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Tips and Solutions Detail

Basic Scrapbooking Setup

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The first step to scrapbooking or any other kind of craft, is deciding on a space.

One of the beauties of scrapbooking is that it can be whatever you want to make it - and that goes for your work space, too. You can make it as large as an entire room or as small as a folding table. Design your scrapbook space for flow. Once you know where to put your scrapbook workstation, put your hands out in front of you in the spot you choose as your immediate workspace. Anywhere you can reach without stretching is your critical workspace. In that space, put your most important tools, such as your scissors, trimmer, adhesive, etc. Beyond arm's length, you can start to sort less-frequently-used materials. Remember to use your wall space and under-the-table space for organizing all your supplies and photos. Now it’s time to get the right tools. Besides your comfortable chair and table workstation, you'll need to have a few tools to start. I recommend you use this checklist for your shopping:



  1. Buy an album with sheet protectors. Decide what size album you want to put your layouts in. They come as small as 2" x 2" or as big as 12" x 12" or larger.
  2. Cardstock and patterned papers. Be sure to have extra white and black cardstock as these are used most for matting pictures.
  3. Get sharp scissors and a paper trimmer. Both are tools you'll need to cut, size and crop photographs.
  4. Think about what you want to attach to your pages and buy the proper adhesive. You can use wet or dry adhesives. Wet adhesives come in forms such as glue sticks, glue pens or liquid glue. Dry adhesives include tapes and transfer adhesives such as dots or mounting tabs. A good starter kit is photo corners (so you can remove and replace photos as needed in the future), a glue stick to adhere paper, and glue dots to adhere heavier embellishments like ribbon or buttons.
  5. You'll want to have a variety of pens for journaling, the part of your page where you write about the photographs and your experiences. Be sure to purchase basic dark colors like black, blue and brown, along with some of your favorite fun colors like pink or green. Before purchasing any pens, be sure to test them for visibility and writing ease. Be especially careful of yellow pens, as they can be too pale to read.


  • Two long Lifetime tables in an "L" shape, or three in a “U” shape make a great work station for a group. To establish place settings, sit at each chair and mark off the furthest you can reach to your right and left. If no workspaces overlap, your group should have plenty of space.
  • Be sure that all products you buy are approved for scrapbooking otherwise you could end up with acid migration on your page over time and ruined photographs. The price ranges vary greatly so check local craft and scrapbook stores. Your starter supplies could cost as little as $30 or as much as $150, depending on the types and quantities of products you buy.

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