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Must-Have Scrapbooking Supplies List


For some of us, to call scrapbooking just a hobby is like calling Mille-Feuille just a dessert. Also known as Napoleon pastry, Mille-Feuille is an exquisite French treat made of alternating layers of flaky puff pastry and rich pastry cream. You need skill to assemble the delicate layers into a culinary masterpiece.

Similarly, scrapbooking is a multilayered passion that includes the desire to celebrate life’s moments in a tangible way, to express your creativity, build a legacy for future generations — and have fun! It takes skill and the proper tools to transform these goals into a beautiful compilation of photos and stories.


As a modern-day scrapbooker, you have several ways to express your craft — traditional, digital, and hybrid. The differences boil down to the tools and techniques used, the type of book that results, and ways of sharing and storing your scrapbook. Traditional scrapbooking is a hands-on, tactile experience using physical supplies like paper, pens, and embellishments to create layouts in an album. Digital scrapbooking is a computer-based approach, using digital software and images. You can either print your digital layouts and place them directly into a physical scrapbook or share your creation through digital devices. Combining both traditional and digital methods, hybrid scrapbooking involves printing out digital layouts and then decorating the pages with physical elements like stickers, ribbons, and buttons.


Having the right tools is key to a scrapbook you’re proud of. Let’s look at the most important elements.

  1. CARD STOCK. Of course, you’d expect a paper company to top the list with paper! And for good reason: High-quality card stock will impact the look and feel of your entire project. Traditional scrapbookers can choose from our collection of photo satin, photo glossy, and photo matte papers. Avid digital and hybrid scrapbookers can peruse our 12”x12” inkjet paper selection for the most popular options suitable for any inkjet printer. Still can’t decide? Try our Scrapbookers Inkjet Sample Kit and have a blast experimenting!
  2. SOFTWARE. The right software will influence how much you’ll enjoy digital scrapbooking. Programs vary by capability and learning curve. Our top choice right now is Photoshop Elements, which gives you virtually unlimited options for layout look, feel, and size. No matter which software you go with, if you take the time to really learn how to use it, you’ll be much happier in the long run.
  3. PRINTER. A key player in the digital and hybrid scrapbooking arena, a printer allows you to turn your digital designs into material memories. Look for a desktop inkjet printer that prints 12”x12” sheets. Check out our list of nearly 20 recommended inkjet printers, along with advice on pigment vs. dye inks.
  4. ADHESIVE. Traditional and hybrid scrapbookers need a reliable adhesive to keep photos and embellishments securely in place. Popular options include glue sticks, mess-free glue dots, double-sided tape in various widths, liquid adhesives for heavier items or intricate die-cuts, foam tape to add dimension, and decorative masking washi tape for adding borders, banners, and accents. Remember to choose acid-free, photo-safe adhesives so your scrapbook pages stand the test of time.
  5. SCISSORS. Versatile heroes of the crafting world, a humble pair of scissors is your go-to for trimming photos, cutting paper shapes, and snipping ribbon. Look for scissors with ergonomic handles to help prevent hand fatigue. Some even have non-stick blades that help thwart adhesive buildup. Scissors with smaller blades give you better control for intricate clips, while larger scissors can handle thicker materials and make longer cuts.
  6. PAPER TRIMMER. While scissors are great for freehand cutting, a paper trimmer offers precision and consistency. With built-in measurements and a sharp cutting blade, a paper trimmer makes quick work of pruning paper and card stock to size. Plus, it's perfect for those times when you need a straight line but your hand insists on doing the cha-cha. For the complete lowdown on this topic, see our blog post Learn How to Cut Card Stock.
  7. PENS AND MARKERS. Whether you're journaling your thoughts, penning witty photo captions, or doodling cute little hearts in the margins, a good set of colorful pens and markers is a must-have for any scrapbooker.
  8. EMBELLISHMENTS. No scrapbook is complete without a sprinkling of enhancements to add your unique touch. Whether you prefer stickers, die cuts, ribbon, fabric, or brads (small metal fasteners available in assorted shapes), these decorative details help you customize each page and bring dimension to your creative vision.
  9. PAGE PROTECTORS. Protect your hard work from sticky fingers and accidental spills with page protectors. These clear plastic sleeves provide a layer of defense against the elements, keeping your pages safe and pristine for years to come. Plus, they make it easy to add or remove pages as your scrapbook grows — like a grown-up version of those plastic sheet protectors you used in school.
  10. ALBUM. Finally, you'll need a sturdy album to house all your scrapbook pages. Choose one that reflects your personal style and complements the theme of your scrapbook. From classic leather-bound albums to colorful ring binders, there are lots of options.

Our Scrapbook Central resource links you to all thinks things scrapbooking in one consolidated place on our website.


Whether you approach scrapbooking from the traditional, digital, or hybrid camp, you’re bound to enjoy the expressive, rewarding — and dare we say therapeutic? — art of scrapbooking. Share your favorite tools with us!

Original Publication Date: May 22, 2024

Article Last updated: May 22, 2024

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