, cracks, losses, abrasions, fingerprints, and stains. Avoid touching fragile photographic materials; salts in human perspiration may damage surfaces. Wear clean cotton gloves if possible when handling negatives and prints.

Storage of Photographic Materials:

House photos in protective enclosures to keep out gritty dirt and dust which can abrade images, retain moisture, and deposit contaminants. Avoid and/or remove materials such as acidic paper or cardboard, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, rubber bands, paper clips, and pressure-sensitive tapes and rubber cement. Suitable storage materials should be made of plastic or paper, free of sulfur, acids, and peroxides.

Unbuffered vs. Buffered Paper


Under what conditions should either buffered paper or unbuffered paper materials be utilized by archives in the storage of archival materials?


Both types of paper will become acidic over time; it is merely a matter of how soon this acquired acidity develops. Unbuffered paper does not contain any alkaline buffer and has a pH at the time of the paper’s creation of 7 to 7.5. Buffered paper (contains an alkaline buffering agent to protect against the spread of acidic compounds) was developed to prolong the chemical stability of paper materials used in the storing of archival materials, by causing any migrating acids to become inert. The alkaline substances most often contained within buffered paper are calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate, maintaining an approximate pH of 8.5. In order for buffered paper to stay “. . . acid-free for long periods of time (e.g., 500 years) should have approximately 3 percent precipitated carbonate by weight of paper.”

For many years, it was recommended for an archives to use unbuffered paper when there was uncertainty as to if buffered paper would have a damaging effect on archival materials. In recent years, this issue has come to be less as important as is the quality of the paper: if the paper becomes acidic quickly, it does not matter whether it is buffered or not. Buffered paper products are acceptable for use with most books, paper documents, cellulose nitrate and acetate negatives, artistic prints and drawings (except those with pastel and charcoal, or that have been tinted), black-and-white motion picture film, and plant-derived materials.

More from this resource


Paper enclosures must be acid-free, lignin-free, and are available in both buffered (alkaline, pH 8.5) preferred and unbuffered (neutral, pH 7) stock. See blog in blue,below for more info on unbuffered paper.. Storage materials must pass the ANSI Photographic Activity Test (PAT) which is noted in supplier's catalogs. Buffered paper enclosures are recommended for brittle prints that have been mounted onto poor-quality secondary mounts and deteriorated film-base negatives. Buffered enclosures are not recommended for contemporary color materials. Paper enclosures are opaque, thus preventing unnecessary light exposure; porous; easy to label in pencil; and relatively inexpensive.


Suitable plastic enclosures are uncoated polyester film, uncoated cellulose triacetate, polyethylene, and polypropylene. Note: Photographic emulsions may stick to the slick plastic surface at high relative humidity (RH); the RH must remain below 80% or do not use plastic enclosures. Plastic enclosures must not be used for glass plate, nitrate, or acetate-based negatives.

Prints of historic value should be matted with acid-free rag or museum board for protection. Adhesives should not touch the print. Matting should be done by an experienced framer or under the direction of a trained conservator. 

Store all prints and negatives that are matted or placed in paper or plastic enclosures in acid-free boxes. If possible, keep negatives separate from print materials. Store color transparencies/slides in acid-free or metal boxes with a baked-on enamel finish or in polypropylene slide pages. Commonly available PVC slide pages, easily identified by their strong plastic odor, should never be used because of their extreme chemical reactivity.

Place early miniature-cased photographs, including Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes and Tintypes, carefully into acid-free paper envelopes and house flat; keep loose tintypes in polyester sleeves, or, if flaking is present, in paper enclosures.

Storage of family photographs in albums is often desirable, and many commercially available albums utilize archival-quality materials. Avoid albums constructed of highly colored pages. Never use commercially available "magnetic" or "no stick" albums for the storage of contemporary or historic photographic prints in black-and-white or color. These materials will deteriorate quite quickly over time.

Prepared by Debbie Hess Norris, Photographic Conservator and Assistant Director, Art Conservation Program, University of Delaware/Winterthur

[Excerpts of text taken from Caring for Your Collections: Preserving and Protecting Your Art and Other Collectibles, The National Committee to Save America's Cultural Collections; Arthur W. Schultz, Chairman. Published in 1992 by Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, New York.]

The preservation procedures described here have been used by the Library of Congress in the care of its collections and are considered suitable by the Library as described; however, the Library will not be responsible for damage to your collection should damage result from the use of these procedures.

Revised 12/98



 The Library of Congress, click here to to see original source  for more information on conservation.

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The Digital Age

What Photos Made Perfect 

Can Do For Your  Scrapbook

This client had a prank photograph of his father posing as a gangster.  He let his 5'o clock shadow grow a bit, put on a fake scar, put on a black shirt and posed as his father did with a unlit cigarette butt.  We set up the lighting to match the photographic style of his father's 1930's photo as well.  This photo demonstrated how much he looked like his father, and it was a great photo to pass down to his son. Since his father has passed on, we suggested that instead of putting each photo side by side taking up two pages it would have a more artistic and emotional affect to add his father to the background slightly faded.




Father 1930s






Son 2003




Photos joined













This client said that she had wonderful studio photographs of every one for her scrapbook except this relative, you see in the photo below.  She wondered what we could do to make her more formal.  This was our solution


























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Table of Scrapbooking Dilemmas and Image Editing Solutions




The only photo you have of this person is too big to scan to include in my book/scrapbook. Let PMP, scan or photograph your photo to reduce to fit your needs and make copies.
Need copies of one of a kind photograph and no negative. Scan and make copies
Photo too small, unattractive Enlarge and enhance
Need a single photo of particular person for your family tree We can single them out. See "Special Effects"
Can't find anybody to develop an old negative or old slides. PMP can scan and recreate prints. See "Vintage Film Developed" 
I have a shoe box full of photographs and just want to put them all on a disk, as they are (no restorations) to share with relatives. PMP can scan them and put on a CD-RW that you can add to.  You can copy the disk or reprint as many photos you want.
I have items that I would like to include in my book  Set them in a shadow box and take a photo to include in book.
My photograph is casual and I wished it were formal. We can crop and or change the background. See, "Special Effects"
I really like collages and but I am afraid to cut my originals and regret it later. Make copies and cut away, store the originals in acid free box.
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