Would you like to create a scrapbook but don't know where to start? If you're new to scrapbooking, a good starter project could be an event, such as a wedding or a vacation. Once you gather the photos you would like to use in your project, you can start thinking about the style of album, tools and accessories you would like to use to create your scrapbook.

Determine how many photos you would like to feature in your scrapbook. This will help you choose the correct size of the album pages and how many pages you will need. Three to five photos are typically used on a 12" x 12" scrapbook page. One photo or possibly two, if both are cropped (trimmed), will fit on an 8" x 8" scrapbook page.

Cost will be a factor when you are purchasing scrapbooking supplies, but some things such as a good quality album and acid-free pages and acid-free adhesive (to adhere the photos to the pages) are essential to ensure a long life for your scrapbook. Strap hinge-style albums are long-lasting and pages are easily removable if you would like to add or remove pages. Don't forget page protectors which are clear sleeves that fit over each scrapbook page. The page protectors prevent fingerprints from getting on your photos as well as keep paper and any embellishments from becoming loose or falling off due to handling.

You may want a small trimmer that looks like a mini-paper cutter to trim your photos into smaller sizes or different shapes so that you can play around with the design of the album pages. Cropping photos can help remove any visual clutter from photos. Just trimming off one edge could help clean up the photo and draw focus to the photo's subject, such as removing a power line that's in your shot of a beautiful sunrise. Choose a few photo-safe pens in colors that will complement your photos so you can add journaling to help commemorate your special occasion.

Extras that you may want to think about are a few sheets of patterned or solid paper that you can use as a background for your photo layout or to cut and use as photo mats. If you're just starting out and would like to experiment with some embellishments, try only a few at first since you want the accents to help feature your photos, not overshadow them. There are many other accents and accessories that can add touches of color to your pages, such as paper flowers, stickers, ribbons, colored string, brads, and metal letter tiles. Small items like ticket stubs, notes and drawings that you have saved can be added to your photo layouts to give extra meaning to your finished scrapbook pages.

Let your creativity shine. There is no set way that scrapbooking photo layouts should be arranged. Play around with different ideas, such as cutting photos into smaller pieces and adhering them to the page like a mosaic or overlap several photos in the middle of the page and add embellishments or use photos only as a top or bottom border and use the entire middle of the page for journaling.