Top 10 Scrapbooking Supplies

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Scrapbooking Supplies for Beginners

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 scrapbook materials to get.

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

I’ve curated a list of some of the bestsellers under each product category that you can take your pick from. I believe this beautiful collection of supplies will be wonderful for your crafting projects. Included below are some crowd favorites from various well-known brands.

Okay, so here are our Top Ten basic scrapbook supplies:

1. Cardstock/ Solid Colored Papers

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 are 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 are 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 you can use it to mat your photo. So yes, cardstock is an important element in 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, themes, weights, textures, and whether they are single-sided or double-sided.

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

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

3. Adhesives

Adhesives are what hold 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 double-sided adhesive, 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.

If you want to prevent the photo frames or embellishments on your layouts from appearing too flat, sometimes double-sided foam strips would be great at adding dimension to your layouts.

Keep in mind that you’re building memories here, so you’ll want to choose an adhesive that lasts 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 handle the pasting job nicely.

4. Pens

Choose pens that are 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 are Sakura and Zig.

5. Scissors & Trimmers

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

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

The Cutter Bee Scissors listed below have many good reviews. I own a pair of Cutter Bee Scissors for a few years now and it does its job very nicely.

Besides a pair of scissors to see you through detailed cutting jobs, get a pair that’s good for cutting a variety of craft materials.

If you are left-handed, it can be tricky to find a pair of quality scissors to get you through precise cutting work. So do check out the left-handed scissors listed below. These have been created for left-handed crafters in mind.

A good trimmer will let you slice up your papers in quick, accurate cuts and it will 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 Fiskars brand. They have a range of trimmers to suit different budgets. Listed below is one of the popular models.

6. Embellishments

Embellishments make scrapbooking so exciting! There are ephemera frames and tags, flower embellishments, journaling cards, die-cut cardstock pieces, decorative chipboards, bling jewels, and more.

The right embellishments can add sparkle and dress up a scrapbook layout. 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 embellishment kits.

With a scrapbooking 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

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

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

For post-bound albums, they normally include a number of page protectors with white blank inserts 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, so don’t be surprised that the album might not come with any page protectors or just a few pages.

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

9. Page Protectors

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 it might expose your layouts to dust and stains.

If you are buying the D-ring/3-ring albums, you would have to buy the page protectors separately. Some brands such as Dunwell use “universal” page protectors that can fit well for various brands of D-ring/3-ring albums. But do note that their refill pages don’t come with any white inserts.

If you are buying a post-bound album that comes with some top-loading page protectors and white page inserts, you might have to buy additional packs of refills as your number of scrapbooking layouts grow.

Make sure that the page protectors you’re intending to get are acid-free to protect your lovingly-created pages and that they fit your brand and type of album.

10. Storage & Organization

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 was what I thought 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 was wasted on searching and the wasted time could have been channeled into productive scrapping time.

Storage and organizers would really help to keep your scrapbooking area clean and organized. There are 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. But right below are some storage ideas that are great for starters.

Your starter’s scrapbooking supplies are now complete. There are 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. Striving for perfection kind of takes out the fun. So go make a mess and create some scrapbook pages that you’ll be enjoying years down the road.

Extra! The Scrapbook Supply that Will Speed Up Your Layout Creations

I realized that having a scrapbook sketch could really help to save me time when I was creating a layout. Sometimes, I could be staring blankly at the photos and papers and have a hard time trying to come up with a nice layout.

Those were the times when I found that having a “map” on the placements of photos, journaling area, and maybe even embellishments could be so helpful and time-saving. So if you want to spend less time not knowing what to do, and want to create more layouts in a shorter time, consider getting a scrapbook sketches e-book.

63 Double-Page Scrapbook Sketches eBook Cover Image

If You Have Time, Do Check These Out…

Don’t miss out on the 10 Tips for Scrapbooking on a Budget

Look at the 10 Hottest Scrapbooking Products

Save with Discount Scrapbooking Supplies

Find out Why do We Use Scrapbooking Books

What’s good about a Scrapbooking Page Kit

33 thoughts on “Top 10 Scrapbooking Supplies”

  1. 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.

    1. 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! :)

  2. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

        1. 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. :)

    1. Kajile,

      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.

    1. 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. :)

  4. 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??

    1. 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! :)

  5. 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 :)

    1. 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!

  6. Christina garcia

    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?

    1. Hi Laurie,

      If you’re looking to preserve your memories for the long-term, it’ll be better getting an acid-free and lignin-free scrapbook. Scrapbook paper is normally thicker to form the background paper.

      If you like the more “informal” look of a school notebook, you can take a look at smashbook here. :)

  7. Summer Durflinger

    What kind of adhesives do u recommend? I just wanted to start my scrapbook. And I didn’t know what kind of adhesives you would recommend.

    1. Hi Summer,

      If you are just starting out, you might want to consider getting the E-Z Runner. If you go to the product page, there’s even a video that shows you how to use this adhesive dispenser that makes it easy to paste photos to your cardstock and it’s also good for cardmaking. Happy scrapping! :)


    1. Hello Shalu Mishra,

      How large do you want your scrapbook to be? If it’s 12-inch by 12-inch, you can look for cardstock and patterned paper in that size. You’ll need acid-free adhesives and a journaling pen. Depending on the theme of your scrapbook, you can get some related embellishments to decorate your layouts. When you’re done, you’ll have to put your completed pages into page protectors to keep them safe. Some scrapbook albums come with page protectors and for others, you might have to buy the page protectors separately.

      To keep it simple on your first attempt, you can consider getting a scrapbook kit that has all the basic supplies to let you start creating your scrapbook pages. But do make sure that the kit contains all that you want. Some kits don’t come with the album, so be sure to check out the contents of the kit. Have fun scrapping!

  9. Hi, I’m trying to start a scrapbook. I don’t really know what card stock to get. I’m looking for some aesthetic design. I have been looking all over Amazon and it would be great if someone could recommend some paper.

    1. Hi Maria,

      If you’re looking for cardstock, it normally comes in solid colors. You can check out these cardstock at Amazon. There are a few brands of cardstock you can look at. If you like smooth cardstock, take a look at American Crafts. If you prefer textured cardstock, you might want to check out DCWV. Happy scrapping!

  10. John A DiBattiste

    I’m about to make a scrapbook with stamps (sounds odd) a page for disney, page for hockey and other things I love. Should I use a smaller book? Plus should the pages be blank or have something on them before I put the stamp on?

    1. Hi John,

      I’m not sure if you are wanting to use postage stamps or scrapbook stamps on your scrapbook pages. For the scrapbook size, you can go with the 12″x12″ or 8″x8″ pages if you prefer a smaller book. The other popular size is 8.5″x11″. For the background pages, if you’re intending to decorate the pages with either postage stamps or scrapbook stamps, perhaps solid cardstock paper would show off the stamp images more visibly. Hope this helps! :)

  11. 😀Hi Fion,😃

    What is a Scrapbook? It would help me with my independent project at school. I’ve seen them by watching “Trolls” but I still don’t understand them. 😃Thank you so much😃

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