Making the Most of Your Scrapbooking Supplies

If you're just starting out with scrapbooking, you might find yourself surprised at how quickly the cost of scrapbooking supplies adds up. Obviously you want the best quality you can afford, and you certainly don't want to skimp on things that could destroy your photos. However, where can you you cut corners and find cheap scrapbooking supplies -- and where is quality an absolute necessity?

Here are some of the 'must have' items every scrapbooker needs!

1. Acid protector solution

Use this stuff sparingly, but it's absolutely invaluable if you plan to scrapbook newspaper clippings, children's artwork, or anything else that might not be on scrapbook quality paper. A quick spritz of this stuff protects any paper from yellowing and fading. It's not cheap, but a little goes a long way and one can will last you for years.

2. Acid free scrapbook paper

The one area you don't ever want to skimp on is your layout paper. After all, the paper forms the entire background of your scrapbook. You don't have to spend a fortune on fancy patterns, but you must make sure you're using high quality, acid free cardstock.

This can add up -- paper is expensive -- so if you want cheap scrapbooking supplies, I recommend buying plain colors and adding your fancy details in other ways. Also, always buy 12 X 12 sheets. If you prefer scrapbooking 8 X 10, that will leave you tons of scraps to create embellishments.

3. Acid free photo adhesives -- not glue

Even if a gluestick says it's acid free, most experts recommend against using it on photographs. Instead, use photo squares or photo corners. In this age of digital photos, it's not quite as big a deal as it used to be since if your photo gets wrecked, you can just print off a new one. Still, if you put a bunch of work into your scrapbooking, you might as well make sure you protect the results.

4. Acid free scrapbooking stickers and scrapbooking stamps

Stickers and stamps are a scrapbooker's best friends. They are the easiest scrapbook supplies to find and use. Again, you want acid free materials so your stickers won't fade. It's amazing the varieties of scrapbooking stickers and stamps you can find, and they can save you a lot of work hand lettering and drawing, so don't be afraid to use them liberally.

For any other scrapbook supplies you want, you can probably cheap out a bit. A lot of things claim to be acid free. The question you have to ask is, do I really care? If it's something that will look terrible if it fades -- like scrapbook paper or a sticker -- then yes, you probably do. But if it's a white envelope, or a ribbon, what difference does it really make (unless it will actually be in contact with your photo)?

For the items in this article, go high quality and acid free. For all of your other scrapbooking supplies, though, go with the best deal you find.


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