NOTE: As you read through, these essential items, you will see that I am starting to use the common “scrapbooker language” and abbreviations that you will come across regularly. I have put these in bold in each section so that you become familiar with them!! Now, to begin with you need some place that is safe to store your completed works and works in progress.
1. Album As you explore the world of scrapbooking you will see that there are many album options – some of which are tiny, some large, and some can be made by you as part of your scrapbooking project. In terms of starting out, I recommend purchasing an album of some kind. There are many choices for albums depending on your personal tastes and scrapbooking preferences. Here are a few:
* 8.5” x 11”
* 12” x 12”
* mini-albums are available in various sizes such as 6x6
Albums can be bound in different ways. Some common album binding options are:
* Three-ring – a notebook-style metal ring mechanism that holds page protectors in the album. Album contents can be adjusted easily.
* Post-bound – two to three metal screw and bolt-type posts hold album contents into place. The album must be disassembled to add or removed pages. Post bound albums can be expanded into a larger album either by adding in more screw extensions or exchanging the screws out and using the snap-load system which is similar to the strap-hinge (see below).
* Strap-hinge – Though not as prevalent as 3-ring and post-bound albums, these albums have two to three nylon straps than lace through sturdy staples on the pages designed specifically for strap-hinges.
Scrapbook Album Tip: Your album decisions should be based on personal preference. If you are not sure what to do, start with an inexpensive 12x12 as it will still hold your 8x8 and other smaller pages until you really have a feel for the size you enjoy working with the most!
2. Page Protectors are the “sleeves” that your pages will drop/slide into for safe keeping. Many albums come with a few page protectors included. Page protectors keep your layouts from being handled, while still making it easy to view them and hold them all in one place. You will want to buy more protectors as your album grows. Different album manufacturers use various styles of page protectors.
On average, either 8.5” x 11” or 12” x 12”albums will hold 35 full page protectors. If you use a lot of embellishments of memorabilia, and create thicker layouts (LO’s), your album will not be able to hold as many pages. It is important to use only archival-safe protectors to avoid damaging your photos and memorabilia. Page protectors are available in either clear (shiny) or non-glare protectors. Clear protectors best show off the true colors in your layouts (LO’s) while non-glare protectors are easier on the eye as they reflect less light off the page while you are viewing it.
Scrapbook Page Protector Tip: It is important you either buy extra page protectors at the time of purchasing your album, or make sure when you are ready to buy more page protectors that you buy ones that are made by the same manufacturer as the album you are putting them in.
3. Cardstock (CS) is the heavier weight solid coloured paper that is often used as a background or to support the rest of your layout. It is versatile and affordable. There are hundreds of colors available that make it possible to create beautiful color combinations in layouts. There are different kinds of cardstock (CS) including some various textures, and you can also get cardstock (CS) with coloured, black or white cores. When you rip the edge of your cardstock (CS) or sand a layer away, the middle core will appear – and depending on the type of cardstock, it could be a different colour then that of the outside.
Every scrapbooker needs a supply of black, white, and neutral CS as they are used quite often. Until you become comfortable with your personal preferences and scrapbooking style, I suggest you purchase a multi-pack of various colours that you feel you would use – look through some of your photographs and see what colours you are most attracted to. Often you will want to match the colours in your photos with your papers so this is a good starting point! Once your supply of a particular multi-pack color is depleted, you can restock with individual sheets of CS or purchase packs.
Scrapbook CS Tip: CS is also available in single sheets so choose just a few sheets to start with – basing your choice on a set of photos that you wish to scrap first!!
4. Patterned Paper (PP) adds more color, movement and theme support to your layouts and is half the fun of scrapbooking!! Every scrapbooker needs a good selection of paper with patterns and/or shapes. Feel free to mix and match patterns and colours. There is no need to stick with one manufacturer or one colour palette as there is much overlap in the colours and patterns available. The most important thing about all your papers (and embellishments) is that they are ACID FREE – so beyond that, anything goes!! Most often, companies will have an entire line of coordinating products –including patterned paper (PP), embellishments, fibers, die cuts, stickers etc. .
Scrapbook PP Tip: Some companies even make kits from their coordinating paper lines which can be a good place to start for a beginner – especially if you aren’t sure about your scrapping style just yet!!
5. Adhesives are used to hold everything in place on your layout. There are so many kinds of adhesives that I am sure I will miss mentioning some of them here!! Adhesives are available in double-sided tabs and tapes, liquids, and glue sticks. The type of adhesive you choose depends on what you are gluing and where you are gluing it. Be sure you choose adhesives that are scrapbook friendly they will be acid free.
Another very important consideration is to NEVER put adhesive on an original heirloom photo or snapshot. This can ruin the photo which is irreplaceable and we don’t want that happening to you!!!! We are there to preserve those special memories…. Not ruin them!!
