Scrapbooking Essentials

Scrapbooking can provide hours of entertainment for kids, and turns family adventures into lasting memories. This scrapbooking buying guide will soon have you cutting and pasting like a pro.

Scrapbooking Essentials 101

Whatever theme you've chosen for your scrapbook, you'll need a few essentials to get started. First, you'll need an album and its basic contents: cardstock, patterned paper and page protectors. Next, you need a selection of tools and supplies, including pencils, coloured markers, adhesives, a ruler and a page trimmer. Embellishments are an exciting part of scrapbooking. Your choice of ribbons, glitter or 3D stickers will inject your personality into your scrapbook and make the individual pages stand out. Staying organized is essential: a basic storage system will help keep your mind and workspace tidy so you can focus on being creative and having fun. 

Ten Essential Tools



Your scrapbook album is where you'll arrange and store your decorated memories. Choose an album that's an appropriate size and has the right number of pages for the project you're undertaking. The three basic album sizes are 8” x 8”, 8” x 11” and 12” x 12.” Albums are sold in a variety of colors, patterns and materials. Be sure to choose a durable material that will last as long as the items inside. 


Cardstock is the firm paper onto which you’ll glue your photos and embellishments. Typically, it's more flexible than paperboard, but stiffer than standard paper. You can find cardstock in a wide range of solid colours, patterns and textures, so it's easy to choose a look that matches your theme. Consider solid-colour cardstock if you plan on tearing pages for effect and don't want to expose an unattractive white core. Look for acid and lignin-free cardstock for decorated pages that will resist fading and discolouring over time.

Patterned Paper

Patterned paper enhances your scrapbooking by effortlessly adding colour, energy, and emotion. You can establish any theme you want for a page by simply gluing your choice of patterned paper on top of your cardstock. Patterned paper is generally sold in packs containing a variety of design options. You can use this paper to create an attractive border for a page or page element like a picture, or use it to cover an entire page.

Page Protectors

Page protectors help keep your decorated pages safe from harm, including the damage caused oily fingers, pages sticking together and general wear and tear. Choose between glossy or non-glare protectors, depending on your preference. Even if your cardstock is acid and lignin-free, you should still use non-vinyl and archival-safe page protectors to prevent damage and potential fading. Be sure to buy page protectors that match the size of your album. 

Writing Utensils

Waterproof and fade-proof pens for journaling will keep your scrapbook timeless. Pencils are handy for sketching out custom fonts or for marking borders when you may need to erase your work. Try adding your own comments or doodles with coloured pens ranging from fat to skinny tip. If you can’t decide which colour will match with your theme, a classic black ink pen is always a good choice. Handwritten notes detailing facts like dates, locations, and moods are an easy way to personalize your journal and make your entries more memorable and meaningful. 

Paper Trimmers

Page trimmers allow you to cut paper cleanly and precisely. Use a page trimmer when you need to cut cardstock, patterned paper, or pictures to fit neatly into your album. You can save time by stacking multiple pages in your trimmer and cutting them simultaneously. For smaller cutting tasks, use a sturdy pair of scissors. Long-bladed scissors are helpful for quick cutting jobs that require flexibility, such as cutting out letters or tricky shapes. Scissors are also handy for cutting scrapbook embellishments like ribbons and stamps.


A ruler is a must-have item in every scrapbooker's tool kit. You'll find yourself reaching for your ruler on a regular basis to center items on the page and to keep things balanced and well proportioned. This tool will also help you create straight borders when cutting accent paper or photos. As a safeguard, it's a good idea to check your cardstock size with your ruler before buying page protectors. 


Adhesives are literally the glue that keeps your project together. Your options include glue sticks, tape runner, rubber cement, and glue dots. Rubber cement is recommended for bulky, uneven decorations that standard glue can’t quite stick. Non-permanent adhesives are helpful for readjusting photos or patterned paper. For inevitable mistakes, thankfully there’s adhesive remover. Using quality, archival-safe glues will help your masterpiece stay together for years to come. 


Just like old memories, scrapbook pages often benefit from a few embellishments. There's endless array of arts and crafts decorations available to add spice and pizazz to your journaling. Your options include ribbons, glitter, 3D stickers, and self-adhesive chipboard pieces featuring words or phrases relevant to your theme. In keeping with your personal style and the type of scrapbook you're creating, you can mix and match multiple embellishments to add flair to your story and make your pages pop.

Scrapbooking Storage

Organizing your tools and paper is half the battle in putting together the ultimate scrapbook. A storage system with lots of drawers will help keep a tidy workspace and work more efficiently. If you're an on-the-go scrapbooker, choose a scrapbook tote with several pockets for all of your art supplies. Totes are ideal for scrapbooking during vacations or getting together with friends for an afternoon of arts and crafts. 

Scrapbooking Buying Tips:

• Choose a scrapbook that's the right size for your project
• Determine your theme before choosing paper colour, designs, textures and decorations
• Always look for acid-free, lignin-free and archival-safe options
• A trimmer with a built-in ruler allows for more precise measurements and cuts
• Find a scrapbooking friend to share costs and supplies
• There are a lot of items to consider, so create a list before you shop

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Scrapbooking Tips:

  • Save all of your paper scraps
  • Use patterned paper to accent your solid-coloured cardstock
  • Self-adhesive decorations save time and a sticky mess
  • Use copies of vintage photos, not the originals
  • Pick a colour theme before choosing patterns and embellishments
  • Avoid over-decorating as it can distract the central theme
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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