Starting Your Own Scrapbook Club
Before I discovered the world of scrapbooking, I was
inexplicably drawn to my local office supply store. I loved to
stand in an aisle surrounded by the different colors of copy
paper. And the pens!
At the time, I thought this was really strange. (So did my
family). And then I discovered that there are a lot of people who
share this fascination. I realized that there is an entire
industry that caters to my obsession with patterned paper and
Then I discovered that these people also form clubs where they
get together, share ideas, and eat chocolate. What could be
Scrapbooking clubs are the quilting bees of the modern era.
When you join - or form - a scrapbook group, you create a regular
time to meet with creative, loving, and family-centered
Carving out a regular time to meet is an ideal way to create
and maintain these meaningful friendships. Plus, as everyone gets
together to work with family photographs and poignant memories,
conversations tend to be deep and meaningful, too.
You can start your own scrapbooking club by asking yourself
--> How often do you want to meet?
How frequently do you want to hold group meetings (or crops)?
Weekly, twice-monthly, monthly?
It's best to get a consensus from group members as to which
day works best, as well as which time of day. Will you need child
care - and how many people will be pitching in for the sitter?
How many people do you want in your scrapbook club?
The group dynamic varies greatly if you have 12 people, versus
30 or more. Decide in advance how many people you think will
comprise an ideal group. Do you want an intimate gathering of
friends - or the energy of a larger collaboration?
--> Where do you want to host the crop?
You can start out at your home, if you have the space. Or you can
ask if the scrapbookers in your club would like to rotate
For larger groups, consider churches, community centers, or
conference rooms. Often churches and businesses will be very
receptive to providing space for this type of gathering.
Scrapbooking is a fun, family-oriented activity, which places of
worship and community centers generally love to embrace.
--> Do you want to charge membership dues?
If you have to pay for your scrapbooking space, you'll probably
want to recoup those costs. If you are going to provide
instruction (or food or a babysitter) - simply charge reasonable
dues from each member to cover your costs. Many scrapbookers are
accustomed to paying for this type of scrap space.
--> What will you serve?
You can serve food - or not. I like to keep things really simple.
I have a simple basket of cold Evian bottles - which I stock up
on when there's a sale.
The best foods to serve don't leave anything behind, so stay
away from anything that would make it necessary for guests to
wash their hands with each bite. If you're going to serve finger
food, use toothpicks. And - for the chocolate fix - M&Ms are
wonderful because they really do melt in your mouth and not in
--> How structured would you like your meetings to be?
Some scrapbooking clubs will invite Instructors to teach a
variety of more advanced techniques. Check with your local
scrapbooking store and direct sales consultants to see which
classes might be available.
Tip: You - or one of your club members - might want to
consider becoming a consultant yourself in order to supply the
group with product and training in the latest techniques (direct
sales consultants often receive this training from their teams and
from the company themselves, ie.
http://www.momscape.com/scrapbooking/business.htm ) Then you can
earn a profit and the club can earn and share the free hostess
rewards. Free scrapbooking goodies for all! Or you can schedule
your crop around a monthly scrapbooking club kit, ie.:
http://www.momscape.com/scrapbooking/scrapbook-club It's fun to
see the different projects that each club member comes up with,
using the same supplies. Plus, some monthly club kits (like the
one cited above) come with idea sheets and an artist/designer
gallery of club creations.
--> What is the best way to set up the meeting space?
Make sure the lighting is adequate and that each guest has enough
table space. You can set everyone up on your dining room table,
or - if you have the space, create a more elaborate
configuration. One idea I found on the Two Peas in a Bucket
(http://www.twopeasinabucket.com) message board is to create a
square from 2 8-foot tables and 2 6-foot tables. This
configuration will comfortably accommodate 8 scrapbookers.
It's fun to have some community tools on one table, too. I
have the basics: trimmers, Coluzzle, Silent Eyelet Setter, a mini
sewing machine, etc.
I also like to bring a selection of my favorite idea books and
scrapbooking magazines, especially those that feature seasonal
And place a small gift bag or paper lunch sack in the center
of each table for little scraps. This goes a long way in helping
to keep each workspace organized and clutter-free. You can also
set a relaxing (or energizing) mood with your choice of soft
--> How will you find club members?
If you don't already have a group of scrapbooking friends (or you
want to find more), simply announce your group in the
Word of mouth is the best way to do this. Ask your
scrapbooking friends to bring their scrapbooking friends to the
You can also post flyers and announcements on community
bulletin boards in libraries, grocery stores, community centers,
Check to see if your local newspaper will run a free ad in the
Community Notes section before each scheduled crop. For example:
"Free Scrapbooking Crop. All levels of experience welcome.
Instructor/designer on hand to answer questions and provide
instruction. Come have fun and meet new friends. Time and
location. Your contact info."
You can also send email invites to all your friends. Evite.com
(http://www.evite.com) is a great tool for keeping track of
invitees. Simply pitch your crop night as a "girls' night out"
(or "mom's night out") where you'll get important things done
(and it never hurts to let them know you'll have chocolate on
Have a great time meeting new scrapbooking friends and
inspiring one another to complete cards, layouts, and
gifts-from-the-heart in your new scrapbooking club.
About the author:
Susie Cortright is the founder of Momscape's Scrapbooking
Playground. Subscribe to her free twice-monthly scrapbooking
newsletter, featuring best-of-the-net design ideas, advanced
techniques, and money-saving specials on supplies - here:
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