A. Photo Corners, as you might recall were used years ago as the only way to adhere photos to an album page!! Well they are back and are relatively popular because they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours, like white, pastel, black and metallic gold and silver, as well as pastels like light blue, light green, pink and even clear. I mention these as an option to using any adhesives directly on old or heirloom photos. They make a great way to adhere older photos directly to your pages, as the photos can be removed from between the photo corners very easily.
B. Tab or Strip (ATG) Adhesives are the most commonly used scrapbook adhesives and the most basic of the necessities you will need when starting out as a scrapper. The tab adhesives are ½ inch squares, double sided, sticky on both sides. They can be rolled out from a dispenser or placed on a surface by hand. Usually the tabs are permanent however, you can gently lift them without doing much damage if you are careful and do it quickly enough so they haven’t been firmly attached.
The strip adhesive is more like a glue strip that must be applied directly to the paper. This type of tape runner can be both permanent and temporary. Adhesive tape runners leave behind a continuous tacky strip when dragged across a surface. It can be removed if you carefully rub it as it is similar to rubber cement in that way. These tape strips are great for applying adhesive to round or shaped objects as you are not restricted to making a straight line with tape gun. An ATG or Adhesive Transfer Gun, is a quick and easy way to dispense adhesive tape. The tape itself is supported by a backing film and is a pressure-sensitive adhesive pre-applied to a special liner. The gun allows the tape to be applied cleanly and easily. There any many kinds of strip or ATG adhesives: Scotch Adhesive Transfer Tape Dispenser, Scrapbooking Adhesives EZ Tape Runner, and Tombow Permanent Tape.
Both of these kinds of dispensers have refills that you can purchase, so you are not throwing away the entire “handle”. You simply empty the paper the tabs or strips are attached too and drop in a replacement refill cartridge.
C. Liquid adhesives such as – Zip Dry, Mono-multi liquid glue, Tombo mono liquid glue pen, Zig memory system glue pen, Scotch quick dry etc. Liquids go on clear – or with only a small tint that disappears as it dries - and give you smooth even coverage. This type of adhesive is great when adding small embellishments as you have good control over the amount of glue you dispense, especially with the glue pens.
D. Glue sticks – such as Scotch brand, UHU, are a very basic adhesive for scrapbooking. They are inexpensive and go a long way. That is the pro side. The con side is the sticky finger part, which is not exactly an advantage when using it to glue photos. Personally, I have found over the years that items glued with glue stick haven’t held up well and some of my embellishments actually dry out and come loose from the page. As a beginner it is ok to try out glue sticks but down the road I would invest in other different kinds of glue.
E. Xyron is an adhesive inside of a Xyron machine that will attach a sticky side to the bottom of any item that you run through it. There are a wide variety of sizes and types of adhesive if offers and it works without heat. It can be used for almost any type of flat embellishment, paper or photo. Although I have never used a Xyron I know they are quite popular and have a few friends who use and love them!!
F. Glue Dots come in various sizes and thicknesses and are made by many different companies. They are great for adhering all kind of embellishments. These are very strong and are great for non-porous or heavy embellishments including buttons, ribbons, photos, flowers, metal embellishments, letters, etc. Make sure that you don't try to peel the dot off of the paper. Take whatever you would like to stick and push onto the dot and it will automatically peel itself off and stick to your embellishment or photo. They usually come on a plastic roll or a sheet. Some are made for use with specific paper types such as Vellum adhesives. These are very small and are almost impossible to see through the Vellum and are called Glue Dots for Vellum (Note: Vellum is a very opaque/semi-clear paper that is used in scrapbooking.)
As mentioned, glue dots also come in various thicknesses called pop dots – and we are going to look at these at their own category.
Scrapbook Adhesive Tip: When you use any kind of adhesive, remember that less is more. It isn’t generally necessary to coat the entire back side of anything you glue to a layout. Just because an adhesive comes out in a strip doesn’t mean you have to put it all along a paper edge. You can put a little in each corner and some in the center, and it will stay in place. However, if the piece you are gluing is bulky and/or heavy, you may need more adhesive.
6. Pop Dots are a small piece of foam about 1/8 inch deep with glue on both sides so they can be use to adhere an embellishment to a page and help it “pop up” or lift off the page to give it extra dimension. They can be either round or square. Usually purchased in the Regular 1/2 inch size, there are also also Mini Pop Dots available at 1/4 inch wide. If you have something too small for the size, these can always be cut up into smaller pieces. You can also use multiple Pop Dots to add various levels of height to your project.
Similar to Pop Dots is foam tape. The difference is that the tape comes on a roll and can often be found in wider widths than the larger ½ inch pop dots. The similarity is that it still has the dimension of a Pop Dot and the foam tape can be layered to give different heights just like the pop dots can.
Scrapbook Pop dot Tip: If you have used up a sheet of Circle pop dots, don’t forget you still have the foam & tape left from around the Pop Dots. These pieces can be cut and used and it’s okay because no one will actually see the back of the item you are attaching with the Pop Dot leftovers.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope you come next week for part two!!