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Discover The Top 14 Essential Scrapbooking Supplies Every Scrapbooker Needs!

scrapbooking supplies
Essential scrapbooking supplies
It can be really overwhelming trying to work out the best scrapbook supplies you will actually need to get started with scrapbooking.
 
However, although it's tempting to buy all the beautiful paper and handy craft cutters out there, it's actually not necessary, particularly when you are new to scrapbooking and just starting to build your own scrapbooking supplies stash.

If you're wondering about "what do you need for scrapbooking?" then fret not because I've created an essential and fun-to-have scrapbooking supplies list to help you get started on building your very own crafty stash.
Essential Scrapbook Supplies

#1 - Cardstock and paper in solid colors

Besides the photographs themselves, the best scrapbooking supplies to start with is both a pad of 12-inch x 12-inch cardstock and paper for scrapbook in solid colors.
 
Cardstock in particular is a must-have as you will use it for the base of your beautiful scrapbook page layout and sometimes as a matt for your actual photographs. The paper is used to layer and embellish your page.

If you would like your scrapbook page layouts to last for years without turning that aged yellow color, make sure you search for paper stacks labeled as ''acid-free'' or ''archival safe.''

Cardstock and paper pads can be purchased from craft stores, scrapbooking stores, and the craft section of large department stores such as Walmart.
 
The pretty pastel-colored Cardstock pad below can be purchased from Walmart.
cardstocks for scrapbook album
Cardstocks comes in varying thickness and price point
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#2 - Patterned paper

I don't know about you, but all the beautiful patterned paper is what drew me to scrapbooking to start with and it's one of my favorite scrapbooking supplies. The patterned paper will be used to decorate and embellish your scrapbook page layout, instantly transforming it from drab to fab.

Patterned paper varies wildly, with stacks of paper often being sold in a particular color scheme or theme. Some patterned paper stacks even come with matching scrapbook stickers or smaller images that you can cut out to embellish your layout.
 
The ''bundle of joy'' themed paper pad below features a sticker sheet and can be purchased from Walmart.
scrapbooking paper
Patterned papers are available at almost every craft stores!

#3 - Scissors

When it comes to scrapbooking supplies, a pair of scissors is one of those things you just can't do without. It's worth investing in good quality, sturdy pair of scissors as you will be using them nearly every time you sit down to do some scrapbooking.

I like to have a large pair for cutting larger pieces and a smaller pair designed for cutting out intricate pieces.
 
The scissor set below from Fiskars is a great all-purpose set that will work for a multitude of crafting projects.
scrapbook scissors
Scissors are one of the most essential basic scrapbook items that you'll need
for any craft projects that you'll work on.

#4 - Paper trimmer

Although it could be argued that you can cut out everything with scissors, I believe paper trimmers should be included in any list of essential scrapbooking supplies as it gives a precise cut each and every time to your straight edges, something that is hard to get right with just a pair of scissors.

Paper trimmers can be quite affordable (although there are definitely expensive state-of-the-art ones out there) but my tip is no matter what price range you get, make sure it will fit 12-inch x 12-inch scrapbook paper.
 
Fiskars makes great portable paper trimmers at a low-cost price range that will fit your craft paper.
scrapbook paper cutter

#5 - Scrapbook album with page protectors

Of course, after creating your beautiful scrapbook page layout, you're going to want to put it in an album to both protect it and display it. There are a few different options when it comes to purchasing a scrapbook album, but the most popular albums are the three-ring album and a post-bound album.

The three-ring album uses standard three-ring binder style hinges to hold page protectors in which you will slot your finished layouts. It is really easy to add and remove pages making it a top choice for many scrappers.
A post-bound album is made with two or three screws and posts that hold the book together. The posts are inserted into holes in the page protectors however you have to disassemble the album to add and remove pages.
 
The upside to a post-bound album is that when you lay it flat, there is no large gap between your double-page spreads, unlike the three-ring binder.

You may need to buy your page protectors separately however these are essential to scrapbooking so make sure you grab them at the same time as your album so that you can make sure they fit the album you have chosen.
 
The three-ring album below can be purchased from Amazon
scrapbook album

#6 - Adhesives

There are a lot of different adhesives on the market for scrapbooking however I recommend starting with just three, a glue stick, tape roller, and a liquid adhesive.

Now, a glue stick is the kind of solid glue that goes up and down like lipstick with a little twisty handle on the bottom. Your glue stick will be used to stick down your photo or paper elements to the cardstock base.
 
You will want to make sure your gluestick is acid-free to make sure it doesn't damage your layout elements over time.
 
acid free glue or adhesives
Acid Free Glue Is Every Scrappers Best Friend!
Tape rollers are a handy scrapbook supply as they are mess-free and really simple to use. The tape (or glue) is double-sided and sits inside a little dispenser that fits neatly in your hand.
 
All you need to do is roll the tip of the dispenser over the paper you would like the glue applied to and stick whatever needs sticking down on top. They usually have a stronger hold than glue sticks so they're great for sticking down photographs and cardstock embellishments.
 
