So… you’ve decided to start scrapbooking.
We love the thrill of turning a blank page into a beautiful one, full of memories and craft. Scrapbooking is fun, cheap and a great way to commemorate certain events, relationships and periods in your life.
But when you’re starting out, it can be a little overwhelming. What scrapbooking supplies do I need? And where do I get scrapbook ideas from?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve compiled a list of the basic essentials you need to get started with scrapbooking, as well as some more exciting and advanced scrapbook accessories to buy once you’re sure that you want to really develop this hobby.
Let’s get down to it.
Scrapbooking Supplies: The Essentials
First things first, you must buy what might be the two most important scrapbooking supplies.
Paper and an album.
Without these, you won’t really be scrapbooking, so they’re definitely a must buy!
Before you simply opt for the cheapest paper available, you should think about exactly what you want from your scrapbooking base.
Ideally, the paper should be acid and lignin-free. This will ensure that it stays in pristine condition for as long as possible, instead of yellowing and curling at the corners like cheap paper will do.
Next, consider what you want your scrapbooking paper to look like. Should it be elegant, thick cardstock? Or perhaps a more zany patterned paper will be better?
As experienced scrapbookers, we recommend that you use cardstock as your base paper. It’s the best material to stick other scrapbook accessories to you, and it will lend a more professional look to your work at the same time. We prefer to use patterned paper in smaller doses, often using it for borders and the occasional ‘character’ page.
Amazingly, you can buy some incredible patterned cardstock to use in your scrapbooking. We can’t get enough of them! See Cardstock Selection on Amazon
Now to one of the most exciting scrapbook accessories you’ll want to buy… the album. As the cover to your scrapbooking pages, the album you choose should reflect the theme you want to work on.
Whether you’re compiling a scrapbook about your travels, your baby, your boyfriend or adventures with friends, you’ll want something that suits the actual scrapbook content. See Scrapbook Albums on Amazon
Another important tool in your scrapbooking supplies kit is a pair of high quality scissors.
These should be comfortable to use for long periods of time and precisely sharp enough for intricate patterns and small details. You don’t want to be tearing up delicate material with your kitchen scissors!
While stainless steel is the most common blade material, some of the more innovative scissors will be plated with chrome or titanium for additional strength and durability.
Personally, we tend to choose smaller size scissors that are good for both trimming and cutting out designs.
Specialist sewing scissors are often the best choices because they’re specifically designed to handle delicate crafts. See Craft Scissors on Amazon
Another scrapbooking essential you’ll need to buy is glue to actually stick your crafts onto your cardstock.
But before you rush off to buy some nursery school Pritt Stick, hold your horses: the best glue for scrapbooking is actually small bottles of the stuff, glue dots or little tape dispensers instead.
These allow you to precisely adhere your scrapbooking crafts together, without getting horrible bits of glue all over your beautiful artwork.
Plus, these high quality adhesives should last for years, rathers than days. You don’t want to open a scrapbook up in 5 years only to find that all the glue has come unstuck and your crafts are falling to pieces, right? See Craft Glue on Amazon
The final essential of the scrapbook accessories you need to buy are pens. Pens are really the icing on the top of the scrapbook cake. They can add little details, chunks of text and even can be used for additional artwork within the pages.
Before you buy, make sure that you’re looking at pens that are:
See Craft Pens on Amazon
- Made with pigmented ink
So, now you’ve got all your essential scrapbooking supplies, you’re probably wondering what else you need to get in order to become a full pro scrapbooker. Well, first of all, we suggest that you start small.
Like with all crafts, it’s easy to get carried away and buy loads of different scrapbook accessories and machines that you may not ever end up using.
By starting small, with just a few of the essentials that we’ve pinpointed above, you’ll be able to expand your repertoire wider once you know how you like to scrapbook and how often you use certain materials and accessories.
Although, we have to admit, there’s nothing more inspiring or that gives us more scrapbook ideas than buying more supplies!
Anyway, here’s a few ‘value added’ items that we really love to use when scrapbooking, and that we think you’ll love too. They’re not essential, but they’re certainly useful in taking your scrapbooks to the next level!
Craft Cutting Machines
Now, as you may be able to tell from the rest of our site, we are devoted to craft cutters. Vinyl cutting machines, die cutters… whatever you like to call them.
