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True thoughts on Smash Books and Scrapbooking

true thoughts on smash books and scrapbooking
smash books image from Smash Stories blog.

Oh, Smash Books. For the past fortnight, you seem to have taken over the discussions of the scrapbooking world. First discussions about when they would arrive in stores. Then they arrived and the discussions jumped to a) what everyone bought and b) when would more be in stock since it seemed to sell out pretty much everywhere pretty quickly. And then came a new wave of discussions with scrapbookers proclaiming Smash: I just do not understand! And the more I read, the more one very firm belief formed in my mind that I just had to put into words and share with you.

Know up front: I do not have a Smash Book. I have not ordered any Smash products. Partly because they are already sold out at Two Peas, but I’m mentioning it here because I want you to know I’m not saying this as some sort of hype to try to market Smash. It’s just that I feel like every message I’ve read along the lines of What’s the deal with Smash? is missing a really, really important point.

And effectively, my opinion is we should go buy Smash not really for ourselves, but to give to a friend. A friend who is not a scrapbooker.

If Smash is new to you, here’s the concept – and yes, it is essentially a pretty notebook in which to paste things and write notes. Like this:

Ad watching that, I fully understand both sides of the argument right now. I understand scrapbookers who look at it and think it’s the perfect complement to what they are already doing, and it would give them a place to keep notes without the need to be organised. There are cute accessories that could just as easily be used on a scrapbook page as in a Smash Book. But also, I understand scrapbookers looking at this product and thinking really? Really I need to pay for a special notebook to paste in my ticket stubs when I already have an entire stash of paper and glue? Exactly. You don’t really need it. You’ll be fine – you can make one yourself or you can be completely happy without a notebook and glue for ticket stubs. But if you’re a scrapbooker already, I don’t think you are really the key audience for this product. Scrapbookers are a happy sideline audience who happen to love pretty paper.

Look at the other products on the market in scrapbooking. If you weren’t a scrapbooker would you be excited by a new paper line? If you didn’t craft, would you care what designs are available in the new border punch collection? If you didn’t scrapbook, would you notice any difference between the best journaling pen and a borrowed ballpoint from the bank counter? Most of the products that hit the scrapbooking market are aimed at scrapbookers. Of course they are! For quite a while, that’s been a smart tactic, because scrapbookers are a market of people who buy those new things and that keeps the industry going. But you may have noticed… there are fewer scrapbookers. Buying fewer things. And all of those products that only make sense to people who already scrapbook? They aren’t going to expand the circle of papercrafters.

But Smash actually alienates some scrapbookers. The whole idea is simple: it’s a notebook that you glue stuff into to keep. In fact, it’s so much like the notebooks my friends and I bought during our final year of high school, and we may have been asked by more than one teacher to put away our notebooks and glue sticks because perhaps the middle of class was not the time to create a school scrapbook. But that was the point: we weren’t scrapbookers. Some company that marketed things like class rings and graduation invitations sold a notebook to paste in school mementos and we bought it. And we pasted away. That was a scrapbook, right? (Actually, I really wish I knew where that book was but I haven’t the slightest idea.) But some scrapbookers don’t understand why people are excited about Smash because they are quite capable of buying or creating their own notebook and pasting things into it. Of course! We cut and paste all the time – that’s what scrapbookers do! So whether you want to buy that particular book for yourself or make your own or keep your mementos another way, that part is completely beside the point.

Instead, think of someone you know who you actually think could be a scrapbooker, but isn’t. Maybe she’s a little crafty or maybe she takes pictures or maybe she has a new baby or is getting married or decorating her house. Or maybe none of those things but you just have a hunch that really this friend would enjoy scrapbooking if she just discovered it. Now… what if someone gave her a Smash Book? It’s a gateway. Maybe she pastes things in and then that’s that, nothing big. But maybe she pastes things in and suddenly loves it and pastes more and more. Then she goes on the search for more cute tape or pretty notebooks or nice pens and soon enough: she is totally a scrapbooker.

I wish I could have sound effects in this post, because if this were a movie, there would have just been jubilant sounds as she purchased her first bag of scrapping supplies at the craft store.

smash book image from Smash Stories blog.

So admittedly, I’m being overly dramatic. And I totally understand all those people who have posted on message boards saying things along the lines of I just don’t understand why a spiral notebook is so special and really, I don’t think Smash is rocket science. What I do think is there are very few ways that scrapbooking makes it way outside its comfortable little world and out there into the greater population, a world of consumers who don’t already own 12×12 paper trimmers, precision pens and die-cut machines. Yes, it’s simple. But have you tried explaining scrapbooking to someone who isn’t a scrapbooker? That isn’t simple. Maybe simple is just what we need.

Maybe I’m completely off my rocker. But I’m going to give a friend a Smash Book for her birthday. Someone specific. Unfortunately her birthday isn’t for a while, so I can’t report back in two weeks with empirical evidence or anything. But I just think if a cute notebook can show someone the world of scrapbooking, that’s a pretty cool idea. How about you? Love it? Hate it? Hadn’t heard of it or really don’t mind? Most of us like a pretty notebook in general, right? Regardless of the brand. I always thought most scrapbookers were stationery lovers… all that pretty paper!

