Scrapbooking Made Simple – Supplies

Over the past few years, scrapbooking has grown into a multi-million dollar industry with an almost infinite number of products that can be used in creating the perfect scrapbook page of memories. With so many fun gadgets, embellishments and supplies coming out every day, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially for a beginner.

In an effort to make your first scrapbooking experience a little easier, I’ve come up with a list of “basic” supplies that will allow you to create simple but attractive pages.

Basic Supplies

Photo Album

Albums come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges, from tiny little 2″ by 3″ pocket books to the standard 12″ x 15″ three-ring binder type. Before purchasing a photo album, you might want to consider what you will be using it for and where you plan on storing it. For wedding pictures a large formal display album might be exactly right while your photos of that Hawaiian vacation might work better in something more fun and less imposing.

Feel free to start off with a simple three-ring binder. You can always upgrade as you gather more pages.

Page Protectors

Page protectors usually come in the standard 12″x 12″ size and fit one 12″ x 12″ sheet of cardstock. Other styles are divided up into compartments that can fit six 4″x 6″ photographs, or a variety of other sizes. Page protectors help keep your layouts intact and prevent scratching and damage to your photographs.

Paper and Cardstock

Start off with a package of multicolored cardstock that contains a minimum of four sheets of each color. Then as you find out what colors you tend to use the most, you can purchase packages with only those shades.

Choose just a few sheets of coordinating patterned paper, and buy it as you go along. Patterned paper can be bought as individual sheets or in themed groups. They tend to go in and out of popularity, so it’s best to either stick with very basic styles or buy what you need for each project.

Adhesives & Glue

There are lots of products available to fasten your photos to the page. Please avoid using hot glue guns because the adhesive will dehydrate over time, and liquid glue tends to get messy and seep through the paper. Glue dots, photo squares and glue sticks are all excellent choices.

Scissors and Paper Cutters

You will want a good pair of small sharp scissors only to be used for scrapbooking. A 12″ portable paper trimmer is also a good investment, as is a ruler and a basic oval template. With these four products, you should be able to keep your paper and photo edges looking clean and professional.

Pens and Inks

There are a huge variety of products to choose from in pens and inks, but to start out you really only need a few. A black gel pen for writing on light paper and photos, a white gel pen to use on the darker backgrounds, a good white eraser and a red-eye pen to correct the blood-shot eye look caused by some camera flashes.


These are the small additions that can give your pages that extra wow factor, and are also the products that are the easiest to over spend on. When you’re starting off, think simple. A package of stickers that matches the theme of your pages and a set of alphabet letters will get you off to a good start.

Alicia D. Walker

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