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Scrapbooking has always been my way of documenting all the special events and happenings in our family. It is my way of treasuring and preserving for lifetime all the stories behind every photos. It is definitely a hobby which I appreciate very much because it doesn’t only helps me de-stress my everyday activities, but also lets me to be me, me, me. I have been in scrapbooking business since 2011 and I would really say, it has become my passion.
“Scrapbooking is a method for preserving personal and family history in the form of a scrapbook. Typical memorabilia include photographs, printed media, and artwork. Scrapbook albums are often decorated and frequently contain extensive journaling.”
– source: Wikipedia.org
While it is being one of the most expensive hobbies, it has always been the most and commonly practiced one in many parts of the world. And I am really hooked into it…
Furthermore, scrapbooking, for me, is always associated with paper crafting.
“Paper craft is the collection of art forms employing paper or card as the primary artistic medium for the creation of three-dimensional objects. It is the most widely used material in arts and crafts. It lends itself to a wide range of techniques, as it can for instance be folded, cut, glued, molded, stitched, or layered.”
– source: Wikipedia.org
Regardless if you are into scrapbooking or paper crafting, you will always come across with some tools and some supplies to make them happen. The next texts that you are going to read on are some of the basic and essential tools which you can use to get started with scrapbooking. I will also share with you my personal preferences and tips which were learnt from my experiences.
1. Cardstock/ Patterned Papers. I think this is the most important item you can’t live without when you enter the world of scrapbooking. Papers for this kind should be acid- free. I’ll say that again, a-c-i-d- f-r-e-e. If you want your memorabilia to last for a lifetime, choose something that does not react with external factors like moisture or dusts that can change to yellowish color, then will become brittle and eventually will deteriorate over time. There are a lot of good brands of card stocks out there but my personal favorite is from American Crafts. Why? Maybe it is because it is always available where I used to live. And there is a variety of card stocks that you can choose from. If you want textured or smooth cardstock or white-core card stocks, they have it.
Usually, I use textured card stocks when I make scrapbook albums as a background paper and the smooth one for embossing or die-cutting. They are solid-core card stocks, meaning, when you tear the paper, the color of the tore line is the same with the card stock. I seldomly use white- core card stocks for reasons that I feel when you fold or emboss with the paper, it will loose its strength and be torn away easily (hehe, or maybe it is just me).
For patterned papers, there are a lot of them to choose from depending on your theme or motifs you want. Patterned papers add vividness to your creations. They make your projects livelier. Personally, I use patterned papers as decorative elements to my card stocks which always serve as my background. I usually choose pattern papers which are thick to give more durability to my album.
2. Trimmer. A trimmer is one of the basic tools of a scrapbooker, beginner or not. You will be cutting a lot of papers so you will need a good trimmer that is sturdy. Comparing it to scissors, trimmers will surely give you an accurate cut and you’ll be faster too. A pair of scissors or an Xacto knife will always be handy during project-making. But since I do not cut very straight, I always prefer my trimmer (hehe).
When choosing a paper trimmer, I would advise you to buy a Rotary Paper Trimmer. It’s blades are circular and would last longer than the normal blade-type trimmer. Plus, you can cut card boards too. If you want very precise cuts, you can always go for the normal blade type. Fiskars brand has both of these types of paper trimmers that can suit your budget.
3. Adhesives. There are a lot of adhesives out there for you to choose from. It would just depend on what type of surfaces you would be sticking on. It is also important to choose an adhesive that would last forever. An acid-free glue will always be the best thing to use. Choose those dry instantly for faster sticking, of course. I usually choose those glue with fine tips, or transfer them to fine tip bottles. You don’t want to put a lot of adhesives on your paper because they tend to look wet on the front side, which is not pretty.
Tape runners are also good but I seldomly use them because they finish fast and the refills are quite costly. I only use them in making cards.
To add dimensions to your scrapbook, you can opt to use 3d foam tapes to stick your embellishments.
4. Journaling Pens. You need pens to jot down a description of your photos. You can write down the dates and names of the persons who are in your photos. Choose pens which are water-proof, don’t fade over time and the ink is archival. Pilot gel pens are the best ones and they come in colorful, attractive colors.
5. Ruler. Basically, if you want everything to be in a straight line, you will be needing this. I always use the Design Ruler by Tim Holtz Idea-logy, where one end is plastic and the other is steel, which is good for cutting with a cutter or an Xacto Knife.
6. Embellishments. Beautify your layout with ready-made embellishments. They are of different forms: flowers, buttons, journal cards, cardboard stickers, etc.
7. Album. To protect your layout, you need to keep them in a safe place. Ready-made albums usually have page protectors inside them so you can just insert your gorgeous scrapbook page.
Now that you know the super basic things you need for scrapbooking, the next tools are as just important items you may need to be a fully-pledged crafter. If you already have the budget, it is time to invest on these.
- Scoring board– This is very useful when you are creating folds on your paper. It will give you the nice, edgy and straight crease you wanted. The scoring board is perfect in card-making and other paper crafts like boxes, and envelopes. Scoring boards from Scor Pal and Martha Stewart are two of the most popular scoring boards out there.
2. Die Cutting/ Embossing Machine. If you want to make your own embellishment, or you want to add texture on your paper, this is very very useful. The Sizzix Die Cutting and Embossing Machine is one of the best die cutting machines out there. It is compatible with almost all kinds of dies and embossing folders and its cutting pads lasts for a long time.
3. Binding Machine. The Zutter Bind-It-All has been one of my first tools when I entered scrapbooking. It is simply a punching and binding tool in one. It is very handy and light and can make until 26 holes.
4. Page Protectors. If you wanted to make your own album and at the same time keep your photos safely, you will be needing page protectors. They vary in different sizes according to your preferences. I usually buy the 12×12 protectors and cut them to my desired size and fuse the cuts with the next item number 5.
5. Photo Sleeves Fuse Tool. With this tool, you will be able to make your own pockets and sleeves.
6. Bone Folder. The bone folder is used to fold and crease any material such as paper. This is a big help for me since I make my own scrapbook albums which involves a lot of folding. My Teflon Bone Folder is one of my personal favourite. It is different from any bone folders because it is made of teflon (obviously) which gives its non-sticky properties. Like if you put glue on it, it won’t stick. It also does not give a “shiny” look on your paper during creasing unlike the ordinary bone folder. It is chemically inert, non-corrosive and non-contaminating, which is very ideal in paper crafting. Believe it or not, it is acid-free.
7. Silhouette Cameo. And last but not the least and my most adored of all tools is the Silhouette Cameo. As said in its ad, “It is the ultimate DIY cutting machine”. Once it is plugged to your computer, it works like a printer, only it uses blades to cut paper,card stock, vinyl, fabric, and other materials. It also has the ability to cut on printed materials. If you purchase using this link, you can purchase the bundle and save 200%.
Creativity runs in every crafter. And innovation will arise once you have these tools on hand. You will enjoy being a crafter once you have your finished product because you will feel proud of your work. So what are you waiting for? Get your butt out and do some crafting!