The First Rule of Scrapbooking is that There are No Rules

This entry is part 62 of 86 in the series Scrapworthy Lives Results

Each Wednesday, I usually write a post from my dissertation.

Industry workers in particular emphasize that there are no rules of scrapbooking, which is something many scrapbookers find appealing about the hobby. Digging deeper, one quickly realizes, that there are no rules like there are in formal games like golf, but as one industry worker points out

there are easier ways, maybe and there are certainly good, the right kind of materials, but in terms of the outcome, you can’t do it wrong. You can’t make a mistake. It’s your world.

Moreover, respondents do mention “rules” regarding the materials and design used to create a scrapbook.

Though most respondents cannot readily articulate any rules of scrapbooking, all eventually identify some rules or at least guidelines that they follow and think others should follow. Consider guidelines surrounding archival quality of scrapbooking materials: an item might not be scrapworthy because it is not of archival quality but it is scrapworthy because it symbolizes an important memory. In this way an item can be both scrapworthy and not scrapworthy at the same time. Respondents regularly practice this kind of thinking in their scrapbooks, which is why it is so difficult for most to identify any strict rules regarding the hobby.

What are the rules of scrapbooking? Do rules exist? Is it more accurate to refer to guidelines of scrapbooking rather than rules of scrapbooking?

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  • I think that there are guidelines and trends in scrapbooking that are very influential. I have seen these guidelines evolve over the years. When I first started scrapbooking, I noticed an emphasis in everything being archival, but that seems less important to some people now since we have digital copies of our photos. For a while, I noticed lots of one photo, embellished layouts, but not I see an emphasis on telling stories in our scrapbooking. Sometimes these norms feel like rules, especially if you focus on certain blogs or magazines in the industry.

  • I think I lean towards archival, but am ok with nonarchival stuff on my page, too. I used to be more hung up on that. For me, digital photography helps with this. I’ve cut way down on the number of blogs I follow because I was just overwhelmed and needed to step away from it for a bit. But now I’m noticing clear differences between the different types of blogs out there. Some still are very product-driven while cloaking their layouts in “story,” “love this,” or some other syruppy-phrase without actually telling any story beyond a word and a photo. I’m not sure what to make of it all yet.