The tape roller below can be purchased from Walmart
acid free scrapbooking glue
Acid Free Tape Rollers Comes In Disposable And Refillable Types
Liquid acid free glue for scrapbooking should only be used for sticking down embellishments and things that need a little extra ''gumption'' when it comes to an adhesive. The reason for this is that paper and cardstock can bend and warp if it absorbs too much liquid, completely ruining your scrapbook page layout.
 
There are heaps of liquid glues on the market but just make sure to get one labeled acid-free so it stands the test of time.
acid free adhesives for scrapbooking
When looking for adhesives, search for the ones that says acid free on the label

#7 - Embellishments

The term ''embellishments'' is pretty broad when it comes to scrapbooking, but it basically means any decorative elements that you intend to add to your scrapbooking layout.
 
This could range from buttons to cute DIY printed graphics through to pre-purchased die-cuts or sticker embellishments.

You don't need a whole lot to start with, but it helps to have a little box full of items that you can look through and grab as you go along.
scrapbook album embellishments
Organize Your Scrapbook Page Embellishments For A Stress Free Scrapbooking

Fun-To-Have Scrapbooking Supplies

#8 - Craft paper punches

I've said it before and I'll say it again, craft paper punches are the ''affordable luxury'' of scrapbooking. They add flair to your scrapbooking layouts and feature a precision that is just not possible when cutting by hand.

Craft paper punches can be purchased everywhere, from two-dollar stores to department stores through to craft stores with a dedicated papercraft section. Do yourself a favor though and invest in a few good-quality ones. Trust me, you can really notice the difference when you switch back to the two-dollar store ones.

Fiskars make great quality decorative paper punches and I particularly like the one below as it creates both a banner shape and a tag shape, both of which can be used time and time again on your scrapbooking layouts.
scrapbook paper punches

#9 - Die cut machine (either manual or electric)

It won't be too long before you start realizing that a die-cutting machine would make a fabulous addition to your supplies.
 
A die-cutting machine is a machine that cuts out shapes for you. The shapes can range from simple to really intricate but it's guaranteed that you will get the exact same precision shape each and every time.

There are two main types of die-cutting machines, a manual and an electric. A manual machine is the more affordable option and works like a cookie-cutter.
 
The ''cookie cutter'' is actually called a die, and is a metal-shaped object with a raised-sharp area for cutting. This die cuts the shape into your paper or cardstock by being rolled through the machine with a crank handle.
 
An electric machine doesn't require a die and is controlled by computer software, with a blade in the machine passing over the paper to make the cuts.
 
Below is an example of some leaf-shaped die for a manual machine
scrapbook die cut

#10 - Cutting mat and craft knife

This could almost be placed in the essential sections as once you have them, you will most likely use them every time you settle in for a scrapbooking session. Your craft knife can be used for all sorts of cutting.
 
A straight line is achieved by anchoring it against a metal ruler when you make the cut and curvy or intricate cuts are achieved by rotating your wrist and the paper a little as you go.

However, you will need to get a cutting mat at the same time. The reason for this is that craft knives are notoriously sharp and will absolutely cut anything and everything below your paper, including your scrapbooking desk.
 
Cutting mats are rubbery and as a result, they ''self heal'' as soon as the cut is made.
 
I love this simple craft knife below from Fiskars.
scrapbook craft knife

11 - Pens and markers

Eventually, you will end up with a nice little (okay, probably large) collection of various pens and scrapbooking markers. These will be used to write headings, journal onto your scrapbooking layouts, create unique little doodles for your pages, and more.
 
The markers below can be purchased from Walmart.
scrapbook markers

#12 - Washi tapes

As a self-confessed washi tape addict, this is by far my favorite item on the fun-to-have scrapbooking supplies list. The best part? They've become so popular that you can usually find them everywhere that sell scrapbook supplies, including the craft section of large department stores.

Washi tapes are basically beautiful decorative sticky tape. Although not always used to stick things down, they are often used as more of a decorative element on scrapbooking pages.
 
The pretty floral washi tape set below can be purchased from Amazon.
washi tape scrapbook

#13 - Alphabet letter stickers

Alphabet letter stickers are a lifesaver for those of us with messy handwriting. Basically, you just peel them off the sticker sheet and use them as you wish. They are often used for scrapbook page titles and come in a variety of fun writing styles and colors.
 
The alphabet sticker pack below can be purchased from Amazon.
scrapbook crafts letter stickers
You can also use scrapbook rub ons as an alternative to stickers!

#14 - Stamps and inks

I should give fair warning, once you start buying scrapbooking stamps and inks, it's really hard to stop (a bit like washi tape). Regardless of whether you choose the older style wooden block stamps, or the more modern clear stamps with removable acrylic backs, adding stamps and ink to your scrapbook supplies will really level up your scrapbooking layouts.

Again, these are so popular that you can buy them in most places that sell papercraft materials. The cute flower stamps below can be purchased from Walmart.
scrapbook stamps and inks
For tips and ideas about where to shop for your supplies, read our article "Scrapbook stores near me" and save money by discovering the best places for shopping and get the best price deals from your favorite brands of scrapbook supplies!

So there we have it, the best essential and fun-to-have scrapbook supplies. Is there any scrapbook supply that you just can't live without? Have I missed anything important? We'd love to hear your thoughts.
Happy scrapping!
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