Basic Types of Scrapbook Paper

One of the main decisions you have to make in scrapbooking is on the scrapbook paper. Besides the usual cardstock and patterned paper, there’s a variety of other paper you can consider using.

As scrapbooking paper will form the foundation of your layout, please remember to use paper that’s acid-free and lignin-free to preserve your memories for many years.

Acid-free paper: Use acid-free paper because contact with acidity can cause your photos to fade, change colors, darken and decay over time.

Lignin-free: Make sure your paper are lignin-free too as lignin reacts with light and heat to cause yellowing of your paper.


Paper Choice

Paper for scrapbooking come in a huge range of varieties and it can be a dizzying experience trying to select the best paper for your scrapbook pages. You’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to paper selection. There’s no lack of variety of choices.

Just be warned, you could get addicted to acquiring more and more beautiful, gorgeous-looking scrap book paper! ;)

Your choice of paper will ultimately show off your personality and set the tone for the layout. So have fun choosing your paper.


Types of Scrapbook Paper

Let’s take a quick look at the basic and common types of scrapbook paper available in the market. They include but not limited to:

Heavyweight, acid-free paper available in a rainbow of colors, textures and weight. Cardstock are usually used as background paper and mostly plain-colored. Cardstock are frequently matched with patterned paper for added interest. Common uses include creating photo-mats and die cuts.

Patterned Paper
Acid-free paper that come with a variety of designs, colors and themes to be used as background paper or to add interest to backgrounds and page accents. Also used to support the theme of the scrapbook layout.

Translucent paper used for layering, dry embossing, stamping and more. Come in a variety of colors and textures too. Great at providing a distinctive look or to soften the look of bold colors.

Transparency Paper
Clear acetate sheets ideal for overlays and windows. Can be used as background paper too. Also come in pre-printed sheets. As many varieties are heat-resistant so they can be used for heat-embossing and printed on with computer printers.

Die-Cut Paper
Die-cut paper come in very interesting shapes of football, cupcake, tea-cup, scalloped-borders, and more. You can add them to a background paper as a big decorative element.

Normally, you’ll get better value with packs paper. So it’s something you might want to consider getting.

12 comments for “Basic Types of Scrapbook Paper

  1. kamali
    December 21, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    I want to know what paper should I use for doing my own scrapbook project?

    • Fion
      December 22, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      Hi Kamali,

      If you’re looking into getting paper for your own scrapbook, look for scrapbooking paper that are acid-free and lignin-free so they can be preserved for a long time.

      Scrapbook paper normally come in the form of cardstock or patterned paper. Cardstock are heavyweight and sturdy paper that come in solid colors. Cardstock are great as the background paper.

      Patterned paper are the paper that come with designs. You can use patterned to layer your photos, use them to decorate or embellish your page. If the patterned paper is a heavier paper and with a subtle design, it can also be used as a background paper.

      Patterned paper comes in many designs and some collections are theme-based. For example, if you are doing a scrapbook project about a baby girl, you can find a baby girl paper collection and use the various baby girl themed paper in your layouts.

      So for a start, get some cardstock and patterned paper and have fun scrapping! :)

  2. aaron
    August 27, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Hi, can we use Oslo Paper or not?

    • Fion
      August 28, 2015 at 9:50 am

      Hi Aaron,

      For scrapbooking, we prefer to use scrapbook paper that’s labeled as acid-free and lignin-free so we can preserve our layouts for a long time to come. Using craft paper that’s not acid-free or lignin-free might pose a risk that our layouts might turn yellowish or brittle over time.

  3. Mella
    August 28, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Hi, if I wanted to print a scrapbook design from Google, what paper should I use for that?

    • Fion
      August 29, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Hi Melia,

      If you’re intending to use the design as part of your scrapbook layout and you wish your layout to last for a long time, then it’ll be better to print the design on paper that’s acid-free and lignin-free since you’ll be incorporating the design into your layout. Have fun scrapping!

  4. Jennifer Corcoran
    November 11, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    I read above that if you are printing your own scrapbook paper you should use paper that is acid-free and lignin-free. What weight of paper is best? And should I get a paper that has a bit of glossiness? Do you have any recommendations on brand and type and where to buy? Thanks in advance!

  5. Alisha
    July 17, 2017 at 2:11 am

    What are scrapbooking stickers?

    • Fion
      July 18, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      Hi Alisha,

      Scrapbooking stickers work just like normal stickers that you can peel and stick on, just that they’re created to dress up your scrapbook layouts. Some brands might label their stickers as acid-free, photo-safe, pH-neutral to let you know they’re safe for using on your scrapbook layouts if you’re concerned about archival quality. Happy scrapping! :)

  6. June 19, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Will an average printer take 12 by 12 paper to print my scrapbook pages for my album? Do they even sell 12 by 12 paper? I am looking to scrapbook all of my son’s photos over the next few years. He passed away in January at age 24 and I am trying to scrapbook all his life photos as therapy. I will probably wind up with 10 books as I have so many photos and am looking to research how to best preserve his pictures but being able to afford.

    • Fion
      June 27, 2019 at 11:34 am

      Hi Suzanne,

      So sorry for the late reply and about your son! I didn’t see your comment till now. Yes, I think it can be a good therapy to be scrapbooking your son’s photos and memories. Are you intending to do digital scrapbooking and wanting to print them out on 12×12 size? You might want to approach your nearby print shops and see if they do in that size. If you’re from the US, you can also check out online printing shops such as Shutterfly or Snapfish where you can combine your digital scrapbook pages and print them out as a photobook. If you’re looking at creating paper scrapbooking, you might want to visit online Amazon store or your local scrapbook shop to get some scrapbook paper and supplies. Hope this helps and I hope you’ll find joy in scrapbooking!

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