Scrapbooking: a tactile activity

By Vivian Ver Huel
Contributing Writer

Scrapbooking is very popular these days.  Maybe this is a hobby you have set aside since you can no longer see to do it.  Or, maybe you are looking for a new and different leisure activity to enjoy.

Scrapbooking is often associated with decorating photo albums, but you can also use it for decorating gift bags and creating greeting cards.

Paper is available in a wide range of colors, weights, and textures. You can easily keep track of the color of the paper by keeping each color in a plastic sheet protector or folder.  You can use Dymo tape to label the name of the color, and you can also keep a Braille note in that folder of the best colors to compliment that color. You may need some sighted assistance with this initially, but once your labels and notations are in place, you can mix and match colors independently.

Scrapbooking can be very tactile. There are a wide variety of scissors available to cut decorative edges. Paper punches come in a wide variety of shapes including hearts, flowers, butterflies and many more. There are also tools available you can use to cut out shapes or letters or emboss the imprint of words or borders onto paper. 

There are all kinds of adhesive stickers available from letters of all sizes to fuzzy bears.

Embellishments are also very popular. These are ready-made decorations for specific themes.

If you are interested in doing a photo album, you could use embellishments to add design but also give you tactile clues of what the pictures show. For example, you might put flip-flops and an umbrella embellishment on the page showing your trip to the beach. You may need some help initially to identify what your photos show; you can then Braille on a Post-It note a description of the picture and stick it to the back. This will allow you to work with and arrange your pictures as you wish. Once you have decided where to place them, simply pull the sticky note of the back. You could use Dymo tape and/or cutout letters to identify the photo.

Using the various paper textures, shapes, stickers, and embellishments, you can create a project that is very attractive, unique and easy to see by touch.

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