The Stages of Scrapbook Obsession

They say the first step toward overcoming an obsession is acknowledging that you have one, and it usually takes a defining moment to recognize it. For scrapbookers, maybe you feel the sunrise on your face and realize that you worked on your album throughout the night without any sleep. Maybe you’re spending so much time taking pictures that your grandkids start to call you “Grandma Camera.” Maybe you’ve been told you’re mumbling in your sleep to “pass you the Tape Runner” and you’re starting to find paper scraps and Foam Square backs in your shoes.

How did something that began as an innocent hobby turn into a full-blown, awesomely fun addiction? There is a natural process to becoming a scrap-addict — it’s a slow journey, one that happens something like this…

The First Timer

BMS_Instructions_Step5_RGB.jpgNobody is born trimming paper, placing stickers and arranging layouts. But, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t in our blood. Some of us are born into a scrapbooking family, while others discover it organically on their own. No matter which it is, nobody ever forgets their first time placing pictures on a page. You experience that immediate rush of creativity and realize just how endless the possibilities are as you feel the smile spreading on your face.

Once the project is over, you understand why people do this as a hobby. The sense of satisfaction is matched only by the sense of pride you have as you look at your completed album. You make a mental note of this feeling, but don’t think much more of it.

The Occasional Artist

CM_Q2Catalog3025_retouchedAfter this initial rush, you keep scrapbooking in the back of your mind until the next big event in your life. Maybe it’s a holiday, a milestone for a family member or anything else particularly noteworthy and you catch yourself thinking, “Hey, this would be great to scrapbook!” So, you hastily take out your phone or camera and snap a few quick pictures of the event. You don’t pay much attention to the pictures you are taking and how they will look on the page; you just try to take as many as you can to avoid missing the moment.

A few days later, you set out to create the scrapbook. You’ve printed all the photos from the day in question and you get to work creating a layout. Whether you’re following a sketch or going based on your imagination, you’re able to create a finished product that you are proud of, and you can’t wait until the next big life event comes around so you can further perfect your skills.

The Weekender

CM_CatalogQ35198_retouched.jpgSuddenly, you don’t wait for big life milestones for a reason to scrapbook anymore. You’ve gone out of your way to find the extraordinary in the ordinary and have started to scrapbook more and more. Your camera is getting used often and you’re starting to see more of your expendable income go toward papers, punches, stickers and other supplies.

At this point, you would start to consider scrapbooking a hobby of yours. You would rather spend your weekends with a 12-inch Trimmer and Tape Runner than anywhere else. The challenge of coming up with new and exciting layouts keeps you hooked, and you love pushing yourself to new creative limits.

The Daily Deviant

At this point, you’ve definitely fallen in love. You’re spending a good amount of free time hunched over the table in your craft room (yes, you have a craft room now). Friends and family members are all still adjusting to your new passion, but when they see the beautiful layout you made them that celebrates their latest birthday party, all their concerns are blown aside by gratitude and awe.

You’re still in control. You aren’t scrapbooking this much because you have to, but because you want to. The thrill that comes from finishing an album is the fuel that keeps you scrapbooking every day, and you continue to improve your skillset with each and every layout you make. You’ve improved drastically since your first project, and at this point you’re head-over-heels.

The Scrapaholic

Intro_Albums_RGBYou don’t want to stop… ever. Daylight? Never heard of it. Your friends and family sometimes claim they go days without seeing you, relying on only the sound of the Border Maker Cartridge punching away from your craft cave to assure them that you’re still in there. The walls of your craft room look like they belong to a conspiracy theorist with all the sketches that are taped up there as you plan layouts, carefully selecting the perfect design for your page. But you don’t care. The only thing that matters is the page in front of you.

You couldn’t be happier. You have found your true passion in life — what you were BORN to do. Everything that you see in your daily life turns into a mental photograph that you then place into a mental layout. You are fully obsessed, but more importantly, you feel alive.

Keep On Scrapbooking

No matter how far along the path you are, we’ve got your back – we believe there is no such thing as too much scrapbooking (although, if you haven’t seen the sunlight in a while, it might be a good idea to take your crafting outside). Scrapbooking is a fun hobby that can be shared with anyone, and in the grand scheme of things, there are far worse things that you could be “addicted” to. So, scrap on!

What stage do you think you’re at right now? Comment below!

