The first thing you want to do before starting is wash your hands. If your scissors or other tools have ink or glue on them, it’s a good idea to wash them, too. Have some baby wipes or paper towels handy by your work space so that you can keep your hands clean while you work. Glue or ink smudges tend to be more noticeable on clear albums than they are on paper layouts.
Designing A Harmonious Clear Album
Since you can see right through a clear album, multiple pages will be visible before you even open the album. You will need to consider each page in relationship to all the other pages. This is somewhat more of a challenge than just designing each page as a standalone layout. However, it’s easier than it sounds once you step back and rethink your usual design process to accommodate for the unique challenges posed by clear albums.
Just Like a Collage
It may help you to think of the entire clear album, from start to finish, as a collage. Most collage artists begin by choosing the materials that will be the foundation for their collage, and then building successive layers on top until they are satisfied with the results. Similarly, you may achieve better results if you start with the last page of the album and work your way up to the first page. If you think of the last page of the clear album as the foundation layer of the collage, and each other page as other layers to build on top, it will help you to achieve a harmonious end result. If you’re used to beginning your scrapbooks at the beginning, this approach will take some getting used to.
Choosing Coordinating Papers and Embellishments
With that in mind, before you begin creating your clear album’s individual pages, you will probably find it helpful to choose a variety of materials, papers, stamps, and embellishments that coordinate. Spread them all out together, adding more items as you find them and removing items that don’t work well with the rest. You might also want to choose a theme for the album. It isn’t necessary to make a themed album though; the album can be as general or as specific as you want it to be.
Keep in mind that you will be able to use both sides of double-sided patterned papers. So don’t ignore the reverse sides of those papers when you plan your clear album!
Embellishing With Stickers
One good tip is to choose stickers that are symmetrical, especially stickers with very simple shapes- circles, squares, rectangles. That way, you can easily place a sticker of the exact same size and shape on the reverse side of the page. This is probably the easiest way of dealing with the issue of what the back of the page looks like- if you do this, no one will ever see the backs of the stickers. If you use asymmetrical stickers (like alphabet stickers) it becomes a bit more challenging to design the back of the page. If you want to make it easy on yourself, consider placing your alphabet stickers onto cut paper, die cut shapes, or journaling blocks before attaching them to your clear album.
Epoxy stickers are especially gorgeous embellishments for clear albums. But, there are no limits to the stickers you can use- choose whichever ones you like.
Embellishing With Stitching:
Many scrappers love adding stitching to their scrapbook layouts. For those that do, acrylic albums are going to pose another challenge; most acrylic pages are too thick to sew. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have stitching on your pages. You can still sew your papers, journaling blocks, die cuts, etc and then attach them to your clear albums with adhesive.
Journaling on Clear Albums:
Die cut or handmade journaling blocks are highly recommended for using with clear albums. Complete the journaling first, then attach them to the page using the adhesive of your choice.
If you are going to use alphabet stickers for your journaling, plan carefully. You will need to make sure not to have distracting or competing elements on the other side.
You can stamp a journaling block and then journal directly onto the clear album page using pens or markers that are compatible with acrylic. If you do this, you should plan the other side of the page beforehand. Whatever is on the other side should enhance your journaling block rather than detract from it. (Click here for more information about stamping on clear albums).
I hope you find these clear albums tips and instructions helpful. Happy crafting!