Guest Post: Why You Need a Scrapbooking “Why”

This is a guest post from sassy scrapbooker and 2011 4Experts instructor Lain Ehmann.


When asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, British climber George Mallory responded, “Because it’s there.”

Now that might be good enough reason to spend months preparing and weeks journeying up a death-ridden path to 29,000 feet. But it’s not a good enough reason to scrapbook your photos.

If you’re only spending time scrapbooking because you have photographs that need a home, you’re missing a big part of the process. You could just as easily put your pictures in a digital frame, in photo albums, or leave them in shoe boxes under your bed, next to the dog’s half-chewed bone. I strongly believe (can you tell??) that you need to know why you’re investing yourself in this hobby. Because it is, indeed, an investment.

Scrapbooking takes time.
We need to take photos, select which ones to print, create designs, adhere elements to the page, and then spend hours admiring what we’ve done and talking about the best way to get letter stickers to actually stick.

Scrapbooking takes money.
We have to buy supplies, buy a camera, develop prints, buy albums… the list goes on.

Scrapbooking takes energy.
If you really fall in love with this hobby, it becomes more than a nice way to spend time; it becomes a calling, a lifestyle of sorts.

So if you don’t know WHY you’re spending all that time, money, and effort, you aren’t going to hang with it for very long. When the photos aren’t coming out of the printer the same way you pictured them in your mind, when your five-year-old pulls all the letter stickers off your latest creation, when your pages look like your five-year-old designed them, when the words don’t come… you need something to keep you going.

Just as with all human pursuits, scrapbooking has its ups and downs. Some days I’m in love with it; some days I don’t want to see another tape runner until I die. It’s just the way life — and hormones! — rolls. We can give up the first time the inspiration fails to flow, or we can dig deep and realize it isn’t really about the pictures.

Seriously. It’s not about the pictures. It’s not about the brads, the buttons, the glitter, the bling, or the super-cute owls that everyone seems to be using these days. It’s about… well, you get to decide that.

For you, is scrapbooking about the very act of creating?
Or is it about documenting your story?
Or about spending time on yourself?
Or is it about the love you feel for your family that overflows so much that it HAS to come out of your eyes and hands and heart and go SOMEWHERE, so you collect it in a little basket and sprinkle it on your scrapbook pages?

You get to decide.
So ask yourself “WHY.” Is it for your kids, your mom, your grandma, your God, yourself?

Once you have that answer, hold it tight in your heart.
Tuck it away for the harder times.
Trust me, someday you will need it.
But knowing that it’s there makes all the difference.

For more creative scrapbooking ideas and inspiration, visit Lain Ehmann’s scrapbook blog. Through scrapbooking videos, tutorials, projects and inspiration, Lain helps her readers make their scrapbooking fun, fast and fabulous!

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