Buy Wisely

Please Log In or Sign Up to add to your favorite resources.

The allure of a good sale can tempt us to spend money on items we think we want but might not use. We’d be better off paying full price for essential scrapbooking items we will actually use than spending our entire budget on the latest fads. It’s important that you buy the right tools the first time around. It will help you save money and, ultimately, it will make your scrapbooking experiences more enjoyable. 

One experienced scrapbooker related the following:

“In my early days of scrapbooking, I made the mistake of acquiring many nonessential tools and supplies. Every time our local scrapbook store had a sale, I was right there, shopping like a madwoman. Besides countless pieces of patterned paper, I bought about 870 stickers, nearly every Fiskars edger ever made, tons of assorted die cuts, and two extra sets of pens - in colors and styles I will never use. Unfortunately, I paid little heed to what products would genuinely enhance my scrapbooking experience.”

It’s more important to get a good product than it is to get a good deal. Start your scrapbooking experience off on the right foot and make sure that your collection includes the basics. Here are a few supplies that I believe every scrapbooker should have: 

The “Essentials” List

1.         Album

2.         Page protectors

3.         Paper

4.         Cardstock

5.         Paper cutter/trimmer

6.         Vellum & Transparencies

7.         Scissors

8.         Exacto knife

9.         Self-healing cutting mat

10.        Adhesives

11.        Ruler

12.        White plastic eraser

13.        Glue eraser

14.        Lettering/Font CD

15.        Black pens

16.        Colored pens or pencils

17.        Grease pencil

18.        Photo corners


Let’s talk about a few of them here:


Page Protectors  

Page protectors shield your layouts from everyday wear and tear while holding them securely in the album. On average you will need about 35 page protectors per 8.5” x 11” or 12” x 12” album. Only use non-vinyl, archival-safe protectors to avoid deterioration of your photos and memorabilia. Page protectors have openings at the top (top-loading) or the side (side-loading) so you can slide your completed layouts inside them. Side-loading protectors open at the spine edge so layouts can’t slip out if the album is dropped or turned upside down. Whether you purchase clear (shiny) or non-glare protectors is up to you. Both offer advantages: clear protectors help your layout colors look true and vivid while non-glare protectors are easier on the eye.

Cardstock (a heavyweight paper)

Cardstock provides a sturdy foundation for your layout photographs, memorabilia, and embellishments. It is versatile and affordable and comes in a variety of colors and textures. Every scrapbooker will want to have a supply of black, white, natural and kraft (the color of a cardboard box) cardstock on hand at all times; these are staple colors used regularly in layouts. For all other colors, I suggest you begin scrapbooking with a varied selection of hues until you get a feel for your own personal style and color preferences. A highly recommended paper company, Bazzill Basics Paper sells cardstock multi-packs. You can get Bazzill cardstock at the Superstore. These multi-packs allow you to sample a variety of cardstock colors in coordinating hues or as monochromatic collections without paying the high cost of single sheets of paper. You might be surprised to learn that the colors you’ll use most in your layouts won’t necessarily be the colors that grab your attention at first glace.


This lesson was taken from A Scrapbooker’s Guide #1: Scrapbooking Fundamentals (An Instant Downloadable E-Book). To purchase a copy today, click here. Use coupon code ART151 and get 10% off the already-low sale price. 

Shop the Superstore


Please log in to view and submit comments.