Whether you've decided to take up scrapbooking in your spare time or just make a special gift for an important person in your life, you're going to need some stuff to get started. Photos, souvenirs, and embellishments all assembled so gorgeously they can bring a tear to your eye.

If you're just embarking into a journey into the world of scrapbooking, you may not want to run out and buy everything all at once. The cost of your supplies can add up and besides that, you'll probably like to give your new hobby a trial run to make sure love it enough to want to continue. Or maybe you just intend to make a single scrapbook and move on.

The array of available scrapbook tools and supplies can be a trifle overwhelming. It may seem impossible to ascertain which supplies you need to get started, and which can be purchased later on.

This is why we've organized this article into two sections. The first part of this article will walk beginners through the basic supplies needed to make a scrapbook and the last part will walk you through advanced scrapbook supplies you may want to purchase after you've determined you've truly been bitten by the scrapbooking bug.

Black and white photos.

Basic Scrapbook Supplies

1. Cardstock or Premade Scrapbook

A scrapbook cover.


You can hardly start scrapbooking if you don't have a scrapbook. It's kind of a prerequisite. You can buy a pre-assembled scrapbook or you can assemble use loose cardstock or scrapbook pages to put together your own.

If you're assembling your own, be sure to select thick, sturdy pages that can handle all your photos, glue, embellishments, and page turns. You can put them into a ringed binder and use fabric or other materials to decorate the cover. You can even bind the pages together with twine or ribbon. Be creative with your cover. It's the first impression your scrapbook will make to the world.

Tip: If you're on a budget you may be able to find old photo albums at a thrift shop or garage sale. You could convert these into a scrapbook also by using a creative scrapbook layout.

2. Pens and Pencils

Lace shaped hand inked doodles.

If you're artistic, you might use pens and pencils to draw a picture or add decorative touches to your scrapbook. But even if you're not, you'll want to use them to add dates, inject comments, or identify people or places in photos. Choose good quality, bold, pens that are fade-proof, smudge-proof and waterproof for the best results.

Choose pens and pencils in different hues to doodle colorful accents. You'll also want black pens to write on light colored cardstock and white-inked pens if you'll want to draw or white on dark cardboard instead.

3. Scissors, trimmers, and cutters

Scissors, pens, pearls, and paper.

Scrapbooking requires a great deal of trimming and cutting. You can use normal household scissors if you like. Just make sure they're sharp enough to leave clean edges. It may also be helpful to have pairs in different sizes for easier use when working with materials of various sizes.

4. Glue/Adhesives

You'll want to use a good quality glue to do your scrapbooking. After all, it would be a shame to spend all that time putting together your masterpiece only to have all of the photos fall off. It's also important to find a glue that's easy to work with.

Always use acid-free glue to better preserve your photos, embellishments, and pages.

You can also use adhesive tapes, which comes on rolls in plastic canisters. This is individual and depends on which you find easier to work with.

5. Decorative paper and fabric

Fabric and scissors.

Decorative paper and fabric are an important part of any scrapbook. They give you that extra pop of style, color, and personality. You can glue your photos directly to the decorative paper or fabric itself, or you can cut it into strips and use them as you would any other accent or embellishment.

6. Ruler

If you've got kids, you've probably got a few rulers around the house. They're on the school supply list every year. Rulers are also helpful to scrapbookers because they can help you space and center your photos and of course, draw and write in clean, straight lines.

7. Photo Corners

Black and white photos placed into an album using photo corners.

If you're using heirloom photos, say, your Grandma and Grandpa's original wedding picture, don't glue it directly into your scrapbook. You'll risk damaging it you, or anyone else wants to remove it later on. Instead, opt for photo corners, so you can hold your most valuable photos into place without risking them. This will also make it far easier to remove it if you decide to make a copy of it later for other family members.

Advanced Scrapbook Supplies

1. Page Protectors

Plastic page protectors are optional, however, they'll pay off in spades by keeping your pages fresh and your photos and embellishments in place. Page protectors are especially helpful if you want to thumb through your scrapbook with small children without worrying about them grabbing at the pictures.

2. Cutting Mat

A cutting mat and scrapbook supplies.

Some people have special tables they use just for scrapbooking. But most of us work from a desk or kitchen table. Cutting Mats protect the surface you're working on from knicks from cutting utensils. They also keep them from getting covered with glue. If you want to keep your table or desk looking gorgeous, they're worth the investment.

If you're new to scrapbooking and just investing in the basics till you get your feet wet, we recommend doing our cutting on top of a cutting board from your kitchen or a thick piece of cardboard.

3. Adhesive Removers

It's your prerogative to change your mind and mistakes happen, Therefore, it's a good idea to have some adhesive remover on hand for those cases. This will allow you to make a mistake or second guess yourself without losing your previous work.

4. Paints

If you're gifted with a paintbrush, a scrapbook is a perfect place to show off your talents. Paints add color, style, and personalization just as beautifully as pens and pencils can. However, they are far more difficult to work with, so painting embellishments on a scrapbook is generally recommended for a more practiced hand.

5. Stamps and Pads

Rubber stamps and pads.

Rubber Stamps are an easy, mess-free way to add some pizzazz to your scrapbook. And they are sometimes a saving grace if you're not particularly gifted in the art of doodling and lettering. Rubber stamps still allow you to hand ink your embellishments but in full proof manner.

6. Organizers

Scrap booking supplies organized in a bin.

If you plan to join a scrapbook community (yes, they have them!), or even just bring your scrapbooking supplies over to a friend's house once in a while, you'll need a tote. Pick one with lots of pockets for your pens, pencils, scissors, and other sure it's light white for easy transport. If your scrapbook supplies are heavy, they make wheeled totes, too.

If you'll do the bulk of your scrapbooking from one location, you can use something heavier or even something like a rack a bookshelf, or bins, providing you have space for them.

The Best Places To Buy Scrapbooking Supplies

1. Online Retailers

Online shopping is convenient and has the added advantage of making it easy to compare prices from store to store. The only disadvantage is not being able to touch and hold your scrapbook supplies before you order them to make sure the quality is what you expect. If you shop online, make sure you pick a store that will allow you to make returns with free shipping if you're not satisfied.

2. Thrift Stores and Garage Sales

A woman shops in a thrift store.

Thrift stores and garage sales are a great place to find bargain basement prices on scrapbook supplies. Even if you already have your major supplies, it's always worth popping in to see if they have any small odds and ends you can use for embellishments.

3. Fabric Stores

You don't have to be a seamstress to be a regular customer at your local fabric stores. Their signs are a welcoming beacon for anyone who enjoys arts, crafts, and DIY activities. This means that many fabric stores sell all the official supplies you'll need to make a scrapbook. But don't stop there. Many fabric stores have bargain bins where they sell scraps of materials. These are often perfect for scrapbook pages and embellishments

4. Department Stores

Many big box stores have an aisle or two set up for fabrics and crafts. Some of them may even have additional scrapbooking supplies near the camera aisle. Although the selection isn't likely to be extensive, it's definitely worth poking your head in the next time you're there for something else.

5. Social Media

A phone about to log onto Facebook. The words Social Media spelled out in Scrabble letters.

If you're looking to obtain your scrapbooking supplies on the cheap, try posting an "ask" on social media. Maybe someone in your network wants to downsize their collection. If so, they might be willing part ways with some or all of the scrapbooking materials at a low cost, or better yet, at no cost at all.

Now that you've got your list of materials together and you know where to get them, it's time to start brainstorming your scrapbook ideas. Be sure to tag us on social media when you show off your creations. We can't wait to see what you make!

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