Tag Archive | paper

Just Paper

Let’s talk paper.  When I say paper, you may think of printer paper, notebook paper, lined paper, colored paper, crepe paper, wax paper, wall paper, etc. Just the list of papers used in day to day tasks goes on and on. So, now I’m really going to blow your mind when it comes to scrapbooking paper.  There is: cardstock, regular weight paper and vellum. Easy and not even confusing.

Paper has become more important to me over time because I no longer do scrapbooking pages that are elegant and artistic, if you will. I may pick an image here or there to single out and truly express my artistic side but it’s rare. Like many of you, I have TONS of photos that I try to get into albums and a limited amount of time. Therefore, the important part to me is the journaling and storytelling. I want people to pick up my album many years from now and know who the people are in the photos and what that event or person meant to me.

Let’s start with cardstock

Cardstock is a tad heavier weight than your ordinary paper. There is textured and smooth cardstock. You can find it in just about any color. It can be used:

for tags to journal on
to create embellishments (i.e. flowers, stars, etc. – think grade school)
frame photos on your page (my usual use for it)

regular weight paper

This is generally used as the background of your page and probably the most important piece of paper. Today there is any number of patterns and themes to choose from that will coordinate with the photos you’ve taken. Many of the manufacturers create collections of papers that coordinate with each other. These are frequently contained in stacks of paper in all different sizes (12×12, 8×8, 8×11 or 6×6). Remember to choose a theme or look for colors in your photos that you would like to build on or draw attention to.

Scrapbook Paper1 Scrapbook Paper


As you can see, you have a HUGE selection to choose from.


Vellum is translucent. It comes in different colors as well. You will also see embossed vellum or vellum with glitter. Its main purpose is to soften up your patterned or colored paper. The only thing to be careful with when you use vellum is how you attach it to your page. Tape on the back will show through. There is a spray adhesive made just for vellum but it can be expensive. I try to use a very very light swipe of my glue stick OR attach it with brads or any other embellishment.  DSCN2931

As pictured, the top is paper without vellum and the bottom is with.  You can see how the vellum subdues the pattern.



I hope this helps you when you go into the store (or online) to pick out paper. It’s not as hard as it may seem but newbies to scrapbooking can get overwhelmed.  If I can help, please let me know.


By Debra Armstrong

Thanks for reading.

Comments?  Need help?




Overwhelmed and Confused?

Do you get overwhelmed and confused when you walk into the scrapbook section of your favorite craft store? One of my friends just confessed to me that she does. Now this woman can write proposals and cook with the best of them but gets discombobulated (one of my favorite words) when she walks into a scrapbook section. She has a new grandbaby and wants to make a book for her but can’t get past the rows of “stuff”.

To me, walking into a craft store is like sending a kid into a candy store. There’s so much good stuff, I don’t know what to look at first. However, let me look at it from my friend’s perspective. Let’s say, for example, you’ve just taken some Easter photos. You have them developed and want to make a page or two. You don’t have to go crazy. There are so many papers out there that cater to themes now. It wasn’t always like that. You have it easy.

The whole idea is to make a memory with these photos. You don’t have to make works of art. I was left with a box full of photos and I can’t even identify many of the people. I don’t want that to happen to my kids. So, forget ALL the aisles and concentrate on the paper only. Look at your photos. Is there a predominant color that you want to highlight? If not, just pick something that compliments your photos or pick one of the (in this case) Easter papers. Paper alone can make a BIG difference in your books.

When I went to China on a mission trip, I took TONS of photos. I can’t possibly make artistic designs for all of them so I’m just using paper and journaling along with some very simple embellishments. These photos haven’t been cropped or matted yet but I want to show you what a difference any kind of paper can make. The tag in the middle will be used to identify that this is the Great Wall. As a side note, I can’t even begin to comprehend how they built this. I got tired WALKING up it much less building it.   I digress, but just using paper, which is more appealing to you?  By the way, that ribbon is from an article of clothing.  I always cut those ribbons off that the stores use for hanging.

china w out paperchina w paper







My whole point is, take is slow, and you can build up to different techniques. Use paper for interest and maybe (in our sample) some cross or bunny stickers and journal. Who is in the photo? Where was it? Interesting emotions (Suzy was afraid of the Easter bunny) or background information. Well, you get the idea.

Remember how you eat an elephant? …..one bite at a time. Same with scrapbooking. One thing at a time. Now take a deep breath and head to your favorite scrapbook store and check out the paper.

By Debra Armstrong

Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment.