Cropping Polaroids, Plus Books on Scrapbooking

By Diane Haddad Premium

Photo Q & A: Unkind Cuts

Q. Is it OK to crop photos that were taken with an instant camera? Is it safe to place these in my scrapbook?

A. We called Polaroid, maker of a variety of instant cameras and film, with this question. Because each Polaroid photograph consists of several layers with chemicals sealed inside, it’s recommended that you leave the photo intact. Cutting through the layers will break the seal and speed up the deterioration of the photo. If you don’t need the photo to last and plan to cut it anyway, give the chemicals several days to dry completely before wielding the scissors.

Photographs taken with instant cameras are on a carbon-black backing that may discolor the front of another photograph it touches. Polaroid recommends storing instant photos with wax paper between them. You may want to try color-photocopying instant photos and pasting the copies into your scrapbook—then you can crop them without worrying. For more information, contact Polaroid at (800) 343-5000.

Books on Scrapbooking

A Year of Scrapbooking by Debbie Janasek and Anna Swinney (Time-Life): This book by the editors of the Graceful Bee Webzine brings you a year of imaginative ideas and elegant layouts for your scrapbook. Each month has its own chapter that begins with a list of celebrations and ways to capture the memories. Then there are sections on every aspect of scrapbooking: creating theme albums, designing a page layout, techniques such as photo tinting, journaling, photography and unconventional ways to create unusual effects, including ribbon embroidery and paper piercing. Instructions and a supplies index for more than 200 layouts plus a glossary, a guide to resources and more to help you turn your albums into works of art.

Scrapbook Storytelling by Joanna Campbell Slan (EFG): Have you ever sat with your pen poised over a scrapbook page but no words came to mind? Slan’s advice on gathering information, overcoming writer’s block, and formatting and editing your journaling will help you write what’s in your heart. But photos tell a story, too, so Slan includes ideas and tips for page themes, layouts, how to use embellishments such as stickers and die-cuts, and photography to help you put together a scrapbook from start to finish. Every page of Scrapbook Storytelling features pictures of creative scrapbook layouts (with an index to supplies and techniques for each) along with inspiring quotes and advice. As Slan promises in Chapter One, she’ll teach you to expand scrapbooking beyond special occasions to capture the “sacred but ordinary moments” of life.