You've chosen your what?

getting started Mar 04, 2021

Album, check!  Now what...?

So, you have your album in hand and you’re ready to start filling it up with lots of pictures and creative expression. I’m so excited for you!

Let's talk paper!

It is time to start thinking about loading up your new album with all sorts of fun memories and stories. First things first, you will need paper to create on. When choosing the paper for your pages, there are a few things that you want to take into consideration. There are lots of amazing paper options to choose from, but you need to look for a few important features when making your decision. You want to make sure that the paper you choose is both acid free and lignin free.

What does that mean exactly?

Acid free means the pH in the paper is 7.0 or higher; which basically means your paper will last longer. Lignin is a naturally occurring acid found in some papers. You will want to avoid these also. Acid free and lignin free papers will say so on the package. Most papers found in the scrapbooking section of the craft store are both acid and lignin free.

Think about your background pages as a blank canvas!

When choosing your page backgrounds you can go with either a plain white or neutral colored background or colorful pieces of patterned paper. In my opinion, the plain neutral paper offers the most flexibility, because you can dress it up any way you would like. This paper is called card stock and tends to be a little thicker than patterned paper. You can buy packs of solid white, black or other neutral colors. They usually come in packages of 8.5″ x 11″ and 12″ x 12″. We will talk more about patterned paper shortly.

Color me beautiful!

Next we have multi-colored pieces of card stock. These also offer many opportunities for decorating and jazzing things up. When you start with a specific color of card stock though, it starts to narrow your design choices a little. Now you will want to try to either match or contrast those design choices. For example, if the subject in your photos is wearing a bright blue shirt then a bright blue background might be a fun choice to use for your page.

Card stock comes in lots of different colors. You can purchase a variety pack of colors or packages of just a single color. I buy both so I have lots of options. The most popular sizes to buy cardstock in are 8.5″ x 11″ and 12″ x 12″.

It comes in patterns?!

Another option for your page background is patterned paper. You can use it whole or it can be used to accent your page by cutting it into pieces. Cutting it apart also allows you to stretch it out and often use it on more than one page. It is a lot of fun because it comes in all sorts of beautiful patterns, colors, and themes. It can really help to set the mood for your page. The thickness of patterned paper varies based on who makes it. The thicker paper is usually higher quality.

You can purchase patterned paper in both 8.5″ x 11″ and 12″ x 12″ sizes. You can purchase it in single sheets or in a package of similar pieces that usually coordinate by color family or theme. Patterned paper offers a lot of bang for your buck and can really add personality and flair to your scrapbook pages.

Let’s talk about keeping your work safe

Now that we have chatted about paper and all its fun options, let’s talk about keeping that paper safe and protected. You can purchase page protectors to slide your pages into once you have finished creating them. Page protectors offer a safety net against spills, dust and the wear and tear that comes with simply handling your albums.

Not everyone chooses to use page protectors, but I am a big fan. I figure after I invest the time and energy into creating a page that I want to keep it safe! You can find protectors that are top loading; meaning you slide your paper into an opening at the top. You can also find side loading protectors; you add your pages in from the side.

This is what a page inside of a protector looks like. This one loads from the top and is now ready to be added to my new album! You can also purchase page protectors that are divided into pockets, This is a whole other category of scrapping that I think we will save for another day!

Off to a great start

Ok, that should explain the mystery of scrapbooking paper and it’s partner the page protector. If you have any questions, or would just like to chat more about paper, I would be happy to! Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email!

Come on back tomorrow and we will discuss some of the exciting tools that will make your scrapbooking hobby more fun and productive!

Have a scrappy day!