When starting a scrapbook, it is important to decide what type of scrapbook will be made. There are many types. Let’s talk about some of them and the related products (paper, pages, page protectors) here.
1. 12x12 albums: This is one of the most popular types currently. (“Current” being the last 30 years, give or take a few.) Paper for scrapbooking is most often made in this size and allows the scrapbooker a large enough field to create effectively. Because most modern photos are 4x6 inches, a 12x 12 page allows for two photos to sit side by side or three vertically. It also allows for an 8x10 photo with space for embellishments or journaling. There have also been some 12x12 albums that used pages (a base for the layout) that were slightly smaller than 12x12. This meant that the paper had to be trimmed to fit the pages. (Just a little history lesson and a buyer aware notice, check your sizes, make sure they match.) One other benefit to this size is that most 12x12 albums allow for multiple pages and often allow the scrapbooker to add more refill pages than what originally comes with the album.
Page protectors should be very easy to find for 12x12 albums. Be aware that there are different types of these albums. They may be post bound, ring binder or even bound with non-removable pages. Pages can be inserted from the top or the side with the page protectors. This may affect items falling out or how thick the layout can be.
2. Mini albums: Another popular type of album, these albums are smaller in nature than the 12x12. They may be one folded page to many small pages. They can be made with thin papers, cardstock or thicker chipboard. They can be bound albums or held with a ring or ribbons. The pages may be almost any shape, including hearts, letters, animals and many other shapes. One major difference with these albums is that there are most likely not page protectors available for them. This will affect how long the albums last. They may be affected more by sunlight, dust and just general wear and tear from others looking at the albums. Many mini albums are used as gifts.
3. Other size albums: There are other typical sizes for albums. An older style album may be 81/2x11. There are square albums, typically 8x8 or 6x6, but other sizes can be made also. Paper manufacturers do sometimes make paper and page protectors for these size albums. They can be less expensive than the larger albums and still hold together for long periods of time.
It is important to look at how much work it is, how many photos will be needed and how long the album should last. Costs may vary depending on which size is used also. A larger album will typically be more work, use more photos and last longer, while a mini album may be less work, less photos and last only a short while unless steps are taken to preserve the album.