Scrapbooking Secrets

By Dena Eben Premium

Salvaging Secrets

Use these tips from Jeanne English and Al Thelin, authors of Saving Our Scrapbooks (Creating Keepsakes), to salvage old albums:

Creating backups: Make color copies of the pieces you want to use, or scan them into a computer. Print with permanent powder toner and printer ink on acid- and lignin-free paper. To back up old photos, have a professional photo lab or restoration service make new negatives and prints.

Rescuing photos: For glued-on photos, place the page face-down on the table. Use a blow dryer on the lowest setting to soften the glue, then slowly peel the paper from the back of the photo with a knife. Use dental floss and a knife to lift photos from magnetic-album pages.

Dismantling documents: If newspaper clippings, letters or other paper documents have been glued with acrylic adhesive, a remover called un-du (Doumar Products, 888-289-8638, <>) will help. Older albums probably used animal-based glue, so you may have to settle for copies.

Safe Scrapbooking Do’s and Don’ts

Golden Rule

Don’t cause any permanent damage to your irreplaceable images.


• Use scrapbook-safe materials.

• Use copy photos, placing originals in storage.

• Enhance the value of your album by labeling images.

• Use photographs that are of good quality.

• Create a lasting work that future generations can enjoy.


• Use magnetic albums with adhesive pages.

• Crop original photographs.

• Write on the front of images.

• Include images that are of poor quality or in disrepair.

• Place adhesive directly on an image or attach cutouts.
 From the December 2000 issue of Family Tree Magazine