Besides overall look and ease of use, one of the most important factors I consider when purchasing a scrapbook album is refill options.
In a previous blog, I detailed my recent purchase of two post-bound leather albums. Both books came with 20 pages, though the albums can accommodate about double that depending on the thickness of your completed layouts. The trick is finding the right refills. Beginner scrapbookers should note that most albums come with inserts that provide information on which style of refill pages can be used with individual books. If you don’t see a list of refill options, consult a store employee before making your album purchase.
Advance scrapbookers also have the option of crafting homemade refills. The highlight of this option is that you have the ability to design the pages, and can make the exact amount you need. The key to creating your own pages is to ensure that the paper is acid-free. Once you meet that criterion you can choose from a rainbow of colors that match your layouts. In addition, making your own refill pages allows you to personalize covers and bindings.
If you are taking on the challenge of making your own refills you might want to start off easy. The most basic type of scrapbook available is the three-ring album. These albums are very similar to the three-ring binders students use at school. They feature three center rings on which the pages are stored. Prefabricated refills are a cinch to find at scrapbook supply shops. In addition, refill pages are also easy to make and place in the book. The rings make it easy to take pages in and out; however, when designing layouts, it is essential that you leave enough space on the side of your pages so that you can punch holes in the refills and slide them into your binder. You will also need to purchase archival sheet protectors to place over your refills.