And now, if there were sound effects, there would be suitable ending music that would make it very clear that I could be very wrong, but I just wanted to share that idea. Suddenly I understand how difficult it could be to write scores for Hollywood films.


On a completely different note, Beyond Blogging students – watch your email this evening. Thanks.

06 June 2011

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83 Comments for True thoughts on Smash Books and Scrapbooking

  1. BeeH Says:

    I like the idea because, right now, I am not at my most creative. I’d like to chronicle what’s going on in my life and the ways in which I am changing but normal notebooks are too plain and I don’t really like Art Journals so this? Is totally a middle way that would get me back into writing and doing things I used to enjoy.
    Sometimes I don’t want to do a whole page on something and faff endlessly, and I don’t put too much journalling on my scrapbooking pages anyway.

  2. Antonia S-H Says:

    Not sure where I’ve been for the last couple of weeks, but I hadn’t heard of Smash books at all, so I found this post very interesting. I completely agree that, if you’re already a scrapbooker, there doesn’t seem much point. We already have everything we need to make our own, especially if we have a bind-it-all. But, I do think that Smash is something my teenage daughters would really enjoy. One’s at uni and one’s at school and I think they’d love somewhere to paste tickets and mementoes. Just like you and your friends did. So, I will keep my eyes out for re-stocks of these, but only to give to my girls. Might even encourage them to take the time to scrapbook later on…

  3. Laura Says:

    I had no idea that people are actually arguing about these. Far out! I think it is like any other product.. you buy it if you like and need it. And you don’t if you don’t like it.

    I am a scrapper but I am going to buy a couple of those for myself. I often have things that I would like to keep but don’t want to scrap, so those will be perfect. They are cute! I don’t want to make one by myself LOL.

  4. Vicky Says:

    Never seen these before, I love the concept. I’m a cardmaker but a wannabe scrapbooker. This seems the perfect way for me to get into scrapbooking, and an excuse to buy more supplies – Thank you :)

  5. Jacky S Says:

    Great post,Shimelle. I love the idea of a Smashbook…but as a scrapbooker….certainly wouldn’t buy one…I’d make it. A gift for a friend though…now that is an idea.

  6. Kate Says:

    Loved this post Shimelle. Ive just got my smash book….im no trend follower …although i will admit to being a complete sucker for stationary. As you said as someone who plays with paper and stuff i am very capable of making my own book …and i will. But smash has shown what i can do and even though i dont like the using this word it has inspired me. To remember to keep a record something that is totally lacking for me. Whats more i think its just a fun way to do it. I cant believe what a storm smash has whipped up in the crafting community but kinda glad it has. My only dissapointment is that its being aimed solely at people already into this kinda thing…i think every stationary store should stock them or something like then more people would see for them selves rather than a crafty friend passing it on. I have got one for my daughter and a friend as i wanted to share what i think is a cool idea.

  7. jennifer grace Says:

    I’ve been watching the smash books hype and debates too. I think they’re incredibly cool books, especially because of the inspiring images and cute add ons like the post-it-notes etc. It’s like having a crafty magazine showing fab illustrations – with space to doodle your own, and groovy office supplies to use with it! It’s just so much more inspiring than a plain notebook. But I agree with you too – when I first saw one the immediate thought wasn’t for me, but to buy one for my friend who delves into craft a bit but hasn’t got the ‘bug’. I’m waiting for it to hit uk stores so I can buy one for her.
    But the more I saw about smash books, the more I wanted one for myself too – then I discovered that the counterfeit kit challenge blog is having a summer long challenge for you to make your own smash book (see here). So that’s totally what I’m going to do – especially as I have a baby due in 5 weeks and I know for the first few months with a newborn I’m going to struggle to blog and scrapbook. But ‘smashing’ seems entirely achievable, and I’d like to make sure I keep a record of those months, I didn’t for my daughter and it’s now all a distant blur in my memory!
    Ok, that’s a long comment, sorry! To summarise – Smash Books look awesome! x

  8. Keri-An Says:

    hmmm, I haven’t heard the debates either – but I’m a scrapper and I’ve seen and liked the concept, and will probably buy at least one for myself (I hadn’t thought about presents for non scrapbooking friends – but that’s a fab idea I’ll prbably steal, thanks Shimelle)…

    Everyone’s right – as scrappers we could make them ourselves, and if I had a bulk stash of papers I was never going to use for any other purpose (and at home I may – but here in Stockholm, not so much..) and a binding machine already, I likely would…

    And I’ve looked at plain notebooks for the same purpose – they’d work the same, but having all the coorinated stuff and all – well, as I mentioned I’m a scrapper and therefore implied obssessed with stationery… so, I’ll likely be on the Smash wagon soon enough!!

  9. Ronnie Crowley Says:

    I so agree – I have looked I have wondered but I won’t be buying unless for my daughter. I thought it could be a cool thing for road trip for a teenager. But then I could make my own with all the supplies I have now I’ve gone digital!

  10. Claire Says:

    Love the idea of the Smash Book and all the extra bits are fab but as voiced by others, as a scrapbooker, I will make my own. Great pressie for others who are not so crafty though.

