Glossary of Scrapbook Terms Tips

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What is a sticker?


Stickers are one of the most basic scrapbooking supplies. Scrapbooking stickers should be acid free, and lignin free (or photo safe such as Stickopotamus™). Traditionally scrapbooking stickers are made out of printed paper, adhere to your page with a sticky back and are very quick, and easy to use. More recently scrapbooking stickers have become more embellished - some sporting fiber, beads, wire, ribbon and other such products that give your scrapbook pages depth and texture. Stickers are a must for every scrapbooker and come in almost any imaginable theme.

What is a punchie?


The paper shape which results from using a paper punch tool - not the hole left by the punch. Punchies can be used on a scrapbook pagefor decorative effect, if they have been punched from acid free, lignin free paper.

What is journaling?


Journaling is writing down the who, what, where, when and why that goes with your photos. An important part of scrapbooking that is often never done for fear of ruinning a page with bad handwriting or a mistake or putting it off for later which never comes. Journaling in your scrapbook should always be done using permanent, fade and water proof writing tools. Using the computer to journal makes it easier for some to keep up with this important task.

What are page protectors?


These are protective plastic sleeves which cover your scrapbook pages. They are available in a variety of sizes and can be side-loading to cover scrapbook pages that are bound or top loading which means that the protectors themselves are usually incorporated into the binding and require that the scrapbook pages be slipped into them. Polypropylene and Mylar are two of the most highly recommended plastics for protectors.

What is a punch?


A tool used to "punch" decorative shapes from paper or card stock.

What does Photo Safe mean?


A marketing term used for products sold for use with photos and memorabilia. Photo safe is an ambiguous term and one that is not regulated, and while it is probably preferable to select products clearly marked acid free, lignin free and PVC free, the term has gained wider acceptance in the last few years and if the product is from a reputable manufacturer it is likely truely photo safe.

What is lignin?


A substance found naturally in the cell walls of plants. It is the reason that timber pulp manufactured papers turn brown and brittle. Newsprint only contains around 4% lignin. While it is becoming the norm for acid fee products to also be lignin free that is not always the case.

What is the Acid Scale?


The Acid Scale goes from 0-14. 0 is very acidic while 14 is very alkaline. 7 is considered acid free but a pH value of 8 is preferable for use scrapbooks.

What is Mylar?


A reasonably hard wearing protective polyester covering that can be used to cover album pages or for memorabilia sleeves.

What is a wax pencil?


A soft acid free pencil designed to write on glass, plastic and photographs. If used on the front of a print it will rub off but when used on the back will become permanent. Comes in all colours but blue is the colour used most often by scrapbookers. (Schwan All Stabilo - Aquarellable is a type of wax pencil)

What is a polaroid photo?


A photo that develops before your eyes. Until recently these were the least stable of photo types. They have improved but are still very prone to fading in light. Due to the nature of most of the prints they should not be cropped. Cropping may result in chemical seepage which will damage the print and may be harmful to skin and eyes.

What is Rag Paper?


Board or paper made from material other than wood, such as cotton, which is naturally lignin free, stable and durable.

What is a die cut?


A shape or letter cut from paper by machine using a die pattern.

What is cropping?


Cropping is the trimming of a photo to remove unnecessary sections. Cropping should be done to improve a photo not just to make a pretty shape. Cropping also allows for more photos to be added to a page. When cropping some attention should be paid to maintaining the historical integrity of a picture. Never crop out anything that identifies the time period in which the photo was taken.

What does mount mean?


The placing of a photo or memorabilia onto a scrapbook page using adhesive.

What is a Magnetic Album?


Also known as Peel and Stick albums these albums are not really magnetic. They have strips of adhesive on a backing card onto which the photos can be placed and then a page protector is used to cover the photo and any adhesive left exposed. Some magnetic albums have all three damaging components i.e. PVC, acid and lignin. Others are labelled as being photo safe. None-the-less they should be avoided as at the very least a fine layer of adhesive is placed onto the front of any photo put into a magnetic album.

How can I plan an album?


An album assembled using layouts representing each letter of the alphabet. For example: the A layout would have a large A and photographs, stickers and diecuts along with journalling and labelling highlighting the letter A.

what is an eyelet?


Eyelets are small metal circles through which the laces are threaded on a pair of shoes. They are used in a scrapbook context as decoration and as a means to "rivet" components onto a page--mainly card stock.

What is polyethylene?


A chemically stable, transparent, food safe plastic used in photographic preservation materials.

What is PVC?


PVC is a common plastic which because it is chemically unstable releases a chlorine gas. When this gas settles onto a surface it turns into hydrochloric acid. This acid will cause photographs to fade and discolour.

Where is information on crop, cut, trim, cropping or cropped?


A type of punch which rounds the corners or photos and mats. A very important tool for those who are working with photos from the 70s and 80s which came processed with rounded corners. Comes in plain or decorative styles.

