Top 10 Scrapbooking Supplies

With so many scrapbooking supplies, products and tools in the market to help scrapbookers in their creative process, you might need some suggestions on what beginner supplies to get.

So do check out our Top Ten must-have supplies listed below. I believe these are essential/basic supplies that most scrapbookers can’t live without.

Our Top Ten basic scrapbook supplies are:


1. Cardstock/ Soliared Papers

 American Crafts – 12 x 12 Cardstock Pack – 60 Sheets – White Doodlebug Design – 12 x 12 Texture Cardstock Assortment – Rainbow Die Cuts with a View – Cardstock Stack – White Core – 12 x 12 – Double Sided

Clearly, the most important scrapbooking supplies you will need is the scrapbooking paper itself besides photos. Remember to choose acid-free and lignin-free papers if you want your scrapbooking to last for years without the papers turning yellowish and damaging your precious photos.

For papers, there’s cardstocks (solid heavyweight papers) and patterned papers.

Cardstock is a must-have for your supplies collection. It’s easy to use and should be a constant supply you’ll be using.

For cardstock, there’s those which come with “white cores”. When you do paper tearing, the torn line that appears is white and therefore more obvious. Others come in same-colored cores, meaning even when you tear them, the torn line is the same color as the cardstock.

A cardstock can form the background paper or be used to highlight your photos for matting purpose. So yes, cardstock is an important element on your scrapbook layout. Do choose colors and textures that match your photos well.


2. Patterned Paper

Patterned paper comes in a huge range of designs, paper weight, colorfast, finish, texture, single or double-sided.

They can form the functional foundation of your page or become a decorative element on your layout.

Think of your color theme and that’ll give you a better idea of what colors or patterns to pick out.

Some favorite brands include Doodlebug, Simple Stories, Graphic 45.


3. Adhesives

 3L Scrapbook Adhesives – E-Z Runner Permanent Tape – 33 feet Zip Dry Paper Glue – 2 ounce bottle Tombow – Mono Adhesive (Permanent) Dispenser

Adhesive is what holds your photos, title, journaling blocks, ribbons, buttons, chipboard accents or whatever you choose to stick to your page. So no, your scrapbook supplies collection won’t be complete without an adhesive of some sort.

And they come in various formats. From tape runner, glue dots, glue stick to liquid glue. So the deciding factor on which type of adhesive to use would be the intended surface. Check out the manufacturers’ descriptions.

Keep in mind that you’re building memories here, so you’ll want to choose an adhesive that last for years. You won’t want to see your photos falling off your wonderful scrapbook layouts. Just shop around a little and you’ll see there’s really a number of acid-free scrapbook adhesives that will fix the pasting job nicely.

Some favorites include 3L Scrapbook Adhesives, Tombow, and Glue Dots.


4. Pens

 Sakura Pen Set – Micron 6 piece color set – .05 American Crafts – Precision Pen – All Black – 5 Pack Kuretake – ZIG – Memory System – Assorted Pen – Dual Tip Collection Set – 48 Pieces

Choose pens that’s pigment ink, fade-proof, water-proof and will keep your scrapbooking layouts safe. You need pens to note down dates, names and write descriptions about your precious moments.

You can also use them to doodle on your layouts.

For starters, you can never go wrong with a black one. It’ll see you through countless pages, and matches with everything.

Some brands to consider: ZIG, Sakura, and American Crafts Precision Pen. Uni-ball Signo Impact White Pen writes brilliantly on dark-colored papers.


5. Scissors/Trimmers

 EK Success – EK Tools – Small Precision Scissors Cutter Bee Scissors Fiskars – 12 Inch Premium Cut-Line Portable Trimmer – Blade Style I

Next, you need good cutting tools as you’ll be cutting lots of papers! A pair of precise, sturdy and good scissors will see you through many detailed cutting work.

You might want to set aside this pair of scissors for your scrapbooking projects and nothing else. ;-)

Both Small Precision Scissors and the Cutter Bee Scissors above have many good reviews. I have my pair of Cutter Bee Scissors for a few years now and it does it job very nicely.

A good trimmer will let you slice up quick, accurate cuts to your papers and see you through countless scrapbooking sessions. You might want to get one with inexpensive replacement blades, or better yet, a self-sharpening model!

Tip: Make sure yours has a well-marked, built-in ruler that makes measuring a breeze!

If you want to get a trimmer, look through the Friskars brand. They have a range of trimmers to suit different budgets.