  11. Jo Says:

    Great post Shimelle. I like the idea because I like to have somewhere to stick the little things that might not make it to a layout, but I made my own. I did show a non crafting friend a few weeks ago and she really liked the idea. If it gets more people scrapping then it’s a great idea

  12. Connie Says:

    Shimelle-you have so got this right. I received 3 SMASH books in the mail this weekend as prep for a Big Picture Classes class I am taking with my kids this summer (Kidding Around 2). I showed my 7 year old daughter (who does not like to scrapbook with me :( )her book and explained, basically, what it used for. In two days she made a list of all her teachers, glued in a picture of a drawing she made on a dry erase board and wanted to save, glued in pictures she cut from a catalog of pretty beads (to which she explained ‘I don’t want to buy them all, I just think they’re pretty), and filled out some of the prompts about things she likes. She is 7. She doesn’t scrapbook. She gets it.

    Until I read your post I hadn’t really thought about this as a tool for non-scrapbookers, but that’s really what it is, isn’t it. Thanks Shimelle.

  13. jo sowerby Says:

    i am feeling the same way as u shimelle. can’t get my head around the need to but another book but i am going to make my own through the ideas of the counterfit kit club, which has already been mentioned. i do like the idea of giving one to a friend so i might make 2. gr8 way to use up my burgeoning supplies stash. maybe it should be named a stashbook instead for us makers ;-)). looking forward to the email 2night,
    jo xxx

  14. wendy Says:

    never seen these before (where have i been). my first thought was as a travel journal but for that i need pockets and do i really want to glue in tickets that i would want for my holiday scrapbook. So no i will be sticking to making my own thank you. As for gifts maybe but i find by making friends journals for them to use and a little explaination i now have extra scrapping buddies.

  15. Mel Says:

    I did a post about Smash on my blog a couple weeks ago when I bought the blue one along with some accessories at the local Archivers. When I first heard about Smash, I thought like you did: this would be an awesome gift for all my friends who don’t scrapbook!

    I bought one for myself, though, because, one, I thought it was cool and really appealed to the teenager in me. (I’m so totally NOT a teenager!) And two, there are times when I’m out and about, and there’s something I like or want to record, and a Smash book with that pen/glue stick makes that a lot easier than, say, tucking a bit of memorabilia into my everything bag where it stays for six months, and then I no longer recall why I saved it.

    I wish I had thought of doing something similar to Smash on my own, creating a decorated notebook to drag with me wherever I go. But I didn’t, and Smash makes it that much easier for me to record the daily stuff that gets lost in the shuffle a lot in the time, especially since my shuffle has gotten a lot busier in the last couple months.

    Great post, and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and observations. Hope your friend likes her Smash book!

  16. Carol Says:

    I want one and love the concept of the SMASH book, I pretty much do this all ready, but now it’s in a nice package. TFS

  17. Marie Says:

    Clearly I’ve been living in a scrap-free bubble for a while because I’ve managed to miss this phenomenon, but I absolutely agree with your assessment. Seems to me smash books are like scrapbook cliff notes! Just the bits you need to get started. It’s definitely a hark back to the very beginnings of scrapbooking as we know it. You know what though, I kind of like it. I haven’t had much chance to do any scrapping for a long time. Work, life, kids, home and a new hobby (karate) have taken up much of my time. This would be a nice way to get back into things without the pressure of contemplating dragging my stash boxes out (put away since I haven’t used them for so long) and filling that ever ominous 12×12 blank page…..well…that’s assuming I could actually get one, by the looks of things I’d be lucky to pick one up this side of Christmas! LOL.

  18. Sandy G Says:

    I can see both sides of this debate: I like the look of these as I have a severe notebook habit – you know, the ones that are too nice to write in and sit in the drawer to be looked at – so these solve the problem, pretty notebooks designed to be written and stuck in, but if I want to save stubs, etc, I make a minibook myself, so why buy a Smashbook?

    I may well be tempted as they are put together attractively, and agree they would make the perfect present for my arty friend.

  19. Marcie Says:

    I had one of those senior notebooks too! And am lucky enough to still have it. I love to look back through it and my kids enjoy it too. This is what it reminds me of & I think it would be a great gift for my daughter who is entering junior high this year.

  20. HelenH Says:

    I love the pen/glue stick, ‘cause I don’t carry glue sticks around with me. Bought several as backup. I would never make a spiral note book. The paper weight & page allowance is just right, sturdy cover. Not too expensive. I’m taking one on my next vacation. Using one now as an art journal and idea book. The non-blank pages serve as prompts & inspiration. Like you said, we love pretty paper. And trust me, I have dozens of scrapbooks. Different tools for different projects. Hope your friend gets inspiried!

  21. Linda E Says:

    I have to admit, I’ve been wondering what all of the fuss was about. As a scrap booker, I don’t see the need to start a Smashbook. I think I would undertake Project Life or a December Daily before I did this. With that said, I could see incorporating some of the Smash bits and pieces onto a page about my teenagers. I would also contemplate buying a book for my daughter. As for me, I’d rather stick to making 12×12 pages with punched borders, stamped tags and maybe some felt flowers thrown in for good measure!

