For beginning scrappers, the overwhelming number of album choices out there can be downright intimidating. So, since I’m writing this How To series on basic scrapbooking, I thought, we need to cover album choices! Albums come in many shapes and sizes, all designed to fit different needs. Lets take a look at a few of the basics.
For someone who just wants to do layouts, you could choose a traditional scrapbook in a few different sizes: 12×12, 8×8, 6×6, and now they even have 4×4!
Now, in addition to size, you may want to consider how albums are constructed. Some albums come as a basic D-Ring system:
These are great because they’re typically less expensive, and adding and/or moving pages is super simple. Just open your D-ring and move away! Disadvantages are that they don’t look quite as elegant as some of the other options, and sometimes the plastic wears and the pages begin to hang down.
If you like a slightly upscale style, you might want to go for a post bound album:
These look beautiful and they’re slightly sturdier than the D-Ring option. However, moving the pages around and adding pages is more difficult because you have to unscrew the spine and disassemble the entire album every time you want to make a change.
Some people who prefer the post bound album create all their pages first, protect them in a box until they’re done, and then assemble the entire album at once. So, it really comes down to appearance versus convenience.
These kind of scrapbooks now come in two page options as well. You can go the traditional hand created page route:
Or, now, you can choose from several very quick and easy pocket page systems:
These systems come with page protectors that come pre-divided. You can then purchase premade inserts for the pockets, or create your own. I was really intrigued by the new little 4×4 Instagram albums we got in at the store – take a look at how easy it is to put a layout together:
I picked up one of these albums and a little box of We R Memory Keeper Album Made Easy Die Cuts:
I printed out some pictures of my daughter in 2×2 inches and 4×4 inches, picked out a few of my favorite die cut pieces, and went to town:
A few rub-ons, a little washi tape, and a simple heart embellishment… Bada-Bing, Bada-Boom, my layout was done:
These albums are really great options for beginners, young scrappers, or those who just don’t have a lot of time. They’re quick and easy and since the die cuts are themed you can make everything match pretty with very little effort.
Back to scrapbooking albums. If you like this process, you may want to check out some of the small themed albums from Simple Stories – they have several different sizes and themes. You can pick the pocket pages you want, the insert theme, and go to town. The chipboard album covers can be decorated as well, so these are very personal albums.
Now, if you really want to be quick and easy, try a Smash book. Smash books are journal style books that come with pre-designed page backgrounds:
You can use the background or cover it… the books come in multiple themes and they’re intended for very informal scrapping. You can draw, cut and paste, adhere ephemera – what ever floats your boat. I keep Smash journals with me whenever I travel – I spend each night in my hotel room recording what I did that day; that way, when I eventually have time to go back and formally scrapbook my trip, I won’t have to work to remember anything – it’s all right there!
So, you see, there really is something out there for everyone! If you’re still not sure, be sure to come in and talk about your album with us at Everything Scrapbook and Stamps… we can help you decide which will be the best option for you.