There’s no faster way to ruin an exceptionally beautiful scrapbook layout than by using the wrong type of supplies.
If you are just getting started with your scrapbooking adventures, don’t make the mistake of purchasing non acid-free paper. Using traditional paper may be tempting, as it is affordable and easily accessible, but it will inevitably compromise all of your hard work. To preserve your precious family pictures, so they can be viewed by future generations, you must be very careful about the type of paper you use.
Regular paper degrades as it ages and creates acid that fades photos. Conversely, acid-free paper is manufactured differently to protect pictures. Companies that make acid-free paper add a weak base to the plant-based pulp, which neutralizes the naturally occurring acid. The acid is what causes photos to yellow, and discolors background paper and other mementos.
Fortunately, for beginner and advanced scrapbookers there is a wide array of gorgeous acid-free paper on the market. In addition to making your layouts stand-out, the special paper lasts much longer than traditional versions. Studies show that typical acid-free scrapbook paper lasts between 500 and 1,000 years.
While acid-free paper comes in a variety of sizes, 12×12 is the most popular. The standard size comes in a variety of colors and textures and is large enough to cover an entire scrapbook page. If you are looking to spice up your page design, then mix and match the paper or cut up a single sheet into strips or borders. Fancy page borders can be made from acid-free paper by simply using decorative scissors. The same scissors and paper can also be used to create inexpensive photo mats or to design a two-tone look on a single page.
The downside to stocking up on acid-free scrapbook paper is that some varieties can put quite a dent in your wallet. I’ve seen some acid-free paper that cost upwards of $2 per sheet. Your best option is to purchase packages of coordinated 12×12 acid-free sheets which can be used to create eye-popping layouts and embellishments.