Getting Started - Basic Scrapbooking Supplies

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Some tips on what supplies and tools you need to get started scrapbooking. The list will cover the very basics, and also give some suggestions for items to give your page a bit of a kick start.


There are several types of scapbooking albums, for a detailed guide about albums, please see Types of Scrapbook Albums. Below is a brief summary:
  • Post-Bound Albums - These are one of the most common types of albums. They are made up a front and back cover, with a number of post down the spine. The number of posts depends on the size of the album. Most usually come with 10 "pages". The pages are a two part system. The first is a plastic sleeve, which opens at the top. The second part is a blank white or black cardstock page which is slipped into the sleeve. You can add more sleeves to the album by removing a cover and adding them to the album. It is usually possible to by packets of 10 "refill" pages.
  • Strap-hinge Albums - are made up of a front and back cover. Each page has two staples sticking out the side edge. To connect the pages to the album, flexible plastic straps are passed through the staples. Most strap-hinge albums also come with plastic page protectors. These slip on from the side of the page.
  • Ring Binder - These are similar to the ring binder albums you use at school or find in office supply shops. They come in a variety of styles, 3 or 4 rings or D-ring styles. They also come in a variety of sizes. These albums use a sleeve and page system similar to post-bound albums.


When buying  papers , you want to keep a couple of things in mind. You want acid free and lignin free paper. Acid in the paper will discolour your photos (eg the yellow spots you see on photos in sticky albums). Lignin will turn any paper you have yellow (like old newspapers).
  • Basic Paper - for mats, frames, etc - lightweight paper in plain colours or patterned papers with printed designs.
  • Cardstock - is a light weight cardboard, mainly used for the background of the pages but it can also be used for decorating the pages as well.
  • Specialty Papers - these come in a large variety styles. These include vellums, hand-made papers, textured papers etc. These are not essential, but can add a bit of pizzaz to your pages.

Cutting Tools

  • Regular Scissor
  • Portable 12" Paper Trimmer - This item is not essential but is very handy if you are going to do alot of cutting, eg paper into strips for borders.
  • Exacto Knife


There are a huge variety of  adhesives availabe for scrapbooking. Again, look for something that is acid free. Photo tabs are a good start. If you will be working with heritage photos, or photos that you don't have the negatives for, I would recommend the use of photo corners. This will minimize any possible damage to the images.

Pens/Writing Equipment

Scrapbooks need a story, this means journalling. When yo first start out, the best and cheapest way to journal is using a pen.
  • Pencil, Sharpener and Eraser
  • Archival Pen - the easiest to get hold of are usually black. This is a good basic pen to have. You can get other colours later. Get a pigment ink pen, these are waterproof and fadeproof.
  • Ruler - use the pencil and ruler to draw the lines for your journalling

I hope you've found this guide useful. If you have, please take the time to vote for the guide. If you have any questions not answered in the guide or suggestions for other guides (I love writing them!), please click on my username in the top right hand corner to send me a message.

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