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If you're just getting started on your scrapbook albums, or thinking about starting an album, there are some things you should know.

Myths of Scrapbooking

1.  Scrapbooking is only for "crafty" people.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Scrapbooking is actually for all people who take photos.  When you spend all of the money buying the right camera, the right film, and finding the right place to develop your photos, it only makes sense to protect that investment.  The best way to accomplish this is to put your photos into a safe, acid-free album.  Your album doesn't have to be a work of art, but it can be a storybook of your life and the lives of your family members.  The only goal you should have is to make your album clean, classic, and complete.

2.  Scrapbooking takes too much time!

Keeping your album up-to-date is not a matter of time, it is a matter of commitment.  Like anything else in life, if it is important to you, you will find the time for it.  How much time do you spend watching TV?  Organize and crop your photos while you're watching your favorite show.  Sign up for a monthly workshop where you can focus a block of time (usually 3-4 hours) just working on your scrapbook.  Or just say, "This is my time to do something really important," and sit down to work.

3.  Scrapbooking is expensive.

When you decide to invest in a scrapbook album, again you must think about protecting your photographic investment.  Many of us will go out on Friday night and spend upwards of $50.00.  The memory of that night may be fleeting, but your photos and the memories behind them are something you will want to cherish forever.  Aren't they worth at least that much to you?  Buying a "cheap" album may not always be the way to go.  You will want to make sure to find an album and supplies that are safe for your photos.  Yet, you don't need to go out and buy everything related to scrapbooking, especially when you're just getting started.  Of course, you will want to get the essentials, but you can add to your collection of supplies later as you see fit.

What do you need to get started?

There are lots of scrapbooking supplies on the market today, but you really don't need a lot to get started.  In fact, there are really on a few "must-haves."  From there, you can add to your collection of supplies as needed.  Here is a list of essentials:

A scrapbook album with pages--you will want to choose an album that includes pages that are acid-free and lignin-free.  I recommend the 12 X 12 album by Creative Memories because I think that they are the best on the market.  The pages are big enough to include pictures, decorations, and journaling.  They feature a flex-hinged binding that allows you to add pages and rearrange them as you like.  The pages are buffered which gives you a smooth surface to work on and will keep the pages a bright-white that won't become discolored over time.  They also have reinforced edges that will stand up to all the page-turning your albums will get.  They come in a variety of colors and include 30 pages.

Page protectors--page protectors are essential because they protect your pages from dirt, grease, and an occasional child with a crayon.  They are also great for protecting your pages from the abrasion that occurs when your pages rub against each other.

A pen for journaling--as with other supplies, you will want to find a pen with ink that is safe and that will stand the test of time.  The best pen is one that is acid-free, water-proof, and fade-proof.  Not all pens are all of these things, so be sure to check before buying one.

A safe adhesive--when you are adhering photos and decorative paper to your pages, you will want to use an acid-free adhesive.  There are many types of adhesives and what you choose will depend on what is easiest for you.  Some of the types that are available include photo splits, tape runners, photo tape, and plastic photo corners.

Supplies you will want to add:

bulletDecorative templates
bulletDecorative paper (Acid-free)
bulletStickers and die cuts (Acid-free)
bulletPaper trimmer
bulletCircle/Oval cutting system
bulletColored pens (Thin and Thick)