Once you spend your precious time and energy creating a scrapbook, make sure it lasts! There are a few simple things you can easily do to ensure that your scrapbooks look just as good as the day you finished them, for years to come.
The first thing to avoid is paper that is not lignin-free. You've probably heard that before, and it is true, but what is lignin anyways? Lignin is a stiff component of a plant that quite literally holds it together. Although lignin is necessary for plants and trees, you want nothing to do with it! After a while, lignin will cause photos, fabrics and other paper that touch it to turn brown. Yes, lignin-free paper does cost more, but it is a vital part of preserving your cherished scrapbooks.
If the paper is not lignin-free, it will eventually discolor your photos and other materials touching it. So when buying paper for your scrapbooking projects, be sure to look for packages that say "lignin-free," because if it doesn't say it, then it most likely isn't.
Fabric is a big concern for preserving your scrapbooks, but unfortunately it is often overlooked. Many people assume that all fabrics are acid-free, but they aren't. Silk actually goes through an acid bath during the manufacturing process, as well as many tie-dyed fabrics. This isn't to discourage you from using it, not all. Just try to make sure that no photos directly touch fabric, and if you need them to overlap, make sure there is a layer of paper between the two.
Another consideration when using fabrics is if the color will bleed off onto your page and other things touching it. To test for this, cut a square inch off and soak it in a glass of water over night. If there is no color bleeding from it the next day, then there isn't any risk to your scrapbook. But if you do see color in the water, or collecting at the bottom of the glass then don't use that fabric in your scrapbook at all.
When using glitter, be sure there is a top layer of spray adhesive to lock them down, or better yet use special glitter glue where the glitter is mixed right in. If this is not done right the glitter will slowly fall off, and loose glitter means scratched photos.
After you have planned the layout for your photos, be sure that you are using the right kind of mounting tape for them! Regular mounting tape is fine for buttons and bottle caps, but when it come to mounting photos you need to use special photo mounting tape which is completely acid-free. If you don't, your photos will slowly discolor. The tape should say "acid-free" right on the packaging.
These are just a few simple things you can do to ensure that your scrapbooks last and last.
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Palyn Peterson publishes "Scrapbooking News"
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