This guide is designed to help you understand the type of scrapbook supplies and tools you will need if you are a beginner, intermediate or professional scrapbook maker.
Here is a list of all the items I feel are essential for making scrapbook page layouts.
Scrapbook Supplies for a Beginner:
Scrapbook albums come in a variety of designs and sizes the most common being 12”x12” and 8”x 8”. It is down to personal choice what sizes you want to start with however as a beginner I would suggest suggest starting slightly smaller so that you have less area to design and fill.
Scrapbook albums come in all sorts of themes, select one that suits the theme of your scrapbook layouts.
Refill pages are additional pages that can be inserted into your scrapbook album allowing you to design more pages if needed. I would recommend purchasing these at the same time as you purchase your album to ensure they fit in the chosen scrapbook.
A craft knife is extremely handy and something I use every day when creating scrapbook layouts. A craft knife can cut many different materials including paper, and even thin metal. I would recommend purchasing extra blades as these become blunt and need changing on a regular basis.
A cutting mat is consistently used when creating scrapbook layouts. It is an essential tool for any scrapbook maker as it protects the surface you are working on. Cutting mats come in all different sizes to suite the area you are working on. If you intend to scrapbook for a hobby then you must invest in a cutting mat.
Like a craft knife good quality scissors are an indispensable tool for any scrapbook enthusiast. I would recommend keeping your scrapbook scissors separate from normal house hold scissors so that the stay nice and sharp.
Paper and Card Stock
Paper and card stock is the foundation of any scrapbook layout. When starting out I would recommend using scraps of paper and card you find around the house. Once your confidence grows you can progress to purchasing some of the beautiful papers and card stock available in craft stores and online retailers.
You can also purchase scrapbook kits which contain both paper and embellishments with the same theme. This is a great way to get started.
You can buy scrapbook pads which are a collection of good quality patterned paper. The advantage of buying a pad is the manufacturer will usually make a pad full of paper that share a matching theme.
It is important to quotes and messages to your scrapbook page layouts. To do this you will need a special type of permanent pen that is designed for scrapbooking and are acid free.
There are a huge variety of glues, tapes, sticky dots and other adhesives that can be used when scrapbooking. Double sided tape is probably my favourite adhesive. It is great for attaching paper, embellishments and so many other things to your scrapbook page and it leaves no mess.
Sticky dots are generally used to attach materials such as ribbon and wet glue is more commonly used for glitter
Pre Made Embellishments
When starting out I would suggest stocking up on some pre made embellishments. Once your confidence grows you will soon be making your own.
Scrapbook Supplies for an Intermediate:
Buttons are a great way to embellish a scrapbook. Buttons are normally made from plastic, metal or wood.
Ribbon is used to dress up a scrapbook page and make it stand out. Ribbon can be purchased in rolls or chosen lengths and there are many styles to choose from such as satin, organza, grosgrain, poly and curling ribbon. Ribbon comes in a variety of thicknesses. Using ribbon in your layouts is a great way to finish a page off.
Brads are similar to a nail or split pin. Brads can be purchased in so many different shapes, sizes and themes it can actually become quite addictive when buying them. To attach a brad to a piece of scrapbook paper you will need to make a hole, push the brad through the hole and spread the stem of the brad apart on the other side of the hole to secure it in place.
A paper trimmer is used to cut straight lines. Depending on the quality of your paper trimmer you will be able to cut paper and card and sometimes even tougher, thicker materials.
Rubber stamps are used to stamp images onto paper or card. They are a great way to embellish scrapbook pages and make toppers. As you become more confident you will soon learn many different techniques for using rubber stamps.
Rubber stamps come in all sorts of different themes, images and pattens. Normally rubber stamps are mounted onto a wooden or acrylic block.
Ink pads are used along side rubber stamps and are what creates the printed image. There are so many different types of inks for rubber stamping however they fall into three categories; dye, pigment or permanent-solvent based.
