Just the Basics, Ma'am, Just the Basics.

In my last post, I talked about using what you have.  But what if you don't have anything?  If someone asked you to get out your scrapbooking supplies, would you bring a pair of scissors, copy paper, and (if you have kids), maybe some crayons...?

I was watching a video on YouTube with someone who was listing the basics to start scrapbooking.  Two hours later... Okay, I'm exaggerating about the time, but she did have a rather extensive list in my opinion.  Ironically, it was the beginning of her video that led me to the conclusion that someone could get started with much less.  So, what DO you need to get started from nothing?

First, an album that includes basic white card stock.  The size doesn't matter, but I would suggest starting smaller than 12"x 12".  The most common sizes (besides 12"x 12") are 8.5"x 11", 8"x 8", and  6"x 6".  Normally, this would be one of the more expensive things you will need to get started, but  trust me, if you are patient and keep your eyes open both on and offline, you can get albums for dirt cheap.  I don't believe I have ever paid full price for an album.

Next is a paper cutter.  Again, you don't have to break the bank for this.  Fiskars is the most known brand, and it is good.  That doesn't mean you have to go with Fiskars.  I bought another brand when I first started, and actually, it lasted almost as long as my Fiskars. In fact I kept it with the Fiskars for a long time and tended to use them both interchangeably. Good cutters don't go on sale often, so if you catch one on sale in the near future, snatch it up!  You don't need a full size cutter; in fact, I prefer one that is easily shifted around while working.

You probably already have the next one - a decent pair of scissors. Again, you don't need to go out and buy craft scissors right away, as long as you have nice sharp ones to use.  If you do want to buy a pair, there are many different sizes and brands.  What you get is all about personal preference.

Far left are scissors from Creative Memories.
Next are a pair that I had at home and don't
often use anymore for crafts, but in the beginning,
they definitely served their purpose.
Next are Stampin' Up!'s craft scissors
followed by a pair of Fiskar sheers.
Last is a pair of ordinary kitchen scissors.

A decent journaling pen is next.  And by decent, I mean simply one that writes without leaving a trail of ink blots.  Blue, black, purple, ball point, gel, thin, thick, etc - all your choice.  So again, you don't have to spend any money on this.

And the creme de la creme of necessary scrapbook supplies is a variety pack of background paper.  You could get some with a theme, or get a multi-occasion, multi-colored packet.  Michael's almost always has a sale on background paper.  Sometimes their clearance paper is so cheap (price, not quality) that it's better to get a whole lot of individual sheets rather than something prepackaged. There is some beautifully packaged paper, and it takes the decision out of what to get for your first album. There are also scrapbook kits that include some stickers and embellishments.  As with everything else, you can get these on sale, get coupons for them, etc. Both Stampin' Up! and Creative Memories have some nice ones at all different price ranges. (At this time, I have no affiliates - I do not benefit from posting these links.)

Last, but certainly not least - if you're reading this, then you have it - is a computer. Technically, you don't need it, but it would be difficult to do without.  Use the computer to print up titles, captions, and even journaling if you like. Use it to get ideas and tips. Most importantly, of course, is to use it to read my blog. 😁  Pinterest is obviously a goldmine of ideas, but it can also be overwhelming for the beginner so when you're doing a search for ideas, be specific. Include words such as "easy" or "simple."

In the open 8"x 8" album pictured above, if you made the title on the left page from the computer rather than stickers, you see a page that is possible with only the supplies mentioned above.

Now, those are the bare minimum for supplies - absolute minimum.  Some other basics to consider are:  some acid free stickers or a stamp set.  A roll or two of ribbon (so cheap and so versatile!) A few of your favorite colors of ink pads. If you get a stamp set, you want to get a good versatile stamp set.  I don't think CM (Creative Memories) sells stamps or ink anymore, but SU (Stampin' Up!) does. - quite a variety. I will tell you that you will not beat SU's quality in stamps or ink.  They are a bit pricey, but for your first stamp set, I would recommend getting a good one. SU's ink pads cannot be topped either, but you can get pretty decent ones elsewhere, too. A tip I learned a long time ago, but many years after I started paper crafting is to store your ink upside down to keep the ink near the surface. SU's ink pads are made to store the pad upside down, but for others, just flip them over when you put them away.

Another technique to consider is the water color look which can be accomplished a number of different ways. Watercolor pens or blender pens can be used with watercolor pencils or pastels.  All of those things can be used in other ways as well.

Okay, I feel like I've already overwhelmed you, and that is never my intention.  So, we'll move on to my financial tip for you -

Tell everyone - absolutely everyone - that this is your (new?) hobby! Why? Because then they will be on the lookout for free or cheap things for you.  I have gotten so much stuff for free because everyone knows I do this.  Or someone will call me from a yard sale about something crafty that I could use.  I've got things because someone has decided that this hobby wasn't for them - after they had already purchased a bunch of supplies. Even people who don't share your interest in this will help you if they can, so as I said - tell EVERYone.

It's definitely time to close now.  Don't forget to like my Facebook page, and have a fantastic week livin', laughin', lovin', and scrappin'!

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