First there were the knitters, then baking enjoyed a resurgence. Now scrapbooks are making a comeback.
Retailers are reporting a growth in interest in creating scrapbooks of photographs, newspaper and magazine cuttings, and concert tickets, or for special events such as births and weddings.
They say that a younger generation, more used to charting their lives online or using websites such as Pinterest to unleash their creative sides, is discovering the pleasure of creating a physical receptacle for memorable objects.
Paperchase said that it had enjoyed a double-digit boost in sales of scrapbook products in the past year and had expanded its range by 20 per cent to satisfy demand. It has launched workshops in its Glasgow and London stores, where experts show shoppers how to perfect the art of découpage — decorating something with cut-out pieces of paper.
Papercraft sales, including scrapbook accessories, have risen by 30 per cent since last year at The Makery shop in Bath. Kate Smith, its owner, said that new styles of scrapbook were attracting a new following. Rather than the traditional “twee” designs, new ones featured fluorescent colours and geometric patterns.
At Hobbycraft, the arts and crafts chain, sales of scrapbook kits have risen by 600 per cent on last year. Some make it easier to create a scrapbook by providing pre-designed layouts. Others do not require scissors and glue.
Tessa Ireland, a senior buyer at Hobbycraft, said that this had led to a huge increase in younger customers. She told The Independent on Sunday: “Traditional scrapbooking remains popular, but these new generations of customers are almost using these new concepts as an alternative to diaries, collecting photos, concert tickets and their captions accordingly.”
The Craft & Hobby Association UK estimates that 2.8 million British people create scrapbooks, with more than a quarter of them aged 16 to 24.
Amie Scull, a buying assistant for stationery at John Lewis, said that sales of items such as photo corners, which hold pictures in place, were increasing, as making scrapbooks returned to favour. She said: “This may be in part due to people wanting a return to displaying and enjoying photos, rather than just leaving them on digital cameras and computers.
“Craft in general has been back in vogue for a while, with people revisiting the joy of the manual hobbies of their childhoods. Of course, new social media platforms like Pinterest could also have had a positive effect, kick-starting the trend by reminding people how useful collating images and inspirational pieces into one place can be.”