  22. Beth Says:

    I am loving the fact that someone has defined this for me today, as I have felt too dense to ask the question “what are…..these things?” but wasn’t sure where to look for the answers. Watching the video though I have realised some things tho that make me smile
    1) This is basically what I made for my in laws as a follow up to doing Worth A Thousand Words L a semi-built book for them to write in about a wonderful holiday they took us on
    2) That this is what I could do with a bunch of small things that are waiting for “the right place” on a scrapbook page but probably won’t ever find it because I am too much of a perfectionist and
    3) that this is what I have been doing for years in my journals. It has worked well for things where I haven’t had pictures to go with it (ticket stubs, little notes, stuff like that)

    I am heartened then, to know that I do know what this is and I’ve been kinda doing it for years. I am encouraged that things I love might yet find a home. I am encouraged that something of this ilk might help my mojo recover for all my crafty activities – not just scrapbooking.

    But you’re right. Few things in life please me as much as paper. And I have a basket full of pretty notebooks waiting to be filled. ;) So I’ll be building my own if I do it.

  23. Terri Torrez Says:

    A Smash book arrived at our house on Saturday. Not for me, but for my 8-year old son. It’s the basis of Tami Morrison’s Kidding Around class. And he couldn’t be more thrilled. Simple and encouraging. It’s just perfect.

  24. monica Says:

    I love the spiral. But I want to choose the papers myself. My first BOM was a spiral bound sketch book from Panduro, I loved it. I won´t have one for myself, but as you say, Shimelle, it´s a great gift for a non-scrapper.

  25. Wendy Miller Says:

    I’m really pleased I read this! I’m a cardmaker/wannabe scrapbooker and I find the idea of scrapbooking really daunting, I have bucketloads of tickets/menus/maps etc… that I want to pairup with photo’s and scrapbook but I really don’t where to start. After reading this my perfect solution is make a Smash book, stick everything in up until now and then start scrapbooking from now onwards! I think these Smash books are a great idea for beginners, can’t wait to get my Pritt-Stick out now :-)

  26. Mary M. Says:

    I hadn’t heard of these yet, and actually, I think they look great! I have so many bits and bobs laying around that aren’t really enough to make a layout with, and I guess I had sort of been making a “smash bulletin board” with them, because that’s where they ended up, stuck to a little cork bulletin board I have. But I love the idea of getting them down in a book, seems like my mementos would be better protected there. And I can’t resist cute accessories! =P Thanks for sharing this with us.

  27. scrappysue Says:

    I pre-ordered 2 Smash books and I love them! One I plan on filling with random memories from my childhood; if I wait for the “right” time to scrapbook these, my memory will have totally faded, LOL! I also think they would make pretty cool art journals. My 12 year old daughter thought they were really cool, so she will probably use the other one. I think they are absolutely perfect for encouraging tweens to journal and keep stuff, and maybe get into scrapbooking!

  28. Jenn Serrano Says:

    I like the idea of having an incredibily cute book already made for me, totally worth the cost. I bought one to do my disneyland trip in, I am going to smash receipts, fast passess, ticket stubs, tags from purchases, wrappers and lots of small 2×3 pics in it all crazy like. I am so inspired to scrapbook my vaycay pics, when usually I am overwhelmed by their shear number, I will be sure to share when I am finished!:)

  29. Lisa-Jane Johnson Says:

    I love the look of them! I didn’t realise at first that they were so pretty inside or that they came with cute stuff other than the pen. I do want one, I am a self confessed stationary addict, I do want to make my own though too. I love the glue stick idea and hope I can get just this bit. Totally agree that it would be a cool idea for beginners, teens, in-betweeners, anyone interested in anything pretty or crafty really.

  30. Madeline Says:

    I have a Smash Book and a few of the extras that were in stock at the time and am waiting for the rest to come back IN STOCK. I am thinking of useing this for Ali Edwards class in July, “A Week in the Life” Hope it will work out

  31. Kirsty A Says:

    I love the look of SMASHbooks, but I am going to ‘Counterfeit’ one as part of the Counterfeit Challenge. I really like the idea of taking it on holiday and letting the whole family ‘smash’ it. Scrapbooking is mine and no 4yr old is allowed to add to my layout except under the strictest supervision but I can let them draw, stick and write in the smash book to their hearts’ content

  32. Denise Says:

    I have all sorts of journals to add things to, but a Smash book does half the job for you. That’s the point of it. To make it easier to do what you want. I’d like to have one, but I’m saving my money for the vendor fair at the CKC in Valley Forge. :)

  33. Cori S Says:

    THANK YOU for posting this!! You pretty much summed up how I have been feeling about this… Someone gifted me a SMASH book, & honestly, I still don’t get it & am not impressed. As a scrapper of more than 10 years, I could have done this myself w/out all the hoopla. But you’re right, it’s cool for those who are new to the scrapbooking world :)

  34. Glen Says:

    Thanks for the explanation Shimelle. Ü I always believe that as soon as the word ‘scrapbook’ is attached to something to buy, it bumps up the price and as I have seen recently, it is not a new concept but something that many have been doing for years – and can be made – or bought in a stationers. It’s a good idea for anyone who hasn’t yet gotten the ‘scrapbook’ bug! TFS. Glen

  35. rkokes Says:

    I will admit I didn’t understand the draw of Smash until I had one in my hands at the store. I bought it, and LOVE it. For one important reason. I feel a freedom to not be “perfect.” I am enjoying putting random thoughts about my kids/pictures from magazines/doodles all together without worrying about symmetry, or if something is perfect. I have been scrapbooking for several years, and while I enjoy that, I enjoy this too. I am writing down all those things I kept saying, “I need to write that down”, and I am having fun. Don’t buy it for hype, or if you want to make your own version, but if you just want a fun book to play in-this could be it. And, if you get more memories down in the process, well, then, isn’t that the point?

