Friday, October 30, 2015
Paper Scrapbooking: Scrapbooking Papers
I've been scrapbooking for as long as I can remember, but in the year 2000 when we came home from our Parisian Honeymoon, I started my first 12x12 inch album. I remember standing in the scrapbooking store looking at the rows and rows of gorgeous scrapbooking papers and feeling a bit dumbstruck. I gathered each piece of scrapbooking paper that I thought was pretty and before long, I couldn't hold the giant pile I had accumulated! I knew I couldn't afford all those scrapbooking papers and I wasn't even sure if I could actually use them. So I went and talked to the lady behind the counter. She helped me realize there are some important things to keep in mind when picking out scrapbooking papers.
First, decide what size album you are going to use. There are albums in almost any size and design you can imagine. I picked the one shown in the picture because I thought it best represented Paris the way we saw it. I picked 12x12 because I had a TON of pictures and wanted to be sure I had plenty of room for all of them. Scrapbooking papers usually come in 8 ½ by 11 inch and 12x12 inch. Larger scrapbooking paper can always be cut down to size and smaller scrapbooking paper can be used for matting or embellishing as you like. Just keep in mind that most of your scrapbooking paper should be in the size of your album.
Second, check out the different types of scrapbooking paper available. Scrapbooking paper is acid-free and lignin-free which means it is archival safe for your pictures and won’t turn them yellow or fade them. Scrapbooking paper comes in every thickness from heavy cardstock to light vellum, and each has its own specific use. If you’re unsure, choose the medium-thick scrapbooking paper, it’s a good multipurpose thickness.
Third, take stock of the solid colored scrapbooking paper you might already have at home. You are more likely to run out of the solid colors because they are great for backgrounds, matting, journaling and even embellishments. Black and white are usually the most popular and can be purchased in single sheets (as can most colors) however, buying colors in a rainbow paper pack is often-times a more inexpensive way to go.
Fourth, consider purchasing coordinating scrapbooking paper packs or even page kits. Packs of scrapbooking paper are a good investment because they are color coordinated, and often theme coordinated (some even come pre-printed with frames or layout templates). This is helpful if you are a beginning scrapper, don’t have a lot of time to pick each scrapbooking paper individually, or if you are overwhelmed by the rows and row of gorgeous scrapbooking paper like I always am, lol! (this still doesn't stop me from buying several sheets of the gorgeous paper though!) Page kits are great too because they come with coordinating papers AND embellishments, so 99% of the work is done for you but you still get to take 100% of the credit after sticking your photos down and jotting down some quick journaling.
Fifth, wait for sales (ok, the lady behind the counter didn't tell me this). Stretch your scrapbooking budget further by using coupons and watching for sales. Find a scrapping group and trade your unwanted papers with other scrappers whose unwanted papers are just what you've been looking for. And finally, resist the temptation to buy paper you aren't sure you will use.
Scrapbooking is a wonderfully fun and rewarding hobby. Generations of your family will appreciate your work preserving a lifetime of memories and you will have done it all in the best way possible simply by starting with the right scrapbooking paper! I'd love to hear about your experiences getting started, leave me a comment below!