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What is Scrapbooking Paper?

By Lauren Romano
Updated May 16, 2024
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Scrapbooking paper is used primarily in scrapbooks to create extra decoration. There are several types of paper, including card stock, vellum paper and transparencies. Patterned paper is incredibly popular as it can be used as a background or as a way to accent pictures and other items on the page.

When choosing scrapbooking paper, the most important factor is that it is lignin-free and acid-free. Lignin is a substance that can cause paper to change colors and become fragile when it comes in contact with light or heat. The acid in paper can cause the paper to break down over time. Acid-free and lignin-free papers can be a bit more expensive due to the process they have to undergo, but they can help memories stay more intact and have the desired look, even years in the future.

Some scrapbooking paper is reversible, typically in color coordinating shades such as red polka dots on white paper on one side and white polka dots on red paper on the other side. In many cases, this can be a more budget-friendly option instead of buying two separate sheets. Some packs of reversible scrapboook paper may not show what every sheet in the bunch looks like on the front and back. To prevent buying pages that aren't attractive and won't get used, only buy packs where every pattern is visible.

Scrapbooking paper should match the theme or colors on a specific page. For example, if putting in memories from a tropical vacation, consider using a tropical-themed background or one that is blue or green. The colors and patterns should complement the mementos and pictures on the page.

There is a huge variety of scrapbooking paper to choose from, so it is important to take time to really decide on the desired look. Before choosing the paper, make a rough list of the types of pages you want. For example, you might want quotes to go along with a specific photograph or a brown background to go with a certificate. It can help make it easier to make the choices and also prevent overspending on unnecessary paper.

Scrapbooking paper can be a huge asset when turning a plain scrapbook into something that reflects trips, memories, special occasions or any other moment that deserves preservation. It is one of the main items that is going to really make the scrapbook pop and reflect the desired feel and look. With the right choices, it can help make the scrapbook simply perfect.

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Discussion Comments
By Saraq90 — On Oct 31, 2011

I have never scrap-booked before, but I love to look down the scrap-book aisle at every store I go into. There are just so many awesome patterns and so many different colors and textures too. It is interesting to just go down the scrapbook aisle and get some ideas for later.

I would love to start a scrapbook, but I do not have the money or patience for it yet. I also do not print out my digital pictures very often, I just usually upload some of my pictures to my computer, and that is it. A scrapbook would probably look pretty silly with just the decorative paper and no pictures.

By jonrss — On Oct 31, 2011

I have a friend that makes her own paper and also makes custom made paper for people who order it. She will occasionally make custom scrapbook paper. If a client wants a specific look or feel or design to their scrapbook, sometimes this requires custom made paper.

I'm sure that anyone reading this article knows what an incredible and all encompassing thing a scrapbook can be. The images you put inside are important, but so is the paper that you put them on. I actually had my friend make some custom paper in this cerulean blue color that I have always loved. It is an amazing looking scrapbook.

By julies — On Oct 30, 2011

@honeybees - I don't have one specific place where you can buy wholesale scrapbook paper, but do have a few suggestions where you can save some money on your scrapbooking supplies.

If you do an online search, you will find a long list of companies who sell wholesale scrapbook paper.

I have had good results shopping the sales at my local craft stores. Whenever they have their paper on sale, I will stock up. Many times you can save at least half off when they are having a sale.

Sometimes you can also find good deals on scrapbook paper at Ebay or other online auction sites. Many times you can buy these in lots and save some money.

As far as Christmas scrapbook paper, I always stock up on this at the end of the season and save it until the next year. This is one of the best ways I know to get a good deal on Christmas scrapbooking supplies.

If you do this for every season, you can really save a bunch.

By honeybees — On Oct 30, 2011

@manykitties2 - You are right, there are so many different choices available that it can be hard to choose just one.

When I was pregnant I bought a baby scrapbooking kit that contained everything I needed. I purchased this in a pattern I liked and that way everything in the book would be coordinated.

I had more than I needed to complete one book and was even able to do double page spreads with it.

Another thing I would consider when buying your scrapbook paper supplies, is to buy paper that is acid and lignin-free. Most of them are, but just make sure that is is posted somewhere so you know for sure.

You don't want to go to all the effort and expense and not have your memories stay clear and sharp for a long time.

I love to scrapbook, but it can also get very expensive. Does anyone have any ideas for a good place to buy wholesale scrapbook paper?

By manykitties2 — On Oct 29, 2011

Can anyone offer any suggestions as to the best baby scrapbooking paper to choose?

I have been searching for the perfect gift for my sister who is due to have a little boy very soon. I know she likes scrapbooking so I want to help her out by picking up some nice paper.

I have seen oodles of designs, such as scrapbooking supplies paper with the typical alphabet blocks, to ones with a variety of animals. I really want to get her something unique because I know she'll keep the scrapbook she makes forever. I am also open to sticker and item suggestions as well.

By MissDaphne — On Oct 28, 2011

@EdRick - I do the same thing, although I usually just use white card stock instead of printed papers.

When I do use printed paper, though, I never really want two sides anyway. Maybe I'm using Christmas scrapbooking paper for Christmas - but I just have a one- or two-page spread. The other side will be white or some other neutral color; I don't need another side of Christmas.

Another advantage of doing only one side is that it makes it easier if you ever want to remove the pictures. My mother made a lovely scrapbook of her parents' old photos, but she didn't want to cut them or make it so they couldn't be removed. At first, she used those slide-in corners you can get. But then she realized it would be easier to just stick the pictures on, but to use single-sides. That way, if she ever needs to remove a picture later, she can just cut the paper.

By popcorn — On Oct 28, 2011

Choosing scrapbook paper can be a tough job because there are so many varieties available. I think that if you want paper for scrapbooking you should check out some of the craft stores in your area and see what they have available, and if anything is on sale.

I have found scrapbooking paper supplies to be pretty expensive, but if you have items and photos you want to preserve it is a good idea to invest in quality stuff. My favorite scrapbooking paper is actually made to look like silk and there is another kind that is holographic, which I like. Pretty much there is scrapbooking paper for every look imaginable.

By EdRick — On Oct 28, 2011

It's true that you can buy double-sided paper for scrapbooking, but I never, ever do that. All it took was one time that I had a bad experience. I was using 12 x 12 paper, so it was quite square. I put pictures on one side, flipped it over, and did the other side - at a different orientation. I had to remove all the pictures from one side!

Now, I use only one side of the paper. That way, I don't have to worry about accidentally making them face different ways. Plus, I always worried that I would damage the completed side while I worked on the back, no matter how careful I was.

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