Huffington Post Says Scrapbooking Will “Never Be Cool”

The Huffington Post is taking fire from scrapbookers for an article it published on Tuesday called “8 Crafts That’ll Never Be Cool, Ever: Scrapbooking, Plastic Canvas, Rock Painting & More“. The article, by Brie Dyas, who is the Senior Editor of HuffPost Style and HuffPost Home struck a nerve with scrapbookers with its contemptuous treatment of scrapbooking and obvious lack of understanding of the hobby.

Dyas starts off in the introduction to her “top eight” list by calling scrapbooking “nerdy” and “sad”:

But there are some crafts that can never make the transition from genuine activity to ironic statement to socially acceptable practice. For example: scrapbooking. Like, I can’t imagine telling someone that I spent the evening scrapbooking, without it sounding sad. Even if my scrapbooks were irreverent and awesome. The activity itself is just nerdy.

Then on the list itself – which opens right off the top with scrapbooking – Dyas writes a rant about “crap” and “themed papers” while accompanying the item with a photo of a themed Disney kit that is representative of cutting edge industry style from 15 years ago:

On the surface, scrapbooking isn’t so bad. Old-timey books aren’t bad at all, but adorable chronicles of a different era. Nowadays, it’s all the, well, crap, that makes scrapbooking bad. Themed papers, random logos and all sorts of embellishments that just ruin the sentiment.

The scrapbook industry’s ire has been well-represented by Papercrafter’s Corner editor Stephanie Hackney, who answered in a lengthy four-part comment tearing apart the piece and standing up for scrapbookers (and crafters in general):

I don’t personally know one scrapbooker who would feel ashamed to tell others she (or he) scrapbooks. In fact, famous people who most consider quite cool are scrapbookers. Example? Avril Lavigne. I doubt you’d find too many who consider her “nerdy” or “sad.”

Another commenter (Alicia Lou) was quick to cite Kelly Purkey and Amy Tan as examples of twenty-something scrapbookers who are certainly cool by anyone’s definition.

A few years ago it was the New York Times taking repeated shots at scrapbookers. Now it seems that the Huffington Post wants to try it. You’d think, since the scrapbooking demographic is so valuable to advertisers, that they’d know better than to poke that bee’s nest. I guess not.


43 Responses to Huffington Post Says Scrapbooking Will “Never Be Cool”

  1. SusanDR May 9, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    She can call me nerdy any day. I value my time scrapbooking and my scrapbooks, and I hope someday my children’s children will cherish them as well, just as I enjoy my grandparents scrapbooks. I put my photos and stories first, and use that “crap” to enhance my pages. I wonder what people might call some of the authors hobbies, though I don’t feel the need to judge her or the way she spends her time. Cool or not, I am and always will be a scrapbooker, and proud of it!

  2. Kim May 9, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    What I think is interesting are the crafts she thinks are cool … seriously?? What a pointless article and while I’m at it, speaks to her integrity as it is clear she didn’t research, but rather assumed/created her opinion of what scrapbooking is …. it has morphed into something much more meaningful than painting old silverware neon colors or another idea of hers … vases dipped in paint. W’evah! Thanks Nancy, as always, love love your columns!

  3. Sue Wogatske May 9, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    This is wrong in so many ways! Scrapbooking is the most popular social event right now. Families around the world are preserving their family memories through traditional and digital books. I totally disagree with Ms. Davis.

  4. Dianap May 9, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Ignorance is daring. Poor souls they do not know what they are missing.

  5. Rachel C May 9, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    Well, as an LSS owner I do believe the overuse of embellishments had turned designers into one-person teams competing to see who can put the most “crap” on a page. And all that being highlighted intimidates a lot of my customers. But all of our books are sooooo cool and I’ll tell anyone that I’d rather be cropping than most anything else.

    • Sue Wogatske May 9, 2013 at 11:42 am #

      I agree. Too many people are making masterpages spending too much time decorating them. The idea is to preserve the memories. Emblishments should be simple so you complete the albums.

      • Jennifer May 9, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

        the idea is for everyone to highlight their photos in whatever way they want, is it not?? Some people LIKE bringing their artistic expression to the page, or the page itself can be the artistic expression of a memory, whether there’s one photo or ten, or no photos at all. Please don’t judge the way other scrappers choose to practice their craft; isn’t it bad enough when people like the HuffPo columnist do it, without scrappers judging each other, too??

        • Dori Garbutt May 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

          My sentiments exactly. I scrap to express myself artistically as well as to preserve my memories. Sometimes, it “satisfies my soul” to embellish minimally. Sometimes, I embellish lots. Sometimes, not at all. It just makes me happy to be scrapping. And, Yep, I usually scrap with friends.

