How to Select the Proper Scrapbook Paper

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The most overwhelming and beautiful aisle in your scrapbooking supply store is probably the paper aisle. Scrapbooking paper comes in all colors of the rainbow and in too many designs to count. If there is an occasion to scrapbook, there is most certainly a paper to match your theme, but with all the choices, it is easy to leave the store with papers you will never use and without the kind you really need the most.


  1. Decide what size album you will be making. Papers come in two standard sizes-8 1/2 x 11 and 12 x 12. You can also make albums in smaller sizes as well. Larger paper can be cut to size and smaller papers can be used for embellishments and matting, but you will need the most paper in the size of your album.
  2. Check out the different types of paper available. Scrapbooking safe paper comes in everything from thick cardstock to light velum and each type of paper has a specific use. You will probably use most of the medium-thickness paper.
  3. Take stock of the solid colors you own. On most pages, you will use at least one solid color for the background, for mats, for journaling, or for embellishments, so you will probably run out of plain colors first. As a rule, you will need more black and white than other colors, but you can find rainbow packs at an inexpensive price and then buy single sheets of black and white, as you need them.
  4. Consider buying packs of designer papers. These packs are a good investment, because they are usually color coordinated. This gives you a good starting point if you are a beginning layout designer. Another good place to start if you do not have a lot of experience with layout design is with papers that suggest a layout already. For example, some papers come pre-printed with frames or other layout elements, so all you have to do is crop your photographs and add embellishments. You can also buy books of papers. These books are usually set around a theme, such as vacation or Christmas. At the end of the book, there are guidelines and ideas for creating layouts with these papers.
  5. Wait for the sales. You can often get 50% or more off. Another good way to make the most of your money is to trade papers with other scrapbookers. When you buy a kit or a book, there will always be a few papers you do not like or can not use. One of your fellow scrapbookers might have a perfect use for this paper, and will trade you for a paper that they do not want but that you could use. By taking advantage of these resources and buying only the paper that you need, you will not end up with too much unwanted paper. When in doubt, leave it at the store-you can always go back for it if you create the perfect layout for that paper.

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