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The sports scrapbook page:

Using "scraps" to embellish

It was a very big game in Roger's high school football career, and only his fourth game as quarterback.  Both sides played hard, and it could have gone either way - and then he threw that 20-yard pass.  A Comets victory!!  His sports scrapbook was already pretty full, but this game deserved a very special page.

To start, we chose a famous football postcard illustration by F. Earl Christy and decided to use it in a traditional "scrapping" technique. Scrapping was a favored pastime of women in the early 19th century. They would scour the magazines and advertisements for small black and white illustrations, cut them out, often hand-color them, and paste them in albums and journals.  By the 1820's, printers began to produce materials just for scrapping, and scraps soon became more elaborate with embossing, color printing and gilding, and finally die-cutting. By the time Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, Victorians were "scrap-happy" and decorating everything from furniture to greeting cards. And we are glad to carry on the proud scrapbooking tradition.

To imitate a pigskin background, we used plastic canvas as a stencil to create a pattern with black spray paint on brown paper.  This can work in many color combinations to create your own patterned backgrounds.


  • Sports scrapbook materialsVintage image (Free PDF download).
  • Background paper: plain brown 12" X 12" paper.
  • Matting paper: tan paper for journaling. 
  • Embellishments: silver metallic paper, 1" red satin ribbon.
  • Plastic canvas sheet, 12" X 12" or larger (see Tips).
  • Journaling pen.
  • Spray paint, black.
  • Paint pen, silver, with medium tip.
  • Glue stick or other non-acid paper adhesive.
  • Tacky white glue for ribbon.
  • Craft paper punch, star shape.
  • Small scissors, like manicure scissors.
  • Scissors or paper cutter.


  1. Print the vintage image on matte photo paper.  With small scissors, carefully cut out the figures with as much detail as possible.
  2. From your photos, cut out a silhouette of your star player in action.
  3. Sports scrapbook layoutLay the plastic canvas over the brown background paper.  Spray a light coat of black spray paint straight down through the canvas. Remove the plastic canvas and let it dry.
  4. On the red ribbon, print your team's name with the silver paint pen and let it dry. Trim both ends to center your words, and cut out triangles at each end for a banner effect.
  5. Using the craft paper punch, cut eight stars out of the silver metallic paper.
  6. Journal the who, what, when, where and why on the tan paper, and trim it.
  7. Position all of your elements on the background, and adhere them with glue stick or adhesive.
  8. Rah! Rah! Rah!


  • When cutting out scraps with fine detail, two techniques will help. First, hold the scissors at a 45-degree angle toward the back of the paper to reduce the white edge that will show.  Second, move the paper as you cut, not the scissors.
  • Plastic canvas is used as a base for needlepoint, and is available at craft and fabric stores.  You can also use heavy window screening as your stencil.  
  • If you need to change the size of the image for your scrapbook layout, refer to the information in the FAQ on resizing a PDF image.
  • There are many different kinds of scrapbook covers and bindings, so you will need to adapt your page design for your particular book.

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