Scrapbook Expo

Alameda County Fairgrounds
4501 Pleasanton Ave.
Pleasanton, CA 94566
(888) 252-3976

Price: $9 Admission fee, $8 parking fee ($2 coupon online with email blast registration or in stores)
Hours: Thurs- 3 p.m. to midnight, Fri- 8 a.m. to midnight, Sat. 8 a.m. to midnight

Would you like to preserve your memories with real life, touchable momentos as well as pictures?  Scrapbooks can be used immortalize best personal moments, special occasions, accomplishments and heroes but also serve as historic artifacts and time capsules.  Scrappers create books from weddings, holidays, family vacations and first proms; really anything goes. The Scrapbook Expo comes to the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton for two days on March 16 and 17, 2012, showcasing 150 booths with paper crafts.  Meanwhile,  scrapbooking has evolved from pasting magazine pictures as shown in the photos throughout this article of an 1888 scrapbook from Clifford Warner’s boyhood on a family farm in Spirit Lake, Iowa.  He pasted into a hardcover hotel ledger magazine cutouts of Ford cars, Dove Soap, Coca Cola and lots of pictures of horses, dogs, chickens, flowers, fruits and vegetables presented in vivid color as Victorian art.  He included paintings with slaves in them and one newsclipping of Apaches who went to a reservation and donned American clothes.

Related:  Best Spots in the Bay Area for Taking Pictures

Expo Workshops

Price: $18 to $48

Scrapbook 1888

1888 Scrapbook of Grandfather Warner on Iowa farm with horses, pigs, chickens, rose seed packets. (credit: Cindy Warner)

Expo workshop teachers show new techniques to all levels of scrapbookers, from color and layout to new designs using unconventional materials. Workshops last one to two hours and cover cards, digital, copic (a type of pen for shading), and Favor Castle pencils.   The art of scrapbooking seems to change with new tools, techniques and ideas, fostered at the Scrapbook Expo workshops.  Scrappers work with pre-made books or custom, beautiful papers, eye-catching scissor trims and shapes, and original embellishments. The women also use lots of ribbon, paper flowers, rub-ons for wording, glitter and bling, and even jewels with sticky backs to make a creation one of a kind.

1888scrapbookrhshumways1887gardenguide cindywarner Preview Of The San Francisco Scrapbook Expo

1888 Scrapbook with Indian girl and R.H. Shumway (credit: Cindy Warner)

Make and Takes

Price: Free

The make and takes at the expo provide stations to create personal items to place in scrapbooks. Most of the stations are free, but some charge a small fee. The various booths offer the most popular and newest products to try. Thursday is the Make and Take Crop when scrappers receive 10 make and takes taught by exhibitors. Friday and Saturday’s crops are more on one’s own.

188scrapbookwinslowhomerpainting cindywarner Preview Of The San Francisco Scrapbook Expo

(credit: Cindy Warner)

Crop party

Price: Fri and Sat – $35, Thurs – $45

Creativity takes on a different energy in numbers. Working on a family project or with your best friends? Set up your own table to scrapbook at a crop party. How precious it is to give or receive a handmade card, party or wedding invitation. Guests bring supplies such as paper, scissors, momentos, glues and rubber stamps–whatever the guest wishes. The expo provides a tool station and guests create their own themed centerpiece for the table and dress for the occasion, particular to each expo location. Electrical outlets cost $85 to $125 per outlet and battery packs cost $20. Seating is first come first served while the reserved table fee is $20 and comes with four crop party tickets. Guests may request tables next to each other and hosts entertain from 5 to 6 p.m. with door prizes and giveaways. Music will also be provided informally by iPod and concessions will be open for food.


1888scrapbookfordcars cindywarner Preview Of The San Francisco Scrapbook Expo

(credit: Cindy Warner)

The expo offers various opportunities. Volunteers must be over 18 and have no children with them. Volunteers pay a ten dollar refundable registration fee, work four hours and get $36 payment plus the refund of the $10. Teachers’ Pets assist with a class and get to participate for $5. Exhibitors also need help. Bay Area residents also have the option of helping with the Santa Clara show in the summer, August 10-11, 2012.

Related: Best Budget Cultural Events in San Francisco.

1888scrapbookcocacolaads cindywarner Preview Of The San Francisco Scrapbook Expo

1888 scrapbook with CocaCola ads cut from magazines. (credit: Cindy Warner)


Do you have an entrepreneurial side to your creativity? Exhibiting is a great way to support your habit. If you would like to set up your own booth to demonstrate and sell crafts, the expo offers an application online. The expo travels to many locations; 16 in 2012.  New locations for 2012 include Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; and Denver, Colorado.

The show travels to Florida, Oregon, Illinois, Washington and New Jersey in addition to a few locations in California. It’s like “Antiques Roadshow,” cut and pasted.

Cindy Warner is a freelance writer and a San Francisco Bay Area native. Cindy has covered SF theater and opera for via her bicycle since January 2009. Check out her work on


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