Here's a great gift for someone who's just adopted a new pet: Start a scrapbook to document their life with their new companion.
Photography: Johnny Miller
Scrapbooking is a freewheeling craft, but there is one rule: If you're displaying original photos or documents, select papers and adhesives that are acid-free or, better yet, archival. Translucent interleaving will offer additional protection to photos over time. Consider using high-quality photocopies while keeping your original photos, documents, and other valued items in a light-safe, acid-free box.
When affixing photographs, avoid placing an adhesive in the center, as it can warp the surface and create craters. Try an invisible vellum tape, which adheres very well and barely shows behind sheer paper. If you do any writing, use a pigment ink rather than a dye ink, as it lasts far longer.
For more information and inspiration, visit the Craft Section of our site.
For basic techniques and tools, these articles should get you started on your way:
Good-quality post-bound scrapbook or photo album with acid-free archival pages
Decorative scissors or hole punches
Acid-free, photo-safe background paper
Acid-free double-sided tape or invisible vellum tape
For each page, begin by developing a layout, selecting a dominant item, and experimenting with the placement of the surrounding memorabilia until you achieve the desired effect.
Be sure to choose background colors that complement your items, and don't be afraid to crop your photographs to create a better composition. In general, it's easiest to work from the bottom up, so be sure to start with the background elements.
Here are some ideas of items to place in the scrapbook: Pedigree, if a purebred, or adoption papers if a rescue; any photos from the breeder or shelter -- or even a classified ad; photos of the parents and littermates, if available; ID tags; that tiny first collar;a piece of a beloved but chewed-up toy; memories of your first meeting, written on the page itself or on an attached tag; the box top from a favorite food or treat, inspirational photos of breed champions.