  36. Kimberly K. Says:

    I bought two Smash books so my 7-year-old and I could take the BP class together. Since the books have arrived my daughter has been obsessed with Smashing. It’s her special place to draw, paste pictures, staple in goodies …. She’s in heaven and I feel like I have introduced her to memory keeping/art journaling in a way she can understand. As a plus, working in our Smash books has become a family thing. The other night my husband and daughter sat and Smashed together for hours. That alone makes it worth it.

    Personally, I think the debate is silly. Everyone is entitled to like or dislike something. If you don’t like it, then don’t buy it. No need to bad mouth something just because it’s not your thing. Shouldn’t we be happy that there is something out there that encourages memory keeping for everyone?

  37. Nora Latip Says:

    I love the idea of smash books! Totally love the fact that we can ‘smash’ anything into it. As a scrapper I don’t feel there is a need to scrap every single photo you take. So the smash would be a great way to hold those pics which I won’t necessarily make a layout for – perfect! Plus I am the type who collects notebooks anyway so yeay for smash!

  38. Jane Says:

    Actually Shimelle I think Smash book ARE for scrapbookers – perhaps not the ones who are asking “What’s the big deal?”, or those saying “I can easily make that, it’s just a mini album after all” but the ones you briefly alluded to. The ones who aren’t buying products anymore, the ones overwhelmed with everyday life, who look at their mountains of stash and piles upon piles of unscrapped photographs and shake their heads in dismay. The ones feeling guilty because they can’t achieve what they aspire to, who now have three or four children and incomplete albums for only two of them. For those who see before them years of catch up and know they never will. For those who honestly don’t know where to start and feel inadequate and alienated from main stream scrapbooking. These Smash books are for them. It means having a record of that last family vacation, it means the ability to follow along with A Week in the Life project with Ali Edwards, it means having a Journal Your Christmas. Like Project Life, Smash books are yet another evolution in memory keeping and I believe that will only be a positive thing.

  39. WHua Says:

    I definitely am one of those who think “What’s the big deal?!?”, but I totally see your point in that one could be given to a non-scrapbooker to introduce them to scrapbooking. It might not be the kind of scrapbooking we know (ie. pretty pages with photos and lots of embellishments), but it reminds me of the scrapbooks of old where people just pasted in pictures, photos articles into a book with blank pages and called it a scrapbook. It’s where the scrapbooking that we know today started out and maybe it’s nice to return to that more simplistic style? Either way, it’s all the same isn’t it? Just the recording of memories, whether with photos, pretty paper and embellishments or just ephemera stuck into a pretty book. :D

  40. JJ Says:

    Have to admit, I’m with you on this Shimelle… I don’t think these were intended for those who are already scrapbookers. They seem to be made for those who are not scrapbookers… yet! :)

  41. Rachel B Says:

    I love the idea but wouldn’t use it now as I would want double of everything to put into my scrapbook pages. I would have loved one as a teen though and can see myself buying them for family members :)

  42. Tinkersdamn Says:

    LOL! Smash… the gateway book.

  43. Julie Jeavons Says:

    I have little piles of ‘stuff’ littering my house that need smashing because I know that they are not really pretty enough to go on a scrapbook page. I saw the ad and thought ‘Learn Something New Every Day’ Shimelle’s been doing it for a while. Now someone has just marketed it. I bought a pretty spiral bound book for £1 and will make my own.

  44. S Says:

    I have purchased 4 already – 3 as gifts for graduates. I think the idea of keeping mementos in a super easy, super fun way is brilliant. They deserve to be sold out. Go SMASH!

  45. Robyn Houston Says:

    this entire concepts actually makes me smile and laugh because it is an OLD concept…just like Shimelle says, she did this in high school her senior year, as did I and probably the rest of you. It is the epitomy of the word ‘SCRAPBOOK” as it is made up of one’s scraps from their life! I have been doing this in journal form with my pal who lives in MS, I live in Ohio, for the past 18 years in letter and deco form – same idea. We have kept each others’ all these years and probably have amassed several hundred by now and we are still going strong! So, does it annoy me that a company renamed an old concept to create a new product to make a profit, not really, that is how the world turns, what is old is new again, but those of us out there KNOW we can just make it ourselves and probably already have. I love the fact that a new generation may be inspired by it this way though with the “hip” name of SMASH book.

  46. Karen Says:

    Great post. I am a scrapbooker and must admit thought ‘what’s the big deal here?’ since I already have a notebook crammed full on inspiratins and ‘stuff’! but I totally get your point re getting one for a slightly crafty buddy who doesn’t already scrapbook!

