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Scrapbooking Materials

Scrapbooking Materials

The most important scrapbooking supply is the album itself, which can be permanently bound, or allow for insertion of pages. There are other formats, such as mini albums and accordion-style fold-out albums. Some of these are adhered to various containers, such as matchbooks, CD cases, or other small holders. When scrap artists started moving away from the "page" and onto alternative surfaces and objectives, they termed these creations "altered items". This movement circles back to the history of art from the 1960s when Louise Nevelson was doing "Assemblages" with found objects and recycled parts.

Modern scrapbooking is done largely on 12 inch (30 cm) square or A4 (210 by 297 mm)) pages. More recently, smaller albums have become popular. The most common new formats are 6, 7, or 8-inch (15, 17.5, or 20 cm) square. It is important to many scrappers to protect their pages with clear page protectors.

Basic materials include background papers (including printed and cardstock paper), photo corner mounts (or other means of mounting photos such as adhesive dots, photo mounting tape, or acid-free glue), scissors, a paper trimmer, art pens, archival pens for journaling, and mounting glues (like thermo-tac). More elaborate designs require more specialized tools such as die cut templates, rubber stamps, craft punches, stencils, inking tools, eyelet setters, heat embossing tools and personal die cut machines such as Cricut.

Various accessories, referred to as "embellishments", are used to decorate scrapbook pages. Embellishments include stickers, rub-ons, stamps, eyelets, brads, chipboard elements in various shapes, alphabet letters, lace, wire, fabric, beads, sequins, and ribbon. The use of die cut machines is also increasingly popular; in recent years a number of electronic die-cutting machines resembling a plotter with a drag knife have hit the market, enabling scrappers to use their computer to create die cuts out of any shape or font with the use of free or third party software.

One of the key components of modern scrapbooking is the archival quality of the supplies. Designed to preserve photographs and journaling in their original state, materials encouraged by most serious scrapbookers are of a higher quality than those of many typical photo albums commercially available. Scrappers insist on acid-free, lignin-free papers, stamp ink, and embossing powder. They also use pigment-based inks, which are fade resistant, colorfast, and often waterproof. Many scrappers use buffered paper, which will protect photos from acid in memorabilia used in the scrapbook. Older "magnetic" albums are not acid-free and thus cause damage to the photos and memorabilia included in them. Gloves, too, are used to protect photos from the oil on hands.

The designation of 'archival quality' of paper does not always mean acid-free. Additionally, if a paper is acid-free at the time of production it might not stay that way due to contamination with other elements on the page. Storage is critically important as pollutants and airborne chemicals can alter the acid/base balance of any paper left exposed. Temperature and humidity can also impact the archival quality of paper, and of embellishments.
Another concern for scrap-bookers is adhesive migration. Double-sided tape, rubber cement and some material-specific adhesives migrate into the paper and can contaminate photos, newsprint and embellishments. Tape, double-sided or not, is not removable without damaging the item affixed with the tape. When some tape gets old, it cracks, browns and stains the underlying document. The best solutions for adhering items are synthetic, acrylic-based adhesive or wheat-starch or rice-starch paste, available at craft stores or bookbinding outlets.

An international standard, ISO 18902, provides specific guidelines on materials that are safe for scrapbooking through its requirements for albums, framing, and storage materials. ISO 18902 includes requirements for photo-safety and a specific pH range for acid-free materials. ISO 18902 prohibits the use of harmful materials, including Polyvinyl chloride(PVC) and Cellulose nitrate.

This article (which may be a derivative work resulting from the collaboration of multiple authors) is published under the terms of a Creative Commons Compatible Licence. Legal Stuff....

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J M - 08/12/2011
Great service, just a quick note to say thanks :) Ordered yesterday, really appreciated the emails and tracking with the courrier, was given an expected delivery slot, and confirmation email seconds after it arrived. This is well worth the delivery costs and turnaround was fantastic. Products very well packaged and even had Fragile tape on although it was wax pellets. Assuming the wax does what it says (and I can't assume it wouldn't), top service. Would recommend and use again. Keep up the good work, Many thanks
R S - 27/10/2011
Hi. I ordered four X Cut punches from you yesterday about 1pm. They arrived by first class post this morning. I am really impressed! Thanks for great customer service.
V B - 25/10/2011
This is just to let you know that my order arrived safely today, securely packaged and undamaged. I only ordered it yesterday! Thank you for such superb service, you kept me informed at all stages and I am most impressed
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I would just like to say thank you so much for such a speedy delivery of my goods which I only ordered yesterday afternoon. This was my first order with you but I will be adding you to my favourites and be using you first time in the future. Thanks again for your excellent service!
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Thank you for sending my goods through so quickly and so well packaged. It was like Christmas this morning opening all the separate little packages, each one so carefully bubble-wrapped. This was my first order and I am impressed, not just with the packaging but how little you charge for the p&p; if one company can do it surely they all can. I looked at ordering elsewhere first, simply because I wasn't aware of your site, and the postage was over £5! Some of these people are very greedy and it appears that they are almost trying to put people off ordering from them (they have succeeded here!). Anyway, I just want to say 'Thank You' and I will be a returning customer.
C S - 06/05/2011
I phoned you yesterday to enquire whether my order would be dispatched the same day. You said it would, and not 16 hours after ordering my parcel arrived on my doorstep. It's refreshing to receive such good service from an internet company!