6. Embellishments

 Simple Stories – SNAP Collection – 3 x 4 and 4 x 6 Cards with Foil Accents – Say Cheese II Heidi Swapp – Hello Beautiful Collection – Memory Planner – Fabric Flags Prima – Wildflowers Pillar Pack Collection – Botanical Flower Mix – Assorted

Embellishments make scrapbooking so exciting! There’s chipboard frames, photo overlays with foil accents, flower embellishemnts, journaling cards, tags, die cut chipboards, ephemera and more.

The right embellishments can really step up your page to looking great! The important thing is to check whether your embellishments enhance and help to pull the page together. If it distracts or jars your senses, it’s probably not necessary.


7. Scrapbook Kits

There are different types of scrapbooking kits: Album kits, page kits, and even embelllishment kits.

With a scrapooking page kit, all the coordination work has been done for you and you don’t have to wonder how to match this and that, as all the elements are put together to complement each other beautifully. With many different elements thrown together in a kit, you have a chance to sample many different items which you otherwise might not have a chance to, as it would cost much more to get each item separately.

So if you’re at a loss as to what cardstock, patterned paper and embellishments to get, do look into getting a scrapbook kit to try out.


8. Album

 Becky Higgins – Project Life – Heidi Swapp Collection – Album – 12 x 12 D-Ring – Printed White – Heart American Crafts – Cloth Album – 12×12 D-Ring Album – Chestnut Pioneer – EZ Load Memory Album – 12 x 12 – 20 Top Loading Pages – Text Sewn Faux Suede – Travel

After spending efforts into your pages, you’ll want to keep them safe and a place to house them. Enter scrapbooking albums.

It used to be that postbound scrapbook albums with top loading page protectors were very popular. These days, the D-ring/Three-ring albums are highly popular with its easy to insert and easy to remove page protector system, making it a breeze to switch pages around.

For postbound albums, they normally include a number of page protectors with white blank pages but some do not include these. So be sure to check out the descriptions. For the D-ring or 3-ring albums, mostly you will have to buy the page protectors separately.

Like everything else, albums come in a variety of sizes, formats, textures, designs and colors. So pick one one that fits your personality and sense of style. You’ll be working with the same album for quite some time, so get one that you like.

Some brands to consider for D-ring albums: Becky Higgins and American Crafts. If you see click on the American Crafts link and see Becky Hggins and Heidi Swapp brands, don’t be alarmed as American Crafts manufacture Becky Higgins and Heidi Swapp brands of products in addition to their own brand.

For postbound albums, Pioneer is a veteran and popular brand.


9. Page Protectors

 We R Memory Keepers – 12 x 12 Page Protectors – 50 Pack Universal 12 x 12 Page Protectors for 3-ring Albums – 50 Pack Pioneer 12 x 12 Top Loading Refills – White – 5 Pack

Let’s go over page protectors quickly. You will need page protectors to protect the precious scrapbook pages you’ve created. Don’t leave them out in the open unprotected as it might bend your page corners or leave it exposed to dust and dirt that will damage your layout.

If you are buying the D-ring/3-ring albums, you would have to buy the page protectors separately.

If you are buying a postbound album that come with some top loading page protectors and white page inserts, you might have to buy additional pack of refills as your number of scrapbooking layouts grow.

Make sure that they are acid-free to protect your lovingly-created pages and that they fit your brand and type of album.


10. Storage & Organization

 Umbrella Crafts – 12 x 12 Stackable Paper Trays – No Lip – 10 Pack Storage Studios – Paper Holder Storage Studios – Projections – Sticker Stadium Storage

To round up our Top Ten scrapbooking supplies list, let’s look a bit into storage and organization.

Ok, you might think that you don’t need any scrapbook organizers when you first start out on scrapbooking. That’s how I thought so too when I began my scrapping adventure.

So after accumulating many pieces of cardstock and patterned papers in a short span of time, I had a hard time sorting through them looking for what I wanted. Precious time wasted on searching which could channel into productive scrapping time.

Storage and organizers really would help to keep your scrapbooking area clean and organized. There’s paper trays, paper holders, embellishment storage, tool storage, and more that you can look into when your scrapbook supplies collection expands.

Do check out my scrapbooking organization articles for more information.


Your starter’s scrapbooking supplies is now complete. There’s many scrapbook products to fit into different budgets. So take your time to get scrapbooking supplies that fit your needs and supplies.

