Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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How to Do Tactile Scrapbooking

Under "Minimalist Scrapbooking for Trauma," someone asked about scrapbooking with Braille. Many tools and techniques will work for vision-impaired and/or touch-dominant crafters. Let's feel out some possibilities ...


* I recommend a 3-ring binder instead of a postbound scrapbook. This gives more space for texture and makes it easy to open flat.

* You will need to scrap on open pages with holes on the edge, not pages that get slipped into sleeves.

* For maximum durability, consider investing in divider pages made of heavy paper with holes already punched. You can use any paper, and sometimes you'll want to make your own, but buying some will save time and energy.

* Choose heavy papers that have texture or can hold added texture. It is often sold as cardstock. There are many textures such as pebbled, striped, wrinkled, flocked, glittered, etc. Handmade papers tend to have more texture and thickness than commercial papers.

* You can buy embossing tools to add texture to plain paper. Get the kind where you run the paper through a crimper or trace a tool over a pattern, not the kind that involve heating up embossing powder which is less accessible. The manual ones are easier to use and safer too, highly accessible. This tool kit can be used for embossing, polymer clay, or dot painting.

* Lots of supplies are made for the "lumpy-bumpy" school of scrapbooking. Some examples of textured embellishments include puffy stickers, pop dots, puff paint, buttons, charms, ribbon, and glitter glue. Lasercuts give a flat embellishment but when you glue it to a page, you can feel the raised edge of the design. These pages are meant to be touched.

* If you have a Braille writer, you can use regular Braille paper and punch holes in the edge or attach small pieces to your scrapbook pages. You can also use a Braille writer to put Braille on heavy paper sold for scrapbooking.

* Use a spot-n-line pen or other Braille accessories to dress up your pages.

* Get creative and Braille your pages with pop dots, puff paint, buttons, art brads, or other things. Especially consider these to change the font size: Braille the title in brads and your text with a regular Brailler.

* If you have some vision, choose high-contrast patterns such as black-and-white designs. These are widely available.

* If you don't have color vision, you can add color symbols for Feelipa or ColorADD instead. Adding these at the top corner is fairly simple. Adding these all over the page by hand is tedious. However, there is a shortcut: Feelipa uses circles for blue, triangles for yellow, and squares for red. Choose paper with those symbols already embossed and you're good to go. Probably you won't find secondary colors in this dimension. ColorADD uses upward triangles for red, slashes for yellow, and downward triangles for blue; plus hollow squares for white and solid ones for black. You might find paper embossed with something like these.

* A scrapbook can also be made of fabric instead of paper. This would make Braille more challenging, but it could still be done with fabric puff paint, seed beads, French knots, or other fibercraft media.
Tags: activism, crafts, how to
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