Start a Scrapbooking Kit

Start a Scrapbooking Kit: Top Ten Must-Haves for Beginner Scrapbookers

Starting a scrapbook is a good way to preserve family memories, but, with so many products to choose from, can be daunting for beginners. Create a start-up kit to help.

There are thousands of scrapbook products on the market, which can be overwhelming for first-time scrapbookers. An online search for scrapbooking supplies can result in over 1,000,000 web sites. Going to a local scrapbooking store can be just as intimidating. Floor-to-ceiling racks of everything from paper to ribbons, stamps to eyelets, inks to chalks… Where do you start? What products will you need? How much will it cost you? It may seem complicated, but with a little planning and a few essentials, even beginners can get the most from this art.

Top Ten Product Must-Haves

Once you have planned your scrapbook, including the size and theme, it is time to go shopping. Here are some products that are must-haves for the beginner.

Scrapbooking1. Paper: Patterned paper and cardstock is the foundation of every scrapbook page. To start, buy a few pages of patterned paper and a couple of coordinating colors of cardstock. Make sure the paper you use is acid and lignin free. (You can find this type of paper in any store specializing in scrapbooking or paper crafts.) Acid and lignin free paper will protect your photos, as well as your layouts, from yellowing and aging.

2. Paper Cutter: In order to get straight lines when cutting paper, you will need a paper cutter. There are many options on the market, but it is recommended that you buy one that will accept 12 x 12 sheets. A good option for beginners is Fiskars 12″ Euro Personal Paper Trimmer.

3. Album: Once you finish a layout, you will need a place to put it. Buy an album that fits the layouts you are working with. Albums can be expensive, so purchase one that has the option of adding pages to it.

4. Adhesive: Every scrapbooker needs adhesive. Adhesive is, literally, the backbone of your page. Again, choose acid free or scrapbook/archival safe adhesives to minimize the chance of deterioration and aging. Double-stick tape and glue sticks are good for adhering paper, and are not as expensive as other options. Glue dots are helpful for adhering heavier, bulkier items and embellishments to your pages, such as buttons, clasps, ribbon, etc. Roll-on glue dispensers are pricey but convenient, allowing you to apply adhesive quickly and efficiently. There are dozens of adhesives available, and you may need to experiment with a few to find one you feel comfortable with.

5. Letter Stickers or Rub-Ons for Titles: Titles can be made on a computer and printed directly onto the layout, but letter stickers or rub-ons can lend a splash of color and a variety of fonts to your titles. They come in a range of sizes and colors, including white and metallics.

6. Brads: Brads come in many different sizes, colors, and even designs. They are relatively cheap and easy to use. (You can insert them in the paper by making a small hole with a needle or 1/16″ hole punch.) Brads give texture and color to your layout and add visual interest.

7. Circle or Square Punch: A circle or square punch can help you make quick tags or titles for your page. With a punch, you get a perfect, uniform shape each time.

8. Chalks or Acrylic Paint: By rubbing a bit of chalk or paint to the edge of a photo or piece of paper, you can create an aged, vintage look instantly. Chalks and paints can also be used to add a splash of color to titles, letter stickers, or patterned papers. Brown or white are good colors to start with as they match any color and are subtle enough not to overpower your papers or photos.

9. Silk Flowers: Silk flowers specially created for scrapbooking add texture and dimension to any layout. Put a brad in the middle to attach the flower to the page.

10. Ribbon: Ribbon can be used anywhere on the layout: in a straight line to underline a title or separate photos, tied in a ribbon or knot to add color and dimension, or stapled to a tag or photo to add a bit of whimsy. Coordinate ribbons to your paper to give the page a put-together look.

Finally, always buy products that are scrapbook/archival safe, so that your memories will stay preserved for years to come.

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