Scrapbooking: The Basic Tools

I just counted, and I have four scrapbooks, one of which has been an ongoing project since my last year of high-school nearly 15 years ago. This book is the largest of the four and has 'my interests and inspirations' as its theme. It has 100 enormous pages and I take my time composing the layout and content of each page, making sure it is exactly how I want it to look before I set glue to paper.
A portion of my large scrapbook, above, from the "Egos and Icons" section I designed in the book.

The most important (and time-consuming) aspect of scrapbooking is locating, altering and finally attaching the imagery to the pages of the book. This process can be quickly and easily sped along with the right tools on hand, always within arms' reach, always kept organized.

I loved the gallery of basic scrapbooking tools on MarthaStewart.com and thought I'd share them, since they are exactly the sorts of materials I have on hand to create my scrapbooks. Oddly missing, however, is mention of a few good pairs of scissors and a set of X-acto knives for cutting, something I find essential for paper crafts.
Keep a pencil on hand to make marks, a white (or other light-colored) gel pen to label dark pages, a bone folder to neatly score and fold pages or inserts, and a ruler to take measurements and neatly position scraps.
Transform these stationery-store tags into tiny frames for photographs (color-photocopy the pictures, cut to size, and glue to surface). You can also use the tags as write-on labels. Fasten to pages with brads or grommets.
Use a utility knife to cut out the centers of labels while keeping the decorative borders intact; you can use them as frames for small photos. Airmail envelopes can be used to create evocative mini albums for travel scrapbooks.

Press rubber stamps into colorful or metallic inks and use them to add words, numerals, or artistic details to album pages.
Rub-on letters and numbers (shown in back) come in a range of fonts and sizes. Easy to apply (rub them with the accompanying stick, and the characters will transfer to the paper underneath), the letters and numbers can be used to print names, dates, and more onto pages. Store-bought scraps come in all forms. Maps and printed papers can be used as backgrounds or to create pockets. Old-looking scraps (the seed label shown here) are available from scrapbook stores. Flea markets can yield old postcards if your own keepsake box doesn't. Available at scrapbook stores, vintage papers can be used as backgrounds for smaller scraps and to make pockets. (One of my favourite things is this packet of vintage stamps from Anthropologie.)
I do not have the sorts of scrapbooks that require these materials, but grommets can be used to secure tags, pockets, and other sturdy scraps to pages permanently. Brads come in traditional brass, in bright colors, and even in whimsical shapes. They can be used the same way as grommets but are removable. Jump rings are little metal loops that can be used to suspend items from brads.
Acid-free double-sided photo tape is safe to use on photos. Photo corners provide another way to mount pictures without damaging them, and they give a scrapbook a vintage feel.

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