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Scrapbook Album Basics

Updated on May 12, 2016
linfcor profile image

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

How To Chose A Scrapbook Album

Once you decide to start scrapbooking, the first thing that you will need to decide is what album you are going to start with. I have to say that the first time I faced this choice, I became very confused over the many choices that I had. No matter if you are a beginning scrapbook artist or an experienced one, it's important to know and understand the differences between scrapbook albums so that you can make the right choice for your project. Here is everything you need to know about choosing a scrapbook album.

To start with, the names of the albums is basically based on the way they are bound. Most of the styles are covered here to make it easy for you to chose.

In addition, you will need to think about the type of material that the scrapbook is covered in. Some will be vinyl and some will be leather, so it's your choice

Finally you will need to think about the size that you want to chose. The most popular album is the 12"x12". But there are other sizes such as a 9" x 9" and a 6"x6" . If you want to create an album that will hold pictures and memorabilia, then the 12"x12" would be your best choice. I tend to use the other sizes for things like brag books and gift albums.

Quality Over Price

When you are looking for an album, more than likely you look at price. While I agree price should be a consideration, quality should also be weighed into your decision. If the cover of the album and the covers are not good quality and weigh enough, more than likely it will fall apart once you add lots of pages. So, consider how many pages will be in your album. The more pages that will be in it, the better the album should be.

Scrapbook Album Sizes

When it comes to choosing the size of your album, there is not one that is better than another. It's better to chose an album based on your need or project. The most popular size is the 12" x 12". It's most readily available and often comes as a complete kit. This size is best where you want to use multiple pictures and memorabilia.

There is also a 9'x9 ' size which of course is smaller and takes less paper and embellishments.

The 8 1/2 ' x 11" size is perfect for smaller projects like vacations, a year of school or a pet album.

The 6" x 6" size is also available. This is a great size for beginners or children to work on.

Themed Scrapbook Albums

Special Choices For Special Scrapbooks

These days the scrapbook industry has responded to the demand for special scrapbook albums. Now, you can get more themes beyond just the plain Jane albums. You can get sport themed scrapbook albums, wedding albums, birthday albums, special occasion albums, Disney and cruise albums. If you are creating a special scrapbook for a special someone, you will be able to make it personal with a themed scrapbook album.

No matter what album you chose, it's always smart to buy extra photo protectors at the time of purchase. That way you have the right size when you go to expand your album

What is Your Favorite Type Of Scrapbook Album?

What is your favorite type of scrapbook album

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Post Bound Album

Most Popular Scrapbook Album

When you shop for a scrapbook album, more than likely you will see more post bound albums. These albums are head in place by screws and posts that bind the book together. The page protectors have holes in them that fit over the posts. The page protectors line up to fit that particular manufacturers albums. The scrapbook pages are generally loaded into the page protectors from the top, making it easy to lead and unload them. They can be loaded on both sides of the page protector, which allows you to create two pages facing each other as in a layout. The other feature of the post bound album, is that you can add more pages by adding additional posts. You simply unscrew the screws, add extenders and then add additional posts. For me as I add more and more pages to my albums this makes it really easy. They generally come with 10 page protectors already loaded in the album

Three Ring Albums

Another Album Alternative

Think of a loose leaf binder and you can imagine easily what a three ring album is. Instead of posts that bind the album together, there are rings. You still have page protectors just like a post bound album. Ring albums allow you to open pages that lay open flat. The advantage of this type of album is that it is easier and faster to add pages and move them around.. They come in either a "D ring album" or an "O ring album" Most recently you can see these albums being used for Project Life projects. I have a very special ring album that my daughter in law made for me with a Christmas theme that I treasure.

Strap Hinge Album

Strap-hinge style scrapbooks use pages that have staples built into the edges. Plastic straps slide through these staples and hold the pages in the book. Since the pages themselves are bound into the book, page protector sleeves are slid over the pages to cover them. To add or remove pages from the album the strap-hinge assembly is taken apart. They are not as popular as they have been in the past, but are still available. The plastic wire loops run all the through the edges of each page. Since the straps have already been slid over the pages to cover them, it's a tedious task to remove the straps in order to add or remove pages from the album. So this type of album would be best used for yearly additions like Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries ect.

Book Bound Albums

These are bound just like a book would be. They don't have pages that can be loaded, but often have perforations so that you can tear unwanted pages away. You cannot add pages to these types of albums. A book bound album is easier to work with when you want to add bulky embellishments

Scrapbooking Albums – Scrapbook Creative ideas, Crafts Galore, Making Memories
Scrapbooking Albums – Scrapbook Creative ideas, Crafts Galore, Making Memories

Spiral Bound Albums

These albums are much like the spiral notebooks from your school days. They are generally plain, often made of kraft paper. You can decorate the covers. While, they will not hold many pictures, they are perfect for art journals, garden journals and beginning scrapbooks for children. You could use these with stickers and art materials as a birthday party activity or a birthday favor

Save Page Protector Inserts

Save money on page protectors. Keep the insert from your page protectors. That way when you are shopping, you will always know what size and kind you will need. Place this insert in the back of the album you are working on. I keep the insert in a page protector in the back

What Scrapbook Albums Are You Working On? - What Albums Have You Chosen And Are Your Favorites?

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    • linfcor profile image

      Linda F Correa 3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @Sylvestermouse: I was a big post bound album fan, but recently I too have begun to see the advantages of the three ring albums. With project life, they have really jumped in popularity

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      I really do love scrapbooks! I grew up with the spiral bound albums, but I have come to prefer the binders with the 3 rings so I can move things around, remove or add content easily.