Permanent Solvent Inks
Can be used on a wide variety of surfaces including glass and wood, they are permanent so you stamps will need a specialist stamp cleaner once used.
Solvent inks are fast drying so you will need to work quickly when using them and always use in a well ventilated room
Dye Based Inks
This type of ink is good for a beginner as it is fast drying so they are less likely to smudge. They work really well with light and white coloured papers.
Colour fast and quick drying however can fade in bright lights. It is recommended that you store dye based inks upside down so the dye flows to the top of the felt pad.
Pigment Based Inks
Pigment based ink is thick, rich and slow drying. These inks are especially good to use with embossing powder as the slow drying allows you time to sprinkle your embossing powder over the ink.
Embossing powder is used to give a raised image when using rubber stamps. It comes in many different colours and sprinkled over the wet ink once an image has been stamped. You will need to use a heat gun for the embossing powder to become raised.
A heat gun is used to heat embossing powder. Hold your heat gun about 5-6 inches from the paper. Move the heat gun back and forth over the embossing paper until you notice the embossing powder melting. Melted embossing powder is smooth and shiny, and has a raised edge.
It is important not to heat too close to the cardstock as this can cause it to burn.
Glitter is used to jazz up scrapbook pages and give areas or images a bit of sparkle. Glitter can be purchased in various forms, colours and density.
Gel pens are great to colour in your stamped images and peel off stickers. They come in a wide range of textures and colours.
Craft punches are used to punch out shapes from paper and card.
Peel Off Stickers
Peel of stickers are pre cut stickers that can be words or images. They can be removed from a sheet and incorporated into your scrapbook pages.
Rub ons are transfers that need to be rubbed onto a surface with a hard tool such as a lolly stick. Rub ons can be words, letters or images.
Peel Off Pens
Peel off pens are permanent marker pens that are used to change the colour of a peel off sticker. Because they are acid free they can also be used for writing on a scrapbook page
Eyelets are very popular with scrapbooking because they’re amazingly versatile. Eyelets add dimension without creating extra bulk on your pages and can be purchased in colours, sizes, and shapes to fit almost any layout theme. To attach an eyelet to a scrapbook page you will need to invest in an eyelet setter. Old style eyelet setters require a hammer to flatten your eyelet, while silent setters such as the Crop-A-Dile use a special punching mechanism to eliminate the need for noisy hammering.
Shrink plastic is basically what it says on the packet, plastic that shrinks. It is normally used along side rubber stamps where the image is stamped and shrunk when heated with a heat gun.
Vellum is a type of scrapbook paper that is often used in scrapbooking. It is semi transparent and is often torn so that edges go darker in colour. This paper can be used to place over stamped images or photographs to soften the image. You will need to buy a special vellum glue to adhere vellum to your scrapbook pages as normal glue will be visible through the velum paper.
Acetate is a very thin plastic looking material. It can be used when rubber stamping; however a fast drying permanent ink must be used.
Prima flowers are floral inspired embellishments. They come in a huge variety of sizes and colours and are great for scrapbooking.
Scrapbook Tools for an Expert:
There are various types of sizzix machines and styles to suit your crafting requirements. It is a manual die cutting machine that cuts images from die templates.
A Cricut machine is an electronic cutter that allows you to cut amazing shapes, images and alphabets with the touch of a button.
Making Memories Slice Die-Cut Machine
This is a cordless digital design cutter which makes creating die cuts and embellishments extremely fast and easy. The machine cuts textured cardstock, vellum, vinyl, acetate and photos up to .5 mm thick.
Craftwell 12 inch Pro Electronic Cutting System
This is an electronic cutting system that is easy to use, fun and fast. It is ideal for scrapbooking. It is ultra slim and its lightweight design lets you take it anywhere. Use it on its own or attached to a computer.
There are of course many more items and tools you can fill your scrapbook supplies with however the above list should give you some idea of where to start and what scrapbook supplies you will need.