          • Debra williams May 10, 2013 at 10:21 am #

            Amen. This is the way I see it too.

    • Kay Tee May 10, 2013 at 8:36 am #

      Awwww Rachel C – isn’t that sentiment the same as the HUFFPO author? Judging others based on what you don’t like?

      While I like more simplified pages – I do not think the ones that love to really go all out and embellish…create their masterpieces aren’t any good.

      I think those, especially newbies, that are intimidated, just need to be taught that you start slow … you layer … and while it may be too much for them – teach them how to take the different elements of these “master pages”…and make more simplified designs.

  6. Katie Kelley May 9, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    So for crafters and scrapbookers who depend on others to direct their participation level in crafting and memory keeping – this is your directive to stop right now and maybe take up creative writing and investigative reporting. The rest of us,we can keep doing whatever suits our fancy ‘cuz we know not to believe in the scrapbook police and this version of it.

    Funny thing is that when I taught scrapbooking & memory-keeping classes, I had some ladies who never would tell their friends where & what they were doing. Possibly Dyas was in attendance? Of course with sunglasses, big-brimmed hat, and hair dyed so no one would recognize her….

  7. Zanne Koller May 9, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Laughed so hard. She is an example of why journalism is a dying art. Did absolutely no research, just a generalization in her mind.

    • cherylspaperartz May 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

      Ha! I’m laughing too, Zanne. I wonder what they think is cool? Huffington Post, maybe? An evening spent reading the HP sounds kind of sad to me.

  8. Theresa May 9, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    The Huff Post should take crap for that article! How dare they tell us that what we do is irrelevant. I’ve been told that some of my work is artwork.

  9. Erika May 9, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    Good thing I put ZERO stock in anything that The Huff Post produces this is just another example of ZERO fact investigating by the H Post.. I often refer to the H Post as where all the journalist that couldn’t make it in the real world end up!
    HERE is the truth… those that can’t.. criticize! It’s kind of funny.. how one person can offend so many people in one article.. OH WAIT I forgot the HUFF POST ran this article..

  10. L McCarty May 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    Same comment i put on the fb post: Why do grown people still lust after being called cool? We ALL need to grow up and follow our interests and say “stfu” to those who feel they’ve been given the job of labeling what’s “cool” or not. I read Huffpo (sometimes) and I LOVE scrapping and I couldn’t give a rip whether some nonentity finds that “cool” or not.

    • kathyhpyk May 10, 2013 at 5:53 am #

      Totally agree with you, L McCarty!

    • Debra williams May 10, 2013 at 10:24 am #

      I agree!

  11. AllisonLP May 10, 2013 at 6:41 am #

    just ignorant! if they have ever seen a MercyTiara scrapbooking process video on YT, where they could see and hear the thought process behind an awesome layout, they would be blown away by the creativity that goes into our memory keeping. i’m proud to be a scrapbooker! I love that I’ve finally found a hobby i love, that is so free, that it has allowed my style to change over the years, causing me to love what i do even more. shout it from the roof tops, I’m proud to be a scrapbooker!!

  12. ScrappyBarb May 10, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    In my opinion, the Huffington Post will never be cool. Too many rants rather than articles.

  13. Alison May 10, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    Proves how out of touch this person and her establishment is: Nerdy IS cool! But then I am a Gleek. 😀

  14. Brigit Hampel May 10, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    I am very happy to be a scrapbook “nerd”. I certainly would not care what the writer or anyone else thinks of how I spend my time. What was the purpose of the article? Does the writer feel better about themselves because they can put someone else down? I would rather be a nerd than a bully.

  15. L McCarty May 10, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    Here. Here.

  16. Liz May 10, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    The last time I checked I indulged in scrapbooking or memory making because I enjoy it and it is my masterpiece, my work, my piece of art and never to be “cool” or be part of any so called group, are we in high school? Really? Go back to your rants and biased opinions thank you very much. Yes, she did just tap the bees nest, however I seem to think that was the intention all along, now that’s what I call “sad”.

  17. Mary H. May 10, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    Still rofl-ing!!! I love HuffPo, but it is what it is. Or maybe I’ll just start calling it graphic journaling — whatever.

    One thing’s for sure: I won’t look there for crafting or coolness lessons. I mean, there are so many cool things that will never be done in a hipster bar.

    Thank you so much for sharing, it gave me a belly laugh.

  18. DebraK in Florida May 10, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    I think the paper is only looking to stir up a lot of comments. They obviously will get a lot of rebuttal from those of us that love the craft, but isn’t that what they really want? It feeds their purpose and fuels their ‘popularity’. I wouldn’t give them the time of day…not worth my time.

  19. Amalia May 10, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Am I the only on that thinks being called a nerd is a complement?