What is acid free?


Many papers can be considered acid free immediately after manufacture however unless they have been buffered, i.e. treated with a neutralising agent, chemical reactions with substances such as sizing or bleaching will cause the paper to become acidic over time. All plastic by it's nature is acid free however some plastic is unsafe for use in photo albums.

What is pigma ink?


Pigma is a brand name of ink used in pens manufactured by Sakura. Pigma ink is fade resistant, acid free and water proof. Pigmented ink is simply ink that is coloured.

What is Punch Art?


A decoration made up from punchies. The components may or may not have anything to do with the final art. For example, a flower may be made from overlapping heart shaped punchies in a circle with a small circle punchie in the centre. Freehand cut a stalk and place leaf punchies along it. Punch art can be simple to quite elaborate.

What sort of paper can I use in my album?


Once made from animal gut, vellum is now manufactured from wood fibre which is, to put simply, beaten until clear, or plastic. It has a wonderful translucent quality and is slow to absorb ink. Vellum is available in both acidic and non acidic forms.

What is Alpha Cellulose?


The strongest and most stable of all plant fibres. Because of this stability it is used in permanent paper.

What is paper piecing?


The use of cut out shapes to produce a picture. Similar to applique, pieced paper pictures can range from very simple to complex, and can be a page decoration or constitute an entire layout.

What is Lignin-Free?


A product that contains no lignin. Lignin is either removed during processing to make paper safe or the paper is manufactured from a base material that is already lignin free such as cotton.

What does mat mean?


The placing of a photo for decorative effect onto cardstock cut slightly larger and then placed onto a scrapbook page.

How can I use a square punch?


Tool into which you can place a punch, apply pressure using a lever and create a punchie. A much easier way to create multiple punchies that using your thumb.

What is a paper doll?


Die cut in the shape of a person. May be dressed and posed to match a layout.

What does LSS stand for?


An acronym for Local Scrapbooking Store. Often used on internet scrapbook boards.

What is acid migration?


Acid migration occurs when something with acid is placed against an article that is acid free. Photographs mounted on acidic paper will weaken and crumble. Acidic memorabilia can be added to photo albums if encapsulated in polypropylene sleeves or placed on buffered card on a page underneath a protective sleeve.

What is lightfast?

LIGHTFAST (or Colour Fast or Fade Resistant)

Coloured paper or ink, which is resistant to fading with age or exposure to light, heat, and other unfavourable conditions.

What is acid?


Acid is a substance found in paper that causes it to weaken and crumble. Skin and saliva are also acidic.

What are adhesives?


Product used to attach photographs and other components onto a scrapbook page. Adhesive types include photo corners (clear plastic stick on style or paper "lick and stick" style) which are considered to be non permanent, photo tape, photo tabs, tape runner (all forms of double sided tape) which are considered permanent but in actuality articles can be removed with slight damage to the album page, and glue which can be considered permanent and not recommended for adhering photographs.

Where is information on crop, cut, trim, cropping or cropped?


Plastic or card sheet with punched out shapes that can be used to crop photos and photo mounting paper into shapes. Some templates are suitable for drawing outlines or journalling lines.

What is PVC free?


A product that does not contain any PVC (polyvinyl chloride).

Where is information on crop, cut, trim, cropping or cropped?


Scrapbook tool used to create circles from photos and mounting paper. Circle cutters vary in type from tower to template style, fixed blade to separate knife systems. Different circle cutters suit different people so it is best to try a few before you commit to one.

What are photo tabs?


Double sided tape which should be acid free, lignin free and photo safe. Generally dispensed in one centimetre lengths. Considered permanent.

What is a crop?


A crop is an event where scrapbookers meet to work on their scrapbooks, share tools and techniques.

What is a trimmer?


Tool used for straight cropping of photos and cardstock. Can come in guillotine, rotary or blade style

What are Photo Corners?


A non permanent method of adhering photos to a page. Small triangles of plastic or card stock one for each corner are adhered to the page and the corners of the photo slotted in. The photo is held in place but may be easily removed for copying, etc.

What is neutral?


Materials with a pH level of 7.0, meaning they are neither acidic nor alkaline.

What does Buffered mean?


Something that has been subjected to the addition of alkaline substances such as magnesium carbonate or calcium carbonate to prevent acids forming in the future due to chemical reactions.

What is a memory album?


Another term for scrapbook.

What is scrapbooking?


The tradition of taking photos, and memorabilia, and placing them in family keepsake albums along with relevant journalling.

What is a border?


The margins of a scrapbook page. Usually spoken of in terms of decoration.

What is a heritage photo?


A photograph that is of special significance due to its age, rarity or/and historical importance.

How can I store memorabilia in my album?


The coating of paper with a thin, translucent plastic. Lamination is considered unacceptable as a conservation methods due to the high heat and pressure used during application and its irreversibility.

What is Mulberry Paper


See reference under Japanese Papers.

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