32 thoughts on “The Stages of Scrapbook Obsession

  1. Call me somewhere between a Daily Deviant – Daily Delighter? – and a Scrapaholic. 😁

    1. I’m definitely a scrapaholic. I started in 1992 and have done close to 100 albums. LOVE CM!

  2. LOL!!! Okay, you nailed me all the way through the post. Guilty! :-D
    It becomes not only an obsession, a passion, but a lifestyle. I am so thankful for cameras in iPhones. It makes life so much easier. Sure my photos are not crystal clear like when I used the big heavy camera with a zoom lens, but at least I can get the quick shot. And when I get those shots, then OH BOY! I can scrap the pages with beautiful products and place said pages proudly in my CM album :-) When I see a friend or family member grab one of my albums off the shelf and start browsing, I just swell with pride (sorry, I can be vain when it comes to my “hobby”). I have been scrapping “safely” since 1997. So I guess you can call me an Ancient Scrapper ;-) I’m not planning on stopping any time soon, either. Life is an adventure, and scrapbooking captures it, but adds to the fun!

  3. I am the Daily Deviant! My albums are huge–40-50 pages each–and I have 27 done, but I am still years behind. And, yes, I did have a nightmare just last night that someone stole my latest scrapbook!

  4. I am a Daily Deviant and proud of it – starting with a family history book, to tearing apart my mother’s (think black paper and corners), turning one into two. At least she journaled – a lot! I have finished over 40, including digitals. I am forever grateful to CM for their commitment to quality and design.

  5. I am definitely the Daily Deviant! I had no idea what Scrapbooking was and then I took my first class with Creative Memories Advisor Wendy Thomas and I quickly became obsessed! I have improved in my skill set over time and enjoy learning new ways to lay out my page using the Creative Memories blog. I love Scrapbooking!!!

  6. Definitely a Daily Deviant. Although I’m just shy of being a Scrapaholic. There is definitely something so therapeutic about working on my projects and seeing them to completion.

  7. The stages mentioned here are described perfectly. I thank my BBF for introducing me to this hobby 11 years ago. And I thank my hubbie for putting up with a messy house so I can do my thing. Empty Nest? Turned that into a Scrap room, but it is overflowing. Just love it and the retreats and especially CM.

  8. My first scrapbooking purchase was in 1994 at a CM party. Been a Scrapaholic ever since! Thank you CM for a fabulous, rewarding obsession! ❤️

  9. Definitely an addict. Started in 1987. Even had a friend give me a license plate that says “Scrapbooking is not a hobby it’s an addiction”. It’s been proudly displayed on the front of my SUV for several years. And will remain there.

  10. I’m a recovering scrapaholic or would that be a binge scraper. Truly I went through the stages described in the post then just stopped scrapping cold turkey. If it wasn’t for long weekend retreats a couple times a year I’d be so far behind. Just getting back into a creative grove so we’ll see where that goes, but definitely enjoying the mojo flow for now

  11. Am the weekender, but I thinking about scrapping every day and dream about having a craft room or at least a craft corner of a room. Will be an empty nester soon so I may have to and room to scrap every day very soon.

  12. You forgot to add the stage of “buying scrapbook supplies is my hobby” because you don’t have time to actually scrapbook at the moment. you see papers that match pictures that you know you have. You see papers that you love but now you have to take pictures to go with them. In my case, I have tons of scrapbooking projects waiting for me to retire. hahaha!

    1. I am partly occasional artist, but Holly’s buying scrapbook supplies is my hobby works.
      Since I now have grandchildren I find myself in circumstances where I am spending a lot of hands on time helping out.
      I have lots of supplies & photos, need some time away to get albums done.

  13. I attended my first CM workshop in 1990 and have been exclusive to CM ever since. Scrapbooking is my number one hobby, and I’ve found ways to fit it into my busy schedule even outside of my scrapbooking corner. I journal during my lunch hour, have attended crops and retreats, have even scrapped during a camping trip, and made simple albums on the fly. This was a fun article to read, and LOVE all the comments!

    1. I think I am a little of all of them. Definitely a WEEKENDER. Although I dream and think of it daily (DAILY DEVIANT) having so many projects for me to complete. I do have a craft room that looks like a tornado went through it………….but I love it. It is definitely an addiction (SCRAPAHOLIC). I hosted a CM home party in 1992 and have been hooked ever since. Loving CM. Thanks for this article. It defiitely hit me several times. LOL

  14. I admit it….I’m the full-blown addict!! And I love it!! Don’t plan on doing rehab although I periodically try not to add more to my huge stash. 😊

  15. I’ve been a Scrapbooker ever since my Mom gave me a scrapbook when I was a little girl… remembering the yellowed pages and the horrible magnetic albums… In 1993 I was invited to a Mother-Daughter Tea where Mary Ann Konis was the CM Consultant/Director. I became a CM Consultant under her in 1994 and have been addicted to not only my scrapbooking, but my CM Business. It all has truly been a “Blessed Addiction” for 24 years
    in November – and I guess longer than that since I started as a child! Start your children young and hopefully they will grow up with this wonderful “hobby”.

