I love to go to flea markets and thrift stores. A few months ago I stumbled on the most beautiful scrapbook from the 1890’s. The patent on the back of the scrapbook is dated March 1876 as seen in the photo below. The images that were glued to the pages provided a glimpse into the past. There were hand written dates on many of the images. I could just imagine the young woman cutting and pasting her favorite things. I was beyond excited and knew I had to purchase it. Once I got it home, the question was, what do I do with this?
I pondered this question for quite awhile. The pages were very brittle and fragile. They crumbled before my eyes the more they were handled. The photos below show just how fragile the pages were.
I wanted to keep the integrity of the scrapbook and preserve the images as best I could. But at the same time, make the scrapbook more durable. Unfortunately, the pages from the scrapbook were falling out. There wasn’t a way to re attach them to the spine of the book. Therefore, I removed all the pages from the book, tore off the front and back covers and discarded the deteriorated spine. Finally, I came up with the idea of tearing scraps of a paper bag, distressing the edges and gluing them to the side of the pages. Then in order to put them back into the book I brought out my handy crop a dile and grommets and punched two holes in the cover and each page.
After cutting, mending and sewing the victorian trading cards and images, they were now more sturdy. I added a zig zag border around each page with my sewing machine. Next, I glued the images to the original pages that were salvageable, or to a neutral colored piece of card stock. From there, I created a collage for each page using lace, washi tape, scrapbook paper, stamps, buttons, music, doilies and fabric. A few metal tabs were added randomly for variety.
I created tags with some of the cards, others were attached to various fabric snippets and some I used as a pocket for additional tags and ephemera.
The final touches to the cover were sequined design scrolls and metal heart and flower ephemera. I rubbed a small amount of antique gold metallic finish wax to the designs. This made them a lot more vibrant. A lace/fabric/button snippet was attached to the upper left corned with a vintage paper clip. A few pieces of broken jewelry and a skeleton key add to the antique look of the scrapbook.
This project was very fulfilling. I am happy that this album is going to be around for the next hundred years and someone will be able to enjoy it a long time from now.