All the scrapbook supplies you need to have... well as the scrapbook supplies you don't need, but are definitely fun to have!

40% of people who scrapbook spend more than $50 a month on scrapbooking supplies and own approximately $1,584 in supplies.

In 2004 the scrapbooking industry had sales topping $2.5 billion.

There are over 4,000 independent scrapbook stores in the U.S. - and that doesn't count online retailers.

Those number are pretty overwhelming...with all that "stuff" out there, how do you weed through the mess? What scrapbook supplies do you really need? Which are a waste of money? If you can afford to splurge, what should you spend your money on?

Well, here it is... your comprehensive list of scrapbook supplies.

We'll weed through it all for you and let you know what scrapbooking supplies are a "must have's" and which are not worth it. Click on the headings for even more detailed product information!

Must Have's

These are the scrapbook supplies you really can't live without. We've stripped it down to the barest of essentials, so you're really getting no frills here!

Scrapbook Album

scrapbook supplies, scrapbook album

If you're going to make a scrapbook, you'll need somewhere to put all those finished pages. There are tons of different options for types of albums. They come in a variety of sizes, bindings, colors, and themes. Choose one you like that will best show off the theme of the pictures you'll be putting in it. Whatever kind of album you choose, make sure it's archival quality.

Under no circumstances should you buy an album with magnetic pages (the ones with the peel back layer of film). These albums are very dangerous for your pictures and will actually harm them over time. If you have any pictures in a magnetic album take them out now! If you're not ready to scrap those pictures yet, just store them in photo safe boxes or archival quality photo albums until you can get to them.'s Megastore has a fantastic selection of scrapbook albums in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges.

Scrapbook Scissors

Any pair of sharp craft scissors will work fine. At a minimum, you'll use the scissors to crop your photos , and create your photo mats. As your pages get more elaborate, you'll also use the scissors to work with embellishments and stickers. For detail work like this, fine-tipped scissors work best. Whatever kind of scissors you decide to buy, make sure they are devoted exclusively to scrapbooking. A pair of scissors that cuts only paper will stay sharper and make cleaner cuts.

The Scrapbook Supercenter consistently has some of the best prices on the Cutter Bee scrapbook scissors.


scrapbook supplies, scrapbook adhesive There are many, many different kinds of adhesive available. From dots, to photo corners; tape runners to Xyron machines...the adhesive options can seem a little overwhelming at first. It really doesn't matter what kind of adhesive you buy to start out. As long as its acid free and sticky you'll be fine. If you find yourself standing in the adhesive aisle at your local scrapbook supplies store with a glazed-over look unable to comprehend all the choices, I highly recommend tape runners. They're easy to use; you can use them for just about anything you'll be sticking to your page, and refills are available everywhere.

I highly recommend Herma's Dotto Tape Runners.

Scrapbook Paper

Remember at the top of the page when I said that 40% of those who scrapbook spend $50 a month or more on scrapbook supplies? Chances are at least $45.95 of that is spent on paper. Scrapbooking is a paper craft - which means paper is an essential part of any scrapbook.

Since we're still in the Must Have's, let's keep it simple. There are 2 things you'll need paper for in your most basic scrapbook scenario. You'll need paper for the background and paper for matting photos. Chances are good that your album will at least come with a basic white paper that you can use as background if you want - scrapbook supplies, scrapbook paper but the fun in creating a scrapbook is in all the great scrapbook supplies, so don't be afraid to choose a fun background paper.

When it comes to matting pictures, there are many different philosophies. There are some styles of scrapbooking that rarely mat pictures at all. I, however, firmly believe that the majority of the pictures in your scrapbook should be matted - especially if you are just starting out. So, you'll need both picture matting paper and background paper.

I rarely buy my scrapbook paper online, unless I find really great and cheap lot of paper on Ebay. Check out your local scrapbook store in person for buying paper, and use our shopping tips to make sure you buy only what you need.

Scrapbook Pens
scrapbook supplies, scrapbook pen The last of the scrapbook supplies you "must have" is an acid free pen. You can use pens for many different elements of a scrapbook page which makes it one of the most essential scrapbook supplies. You'll use your pen to journal , to create titles for your pages, to cleverly caption your photos, maybe even to doodle a design on your page. At the very minimum, you'll need a black pen - but there are a wide variety of colors to choose from. You'll find more pen colors than there are Crayola crayons.

Zig Writers are a great all-purpose pen and come in many different sets and colors.