  20. Veronica Hugger May 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    Leave it to the HuffPost to be intolerant and prejudicial about crafting…how sad to mock those who derive happiness from such an innocent pleasure.What should one expect from a “writer” who relies on empty, pubescent fillers such as “Like,” and “You know,” for emphasis. Pathetic.

    • Sonia May 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      I agree. How can anyone take this “journalist” seriously if she feels the need to write “Like, I can’t imagine…” ? She’s a joke, trying to be cool as a “valley girl.” To all those, who, like me, enjoy scrapbooking, rock on!

  21. Kate May 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Scrapbooking is more than preserving memories on pretty pages. It is an excellent outlet for creativity and artistic expression. It is also theraputic. Several years ago, a friend of my passed away and it is through scrapbooking night after night, that I was able to cope with his death. I made a beautiful scrapbook with stories and pictures for his mother that she cherishes and looks at everyday. The creative projects you can do through scrapbooking are endless. I have made scrapbook journals of my everyday life which someday my daughter will enjoy and even chuckle about. So Brie Dyas thinks that scrapbooking is sad? What is sad is that Brie is not creative enough to write about something more inspiring. If you’re reading this, Brie, try making a scrapbook and then see if you feel the same way.

  22. Stampendous May 10, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    And really…do we care if we’re cool? Not so much! We LOVE scrapbooking and scrapbookers! We sure hope that someday, maybe when she has children to pass her memories to, that Brie will learn what our love of preserving our cherished family time is about. Thanks, Scrapbook Update for catering to us “uncool” folks! We’re glad you’re here!

  23. Stephanie Hackney May 10, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Thanks for the mention, Nancy. I just could NOT let that article’s claims go unanswered!

    I’m so glad to see everyone chiming in and sharing what makes scrapbooking (perhaps crafting and creating in general) so valuable to each of us.

    Personally, I would love to see the HP article author (she who shall not be named) give it a try. I bet we could “turn” her. There’s always hope, right?

    Have a great, creative weekend everyone,


    • Katrina May 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

      I love the Huffington Post. I read it daily. But this article is crazy! Obviously, this lady does not “scrap!” And scrapbooking isn’t for everyone. But who is anyone to say that any hobby is wrong! It’s the only time that I can relax!!!!

  24. 1mom May 10, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    What can you expect from someone named after cheese!

  25. Katrina Hay May 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    she’s just jealous cause she can’t do it…also it is probably her fifteen minutes of fame…I am old enough to not give a hoot about what other people think and say…I love it and it makes me happy…and that is all that matters…

  26. nancyJones May 10, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    HMMM and the Huffington Post is SOOOOOO relevant in ALLLL of the information they share. I PERSONALLY would just go with my personal taste in a hobby. HOWEVER you like to record your memories. If it be scrapbooking, making art in whatever form, Journaling, blogging, digital books, project life, making digital video diaries, whatever your choice just do it!!! FInd something you will keep up. Something you will do that you enjoy. When you get where you do not enjoy doing it, not only for yourself but for whatever reason your started it, then it becomes a chore and pointless. You can tell your heart isn’t in it. When you love what your doing and it is for a good reason and a purpose, You always will have more depth and insight in it. NO MATTER what it is. OR EVEN IF YOU COMBINE SOME OF THEM!!! I only wish several generations back would have done this for us now. Can you imagine? Although My future generations may blame me for tree shortages.

  27. melstampz May 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    Only someone with no idea of this last decades leaps and bounds in terms of style would say that scrapbooking is nerdy & sad. And I’ve also seen some painted rocks that are truly fine art. 🙂 Perhaps she was just trying to be funny, but I feel a little sorry for Dyas that her imagination is so limited by the desire to have her interests appear “cool”

    With the amazing things that people create now any medium can be extremely cool, beer can art, Papier-mâché… An article that would truly grab my attention would be one discussing how the binary Highbrow/Lowbrow or art/craft is constantly being deconstructed in today’s culture… how “craft” is often closer to so-called fine art.

    • Kim May 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

      Exactly! Well said.

  28. Lisa May 12, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    What a total dork that has no idea what she’s talking about! Loser!

  29. Mary in IL May 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    what is the Huffington Post? I must truly be a nerd because I have never heard of it!

    • Katrina May 12, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

      It is the online version of MSNBC…….very liberal commentary……..mostly liberal political commentary. That was why I was sooo surprised about the article. Sounds like this author didn’t know a thing about the subject!

  30. Sue MacGowan May 14, 2013 at 1:48 am #

    Who reads the Huffington Post anyway?

  31. Gab May 15, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    If scrapbooking, or plastic canvas, or rock painting, or knitting make you happy – then why can’t you indulge!? i think it’s important for people to have a hobby – and I don’t mind that it’s not considered by some to be cool!

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