I Made a Page—Now What?

“Okay, I’ve made a scrapbook page. Now what?”

Congratulations, you’ve made your first page. Maybe you did it in a class, at a home party or just on your own. You might be wondering, though—now where do I put it?

Piles of pages?
I recently heard from Janelle, a new scrapbooker who had completed lots of pages—piles and piles of them, in fact. And that’s exactly where they were…in a pile! And Janelle’s definitely not the only one who’s asked me where she should put those finished pages.

Here’s what I do: I put my finished scrapbook pages back-to-back inside page protectors that are bound into my album. And saying this, of course, raises other questions!

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These 12"x12" albums are one of my personal choices—and they come with 10 page protectors. Available in Cranberry, Sage and Blue.

What’s a page protector?
Page protectors (also called sheet protectors) are plastic sleeves into where you slide your finished album page. They look like a big clear plastic pocket with three holes along the side.

Where do I get them?
Postbound albums and strap-hinge albums generally come with page protectors bound into the album. They’re often filled with white filler paper that can be removed, then replaced with your finished page. You can buy additional page protectors to add additional pages to your album. Look for protectors designed to fit your size and type of album.

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Refill page protectors are available for most album types and sizes. These fit a standard 12”x12” post-bound album, like the ones shown above.

If you use a 3-ring binder as your scrapbook, then you’ll need to buy page protectors. If you shop at a local scrapbook store, the employee can help you find an album as well as page protectors. If you’re at a craft store, page protectors and albums are in the same aisle.

Why are they important?
I believe page protectors are a must. I look through my finished albums often, as does my five-year-old. Page protectors protect my scrapbook pages from fingerprints, smudges, food, dust, sunlight and just about anything else you can think of. My family looks through our albums often, and no matter how careful you are, pages can get damaged from handling.

Page protectors safeguard the page they cover, as well as the photos on the page opposite. Without page protectors, the photos and journaling on one page can get caught on the photos and journaling on the opposite page as pages are turned.

What do I do with the page protectors?
Put them into an album! Have you already made a few pages? What size are they? Take one or two to a scrapbook store, craft store or to your computer and look for an album that will hold them. Standard album sizes are 12”x12” (the most popular), 8 1/2”x11”, 8”x8” and 6”x6”.

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I like using three-ring binders for my albums. They’re sturdy and easy to use. Here, I put a completed page on the right side of the album and a plastic photo holder on the left.

Will my pages flop around in my album?
I place two completed album pages inside a page protector, back-to-back. The two pages provide stability without weight. Some scrappers prefer to use cardstock as a background, but I’ve never felt that was necessary. I use patterned paper, which is lightweight and printed on one side. The patterned side is the one I decorate with photos and journaling; the white side is the back, which gets placed back-to-back with another page.

My overall recommendation is to use a patterned paper as your full sheet background, then mat your photos onto cardstock. I find that using a full sheet of cardstock as a background is fine for a few pages, but not every page in my album. It’s a bit thicker than what I personally prefer. However, this is a matter of personal preference—so if you love the look and don’t mind the weight, go for it.

Once you’ve started getting pages into protectors and into an album, you can start thinking about how you want your album organized: chronologically, by theme or random. For now, let’s just get those pages protected—and ready for others to see!

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