What does a beginning scrapbooker need to make a book? Most begin with an album, photos, journaling, a few basic tools and scrapbook supplies. Most of these supplies can be inexpensive while still being of good quality. The scrapbook can be as simple as photos in an album or extravagant using tools and embellishments. A basic description of the items mentioned is below.
Albums – There is any number of sizes and covers available. The most popular is 12” x 12” or 8 ˝” x 11”. Many use smaller books to make mini-albums, as well. The covers can be different colors or materials. There are also different systems to hold the pages in, such as d-ring or post.
Photos - There may be any number of photos from entire bins to a few favorites. In either case, decide on which photos to start with. If there are a lot of photos, they can be sorted by date or event or even by who or what is in the photo. Some scrapbooks may be just photos inserted into an album.
Journaling - Many people add short notes, formally called journaling, to a simple album. This way, when someone looks at the book will be able to identify people in the photos or learn the stories that the scrapper wants to tell. It is possible to just stop here and have a wonderful scrapbook.
Basic Tools - Scrapbookers usually begin with some kind of cutting tool, either scissors and/or a cutter, and adhesive.
Cutters - There are many types of cutters available at varying costs. It could be a large guillotine or a small picture cutter. Most commonly used is a 12” cutter, because of the paper size that is most common, the 12” x 12” sheet. These can be inexpensive and usually offer replacement blades, if needed.
Scissors - Most scrapbookers will also want a good pair of sharp scissors. These don’t have to be expensive, but best to have a short blade and sharp tip. That’s good for cutting small items.
Adhesives - Because photos tend to age, fade or deteriorate with time, it’s best to use materials that are acid free to limit deterioration. Adhesives can be thin, liquid, rubbery or any number of formats. It all depends on what you are trying to stick together. Some start with double sided tape or a little fancier, tape runners (rolls of double sided tape in a dispenser.)
Basic Scrapbook Supplies - Scrapbookers may use paper, stamps and other embellishments to create beautiful, decorated layouts.
Paper – This is another item that should be acid free and also lignin free to prevent deterioration of the photos. There are so very many styles and designs of paper available, it may take some time to decide which to use. They could all be matching design or colors or they could be coordinating patterns. Cardstock, which is a thicker paper, can also be added to the design. It makes a great backing for the layout because of its extra thickness. Papers can also have texture, which adds another design element to the layout.
Stamps – Remember the old wooden stamps? They’re still out there and now there are also acrylic (or see-through) stamps. Choose sentiments, alphabets or any number of designs. Add embossing powder and heat for some texture. Or some people color in the stamped designs with markers or pencils. (Again, check to see if the products are acid free.) If the layout calls for something a little more than simple stamping, there are many stamping techniques that can be used.
Embellishments – These are the wow of the layout. They could be stickers, buttons, rub ons, ribbons, metal objects, pearls, glitter or any number of other items – even items found around the house could be used as embellishments. They can add dimension or color or even design elements. If the layout looks plain, look at the embellishments.
Remember, a scrapbook CAN be as simple as a few pictures in an album. Or, it can be an art project that tells a whole story. It’s all about personal choice. Try not to make it too complicated to start, that way you can enjoy scrapbooking for a long time. And have fun trying new tools, techniques, papers and embellishments to get different looks for your layouts.