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How to Choose the Right Materials and Tools for Scrapbooking

Part of the Scrapbooking For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you want your scrapbooks to stand the ravages of time — and that's the whole point of scrapbooking, isn't it? — you need to choose your materials and tools carefully. The following list offers advice on picking the materials that will enhance your efforts:

  • Skip the magnetic albums and page protectors made with vinyl or acetate components, because items made of those materials stick to, discolor, and deteriorate photos. Select safe page protectors made of polyester (Mylar), polypropylene, or polyethylene.

  • Pick the right album for the right project. For instance, if you like moving things around, use a post-bound or strap-hinge album. Each of these albums enables you to change the order of your pages. You have a wide variety of albums to choose from, so read labels carefully, and look for overall quality.

  • Try removable or repositionable adhesives so you can move elements around without damaging them, but remember that even these adhesives become permanent within various time periods.

  • No matter what, choose papers that are acid-free, lignin-free, and buffered. Buffered means they include alkaline substances that neutralize acids the paper may come in contact with.

  • For success at every cutting job, keep a paper trimmer and an assortment of scissors at hand, including straight, decorative, and detail scissors. Cutting templates also are helpful.

  • Buying stickers made by the same manufacturer helps you achieve unity and consistency in an album.

  • Choose wood- or acrylic-mounted stamps and inking pads with pigment-based inks.

  • Always use a pigment-based ink pen that is light-fast, fade-resistant, and waterproof for journaling.

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