Thursday, October 15, 2015

Scrapbooking my Fashion Life

Last winter, I decided to spend some of my snowbound time scrapbooking my favorite Lolita outfits and other pictures.

I actually have had several scrapbooks going in my life. I have one with life experiences, one for a bicycle revamp project, one for DIY projects, and one for my outfits. The fashion one is probably the fanciest, but I suppose that’s to be expected.

With that in mind, here are my ten tips for the scrapbooking Lolita and other alternative fashions.

1) Save up your pictures. This is really a general tip for folks who like picture hard copies, but save up your pictures for when there’s a special going on. Most places that do photo prints have specials every month for large amounts of photographs (usually 50 or more prints), and saving up can let you save a fair bit of cash.

2) Be prepared for convention pages. If you wear Lolita to cons, be ready for a different style for those convention pages. Got an anime convention coming up? Grab some falling apart secondhand manga, convention information packets, or other free pieces for your pages. Disintegrating manga is especially good because it can be used for everything: collage page sections for page backgrounds or borders, use individual pages for mattes, or make detail pieces by cutting up the less pretty pages. You can even use origami techniques to create Lolita-appropriate accents like this cutesy little dress. Tenchi's Thoughts has some other good tips on convention scrapbooking.

3) Don’t just scrapbook photographs. Do you have invitations? Do you have notes that came along with secondhand prices? Pages that fell out of your copy of Gothic Lolita Bible? Do you have other cute, flat items? Don’t be afraid to put them in your scrapbook, too. I have a few pages that feature notes and other loose pieces tucked into envelopes because I always hesitate to glue notes down.

4) Collect the oddball stuff. Scraps of lace, pressed flowers, broken flat pendants, and little chunks of fabric all make fun scrapbook additions. If you've gotten a dress tailored or deconstructed a bow, you're bound to have some print-matching accents on hand that can be used in your layouts.

5) Journal your heart out. Maybe this is just the blogger in me, but journaling is a favorite way to add more information to my scrapbook pages that aren't as picture-heavy. I've got a journal page at the beginning of my coordinate-focused scrapbook that explains how I got into Lolita and what Lolita is. You might want to accompany special occasion coordinates with a journal block or tell the story of how you got your dream dress.

6) Coordinate. I know this is a given for most Lolitas, but it goes double if you're scrapbooking: coordinate. I try to match at least one color in my scrapbook to the photos therein, and I try to get pictures that have a somewhat cohesive color scheme. Think of your pages like a coord, only instead of adding accessories to a dress you're adding them to a photo.

7) Get multiple shots. I always find it easier to scrapbook a particular coordinate if I have a whole folder full of shots to choose from. I scrapbooked last year's Halloween coordinate and ended up using a face close up, a wide shot, and my boot picture in the pages.

8) Find an organization that works for your style. Most of my clothing tends toward the classic and retro, so I am able to lump most of it together and lay things out in chronological order. However, you might not be able to do that if your style doesn’t stay within a specific category. Find an organization for your pages that lets them flow comfortably from one to another so that you don’t have spooky blackness butting up against sugary sweetness (unless you go for that). And, on that note…

9) Date everything. Dating your pages is a good way to keep track of the growth and changes in your style. I know that if you scrapbook you’re probably already doing this, but it bears repeating.

10) Don’t feel bound. This goes for everything: style of clothing, scrapbook style, whatever. Don't feel bound to do anything you don't want to do. Finding your style transitioning into mori girl for the season? Do some woodsy spreads and enjoy. Feel like going a little off the rails of traditional scrapbook layouts? Do your thing! It's your scrapbook and it's your style. Use spray paint or vintage doll faces or whatever you like. Do the things you love and scrapbook them the way you want to.

Want to start your own Lolita scrapbook? Just want some more inspiration? Megan at MakeLovely has a really fun Lolita scrapbook video from a while back. And, if you're looking for something a little more low-key, Victoria Suzanne has a good example of low-key scrapbook ideas in her smash book.


  1. I hate writing random comments but I just wanted to let you know that I tagged you. Since I write in german I'll just copypaste you the english site where I found the tag. I'd love to read your answers

    And now for something post-related... :D I feel like scrapbooking is not for me. It always feels like I have to buy expensive stickers and stuff to make it look pretty and neat and on the other hand it feels like wasting what I'm cutting up and glueing down. But I'll search for the little quote-journal-scrapbook-thingie I once started and give it another try.

    1. The thing that really got me started on scrapbooking was when I started to do decorative cut paper collages. It's hard to feel like I'm ruining something when I get cheapo cardstock stacks from WalMart and I'm going to be cutting them up anyway.