Scrapbook Album Choices

There are a lot of different styles and types of scrapbook albums available to crafters today. The scrapbook album is the actual book which holds the pages you decorate with photos, pretty paper, fancy stickers, memorabilia and words to describe this event in your life.

Key Terms

To make this discussion easier, here are my definitions of book-building words.

  • Coverset is the outside of the book. Scrapbook albums are almost always hardcover to protect the pages of the book, and give some stability so the book can be stored upright on a shelf. The bookcover can be made from a base of cardboard, plastic or wood that is then covered with decorative fabric, leather or paper.
  • Page protectors are a plastic sleeve that hold your scrapbook page and protect them from rubbing against each other and from dirt and oil on our hands. Make sure your page protectors say "archival safe" or "archival quality" because lower quality plastic can pull the ink from your photos and printing off the scrapbook page.
  • Binding is the method of book construction that holds the coverset to the pages.

Today, I bring you my first ever video to help explain the pros and cons of each album style. Let me know what you think! Do you have a favourite scrapbook album style?

The 5 types of Album Binding

Post-bound albums  A post is a special screw and nut set that you thread together. The front side coverset holds the head of the screw and you stack the top-loading page protectors onto the post, then the back side cover holds the nut end which is tightened with a screwdriver. Posts come in different lengths but most are about an inch long and you can get extenders that add half an inch to the binding. This is the most common style of scrapbook album available, is easy to assemble, and you can add exactly the number of pages you want to your album.

Ring albums are exactly the same as your old high school binder. These albums come in lots of different page sizes, and you normally buy the coverset separately from the page protectors. I like to use these albums for digital scrapbooking because you can set the page to 8.5x11 and print directly at home. I was a Scout Leader and have a ring album for the activities we had during our meetings, hikes and campouts. The ring binder is sturdy enough to be transported and handled often and in the event the cover becomes damaged, I can easily replace it.

Coil albums have a wire or plastic coil wound through little holes in each page of the album. You can't add or remove pages from these books and it can be hard to find page protectors that slide from the side over your page. They are great for reference and sample albums! Sometimes there is an idea online, in a magazine or someone else's album, so I make a quick pencil drawing then later use paper to reproduce the layout or technique. So great for border and punch art ideas :)

Hinge bound albums have a plastic hinge that threads through the coverset and pages. Creative Memories makes these albums and there are several unique qualities to them. Each page has a reinforced metal bar on each side which adds stability to the paper page so it is much harder to get folded over page corners or curling. One side of the page has staples through which the hinge is threaded. Some people have complained that over time the staple pulls out of pages at the front or back of the album - and that is likely due to having too many pages within the coverset. The company guidelines are to add only 3 sets of pages (3x16=48 pages) which sounds like a lot of pages, but scrapbooking is addicting, and there are so many stories to tell :)

I hope this quick overview helps you to choose the album for your next scrapbooking project!

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