Scrapbooking 101: The basic tools

A while back I was reading an article about getting started with scrapbooking and it made me so mad! There were so many extras listed, so much fuss – and really scrapbooking is this simple:

paper + glue + photos + album

You could, in theory, scrapbook without so much as a pair of scissors. Not that I recommend the approach, but my point is that it does not need to become this huge beast of a hobby! You can keep it as simple as you like. As I revamp and revisit my own scrapbooking habits I also want to share with you a series of articles that I hope will shed light and possibly help you if you are someone getting into this hobby. Note that affiliate links are used in this article. Long time scrapbooker? Do add your tips and suggestions to the comments!

The tools I recommend

  • Good cardstock – acid free, thick/high quality
  • Paper Trimmer -Fiskars Rotary for longevity, cheap ‘chip blade’ style any brand if just going for short term use
  • Quality Scissors -Fiskars
  • Acid Free adhesive- tape runner of your choosing and PPA liquid
  • Archival black journaling pen
  • Ring bound scrapbook album in the size/format of your choice (watch for my “how to decide the size” article coming soon!)

You can find most of the items I mentioned at a local craft or scrapbook store, or online. I have linked most of my picks (and I always am adding!) on my Amazon craft suggested products list as well. Want to take it a bit further and beyond absolute basic? Next steps I would get into:

  • Black, white, metallic colored alphabet stickers
  • a “pack” or “kit” of coordinated paper and embellishments that goes with a current batch of photos/project you’re working on
  • Black archival ink and 1 word/phrase stamp set to see if you’ll use it!

What do I not recommend? For scrapbooking or any new hobby, don’t dive in wallet first. While things like paper punches or stamps or piles of patterned paper and stickers might seem appealing, you may discover that you prefer digital scrapbooking, a clean style, or even that you’d prefer making your own custom embellishments with an electronic die cutting machine! Save money and stretch your creativity especially at the start.

I think of it like when I’m shopping for clothes. Oh sure I love lots of purses or bracelets or shoes or fancy tops… but will I use them? Actually wear them? That difference between “ooh I like —” and “I will use —” is a key thing to know, watch, and respect as you shop for your crafting supplies to be sure.

In this series of articles I will be covering how to work with a limited set of supplies, design basics, work flow and album organization, and much more! I hope you’ll stay tuned and I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Please do feel free to let me know topics you’d like me to cover in the future as well.

2 thoughts on “Scrapbooking 101: The basic tools”

  1. May you are awesome! Thanks for taking his task on. I think it is a much needed topic. 😁

  2. I really agree … i wish i had not gone so crazy when I first started and just bought what I needed as I needed it

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