And what’s more, they are the ultimate in scrapbook accessories. Not only will they be able to create and cut out much more complex designs than our mere hands will ever be able to do, but they’ll do it incredibly accurately and precisely.
Owning a craft cutter immediately opens you up to a world of crafting opportunities and designs that you’re unlikely to find when it’s just you and a pair of scissors.
The best craft cutters can cut hundreds of different materials, draw, emboss, stipple and much more.
This whole site is devoted to all the craft cutting machines out there, but we’ve picked out a few machines that are particularly well suited to scrapbooking.
Cricut Explore Air 2
The Explore Air 2 is the latest craft cutter from Cricut and it’s really one of the best scrapbook accessories we can think of.
It can cut over 100 materials, can cut and draw at the same time, offers precision cutting with its premium German carbide blade and has a host of automatic settings for over 80 materials. Read Our Full Review of Cricut Explore Air 2 Check Current Price
Silhouette Cameo 3
The Cameo 3 is a hugely popular cutting machine from Silhouette that rivals the Cricut Explore Air 2 above. It’s got a touchscreen, great design software, can cut and draw at the same time, and has an AutoBlade to automatically calibrate settings for different materials.
It’s not quite as fast as the Explore Air 2, but it can cut much bigger designs. Read Our Full Review of Silhouette Cameo 3 Check Current Price
Sizzix Big Shot
The Sizzix Big Shot is a cult classic in the world of die cutters and is a perennial favorite among scrapbookers.
You can use a host of dies and embossing folders to create gorgeous small sized paper crafts with this low cost machine. Check Current Price
See Photo Printers on Amazon
If you love including photos within your scrapbook pages, then another good optional purchase is a high quality photo printer.
Printers are getting better and better with every passing year, and you can now buy portable ones that are even compatible with your phone for super quick printing.
Another exciting (and cheap) scrapbooking supplies purchase is the embellishments you’re going to use to put the finishing touches on your pages.
What exactly these are will totally depend upon your aesthetic tastes. Personally, we love ribbons, stamps, stickers and frames.
The right embellishments — providing you don’t use too many — ensure that you end up with a truly beautiful scrapbook, that’s personal and artful.
We always find that we inevitably buy loads and loads of embellishments and don’t end up using all of them so, as we said earlier, start small and build up your collection slowly.
You can also buy scrapbooking kits that come with embellishments too, if you so desire.
See Embellishments on Amazon
See Page Protectors on Amazon
Now that you’ve compiled your scrapbooks, you need to work out the best way to store them. And not only to simply store them, but to keep them looking as good in 10 years as they do today.
Firstly, make sure that you store your scrapbooks upright on your shelves to keep the inner pages from fading under the pressure. And secondly, use page protectors.
Page protectors do exactly what they say on the tin: protect the pages of your scrapbook.
Because scrapbooks are something that we often keep forever, they’re very susceptible to wear and tear, collecting dust and dirt as the years go by, and before you know it, you’ve got curling corners and torn photos.
Many scrapbook albums already come with page protectors included, but if yours doesn’t, you will need to buy them separately and insert them yourself.
Like with all of your scrapbooking supplies, make sure they’re acid free for optimal longevity!
Scrapbooking Supplies: Storage
Now that you’ve got all the scrapbook accessories you could ever possibly need, you’re probably wondering where on earth you’re going to store everything.
Unless you’re blessed with a huge craft room to store all your supplies and embellishments, you’re going to need a tight little storage facility that can hold everything you own while being easy to navigate and find stuff.
Thankfully, these don’t have to cost an arm and a leg: there are plenty of plastic craft storage boxes on Amazon, as well as bigger and more expensive premium units. See Craft Storage Boxes on Amazon
Scrapbook Ideas and Inspiration
Our last section isn’t about traditional scrapbook supplies that you need to buy, but rather whether to look online for some inspirational scrapbook ideas.
Sometimes we have a creative block where we can’t come up with any new designs or any beautiful new scrapbook ideas.
For these times, we turn to our favorite scrapbooking blogs for inspiration.
Here are a small handful of the best:
Phew — now that’s everything we can think of in terms of the scrapbooking supplies you need to get started.
What scrapbook accessories would you add to our list?
Looking to get inspired for your next craft project? Check out our Inspiration board packed full of freebies, cut files and craft deals for every occasion!