  47. TiaraHelen Says:

    Right with you Shimelle. I wish I knew where in England I can get them? Maybe you could be a UK distributor?
    I used to have a scrapbook when I was little (about 40 years ago), and I loved smashin in my tickets and serviettes from trips abroad. But they were really ugly, with horrible dog ear-y sugar paper in dingy colours and really garish covers that tore too easily. Smash is a brilliant version of these with cool accessories.
    And, finally, has anyone else spotted the true marketing genius of these people? It’s the MUSIC on the video!!! I love that song….

  48. tara pollard pakosta Says:

    I am a scrapper since 1988 and I LOVE the SMASH book and I am going to get one! for sure!

  49. Angel Says:

    When I first saw the video for these (before they were available) I thought that they would be great for my kids (ages 8 and 6) so I went to the thrift store and bought two old hardcover books and made my own. I cut off the covers and gathered a collection of different papers, envies, etc and hole punched everything. The kids painted and decorated the covers and they love them! I have now also made one for myself. It’s a great way to recycle old books and papers.

  50. Jennifer Says:

    A very interesting post to read. I love the idea of a Smash book but totally agree that it is an old idea that has been marketed with a new name and someone’s getting rich on it! I decided to make my own using a 6×6 AC binder that I found on sale for $3. I splurged on a $1 date stamp. ;) Although I am a hard core scrapper, I liked the idea of a place to put little things that I know I would never do a LO on. Also, these books remind me of my little blue diary with the golden lock on it, that I kept in grade 8. It really was a Smash book after all. :)

  51. Stephanie Medley-Rath Says:

    I agree that a Smash Book could serve as a gateway. I thought they looked really cool when they first debuted. Now that I’ve thought about it some more, they are sort of like the bottle caps and grocery ties that were sold as scrapbook supplies. Personally, I don’t need a Smash Book because I can make my own. I would be apt to give a Smash Book to a teenager. This is something I would have loved as a teenager. Who knows, maybe I just need to buy one.

  52. Natalie Jane Says:

    Hi – New to your blog – great stuff!
    Personally i’m not sure what the whole craze is all about, but there is always one in the scrapping world isn’t there. You can buy notebooks from paperchase for a few pounds that have a variety of different sorts of paper in them. And being a scrapper i have LOADS of scrap bits of paper which is perfect for a wee book like that and i’ve had one for years that i keep bits and bobs in that could be scrapped later or that i just want to remember the moments and have someting funky to look at.
    I am in love with the tape they have and the stamp but thats it.
    It will make k&co a lot of money i suspect and will be some of the best products they have made and i can see why people would want one :)

  53. Bryn Says:

    Thank you for your post! I LOVE the concept of the SMASH. I am a scrapbooker and cardmaker, but most of the scrapping is about my son. I don’t take the time to scrap about myself, my life, and everyday happenings outside of him. This smash book is a way for him to know who I am outside of being his mommy. I am really bad about scrapping anything about myself, and I like that this takes zero time, has pretty papers, and will show him a bit about the woman who also happens to be his mother.

  54. Emma Watters Says:

    So, it transpires that for once I’m ahead of the game – 5 years ahead! Just been away for a scrapbooking weekend and my little travelling scrapbook was with me as usual. And of the girls picked it up and said “this is like a smash book” a what? For 5 years I have been filling my Paperchase notebook with quotes, pics, postcards, dried flowers, more quotes, the odd diary entry,wee scrapbook layouts, favourite stickers and embellishments. I love that it is now fat and squidgy with ribbons and tags and stuff. In fact I’m fairly sure it was a Jane Dean/Shim type idea from way back in the day. Who knows. I totally love the idea of Smash. Emma x

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  56. Sarah Rydel Says:

    I read this a couple of weeks ago and I’ve come back to read it again today. I wholeheartedly agree with you that it’s great for people who don’t already scrapbook. I posted about it in my blog and already 2 of my friends have said that they want one, 1 of which was pretty against “normal” scrapbooking!
    I will be getting one to rekindle my love of scrapbooking, I’ve been far too absorbed by cards recently.

  57. Kamisha Says:

    Your post has been the best blog post about the Smash collection thus far. I recently became interested in scrapbooking, but as a teen I have been way too busy. And honestly, the world of scrap booking is very intimidating! But I absolutely love the whole Smash collection. I am in love with all the cute papers and now I find myself learning about copic pens, embellishments, and papers. The Smash book makes scrap booking look a lot more friendly. I love being able to journal and add cute embellishments and pictures. Smash is my window into the scrap book world. When i’m older I plan on indulging in scrap booking.

  58. Mikki Says:

    I have seen this product in my local scrapbook store, my first reaction BUY BUY BUY. Once I got over the fact that it looked hip and I loved the pen/glue/book combo I looked at it objectively. It’s an art journal/scrapbook mix. If I were less into scrapbooking, I would be ALL OVER this book. If I were between 10-18, I’d own this book in a heartbeat! I love the “Smashpads” that accompany these books, the tags are perfect for any scrappers journaling. If I were taking trips, this books would be in my bag, no doubt! I believe Smashbook has a place, even if it’s not necessary to a lot of avid scrappers.

  59. Cheryl Sherrard Says:

    I am so glad you cleared that up. I do remember those books we had in HIgh School and you are absolutely correct those aren’t really scrapbooking, but looking back on it it it was a part of my evolution of becoming a scrapbooker. So now I get the fasination.