Everyone starts somewhere, so don’t worry too much about getting everything perfect. Perfection will probably come from your trials and errors while scrapping. :-)


Where Would You Like to Go Now?

… look at the 10 Hottest Scrapbooking Products?

… save with Discount Scrapbooking Supplies?

… find out Why do We Use Scrapbooking Books?

… check out Scrapbooking Page Kit?

20 comments for “Top 10 Scrapbooking Supplies

  1. September 12, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    We are needing ideas to bless some families at the Domestic Violence Group home and we will be asking for ideas on how to get started. We will give them free supplies and teach a class with them. Thanks.

    • Fion
      September 13, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Hi Betty,

      Thanks for your comment! If you’re looking for scrapbooking ideas to help people to start scrapbooking, you can check out my 50 simple scrapbook ideas here. For your class, you can pick out one idea and let your students have a go at it. If the class continues, pick another idea for them to do at another week or month. Hope this helps! :)

    August 24, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Do I use the blank white cards that are in the scrapbook and just embellish them with patterned paper or do I cover the complete page with patterned paper? Also do I use both sides so that it reads like a book? Thank you – very new – don’t know where to start. Have bought scrapbook and pad of coloured paper, some embellishments etc. but no plain cardstock.

    • Fion
      August 25, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      Hi Julie,

      If you have bought a postbound scrapbook album, the blank white inserts in the page protectors are used sort of as a divider between the front and back scrapbook pages. You can check to see if your white inserts are acid-free, lignin-free scrapbook paper that you can use as a background for your layouts.

      I’ve used a few of these white inserts in page protectors as my background paper before and I found that they weren’t as sturdy and nice as textured cardstock from Bazzill Basics or American Crafts.

      You can consider buying a pack of plain cardstock in a variety of colors to use as background paper, photo mats or as decorative elements. Look to the photos you’ve picked out for a layout, then choose a colored cardstock that complements the photos to use as the background paper, then use your patterned paper and embellishments to dress up your page to your liking. Each layout will have its own background paper.

      Alternatively, you can always use your patterned paper as your background paper as I know some scrapbookers prefer using patterned paper for their backgrounds.

      Happy scrapping! :)

  3. October 10, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Hi! :) How can I make a simple and cheap scrapbook? It’s only for my project in school and it’s all about the profiles of my friends. Help me please.

    • Fion
      October 10, 2015 at 10:46 am

      Hi Krista,

      Since it’s for your school project, you can consider getting a pack of different colored cardstock, and maybe some patterned paper to create a simple scrapbook that doesn’t cost so much. Use the cardstock and patterned paper to create your scrapbook cover and back pages. Use these paper as the background paper for each layout, as photo mats, and as decorations for your pages. If you have the budget, you can consider getting a pack of embellishments to decorate your pages, if not, you can do without.

      Take a look at this page for inspiration on using cardstock for your layouts.

      • October 14, 2015 at 8:17 pm

        Ok. Thanks for the info, but when I asked the saleslady, she doesn’t know what patterned paper is.

        • Fion
          October 15, 2015 at 11:30 pm

          Hi Krista,

          If the saleslady doesn’t know what is patterned paper, maybe you can try asking for scrapbook/scrapbooking paper and see what the shop carries. :)

          • Kajile
            November 29, 2015 at 3:19 am

            I think that’s great advice.

          • Fion
            November 29, 2015 at 3:32 pm

            Hi Kajile,

            Glad to hear that you’re finding this information useful!

  4. Kajile
    November 29, 2015 at 3:18 am

    What if I’m not using a photo album?

    • Fion
      November 29, 2015 at 3:35 pm


      For my first scrapbook album which I’ve created as a birthday gift of my good friend, I also didn’t buy a scrapbook album for it. Instead, I created a cover page layout and slotted it into a page protector and used it as the cover page for the scrapbook. It’ll work alright if you don’t have many pages. If there are more pages, I would suggest to get a scrapbook album to protect all the layouts you’ve lovingly created.

  5. April
    December 13, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Hi there! How can I make a cheap but beautiful scrapbook for my son? It’s regarding his “Piggy Bank”. Thanks.

    • Fion
      December 15, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      Hi April,

      There’s different ways to doing this. One way is to create a small 6×6 inch scrapbook album using sturdy cardstock for all the inner pages, the front and back covers as well.