Should Have's

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Though you technically don't need these scrapbook supplies, your scrapping life will be much easier if you have them. After the essentials are covered, these are the next most important purchases you can make.

Paper Trimmer

scrapbook supplies, scrapbook paper trimmer I debated highly about putting the paper trimmer in the "must have's" section - I know I can't live without mine! However, while paper trimmer tops my list of "should have" scrapbook supplies, it's not an absolute necessity.

What's nice about paper trimmers, is they allow you to cut perfect straight lines with little effort. When cropping and matting photos, a paper trimmer can take hours off the time you spend scrapping - plus add hours to your life reducing the stress of not being able to get that scissor cut exactly as straight as you want.

You don't need to spend a bundle on paper trimmers. Stick with a basic Fiskar's Personal Trimmer for versatility, easy use, and a great price.

Scrapbook Stickers

For page titles, picture captions, short tidbits of journaling, and theme-enhancing add-ons, stickers add a little extra spice to your scrapbook page. You "should have" some alphabet stickers to help you draw attention to your page titles and picture captions. It's also a good idea to have other theme stickers to help enhance your page, but don't go crazy buying a ton of stickers right away. Shopping smart for scrapbook supplies means only buying what you need for the pages you're working on. It'll save you money in the long run and you won't end up with $1,584 worth of stickers you'll never use.

Like paper, I rarely buy stickers online. Buy your stickers and your paper together to make sure they match well together. Archiver's $1.99 Hot Spot is a great place to find stickers for a great price. Find an Archiver's near you.

Scrapbook Embellishments

scrapbook supplies embellishment

There is almost as much variety in your choice of scrapbook embellishments as there is in your choice of paper. Embellishments and metal charms are among the hottest items on the market right now. You can use embellishments to add depth, color and creativity to your pages and cards. They include charms, scrap metal, buttons, wire, beads, envelopes, Jolee's By You, fibers, ribbon and more!

Remember what we said about buying smart ? The same concept applies to your embellishments. Buy only what you know you'll use and you'll save money (and space!) in the long run.

Are you an impulse shopper? Having trouble buying smart? Check out our Scrapbook Organization information and let us help you create a system to store all those extra stickers and embellishments!

Nice to Have's

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These scrapbook supplies are far from essential; however, they can make your scrapbooking easier, faster, and more fun! This list is by no means all-inclusive - new products are introduced so frequently that we'd never be able to list every possible scrapbook supply you could own. As the market for scrapbook supplies increases, we'll keep you updated on the latest and greatest products (as well as the ones that should stay on the store shelves) in our monthly e-zine. Sign up on the right.

Scrapbook Cutting System

scrapbook supplies cutting system

Aside from the scrapbook scissors we mentioned earlier, there are a number of different cutting systems you can find. These systems can help you get creative with your cropping, matting, and paper piecing (creating your own embellishments). There are a range of products in a range of prices. They are most often template based, and the templates allow you to cut out a variety of shapes and patterns including letters, tags, envelopes, and more. For most systems, you will have to purchase the templates separately - so keep that in mind when choosing.

Inks and Dyes

Using inks can add quite a bit of dimension and extra pop to your layouts. Whether your into full stamping, or just inking the edges of a photo, these are the inks you'll want to consider having in your stash.

Scrapbook Magazines and Idea Books

Magazines and idea books can be a great source of inspiration and ideas. Often, when I find myself with scrapper's block, I pull out a few magazines or idea books and page through looking for something to catch my eye. Choose carefully, there are many books and magazines on the market, and you could easily end up with more than you have the time to read or space to keep. Keep in mind, it's perfectly acceptable to use another person's layout and ideas for inspiration in your own scrapbooks - it's called scraplifting, and is a pretty standard practice. In fact, it can be very rewarding to see that someone else liked your idea so much they decided to copy all or a part of it. Just be sure to follow basic scraplifting ettiquette to avoid any potential problems.

Scrapbook Punches

Paper punches can also be a useful scrapbook tool. Like a cutting system, they can help you cut out shapes, letters, and more. However, unlike cutting systems, punches are usually purchased one at a time and there are more size options. You can purchase a punch that will allow you to cut a hole the size of a pin-head - or a 5" circle. I'd suggest purchasing a few basic geometric shapes to start and grow from there if you really like using them.

That's It!

We've covered all the basics - and a few of the more fun scrapbook supplies. Take a look at your budget and your style to decide for yourself what you can't live without and what you can pass up. Happy Scrapping!

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