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Essential Supplies to Begin Scrapbooking

Everyone is doing it – scrapbooking that is – and you think you’d like to give it a try, too. However, you’re really not sure what the difference is between a scrapbook and a traditional photo album. You’re also not sure what supplies you’ll need. A quick lesson on the essentials of scrapbooking will bring you right up to speed. Modern scrapbooks are different from traditional photo albums in a few respects. They hold both photographs and memorabilia.

For that reason they are sometimes referred to as memory books. There is also an emphasis on writing, or journaling, in scrapbooking. Each scrapbook should tell a story. Scrapbooks are also more aesthetically pleasing than traditional photo albums. Attention is paid to the layout of the pages.

Often, pages are decorated with colorful paper and stickers, although this is not necessary. The biggest distinction between a modern scrapbook and a traditional photo album is the emphasis on the preservation of the photos and memories. The albums, papers, pens, and adhesives should all be photo safe. Photo safe is a term that means that the materials used in creating a scrapbook are designed to do the least amount of long term damage on your photos and memorabilia. Damage includes fading, yellowing, and a degradation of the paper the photos or memorabilia are printed on. Because of this emphasis on preservation, specific, specialized supplies are required when scrapbooking. These supplies can be purchased at many art supply stores, specialty scrapbooking stores or from many online retailers. The supplies you will need to create your first scrapbook are: Photos and memorabilia – Before beginning any album you should have its contents organized. You may want to do a themed album (baby, wedding, vacation, etc.) or a chronological family album.

Either way, having the album’s contents collected before you begin will help you complete your album more efficiently. A photo safe album – The album you purchase should be free from acid and lignin (a substance in wood that will turn paper unstable and cause it to yellow). It should also be the correct size for the project you are tackling. This is where having your photos and memorabilia organized beforehand comes in handy. If you’re creating a brag book for grandma of her new grandchild, a small album that has only one or two photos per page may be appropriate. If you’re chronicling your child’s athletic career and have large newspaper clippings, a larger album would be the appropriate choice. A photo trimmer – Photo trimmers come in handy to crop out any unwanted parts of a photograph or to trim decorative paper. They do the job quickly and neatly. A good pair of scissors – There are some jobs the photo trimmer just can’t do. A good, sharp pair of scissors will come in handy.

Photo safe pens – Special pens are sold that are created to be photo safe. Look for pens that say “acid free”, “photo safe” or “archival quality” on them. A photo safe adhesive – Special tape and other adhesives that are photo safe should be purchased. Page protectors – Page protectors are photo safe plastic covers that slip over completed pages. Some albums come with them. If yours does not, buy them. Decorative papers and stickers – These are not essential to creating an album, but many people involved in scrapbooking like to embellish their pages with them. Once you’ve gathered all your supplies, you are ready to get to work. If you need a little inspiration, you can find ideas for your scrapbook on internet sites, in scrapbooking magazines, and from other scrap-bookers.


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