Scrapbooking Paper

Paper is an integral part of creating the look and style of a scrapbook page or album. Papers can add vibrant color or subtle hues. Scrapbooking papers are often decorated with abstract designs, patterns like plaid or stripes, or seasonal themes for holidays and important events such as birthdays, weddings, and more. Some of the hottest paper trends include retro (mid-century Modern) and vintage (Victorian or early 20th century) papers.

Choosing the right paper will
help you enjoy your scrapbooks
for years to come.

Papers can help convey a tone and theme for your album. Layer papers behind photos or around the edges of your album page. Scrapbook papers come in a variety of sizes, from 12x12, full album-sized sheets to packages of true scraps for embellishment.

In general, when working with scrapbook papers remember that:

  1. Papers that are too busy or bright might overshadow the photographs, which should take center stage.
  2. You can always cut a paper smaller but can’t make it any bigger. Crop carefully!
  3. Papers can be a similar color to elements in the photo, or complimentary. Either choice would help bring out the photo’s colors.


Because scrapbooks preserve memories, it is important to know how the paper will withstand the years. Most scrapbooking papers are acid-free, which helps preserve the photographs. Additionally, lignin is another element that must be removed from scrapbooking papers, as it can cause the paper to yellow and become brittle.

Some specific types of paper can help create a unique look for your pages. Vellum, cardstock, and decorative papers are a few of the most popular papers used in scrapbooking.


Vellum paper was originally parchment made from calfskin and used by monks in medieval times. Today’s vellum is a translucent paper that mimics the look of original vellum parchment. It comes in a variety of weights and colors, and is often used to make scrapbook pages look more elegant or showcase a particular element on the page.


Cardstock refers to a heavier weight of paper. Scrapbookers use cardstock for layering, matting, and punches or die cuts.

Decorative Papers

Although all papers used in scrapbooking can be considered decorative, some are especially eye-catching. Decorative papers typically cost a little more and are sold in smaller quantities.

Decorative papers include mulberry papers, with clearly defined fibers and edges that feather easily. Other papers may include metallics, fabric fibers, leaves or flowers, or embroidered patterns.

Read on to learn about other scrapbookings supplies.

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