Choosing an Album

Remember that basic binders or albums are a simple way of starting a scrapbook. However, if you want to create integrated themes and add a lot of elements to embellish the album, this will take more effort on your behalf because you'll have to buy all of the details yourself. With a scrapbook kit, a themed package of supplies is provided, including stencils, borders, decorative paper, stickers, stamps, and cardstock. This is a great way to get started experimenting with new techniques and styles. Plus, even if you don't use all the items for the current project that you're working on, you can always find a use for the extras at a later date.


The design of an album has to do with several aspects, from the cover look, to the colors used, and even the materials with which the album is constructed. Each element should be reflective of the theme or aura that you want the scrapbook to have; what story you want the album to tell. * '''Colors''' ** Something in solid black, gray, navy, burgundy, or hunter green can convey a feeling of importance and seriousness. This can be appropriate for heritage books. You can also try a black book for an album with exclusively black and white photos. ** Bright colors and bold patterns are fun and universal, and great for kids. These might also be used for books that highlight a vacation or books that emphasize a child's scholastic journey. ** Pastels are best for baby books, weddings, and Easter themes. Pastels may also work well when used as a "tender moments" album. * '''Cover Design''' ** You may opt for an album with a picture frame on the cover to give a suggestion to what the album contains. ** Designs, such as florals, are wonderful for family heritage albums, as are classic solids. * '''Materials''' ** Leather is formal, classic, refined and long lasting. It is excellent for graduations, honeymoons, travel, and any other event that holds significant importance. ** Cloth is casual and relaxed, adding texture and dimension to a scrapbook. It can be used in a wide variety of themes and take on myriad colors or cover designs. The only drawback is that it can become dirty over time. ** Plastic is most often printed with designs and patterns. it can take on many looks, but will essentially always feel like plastic. ** Metal covers tend to have an artistic feel to them and can be severe. Excellent for making scrapbooks with black and white photos.


Choosing an album theme to get started is easy. Here are just a few fun ideas to get you started.


When shopping for albums you should be wary of the size that you need. This may seem obvious, but you'll be surprised how much a 40 page album will fit in it. Seriously consider the scope of your project before committing to an album. For small projects, an 8.5x11" album is a good size. More reasonable for the majority of projects is something slightly oversized, such as 12x12". Not only will you have more room for playing with the layout, but you will also have the most advantages for decorating with different paper when it comes to adding pages to your album.


There are four basic types of albums to choose from and part of selecting one will have to do with how you want the end product to be. Is this an ongoing project? Is it intended as a gift? Do you have a particular theme planned? How much will one cost over the other? Do you like the colors, designs, theme, and paper used in the style you want?


It's good to have a few pairs of scissors for different tasks. A straight edge pair is essential for cropping photos, making cut-outs, and more. Having a large one is good for some things, but also, a small one that can cut fine details is also handy. You might also want to invest in pinking shears or paper punchers. Creative punchers, sometimes called paper shapers, can decorate page corners or create paper cutouts useful for decorating empty space and enhancing your album's theme. Make sure to keep them in good shape by punching them through wax paper to lubricate them and aluminum foil to sharpen them when needed. ! In addition to scissors, having a cutting mat is great when you scrapbook often. It helps keep the surface of your working surface safe from cuts. Plus, with a cutting mat you can use an exacto knife or a cutting knife to get very straight lines with a ruler. It is a good alternative to investing in a paper cutter. * Kushgrip Scissors * Fiskars Shape Cutters * Tonic Studio Punches * Corner Adorner Punch


There are several different types of adhesives that you can use to adhere photos and objects into your scrapbooks. Here are the most popular kinds.

Templates and Rulers

Rulers are practically essential. They help you cut straight, clean lines and they are also useful for lining up your page design. Templates are basically stencils and other pattered plastic pieces that can be used to create die cuts, embellishments, page corners, embossing, and embellishing. They're also helpful for decorating your page. Template guides with eyelets simply lie over the page, keeping it flat so that you can punch or mark the page as needed. Check out these useful products: * Fiskar ShapeBoss Ultimate Embossing System * Eyelet Friend * EK Success Plan-a-Page

Pens and Pencils

Pens and pencils are necessary to mark the page before cutting or placing anything. Chalk or pastels can also be used, but you'll have to be very careful with them since they are prone to smudging and smearing. These are great to have around because they're all-purpose craft supplies that you can use for other projects. Use fixative to make chalk, charcoal and pastel images stay; while there are great industrial craft fixatives available, you can use hairspray in a pinch. Writing implements are useful not only for writing, labeling, and captioning, but they can also be used to draw patterns, designs, or symbols. If you are really artistic you can draw themed pictures instead of pasting cut-outs or stickers on a page. This can add a more personal, individual touch to your album, especially when it's being made as a gift. Colored pens are especially fun on black paper. Also try gold and silver pens for special occasion albums.

Additional Tools

Of course, pens, albums, scissors and stencils aren't all you need to make a scrapbook. Consider some of the items below, from basics like paper to cute little extras like stickers. 

 Related Guides

* Paper Crafts * Scrapbook Stickers * Embossing  * Art Markers * Scrapbooking Paper