Preserving Newspaper Clippings for Scrapbooks

News clippings or snippets are great additions to a scrapbook, but if you don’t use acid-free scrapbook paper, the newspaper material can degrade the quality of the scrapbook paper. If you can’t get acid-free paper, you may consider other ways to protect your scrapbook pages from the acidity of newspaper materials. The Scrapbook Preservation Society (SPS) offers some simple washing and curing tips for news snippets of various sizes.

 

Washing

For this method, you will need a 9″ x 13″ x 3″ glass dish, distilled water, and a deacidification spray. Pour distilled water into the dish to a height of around one inch, and immerse the clippings for 20 minutes. SPS recommends repeating this procedure if the water turns yellow, as this means the acidic lignin in the paper is reacting with the water.

 

It’s important to use only distilled water in washing the clippings, as other kinds can heighten the degradation process and weaken the clippings. Let the clippings dry for at least an hour. Some curling along the edges may occur while drying, but they can be straightened out upon pasting. Spray some deacidification agent for protection.

 

Deacidification

Library preservation uses deacidification agents to create an “alkaline barrier” around the paper. That way, the degradation process can be prevented for as long as the agent lasts. Although libraries use a different kind of deacidification process, scrapbook owners can get one in bottle spray form.

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Basic Guidelines in Making a Scrapbook

If there’s one thing a scrapbooking experience can offer, it’s the opportunity to become an instant artist. Arranging photos and memorabilia is a task that involves a great deal of creativity. However, compared to other forms of art, scrapbooking comes with diverse design options and allows the use of a plethora of materials and accessories.


While there are no restrictions in art, there are standard guidelines you can follow to come up with an attractive masterpiece. In scrapbooking, several design principles allow you to more effectively express the story in every page. For instance, the visual triangle–or a strategic arrangement of the most prominent items into a triangle–helps prevent distraction, and thus conveys the message of the scrapbook page more clearly to its viewer.


There’s also a guideline on the number of photos you can place in every page. Most inexperienced scrapbook makers typically arrange four photos or items side by side on a page. Although there’s nothing wrong with this style, placing an odd number of photos or souvenir items with varying sizes can be more effective. Called the “Rule of Odds” by expert designers, this applies to all forms of design that involves layout.


Some rules say you can repeat one or two elements in each page to maximize the space. However, this may compromise uniqueness. Additionally, space is an important element in a scrapbook design, so make sure you use it well.