The Scrapbooking Tools and Materials to Make Your First Album

These supplies will take your next project into a family heirloom.  

Martha Stewart Fine Glitter
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Today, the vast majority of our favorite snapshots live in albums on our phones. While it's a nice luxury to have thousands of images at our fingertips at all times, there's something about the medium that lacks the personality of a tangible album you can thumb through with loved ones peering over your shoulder. So, we're here to make the argument that things like home videos and scrapbooking are more important than ever—and that they should make a comeback.

Beyond the sentimentality of it all, scrapbooking is a fun and zen-inducing pastime. Whether you're looking for a way to pass the time during quarantine, need to craft a special Mother's Day gift, or simply like to keep your hands busy while you watch the latest and greatest show, this paper craft is a great option.

Unlike artful hobbies with a more complex learning curve—think embroidery, sewing, or even painting—scrapbooking is an easy one to pick up, even for the youngest set. As long as you have the right supplies in front of you, creating the perfect scrapbook is a personal journey that requires minimal skill. You're simply pasting together different mediums—namely photos, paper, stickers, and other small embellishments—to create a lasting memory of a special time or event in your life.

Top Picks

If you're ready to tap into your creative side and experiment with scrapbooking, here's what you'll need to get started on your first project, plus a few things that'll help take your album to a whole other level.

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Scrapbook Album

Recollections Cloth Scrapbook Album, 12" by 12",

The first thing you'll need is, of course, a blank canvas to work with. Look for something with pages large enough to fit multiple photos along with embellishments and any other tangible goods—ticket stubs, for example—you might want to put inside. This 12-by-12 option, which features a photo opening on the cloth cover, is a great option.

Shop Now: Recollections Cloth Scrapbook Album, 12" by 12", $20.99,

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Album Refill

Recollections Scrapbook Album Refill

If you're making a yearly album or a baby book, you'll need more pages than you would to memorialize something like a week-long vacation. If the standard 10- to 12-page books don't provide enough space, you can pick up compatible refill sheets to add to your book.

Shop Now: Recollections Scrapbook Album Refill, from $4.99,

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Solid Card stock

ColorBok Primary Cardstock, 12" by 12"

Every scrapbooker should have a simple set of solid card stock for backgrounds and other paper embellishments, like cut-out shapes. This set of 12-by-12 inch paper comes in vivid primary colors, so you'll seldom be without the shade you need, whether making stars, hearts, or even a rainbow shadow box for your favorite photo.

Shop Now: ColorBok Primary Cardstock, 12" by 12", $25,

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Patterned Card stock

ColorBok Designer Paper Pad Mint Julip, 12" by 12"

Supplement solid-colored card stock with playful patterns to add a bit of personality to the pages of your book. You can find a set for just about any aesthetic, from feminine pastels to dark and moody florals to masculine plaids.

Shop Now: ColorBok Designer Paper Pad Mint Julip, 12" by 12", $5.49,

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Paper Trimmer

Fiskars SureCut Deluxe Craft Paper Trimmer

Ensure any cuts you make are precise, straight, and nice and crisp. At 12 inches, this cutter is small enough to fit on the tabletop but large enough for standard scrapbook-size card stock.

Shop Now: Fiskars SureCut Deluxe Craft Paper Trimmer, $35.99,

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Paper Edgers

Fiskars Victorian Paper Edger

Of course, sometimes you'll want your edges to be a bit more decorative. Make quick and precise work of this kind of detailing with edgers—scissors specifically made for making embellished edges.

Shop Now: Fiskars Victorian Paper Edger, $6.40,

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Detail Scissors

Beaditive High Precision Detail Scissors

The larger scissors you have in your home won't do for the smaller, more precise cuts a scrapbooker has to make, so invest in a super sharp and small pair made exactly for that. This particular set of two is crafted with heavy-duty steel that's rust and corrosion resistant to go the distance, even if they regularly come into contact with glue.

Shop Now: Beaditive High Precision Detail Scissors, $11.99,

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Adhesive Dots

Aleene's Instant Tacky Adhesive Dots

Rather than contend with globs of glue, use these mini adhesives to tack down photos, paper, and other embellishments. But be sure to be just as precise as you would with liquid glue–once down, these are hard to take up.

Shop Now: Aleene's Instant Tacky Adhesive Dots, $6.91,

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Dual-Tip Brush Marker Pens

Tanmit Dual-Tip Brush Marker Pens

For doodles, dates, and notes about any special trips or events, stock up on archival quality pens or markers. This set has dual tips—a fine point for writing and a brush pen for drawing—and comes with 36 colors to afford you the most flexibility.

Shop Now: Tanmit Dual-Tip Brush Marker Pens, $10.99 for 36,

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Lettering Stickers

Meri Meri English Garden Alphabet Sticker Sheets,

Whether you're still working on your penmanship or simply want to mix styles, these letter sticks make a fun addition to your project. (They're especially good for kid scrapbookers!) In a single package, you'll get 10 sheets of floral letters in gold foil detail.

Shop Now: Meri Meri English Garden Alphabet Sticker Sheets, $9,

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Martha Stewart Fine Glitter

Add some sparkle to your pages with a set of glitter. This set from Martha Stewart includes 24 individual bottles in fine texture.

Shop Now: Martha Stewart Fine Glitter, $34.71,

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Cutting Machine

Cricut Explore Air 2

For avid scrapbookers, an investment that's worth its weight in gold. The Cricut Explore One Air Machine works with a compatible app (or desktop program) called Cricut Design Space that allows you to cut thousands of intricate pre-made designs with the press of a button. Of course, skilled crafters may also create their own designs.

Shop Now: Cricut Explore Air 2, $199,

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