The hobby of scrapbooking is a lot of fun. If you are just starting out, there are a few supplies you will need (don't worry this isn't a huge investment). First you will need an album with sheet protectors, a paper trimmer, adhesive, your photos, scrapbooking paper and embellishments, and an acid-free and lignin-free black pen for journaling.
Most albums come with page protectors but some do not, so if you fall in love with an album that doesn't have them or only has a few, never fear you can buy replacements packs. This gives you control over how many pages your album will have. Albums come in all shapes and sizes and can be found at craft stores, discount stores, and even drug stores. I prefer a 12x12 inch album that matches the theme of my pictures. 12x12 inch albums give me the option to get a lot of photos on one page and still have room for embellishments, journaling, and a big title.
Paper trimmers also come in all shapes and sizes. I started out with a small one and graduated to a 12-inch. If you are going to scrapbook 12x12 albums you might want to start out with the larger paper trimmer because you will want the option to cut the 12x12 inch paper. Even if you aren't going to scrapbook 12x12 inch albums, many scrapbook papers come in 12x12 inch and you will have to cut them down to fit into your album.
If you thought there were a lot of different kinds of albums or paper trimmers, you haven't seen anything yet! Adhesive gets its own aisle where I shop! There is adhesive for paper to paper, paper to plastic, paper to metal, plastic to plastic, plastic to metal, metal to metal, you get the point. Start out with a good paper to paper adhesive so you can get those pictures down onto your paper. A photo safe glue stick works great and is inexpensive. Glue dots are a dry adhesive that come in various sizes and thicknesses and work great on just about everything. My adhesive of choice is the removable dry dottos. They come in a refillable dispenser that rolls onto photos and papers; and work wonders on papers and embellishments. Plus if I put something down in the wrong place I can just pick it up and move it to the right place. (also keep in mind you can adhere items with staplers, mini binder clips, washi tape, and etc)
Be sure your supplies are all acid-free and lignin-free if they are going to touch your photos. If you want to use rubber cement or something that isn't acid-free and lignin-free to adhere a button to some paper, you are okay, just don't use that stuff on your precious photos. It’s always a good idea to make copies of your photos and keep them in a safe place, that way you aren't using the one and only original photo on your page. It’s also a good idea to start with your most recent photos and work backwards, but sometimes its fun to start with your favorite photos or a set of photos you know will make an entire album.
Paper is the foundation of every scrapbook page. There is patterned paper and solid paper. I find most often I tend to use patterned paper as the background and a solid paper to matte my photos. That helps them to stand out from the patterned background. But there is no right way or wrong way, there is only your way. Sometimes picking out the perfect papers can seem daunting when you see the sea of choices. In this case, try selecting a coordinating paper pack in colors that match your photos. Coordinating paper packs come in color and theme combinations that help take the guess work out of picking the perfect papers and they help give your album an overall cohesive feel.
Sometimes embellishments come in packs with paper. They coordinate with the color and theme. These packs are called Page Kits. Sometimes there are enough supplies for two to four pages, and other times there are enough supplies for an entire album. Think about what you will really use and be sure to read the packaging so you know exactly what you are buying. Embellishments are also sold separately and can be just about anything from stickers or buttons to ribbon or flowers.
A black pen is really all you need to journal. Using your handwriting is something that is an important legacy, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to use spell-check and leave the handwriting to the computer. However, you can turn your handwriting into a font HERE and have the best of both worlds! Here is what mine looks like:
Scrapbooking is a wonderful hobby that is like a gift to you, your family, and future generations. Scrapbooks not only preserves your special memories forever, but they are a fun, creative craft that means you can put your artistic stamp on something that serves as a wonderful keepsake. It doesn't take much to get started, but watch out, once you start you'll never want to stop! Enjoy!