While some new moms may let their loads of newborn photos lay idle on their iPhones, Katie Ehmann of Bloomfield Township turns those sweet shots into something special–a scrapbook full of memories. And the mother of two, who blogs about her hobby-turned-passion at Neverland Crafts, says that any new parent can scrapbook beautifully on a budget and with little or no artistic inclination.
"It's about creating keepsakes for your kids," says Ehmann. "Your kids don't care if your handwriting is messy or that you chose a white flower over a pink one on a given page. Some people are paralyzed by perfection, but it's really about enjoying the process and documenting memories for your kids."
Beyond the many photos that new parents will inevitably take of their new addition are myriad other mementoes that make for perfect scrapbook content, Ehmann says. She encourages parents to save things like baby's hospital bracelet, locks of baby's hair and ticket stubs from events they attended.
Ehmann herself recently began incorporating pieces of fabric from some of her daughter's favorite outfits as a baby and toddler.
"I also encourage parents to include journal entries in their scrapbooks – something that shows their handwriting," she says. "And, of course, mom needs to be in at least some of the pictures."
Ehmann encourages parents to save samples of their child's own evolving handwriting and artwork, too. To fit awkward-sized art projects into her scrapbooks, Ehmann scans her favorites and prints them on photo paper.
Ehmann suggests new scrapbookers visit sites like twopeasinabucket.com to view galleries of others' work and gather inspiration. Another route for novices is to seek out scrapbook kits. These typically include themed scrapbook paper, embellishments and sample layouts.
Ehmann notes that chain retailers like Target, Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores and Michaels offer lots of scrapbooking supplies, but her personal favorite place to shop is Scrappy Chic in Livonia. Among the supplies essential for getting started: a paper trimmer, patterned paper, card stock for mounting photos and embellishments.
"People get overwhelmed by documenting everything and doing it chronologically," she says. "I suggest starting with your favorite photos or an important event."