      Another way is to create a few 12×12 layouts and slot them into page protectors. Instead of getting a scrapbook album. design the front and back covers using cardstock and/or patterned paper and slot them into page protectors as well. Then you can arrange and hold the front cover, layouts and back cover together using ribbons. :)

  6. Kristine
    January 17, 2016 at 3:42 am

    My 4-year-old loves arts and crafts especially cutting and pasting different patterns into a masterpiece she later hangs on the fridge. I would love to introduce her to scrapbooking so she can put all her pieces in one place because we are running out of space on our fridge!! Any ideas or suggestions on getting her started??

    • Fion
      January 18, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      Hi Kristine,

      You have a crafty little girl! Two ideas came to my mind when you mentioned about wanting to introduce your little one to scrapbooking.

      1. Get a scrapbook album and some scrapbook paper. Give her a piece of cardstock where she could create her usual masterpiece on. She could cut out different patterns out of scrapbook paper – cardstock or patterned paper. Then slot each completed art piece into the page protector to hold, protect and preserve her artwork. It’ll be a scrapbook of her artwork that she could look back on when she’s grown up.

      2. Work with her to create a very simple scrapbook based on a theme such as All About Me. You could help her create scrapbook pages about her family, hand print, foot print, her hobbies, her favorite toys, what she’ll like to be in future, etc. Print out some related photos for her to paste on her scrapbook pages, and let her decorate her pages. You can help her write out the page titles or short descriptions.

      Have fun scrapping together with your little girl! :)

  7. Jennifer
    July 19, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Hi Fion,

    I just purchased the following Disney themed book for an anniversary gift for my husband:

    It’s not an official scrapbook but it says it can be used as one. One review advised the string comes out and can be replaced with metal rings that are apparently included.

    I have never made a scrapbook before, nor do I know anything about scrapbooking, but want to start one up to give as our first anniversary gift coming up in 2 weeks’ time (July 31st!).

    Can you tell me if the following markers will be ok for scrapbooking?

    Also, can you tell me what else I need besides embellishment stickers and adhesive? Do I need page protectors pages for this album and if so, are there ones I can buy that can be cut to size if I can’t find them in the size of this album I am getting? Do I need this cardstock paper you are talking about? I’m finding this a bit overwhelming but really excited to start making my first scrapbook and to give this gift I know he will love!

    Please let me know what I need. I’m a complete beginner and clearly not starting off easy with a specific scrapbook book all set to go! Any specific names/links to items (especially on Amazon), would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you :)

    • Fion
      July 26, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Hi Jennifer,

      Sorry for my late reply! I hope you’ve started making your scrapbook for your anniversary which is coming up real soon.

      I’ve run through the description of the book album and noted that the paper isn’t acid-free, it’s mainly thicker craft paper. If you’re looking to create a scrapbook album that you want to pass down for generations, it’ll be better to use acid-free and lignin-free paper. Since you’ve already purchased the adventure DIY book and it does look great, I would say go ahead and use it as a scrapbook as you know your husband loves it. I don’t believe this album will fall apart that soon, and will likely give your husband years of pleasure looking at it.

      When I first started, I’ve also used a softcover album with pages in-between. And I couldn’t even remember if the paper used is acid-free. Anyway, it’s a good way for me to start, as it’s in a book format, I find it rather easy to fill up the pages.

      I’ve seen some people mentioned that the Adventure album paper is thick enough for markers and not likely to seep through, so the gel markers you’ve mentioned, they would be suitable for use in this book.

      No, you don’t need page protectors for these album pages. They are bound in between the hardcovers, so they are meant to be bound in that manner. After you’ve done scrapbooking your pages, just use the given rope/metal rings to bind the hardcovers and pages together.

      With the book album, photos, gel pens, embellishment stickers and adhesive, I would say you’re good to go. As for cardstock, they can be used as photo mats, journaling boxes, or to create your own handmade embellishments. I’ve found this cardstock pad 6″x6″ in deep colors that would be nice for a guy. You can take a look here:

      But if you’re in a hurry to complete your album, the cardstock is optional. The main thing is for you to keep it simple so you can get your pages done.

      I was overwhelmed too when I first began, but after you’ve created your first few pages, you’ll be doing fine. I hope you have fun creating your very first scrapbook album and I’m sure your husband will appreciate your beautiful efforts!

  8. Christina garcia
    December 26, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Hi, I am wanting to make a scrapbook for my boyfriend but I don’t know how to start and what to put in it or how to decorate it. Any ideas?

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