  60. Angela Says:

    Yes, this is an old idea, packaged in a new way, and I love it. I disagree that this isn’t really scrapbooking, I think it’s scrapbooking in it’s original form.

    When I was a kid and teen in the 70’s and 80’s, that is how we scrapbooked, only not in little notebooks (convenient), but in big scrapbooks, gluing in and pasting in all sorts of memorabilia and random items.

    I “scrapbooked” briefly, but gave it up because I didn’t really enjoy decorating a whole page just to set off one or two pics, etc., though I do enjoy digital scrapbooking to decorate my photos before making video montages.

    I like this idea ina small, portable notebook rather than our olden-days big scrapbooks, so I can add to it at any time. It also combines things I’ve been doing for years into one book. I have notebooks that are filled with poems, ramblings, collected quotes, recipes, business ideas, etc., and I also have binders with clear pockets filled with magazine clippings for inspiration. I also use scrapbook paper and supplies for a variety of other arts and crafts projects that are not scrapbooks.

    And yes, I may make some out of plain old notebooks, but I like that these already come with pen and glue and little notes, making it handy to keep supplies on hand when I’m out and about and want to “Smash”.

  61. Juicy Says:

    Anyone know a decent place to get these in the uk – online preferable.

  62. Sandy Says:

    i have the pretty pink one. I’m a scrapbooker and thought this was great— and you know what/

    it actually IS all that!

  63. angie Says:

    Ok so wayyyy back in the day scrapbooks were a book just a premade book usually with black construction like paper. I saw a smash book for the first time today and they ate cool and reminded me of those scrapbooks from long ago!

  64. Kathryn Says:

    I’ve only recently heard about Smash books and yes they are scrapbooks that are much less formal than many people make these days. I’m an art journaler who sometimes does some scrapybooky things and I’m rather taken with the idea of these Smash books, esp. some of the extras, like envelopes and pockets to stick inside. But, do I really need to spend $ on a book? I can make my own and buy some of the cute extras but the call of the “next new cute thing” really gets me!

  65. Audrey {lonely paper designs} Says:

    I was recently given a Smash book by a friend who is not only a professional artist but also a crafter like myself. I would consider myself a “scrapbooker” although I’ve never scrapbooked a thing. I can’t get past the planning, organizing and layout stage. I want everything to be perfect. After I received the smash book though, I felt more free to “make mistakes.” I’ve been smashing everything. But I guess for me, its gotten me past the planning stage of my big scrapbook that I’ve been planning for years. So I totally agree with your post and I appreciate someone finally explaining this product. Its totally a “gateway drug” to harder scraping lol

  66. Lynn Layton Says:

    I am really behind the times..just heard about Smash books today. My take is that they are a hold in your hands type of Pinterest! Not sure if I would use one regularly, but it would make a nice travel journal. I just might have to get one for that kind of thing ;)

  67. Aida Haron Says:

    Hi Shimelle ….. I bought a few because they are just so pretty but honestly ? Nope I won’t be Smashing, wouldn’t know where to start LOL …. and to me, it’s just another new-not-new product. Somehow I seem to do better with cheap, plain art books to paint/mist/glue paper on ….

  68. TF Says:

    I bought a smash book for 2 dollars at joanns. I guess they weren’t selling as they hoped they would. but i do agree with how its just a hardback spiral book with pretty paper…oh and what happened to their website?

  69. Marilyn Zember Says:

    I am an avid scrapbooker and work on several differect scrapbooks each with a different theme. I am smashing an album on our Alaska trip and lovin’it bceause we collected so many brochures and “stuff” along the way that was too informative to throw away. I am complementing my smash albun with a digital album that will showcase many of the beautiful photographs we took. I enjoy new ways of being creative, so, yes I love the smash album idea. Even though this may be the only smash album I create. Regular scrappbooking will always remain a favorite hobby of mine.

  70. Sofia Says:

    I’m just 11 years old and I’m an avid scrapbooker. Actually just started my own smash book, and I asked one from my aunt in New Jersey.

  71. Lu Says:

    My thoughts… 12 × 12 is too intimidating. Working on a 12 × 12 scrapbook for me is an event. The smash book works great for the type of person I am and the level of interest I have for scrapbooking in my busy life.

  72. Annie D Says:

    I honestly regret not buying two more for my friends.

    I do scrapbook but it takes forever for me to finish a 12X12 page let alone create an album from scratch (6Xsomething).

    Smash books are perfect for the reject pile from scrapbooking. You know what I mean, guys. Photos that aren’t clear or has marks on them, embellishments that doesn’t belong to your themes or even left overs.

    It’s perfect for friends who barely scrapbook but want to do something with their photos.

    ps, when full. Glue in more pages along the edge of the orignal pages.

  73. JessJess Says:

    I work at a retail store that sells Smash books and fell upon them a few days ago. I literally had to drag myself away, because I was working, and don’t get paid to ogle adorable things. I’m a wannabe scrapbook-er. I feel I don’t have the…creativity, I guess? I have ideas. So many ideas! But getting them out is horrible. The baby one grabbed my eye because my first born (and only, actually) turned one a couple months ago, and I have been wanting to do a scrapbook of his first year so bad. The “insert photo here” ones don’t do it for me, and the ones where you do everything yourself are too scary, if that makes sense. This seems perfect for me. And hey, maybe it will turn me into a scrapbook-er. I won’t complain.

  74. Ivona Says:

    Thank you so much for saying this! I am not a scrapbooker, I love pretty paper and all the embellishments but I just do not have the patience for the true pages of art scrapbookers create. Smash is totally up my alley, I have been smashing through my teen years and now that I am trying to keep School year books for the kids this is a perfect way for me to keep the memory for them without the frustration and guilt that come from not being able to create beautiful Scrapbook art. Thanks for your words!

  75. DanielleB Says:

    Thank you for this post. That is exactly the market SmashBook is directed to.

    I am a crafter, but not a scrapbooker. That said, I like the idea of Smash Book and I keep playing with whether or not I want to purchase one.

    I made the decision tonight to use one of my sketchbooks to make my own version of it with a lot of mod podge involved. So, Smash Book wasn’t for me.

    It did, however, give me a look into the scrapbooking world and showed me that I can do it without having to buy $3 sheets of stickers or polka dot patterned paper. The scrapbooking aisles at local craft stores are a daunting world if you are unfamiliar… Smash Book is a great way to introduce someone to that world without scaring the crap out of them.

  76. Ursula Bachman Says:

    I’m an avid scrapbooker. I have avoided the smash book until just recently. My friends only scrapbook once and awhile but they do travel, and thought this a perfect gift. My own version of course. Also I’m going to Mexico for a wedding without my husband and son so just want something smaller to record my visit there and not worry about it being perfect. It’s just for me!

  77. Katie Says:

    i’ve been scrapbooking for years and sometimes there isnt space on your layouts to journal thoughts or notes. So i started to journal about my travels. Basicaly a smashbook can be a journal of thoughts and notes with nice things stuck in them without having to worry about colour coordinating everything. Dont buy a special book that will cost you a fortune, you can buy a nice journal or notebook which is the same without the price.

  78. Frances D. Says:

    I laughed so hard (in a good way) reading this post. I came across Smash books only last year. They reminded me of the notebooks I kept as a kid — cute notebooks I’d decorate, journal and sketch in, as well as paste clippings from various magazines. I picked one up out of nostalgia. Now, a year later, I’ve got a room full of pretty patterned paper, punches, embellies, thickers, etc. So, Smash books as an entry point into the world of scrapbooking? That’s exactly how it worked for me.

  79. Jennipher Says:

    I am a scrapbooker but I am loving this less formal approach of smashing. I think it would be great for Journal Your Christmas! I also like the idea of using it to record a weight loss journey or recording moments you want to remember but may not necessarily have photos for. Also like the idea of using it to record your creative ideas. May just go buy one tomorrow.

  80. TiaraHelen Says:

    I just came across this page again. I finally bought a Smash book when visiting America last year and in the meantime used a plain cartridge paper book as a travel journal. I love it, but it wasn’t PRETTY enough. This year I have used a Stampin Up “This and that” journal (Epic Day) design, and I LOVE how pretty it came out with so little time spent on it. I did some while on holiday and completed it with photos when I got home.
    Also, anyone who is wishing there were a few more pages, it’s really easy to add a page or a photo by just punching the holes with,say,a cropadile, then taking a little snip behind each hole. Then you can slip the page or photo over the spiral binding. The paper needs to be reasonably robust, not flimsy printer paper for example.

  81. Coco Says:

    Hello Shimelle, I get this is a new concept for most..but its been used for 83 year old mother did this as a teen. I think a very basic point is being missed..its not a “scrap bookers” scrap book.. There I said it. I dont want some pretty up’d page with matching stickers, photo corners and posed pictures. .between Smash and Project Life ..the next “idea” is a … very very old one. I see Project Life as the new Scrap book for those who do not have the time or funds for all the die cuts and punches. Smashing is smashing..I see tons of posts and blogs of these cute “I’m a scrap booker” pages..everything nice and neat. The whole POINT of a Smash book is in its name you shove, tape, glue…heck use last nights bubble gum if you need to, to “smash” in to any journal you want..or subject note book or moleskin..because someone packages and puts a label..not even a new one …does not make it new. Look if scrap booking is PTA..Smash is rock star..if your smash is not banged up, used and abused, and had yesterdays coffe spilt on it.. oh and 3 times the size it was started at..then I’m afraid you have really missed the point. Don’t scrap it..Smash it.

  82. Kelly Parker Says:

    I have just discovered Smash pols this week on Pinterest! I’m way behind, it appears, even though I sell something with that same premise of scrap booking for non-scrapbookers!! Let me tell you as a scrapbooker wanna be, I (and two of my friends) thought it was an awesome idea for busy baseball moms like us! We could score the games and have a place for a few pictures. As it turns out your theory may hold true. It doesn’t interest most non-scrappers or scrappers either. Plus, I guess not everyone likes to keep score. I’ve sold a lot of baseball bracelets and some printable score sheets but very few Score-Scapbooks!! I am buying smash books for Valentine’s Day for my grown girls-so we will see.

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