Crafting scrapbooks and collages is a great way to excuse your creatively based hoarding habits. From an early age, I kept every ticket stub, raffle, photograph, doodle & note I could in a hat box. Mind you, each item in this box was basically scrap paper and it busted wide open anyway. I couldn’t destroy it all, but I shouldn’t leave it in a broken box in my attic either. So, I started crafting.
For me, I’m not sure what came first: the scrapbook or the collage.
Honestly, to me it doesn’t matter because crafting is my happy place. I’ve never been a gifted fine artist, even as hard as I tried. In school, all my friends we such talented painters, drawers and illustrators that I just wanted to be too. Once high school introduced the industrial arts to my life, everything changed. I was an accomplished metal worker and caught the attention of the wood shop teacher because I was actually there to learn, and not to watch boys, like some of the other girls. I was never afraid to use a saw or fire up the kiln. I learned to knit and crochet — left handed, because I am. & Even as horrifying as having my face plastered over was, I’d take that over a horror film any day. The problem with these kinds of crafts is they require quite a bit of supplies I didn’t have at home. While I enjoyed them in school, it was unrealistic to think I’d have my own jigsaw. (Fast forward 10 years & I do, but that’s a-whole-nother story.)
Enter: scrapbooks. With years worth of paper products screaming, “reduce, reuse, recycle!” I started planning. Throughout college, instead of hoarding memorabilia, (or posting questionable or controversial subject matter on Facebook) I put it in “The Scrapbook.” I tried to keep up with it diligently, but it fell to the wayside as I enjoyed being immersed in my life IRL. & There’s noting wrong with that because I kept up with my hoarding, so I can jump back in at any time.
Ok, storytime over.
As you could probably gather, scrapbooks are extremely personal. Therefore, there’s no right or wrong way to craft them. They’re all about preference. (Legit the ONLY rule is that it is a scrapBOOK, but even that could be up for interpretation.) I’ve utilized everything from Michael’s upholstered scrapbooks to dollar store scrapbooks to vintage yard sale photo books to binders — yes binders. Gather anything flat enough to stick between the pages & let your imagination run wild. While going from a pile of stuff to a polished scrapbook can be a daunting task, the challenge is usually worth the finished project. However, having to pull a book out every time you want to reminisce may not be ideal.
& I’m not talking the cover of your composition notebook, or on a tri-fold poster board project. Like instead of paint or wallpaper or hanging a few pictures minimalistic-ly, making an accent wall out of magazine pages and personal art. I’m talking wall covering collage murals — Wall Collages …Wallages! (wôˈläZH).
My last two years of college, I lived in the same apartment for 24 months straight with the same roommate. While our 2 bed 1 bath was not the Taj Mahal, it wasn’t a back alley shack either. We had just enough space to breath, but feel at home in a temporary space. Of course, our kitchen wasn’t the biggest. There was only one uncovered wall adjacent to the stove. & Thus my first full scale floor to ceiling wallage was born. It was glorious. I wish I had pictures. EVERYONE would comment on it, some would even ask to add to it & we were all about it. We had a live art installation in the heart of our home. That wasn’t my first, but it was my favorite Wallage. It was entirely kitchen themed: recipes, food advertisements, juice box cartoons, charts about seasonal fruits & vegetables, even a produce bag from Shoprite — anything & everything that made us happy to be in the kitchen. Talk about a accent wall.
Ok, storytime over. Again.
If you were waiting for me to tell you the rules for crafting a wallage, you’re out of luck. There aren’t any rules here either. I had a friend collage his coffee table with pictures from Top Gear & Playboy — anything goes as long as you love it. Collages are awesome because it doesn’t matter where they are, they never have to be finished & they lend themselves to your ever changing style.
If you’re a minimalist, you likely didn’t make it this far, but if you did — give it a try, you know you want to.