  16. Getting back to my addict status- have 50 of my own completed albums & I’ve made tons more for others either paid or as gifts
    Was a CM consultant from 2000-2006 & gave it up when my dad died at 60 yrs old- had 2 small boys & needed time to grieve & help my mom a lot
    Now I have a Marine (now I have an actual scrapbook room instead of the dining room table) & a senior in high school who, just earlier this week was sworn in & became a Poolee & is scheduled to ship to bootcamp at MCRD San Diego mid July next summer after his high school graduation.
    This Marine Mom definitely needs a stress reliever & continuing to scrapbook our moments & memories is an awesome outlet for my artistry & my family absolutely loves & appreciates the finished products!
    I love the new business plan & how quickly the products turn over- always something fresh & exciting!

  17. Oh, definitely slid into the final stage of Scrapaholic. It is my favorite pasttime and I AM known always to have my camera ready (much to a lot of eye-rolling from my family!). The people I crop with are a whole different group than I see every day. They have become part of my family. It’s a unique activity and I am grateful to Creative Memories for making it part of my life.

  18. I love reading all the comments. I admit I am a scrapaholic. I too have a craft room full of wonderful treasures. I fell in love with Creative Memories about 1993. I’ve been a fan ever since. I hope to hand down my albums for future generations to enjoy.

  19. I started scrapbooking in 1995 when my daughter asked to have a CM party at my house. Just absolutely LOVE it! Became an Consultant/Advisor in 2005, and have stayed with it through thick and thin. I have a dedicated, air conditioned room built into my garage for my “business” but have now taken over part of our Great Room, where my scrap table and some supplies live! I try to scrapbook at least once a week, and will do it more when I am retired. Thanks, CM, for being a great company!

  20. When I was a young girl about 8 years old my father showed me a scrapbook that he made of our family. I can still remember the pictures of my brothers and sisters playing happily while on a camping trip and my Dad’s handwriting captioning the pictures so I knew which sibling was in the picture. Years later I received the same pictures, only without the album. I still remembered which sibling was in the picture so I was able to record that information in my album! Thank you Dad for teaching me the importance of the Family Photo Album. I have been a Creative Memories Advisor since the first CM class I attended in 2004 when I saw the quality of their products and their commitment to their mission. Since then, my dining room and living rooms have become my scrapbooking rooms with over stock products stored in my bedroom. Now, if I haven’t “scrapped” in a few days, I actually miss it! Am I a scrapaholic? Yes. Scrapaddict is more like it.

  21. I went through all levels in 1995 when I first started. I have a craft room now with a big investment in all the products as well, but don’t scrap nearly as often. I still love to do it, just not as much😀😂🤣

  22. I used to be somewhere between a daily deviant and a scrapaholic, but these days I’m more of an occasional artist. :)

  23. I love reading through these comments! I’d say I’m somewhere between the occasional artist and the weekender. Definitely have to do mine in bursts cause my job keeps me so busy. I first fell in love with the idea of scrapbooking when as a kid I found an old scrapbook of my mom’s from the early 50’s when she was in high school. I felt like I really got a glimpse into who she was. I looked at it so many times the pages started falling out! I started scrapbooking myself in the late 90’s after attending a CM home party where me and 4 of my closest friends went together on a starter pack—trimmer, circle cutters, markers etc. We passed it to each other each month so we each got to try it a couple of times per year…I didn’t even make it through the first year before I got tired of waiting for my turn and bought my own tools! I’ve never been a good picture taker—blurry and poorly centered shots, but scrapbooking helped me make them pretty and worth looking at, not to mention told the story of what made that time so special. I enjoy looking back through my albums as much as the scrapbooking process itself. I find it makes me incredibly grateful for my rather simple and ordinary life because of the fantastic people I get to share it with. One thing I’d love to hear about from you long time Scrapbookers is the stages of your creative journey…I can look back at my albums and laugh at how what started as a few triangles and a solid border strip with hand drawn “embellishments” turned into layers of pretty patterned paper and sticker clusters…so many phases—I remember when I first heard of using torn paper— what?! torn paper in your scrapbook?! I also went from the “scrap all the photos” to “ scrap the one favorite photo” to where I am now: “just scrap enough to tell the story”. I also feel like my style has moved toward “simplest design with the biggest impact.” Would love to hear about the creative journeys of others out there. . .

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