10 Basic Scrapbooking Supplies for Beginners

By on September 20, 2012

Scrapbooking has become a billion dollar industry over the years, and has moved far beyond the basic photo album with captions that it once was. Now people are creating detailed works of art from these books, all in an effort to preserve memories. Scrapbooking allows you to take a seemingly random compilation of photos and turn them into a story, allowing you to relive various life events in vivid detail. If you’re considering beginning to scrapbook, here are a few basic supplies you’ll need to get started.

  1. Album or Scrapbook. First and foremost, you need to find an album or scrapbook to place your photos in. There are a variety of scrapbooks that come in all shapes and sizes, depending on what you want your scrapbook to be. Brag books tend to be small, and are usually around a 4×6 size, while average size scrapbooks are typically 12×12. You can also usually find books that fall in between those two ranges as well. Make sure that the pages of the scrapbook are acid-free and lignin-free. Lignin comes from wood and therefore ends up in paper, and both lignin and acid will cause your photos to yellow and become brittle over time.
  2. Adhesive. There are many kinds of adhesive that you can use, and you might want to invest in several different kinds eventually, but at the beginning you will need some sort of double sided tape dispenser created for scrapbooking. The reason you need to use products that are made for scrapbooking is because they are created to hold over a long period of time and not get dried out or yellowed. You don’t want your pictures to fall out of the album.
  3. Plain and Patterned Paper. You’ll also need to select the paper you want to use to mat your photos on. Most scrapbooking stores offer plain paper, colored paper, and patterned paper. At a minimum it’s a good idea to have some paper to use as strips or other shapes on the page. Matting a box for journaling your memories is also an area you will need paper.
  4. Straight Edged Scissors. Sometimes there will be pictures that you want to cut down, so it’s nice to have a sharp pair of scissors. Start with regular, straight-edged scissors, and then if you decide to continue scrapbooking you can branch out into scissors with fancy cutting edges.
  5. Black Pen. It’s a good idea to invest in a good pen to use to detail the people or events in the photos that you’re placing in the scrapbook. If you don’t journal in your scrapbook then it might just as well be a photo album. By journaling the people and events in the photos you’ll avoid looking back years later and forgetting why you wanted to preserve the photo in the first place.
  6. Paper Trimmer. While it is possible to get by with just scissors, a paper trimmer can be very helpful because it allows you to measure and cut at the same time with little effort. Once you get a paper trimmer you will be amazed at how often you will use it. The blade is strong enough to cut photos so you’ll be able to crop both your photos and paper with it.
  7. Page Protectors. Once you’ve spent time and money creating your scrapbook page it would be a pity if you got finger prints from the kids on the photos or if someone spilled something on it and ruined the page. Page protectors are inexpensive and will just slide over the page to keep everything protected.
  8. Stickers. These are a simple way to embellish a page and add a little personality and flair to the photos. From starting school to getting married, there are stickers for any life event you can think of, and not just the types of stickers that your kids use. You can buy scrapbooking stickers that are simple designs, and more elaborate ones that are three dimensional, in addition to themed ones to fit any occasion.
  9. Ruler. If you are good at eye balling things then you may not need a ruler. It’s nice to be able to measure out your paper and where you are placing pictures on the page though.
  10. Adhesive Letters. These are helpful for titling your page. You can write the title with your black pen if you like, but most people want their album title to be big and fun, and adhesive letters can help accomplish that.

Remember, the important thing about scrapbooking is that you are keeping your memories organized and preserved, and that you’re documenting your family history. You don’t have to be extremely artsy or create incredibly elaborate pages to do that.

Originally posted on Become A Nanny.

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10 Basic Scrapbooking Supplies for Beginners