Walk into the craft supply store’s scrapbooking section – or better yet, a scrapbook supply store (if you’re lucky enough to have one!) and you can become overwhelmed by all the options pretty quickly.
This is what happens to me when I want through the commercial supply aisles:
- So cute! I think I could make that!
- Wow, that paper looks just like old book pages, I love it, I’ll buy it. (Wait a minute, I have tons of old books…..)
- Wow, that paper looks just like dictionary pages, French/English dictionary, sheet music, etc….
- Cute flowers. (Again, I could make that!)
- Sweet brads with buttons! (Yep, again…..)
You get the idea.
Frankly, I would buy every single piece of flowery and steampunky (I know that doesn’t make sense at all together, but that is me) paper they have. I have been know to purchase books of scrapbook paper without any idea in mind of what I am going to do with it.
I heart scrapbook paper.
However, for most every other supply – I make them.
Alternatives to Traditional Scrapbook Paper:
- Pages from old children’s picture books (perfect for scrapping your kids/grandkids or photos and memories from your childhood.)
- Dictionary pages (choose special words that go with the meaning of the page)
- Encyclopedia pages (I especially love those black and white drawings! Again, choose pages with special meaning.)
- Photocopy children’s artwork for a great background page.
- Use one of your own photos – but edit it or copy it so it’s black and white or faded and use it for a background.
- Put wrapping paper from your graduation, birthday, wedding, etc. on card stock to make it sturdy.
- Maps, especially for vacation or travel layouts. Use maps of where you were.
- Newspaper – especially of a particular event.
- Any paper that’s special to you, really!
I know what you are thinking. This list isn’t acid free. I understand. You have 2 options: Make books that aren’t meant to last forever OR try Krylon Make it Acid Free!
I just discovered this and haven’t even had a chance to try it yet. I have read all kinds of reviews and everyone is loving it. Basically, spray it on your paper and it neutralizes the acids in your paper, slows the aging process and keeps paper from becoming brittle. (Make sure you use it in a well ventilated area like you would spray paint!)
This also allows you to keep your suveniors, ticket stubs, maps, pamphlets safe in your scrapbook.
Alternative Embellishment Ideas:
- Button Brad DIY
- Paperclip Embellishment DIY
- Flowers DIY
- Old sewing patterns (I use this to make flowers quite often!)
- Other Brad Embellishments
- Use any little bits of paper you get of days/places you want to remember: Ticket stubs, receipts, paper menus, wrist bands.
- Those little metal museum tags you get when you visit a museum.
- Make your own tags.
- Look for things like ribbon and lace either at yard sales (I got a lifetime supply of beautiful lace at a yard sale), on sale at fabric stores or even at craft stores – get it from NOT the scrapbook section because you’ll get more of it for significantly less.
- I paint backgrounds in my scrapbooks quite often. You could use acrylic or watercolors.
- You can use any of the papers I listed above on a smaller scale to embellish your layouts.
- Playing cards.
- Strange things you find such as I was given a huge collection of unused vintage cardboard milk tags – I will either use as they are, or cover them up and make them even cuter!
- Old keys
- Scrabble tiles
- Tassels DIY
- Charms that would normally be used for jewelry making. (Make sure they’re flat)
- Feathers (faux feathers. If you use real feather you have found, make sure to clean and treat them first.)
- Really any craft supply you may have.
- Anything that is flat (ish) and will either compliment your layout or is an important memory you want to preserve.
Once you decide to use alternative materials, you start to find ideas everywhere! Just look around!
Do you use any materials that are not “normally” considered scrapbooking supplies in your scrapbook layouts?