A newbie scrappers guide

I have a good handful of folks in my world who have just started scrapbooking… if you’re one of them, this post is for you!

Start squirrelling cute bits away

You don’t need vast amounts of supplies to scrapbook – some white paper for your background, a glue stick and a pair of scissors – but what you do need to start collecting is pretty bits.

Start holding onto cute birthday cards, nice wrapping paper, ribbon scraps, buttons, labels… basically anything you like. This will grow into what scrapbookers call your “stash”.

Ask for craft shop vouchers for birthdays

There are some very lovely scrapbooking lines out there and while you don’t need them to get creative, it’s fun to have some in your stash.

A good plan when starting out is to pick one line that you like and buy a few items from that – then they all match beautifully.

Alternatively, you can decide to limit your colour palette (as I do) and just look out for things that match your scheme.

Keep an eye out for freebies online

If your family has a printer, looking out for free printables is a brilliant way to boost your stash for minimal cost.

Just pop a favourite youtube video on and sit back and snip them all out!

Buy papers by the sheet

There’s a very cool online shop called HeyLittleMagpie that sells all of the latest and most beautiful patterned papers by the sheet (about 90p each).

If you work on a white background and just use snippets of colour here and there, these can last for ages, so work out to be a really good investment.

Some of them have designs that are designed to be cut-apart too – labels, florals, icons etc – so these are great stash boosters.

Look out for haberdashery items

Some scrapbooking supplies that add texture and bulk – badges, chipboard shapes, enamel dots etc – can be pricey, so think about buttons and beads that you may already have (or can easily find on eBay).

Print your own embellishments

If you have a colour printer (or access to a local printers), printing your own die-cut shapes can be a very cost-effective way to scrapbook.

My favourite suppliers of digital treats are ACDigitals and FelicityJane.

Make your own albums

Invest in a few binder rings from eBay and you can make little albums to work in out of any papers you like. I’ve even used old envelopes and adverts in mine.

Or consider working on pound shop card popped into stationery-store bought binders.

Pocket page scrapbooking doesn’t need pockets

If you like the look and simplicity of pocket page scrapbooking but don’t have the resources for the page protectors, consider working straight into a basic scrapbook.

You will need to trim your cards down to a slightly smaller size to fit (and they may get a little scruffy with handling!) but the look will be much the same.

Don’t be afraid to find alternatives

If you fancy working in a Travellers Notebook but your budget won’t stretch that far, keep an eye out for cheap-as-chips notebooks from the stationers.

The paper quality may not be the same, but it’s still a fun format to play in and gets a similar look.

And you don’t need pricy cardstock to work on – any sheets of sturdy paper or card will make a great background for your work (though you may need something sturdier if you plan to use paints).

8 thoughts on “A newbie scrappers guide

  1. Great summary! All I’d add is a pair of sharp pointy scissors to be able to cut out accurately, a decent ruler, a mat or covering for your table to protect it from paint/glue/glitter etc. and a nice pen to write with – and you’re off!

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  2. Lovely stuff and great tips! 🙂

    I managed to get quite a few fab bits from my mum when I first started scrapping, it certainly helps if you have a brilliant person in your life who already has a tonne of stuff and doesn’t mind sending a bit your way!

    We do swapsies too so when we get supplies that aren’t quite our style we trade them between me, my mum and my sister to boost our stashes with stuff that we will use 🙂


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  3. Those are brilliant tips! I think if you do have someone around who has a little more than they need and it would actually help them to de-stash a bit, that can be a great way to get started.

    Cheaper shops like The Works can have nice bits too 🙂

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  4. Julia Schueler

    Hey Suse, I’m a fan of digital collections too. This way I can print my favourite embellishments again and again. And I very much like that.
    I just bought the digital kit ‘Horizon’ and while browsing through it you came to my mind. There is a lot of ‘Suse-Blue’ in that kit. And I think you might like the colours because they are so great.
    Happy thoughts to you,

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  5. Ooh, thanks so much Julia, I’ll check that one out!

    There are certain brands that I don’t ever consider because they so often contain a lot of green, purple and orange (I especially struggle with green!) but it’s always great to have new recommendations xx

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