Get Started

Making Sense of Scrapbooking Terms

As you enter this world, you’ll hear and see a lot of words that look Greek. Let’s look at a few of the more widely used ones:

Acid Free – acid is used in paper manufacturing. Acid can deteriorate photos. So when purchasing any supply that will touch your photo, make sure it is acid free. Most products will state this on the package.

Card Stock – heavy paper much like the weight of construction paper. Often used for a frame or background. Again, make sure it is acid and lignin free.

Cropping – to cut or trim a photo to keep only the portion you’re interested in. Many stores or groups have crops where everyone gets together and scrapbooks.

Decorative Edge Scissors – these cut paper in a variety of shapes such as scalloped, zig zap, wavy.

Die Cut – paper in which the background is cut away to form an image.

Embellishment – anything used to enhance a photo or layout such as stickers, buttons, ribbons, brads.

Emboss – to raise a surface using a template or heated powder.

Journaling – your personal details, insights and/or feelings regarding a photo. This can be typed, hand written or with purchased letters (which could get costly)

Layout – a group of pages in your book that go together. Some layouts fit on one pages, others take several.

Lignin – this is a tree material. If it remains in the paper and touches your photos, they will become yellow and brittle over time. So, again, be sure your supplies are acid and lignin free.

Memorabilia – anything that invokes a memory of the event you’re scrapbooking. For example, the corner of my house that I broke off when I was 18 and coming out of the driveway, a napkin, matchbook, certificates, report cards, souvenirs.

Paper Trimmers – paper cutting tool used by placing the paper on the tool, lining up on a grid and moving a blade up or down to cut the paper.

Template – a stencil used to trace shapes onto paper. These can be brass or plastic. Brass can be used to emboss as well.

Vellum – a translucent light paper that comes in a variety of colors.


Easy 9 Steps to Complete an Album

1.  Organize

-Gather your album, photos and supplies.  Don’t forget all the memorabilia such as postcards, coins, tickets, artwork, etc.

2. Decide on Theme

-Will your book be for baby, birthday, wedding, vacation, or just chronological?

3. Organize Photos

-Eliminate blurry photos, doubles

-Decide the order you’ll place them on pages

4.  Crop

-Cut photos using templates, paper trimmer or scissors to the size, shape you want them

5.  Select your paper

-As you look at the photo, you’ll notice a predominant color.  Try to select a paper or papers to compliment that color.  Standard rule of thumb is no more than 3 colors per page (but this IS YOUR book so whatever you think looks good)

-Avoid prints that are bigger than the smallest face in your photos.  It could overpower the face and that’s where your focus is

6.  Play with your photos and other elements you’ll be using (such as stickers, tickets, etc)

-Decide how you want to arrange everything before you adhere to page

7.  Adhesive

-There are so many to choose from but I use a tape runner the most

-You can use glue pens, sticky dots or even photo corners

8.  Journal

-I type most of mine and add to the page but your own handwriting is a nice touch

-Think about the WHO, WHAT, WHERE and WHEN

-Use details

and last

9.  Embellish

-Choose things that will compliment or enhance your photos.  Studies show that an odd number is most pleasing to the eye (who DOES these studies anyway?) Stickers are nice but don’t get carried away


by Debbi founder of
Thanks for reading.

Please leave a comment.


6 thoughts on “Get Started

  1. My daughter and her friend scrapbooked for a while and this information helps me understand what they were up to. They’re older teens now, maybe they’ll come back to this because I think it’s a great way for them to keep busy.

  2. I love the look and feel of your site. This page is especially helpful to me – I’m a total beginner. I keep saving stuff up to use for a scrapbook then chicken out.

  3. I had no idea that so many things went into scrapbooking. The very fact that there is acid free paper vs paper that had acid was an eye opener. Nice to meet you on WA. Look forward to many more of your posts.

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