If you're looking for a quick and easy alternative to the traditional scrapbook album, Smash Books might be just what you need. Smash Books are a cross between a photo album and an art journal. They get their name from the expectation that you'll simply "smash" in interesting items as you find them.
Purchased Smash Books
Unlike a traditional scrapbook, a Smash Book requires minimal supplies. Rather than creating beautiful layouts with matching embellishments, you're putting a bundle of small notes, pictures, and memorabilia into the book without trying to organize it or make it look especially pretty.
The most popular purchased Smash Books are the albums from the K&Company Smash Book collection. These albums already have patterned paper backgrounds and spots for journaling. Supplies from this line, as well as a general explanation of the Smash Book concept, can be seen in the video below.
Make a Smash Book
If you do not want to purchase a Smash Book, you can make your own by adding decorative papers to a 3 ring binder.
Items can be added with a glue stick, but washi tape is a popular Smash Book adhesive tape. Washi tape is a type of decorative masking tape that comes in many different colors and patterns. Using washi tape to secure the items in your Smash Book is an easy way to add a decorative touch to your page.
Smash Books rely heavily on handwritten journaling to convey a relaxed, informal feel. A set of acid-free fine tipped markers makes journaling a snap, while providing the option of adding hand drawn doodles to accent your favorite Smash Book pages. The Sakura Micron Pen Set from Scrapbook.com is ideal for this purpose.
How to Make a Smash Book Layout
Smash Books are designed to be a work in progress, so they are ideal for the busy crafter who doesn't want to spend several hours creating one layout.
Creative cropping of photos is an excellent way to make the most of the space available in your Smash Book. Circle or square punches can be helpful tools for quickly cropping photos for your pages
If you have multiple photos to add to your Smash Book and you don't want to crop the images, consider arranging the prints in a cascading fashion. Tape one photo to the bottom of the page with washi tape in the color or design of your choice. Add another photo slightly above the first photo, then continue to add pictures as needed.
Memorabilia is an important part of the Smash Book experience. If you like to save greeting cards, ticket stubs, brochures, love letters, fortune cookies, receipts, or other odds and ends from your daily life, Smash Books are the perfect way to preserve your memorabilia.
Small items can be taped or glued directly to the page. Larger items can be enclosed in envelopes or pockets that are glued to the page. Origami envelopes made from 12x12 scrapbook paper work well for most forms of Smash Book memorabilia and can be decorated to suit the theme of the page.
Smash Books have pages with spots for journaling, such as the Top 10 list featured in this vacation themed page.
You can also use printable journaling cards as decorative places for your journaling.
Many people do not like their handwriting, but you shouldn't let less than stellar penmanship keep you from journaling in your Smash Book. Smash Books do not need to be picture-perfect like traditional scrapbook pages. The imperfections in your handwriting give your page character, creating a one-of-a-kind keepsake.
Add Embellishments Sparingly
Embellishments should not be the focus of your Smash Book. If you decide to add embellishments to your page, they should be personally meaningful. For example, stickers with quotes or sayings you find inspiring would be smart embellishment choices for your pages. Flowers, hearts, or other decorative elements made from scraps of fabric from your child's old clothes, or pages from one of your favorite magazines would also be appropriate embellishment options. In the example below, the stickers were selected because the subject of the page is an avid Star Wars fan.
Use Your Smash Book to Document Your Creative Journey
The Smash Book philosophy is all about having fun and expressing your creativity. Don't be afraid to use your book as a place to experiment and try out new techniques. When you flip through the pages of your finished Smash Book, you'll be able to relieve favorite memories and see how far you've come in your scrapbooking journey.