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Terms Used in Scrapbooking

By: Elizabeth Moad - Updated: 16 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
Scrapbooking Acid Paper Card Photos

The terms used in scrapbooking can sometimes seem like a language of its own. Read this handy guide to find out exactly what each term means.

  • Acid:Acid is naturally found in paper and it can break down paper fibres, making it dry and brittle. Scrapbookers should be aware of having to protect photographs from acid. Paper made to the international standard ISO9706 is considered archival and permanent and therefore called acid free.

  • Acid Free:Paper, card or items which do not contain acid – important to avoid damaging your photos.

  • Adhesives: These are corner mounts for photos, double sided tape, glue sticks and glue. Corner mounts allow you to remove the photos safely at a later date.

  • Albums and Binders:These are available in all sizes, shapes, colours and formats. Look for archival-quality albums, not magnetic types which could destroy images. Think about a slip case or cover protector for further protection.

  • Cardstock: All types of card.

  • Circle Cutter:A circle cutter and template to allow you to crop photos.

  • Crop: A group where scrapbooking enthusiasts get together to work on their albums, sharing ideas, tools and techniques.

  • Cropping: Cutting the photos to remove unwanted areas such as too much sky to focus in on a certain area or element of the photo.

  • Embellishments: This is everything used to create a layout and can be anything from eyelets, stickers, buttons etc.

  • Heat:Heat will cause paper to decay more quickly -- and this includes photo paper. Store your photos in a place where the temperature and humidity is moderate, not in an attic or a garage.

  • Humidity:High humidity levels, those above 70%, can promote the growth of mould, which will damage your photos. Also fluctuating humidity levels damage paper by causing it to expand and contact as it absorbs and then loses moisture.

  • Journalling: This is the art of adding text onto a scrapbook layout. Whether you use just a few words or a more in-depth story or description, it sounds relatively simple. However it can be a daunting task for those of us with wobbly handwriting so rub-ons, peel-offs and even worded embellishments can be invaluable. Journalling can be applied directly onto the page or onto furniture such as tags or cut out shapes and then stuck in place.

  • Light: Sunlight makes photographs fade as the images are printed on light-sensitive paper. To preserve your pictures, ensure that layouts are kept in an album in a place that light cannot reach.

  • Lignin: Lignin is a chemical compound which can be found in the cells of plants, including trees. If you use a layout which is not lignin-free – lignin can be removed during processing – the paper can start to rot and deteriorate when exposed to sunlight.

  • Matting: This is mounting a photo onto paper or card. You can have several layers of different card but between one and three is best.

  • Memorabilia:This is all bits and pieces you may collect to do with an event such as confetti, wedding invitations, tickets, etc. These are not likely to be acid free but you can still use them by putting them in to wallet or pocket on the page.

  • Paper Trimmer:This can be used in place of a craft knife or scissors for cropping to ensure straight lines.

  • Page Protectors:Top loading plastic sheets where you insert your finished scrapbook page. These are then inserted in to an album to allow plenty of viewings without damaging the page.

  • Plastic: There are a number of 'plastic' materials, some which are safe for your photos and some which are NOT.

  • Punches:Hand held paper punches are used to make shapes for decorating a page.

  • Storage: Store your materials and embellishments in plastic boxes so they can be used easily and not get damaged.

  • Templates:Page templates are available which allow accurate positioning of photos.

  • Your Hands: Your hands have natural oils which are acidic. So by handling your photos you can transfer this 'acid' to them. It is best to use page protectors so when others look at your page the acid from their hands does not transfer to the photos.

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