Choosing Scrapbooking Supplies

Scrapbooking is one of the most creative ways to tell your stories and record your memories!

Scrapbooking Formats

There are a few main formats in scrapbooking, and it's worth deciding which one will suit you best before committing to buying your supplies. The standard standard measurements are in inches, so take that into account as you go.

Traditional Scrapbooking

This is the format that most people picture when they think of scrapbooking.

It features:

  • Layouts created on single sheets, usually 12x12 sized, but sometimes also 8.5 x 11, and 9x12.
  • Scope for making anything from very simple designs, to highly elaborate and decorative ones
  • Lots of potential for mixed media play
Scrapbooking Buying Guide

Pocket Scrapping

Also called 'Project Life' after it's original form, this is a modern scrapbooking format using plastic sheets with pockets for photos and journaling.

It features:

  • A variety of album sizes, the most common of which are
    • 12x12
    • 9x12
    • 6x8
    • 4x4
  • A quicker and more structured format for everyday storytelling
  • The option to purchase coordinated kits for cohesively themed albums
  • Freedom to keep things simple, or get creative with how you use the plastic pockets, for example making shaker pockets, transparent sections, flip pockets and more.

Non-Standard Formats

Anything can be a scrapbook if you want it to. Many scrapbookers work in notebooks, handmade books, or create interesting folders, files, or flip books.

These allow:

  • Greater size flexibility
  • The ability to tailor the format to the occasion, for example a small portable notebook for travel, or a handmade album to give as a gift.

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The stories you want to tell should dictate the format you choose. What do you want to scrapbook?

What do you want to scrapbook?




"I want to make occasional layouts to record special events."




"I want to journal my everyday stories regularly."

Not recommended



"I want to make a special scrapbook to give as a gift."




"I want to make a travel journal on my holiday."

Not recommended



"I want to record my pregnancy, or my baby's first year."




"I want to keep ongoing scrapbooks for each of my kids."




Scrapbooking Essentials

Once you've decided on how you want to scrapbook, it's time to get set up with your basic supplies. You only need a few things to begin.

A scrapbook

  • 12 x 12 albums require page protectors to slip layouts into, and an album to store them in. These albums are most widely available in two kinds:
    • Post-bound, where the album has metal posts drilled into it, on which page protectors can be stacked and secured,
    • 3 ring, like any ring-bound folder, these can be pulled open and closed to add and remove pages
  • Pocket scrapbooking albums require an album, and page protectors that fit inside it. You'll find that there are often a range of different pocket configurations for each different album size.
  • Non-standard scrapbooking simply requires you to make or choose a book, album, or diary to scrap in.

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Scrapbooking Buying Guide
Scrapbooking Buying Guide

Paper or card

  • Plain cardstock, or patterned scrapbook paper are the essential materials here. Buy it in sheets or pads at 12 x 12 size, and cut it down for use in whichever format you prefer.
  • You can buy themed sets of cards designed to fit in the pockets of pocket scrapbooking albums. These make it extremely easy to create coordinated pages.

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Cutting tools

  • Paper trimmers are the best way to get the clean straight lines you need for scrapbooking. Make sure you buy one that is big enough to handle your 12 x 12 paper and cardstock.
  • Having a smaller pair of hand scissors for other cutting and trimming jobs is also a good idea when scrapbooking.

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  • You don't need heaps of pens to begin with. A single, good quality one will do. Just make sure it has archival ink, and test it before use.
  • If you think you'd like to write directly on photos, it's worth getting an oil based permanent pen that won't smudge on glossy surfaces.

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  • The most useful scrapbooking adhesive is double sided tape. It will stick your photos and papers together securely and easily.
  • If you start using other embellishments with different weights and textures, you'll need to use more specialised tapes and glues.

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Scrapbooking Buying Guide

Creative Embellishments

There are as many ways to make your scrapbooks unique as you can imagine.


  • Sets of alphabet stickers are a great place to start - use them to make creative titles and headings.

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Die Cuts

  • Use die cut embellishments to layer with photos, or create pretty decorative clusters. These are flat enough to fit in pockets, but can also be used in more dimensional layouts.
  • Buy premade packs, or make your own with a cutting machine.

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Dimensional Embellishments

  • Wood veneer shapes add warmth to a layout, and can also be dyed or painted any colour you like.
  • Use buttons from your sewing stash to add pops of colour
  • Create sparkly accents with sequins and glitter. You can even use them create shaker pockets in your pocket scrapbooks.
  • Brads, or split pins, are a great alternative to tape or glue for affixing photos and paper elements to a page. They add both colour and another layer of detail.
  • Chipboard embellishments generally come in themed sheets of shapes, or as alphabets. Their extra height can really lift a scrapbooking page.
  • Ribbon, lace, twine and other trim can add beautiful texture any memory keeping project. You can even try sewing on your pages with embroidery floss, or your sewing machine.

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Washi Tape

  • Washi is an easy way to brighten up any papercraft, and scrapbooking is no exception. Use it as an adhesive, or simply as a decorative accent.

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Scrapbooking Buying Guide


  • Stamps of all shapes and sizes can be used widely in scrapbooking. Just make sure you use archival quality ink, and test it first for bleeding.

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Mixed Media Supplies

  • Spray inks and mists can bring colour and shine. They can be used with stencils, or just on their own
  • Watercolours and acrylic paints lend artistic effects to headings and backgrounds.
  • Draw, doodle, and and colour with your pencils and markers.

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Still looking for craft & hobbies inspiration?

Check out Spotlight's range of Craft & Hobbies available online, visit your local store or contact one of our experts for assistance.

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