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The Vintage Scrapbook - nine creative ideas for using vintage images in your scrapbooks

Scrapbooking is a way of life, and a way of preserving treasured memories for your family and friends. There are many excellent websites devoted to the craft of scrapbooking, and many more books, so we won't attempt a comprehensive instruction on the process. We have a bias, you should note, for hand-making virtually everything. Why buy stickers and pre-printed papers when you can create your own?

Vintage images are naturals for scrapbooking. They provide instant artwork to enhance your photos and memorabilia. They capture a moment in time; the essence of an occasion or an emotion. And they lend perspective; verifying that the important things in life don't change over time.

There are many ways to use vintage images in your scrapbooks. Here are nine ideas with sample pages, instructions and free image downloads.

Car scrapbook photo Use the full image as a centerpiece. A vintage image captures a moment in time, and a feeling. A photo, postcard or advertisement can be incorporated to set the theme of your scrapbook page. Our new car sample page captures the day Paul bought his first car. The central image is a vintage photo of a young boy, circa 1900, proudly driving his toy "Tin Lizzy." We also offer some ideas on incorporating other unusual memorabilia into your page.
Baby scrapbook photo Enlarge an image to be a background. Many images lend themselves beautifully as backgrounds. Choose a snow scene for a winter page. Create a romantic setting with a Valentine image as the background. Display your baby's first Christmas photos on a background of Santa and children. In our example we used the timeless symbol of the stork to herald the birth of Pamela Louise! Ribbon and button embellishments are the finishing techniques here.
Sports scrapbook photo Cut out "scraps" and use them as embellishments. Cutting out small illustrations and pasting them in books and on objects was a major pastime for Victorian women - the pictures were called "scraps" and that's where we got the name for scrapbooks. Many vintage postcard scenes include comical figures, holiday symbols, good-luck charms, happy children, animals, and more. Resize and print them from your computer and cut them out with manicure scissors. Our sample page celebrates Roger's football victory using a scrap from a vintage football postcard by F. Earl Christy. Our "pigskin" background technique is one you'll want to try.
Vacation scrapbook photo Create frames or borders from the images for pictures or text. Many vintage postcards were designed with fanciful decorative borders. Resize them on your computer, cut out the center, and you have an ornate vintage frame for your photos or text. As an example, a week's vacation on the Caribbean island of Anguilla gets a tropical scrapbook treatment with beautiful shell design photo frames. This page also has some interesting texture and material ideas (yes, that's sandpaper on the beach!).
Birthday scrapbook photo Use vintage written sentiments as an inspiration for your journaling. Long before Hallmark, postcard illustrators included sentimental verses and messages with their pictures. You can use these verses as the start of your personal journal of events. We found a lovely children's birthday greeting to set the mood for our scrapbook page for Ella's 1st birthday party. Cake was a BIG issue! We also offer you some tips on making a successful photo collage.
Christmas scrapbook photo Borrow the colors from an image to set the palette for your page. This is perhaps the most useful role of vintage images in scrapbooking. Choose an image that entrances you with colors, bright or subdued, or even a strong black and white picture. Use those colors in your background, framing, borders and texts to create a harmonized, coordinated presentation. Our example shows how powerful that can be. The Christmas postcard is illustrated in bold colors of red and green, with metallic silver. Just by chance - Tim, Marc and Becky were wearing the same colors! Here, we also give you a technique for making your own simple rubber stamp!
Wedding scrapbook photo Alter vintage images with paint, ink, rubber stamps or other treatments. "Altered art" is very hot these days. The concept is simple; take a basic image and start adding mixed media techniques such as painting, foiling, cutting, folding, rubber stamping, embellishing with decorative objects, embossing, burning -whatever pops into your head. Altered images often take on a new meaning; comic, ironic or nostalgic. We chose one of the most basic altering techniques for our sample scrapbook page; hand-tinting a black and white illustration. This wedding page also features some embellishment tips using paper lace and ribbon.
Friends scrapbook page photo Let your photos "interact" with the vintage images. Okay, this is our favorite page.Three beach scenes illustrate how Millie and Bea have shared a long friendship and a love of the ocean for over 40 years. The two bathing beauties in the vintage postcard could have been them 100 years ago. Might even be. For this scrapbook page, we also show you ways to make distinctive backgrounds that reflect your photos.
School scrapbook page layout Create a collage of vintage images for visual impact. Clustering "scrap" images can lend color and excitement, or a nostalgic aura, much like wandering through a cluttered antique store. This page celebrates Linus' first day of school, and we love the lineup of Victorian school children across the bottom of the slate-like page. The blackboard effect is easy with black paper and a white paint pen!

These pages are designed for 12" X 12" books, but the ideas can be adapted for any size pages. We recommend scanning or photocopying your original photos, both to protect the originals and to allow easy cropping and resizing on your computer. Non-acidic papers and adhesives will give your scrapbook a longer life.

If you want to learn more about scrapbooking, either as a beginner or a seasoned "scrapper," I want to recommend a leisurely visit to Everything About Scrapbooking. Fiona has compiled a wonderful resource, with ideas for layouts and design, tips and techniques, journaling, video tutorials and quite a bit about digital scrapbooking. Visit her Contact Us page and let her know you were there!

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