CB21-068 - what is scrapbook paper

What is Scrapbook paper?

What is Scrapbook paper?

Scrapbook paper is any and all paper created and used for scrapbooking. With thousands of prints, styles, weights, and paper designs, scrapbooking paper allows you to be as creative as you want in constructing your ideal book of memories.

Choosing the right scrapbook paper can be difficult, However, when done right, it can really make your scrapbook come to life.

Luckily for you, I’ll show you the different types of scrapbook paper and what the difference is. I’ll show you some tips for making your next scrapbook as well. You’ll be ready to start scrapbooking in no time!

This article may contain affiliate links which pay a commission and support this blog. Thank you for your support!

Types of Scrapbook Paper

Any paper you purchase can technically be used for scrapbooking. Even so, the most common types of scrapbooking paper are cardstock, kraft, acetate, patterned paper, vellum, and printing paper.

Cardstock Scrapbook Paper

Cardstock paper is one of the most common paper types across crafts. This thicker paper is more durable and can hold the weight of liquid glue when adding photos, embellishments, ephemera, or other decorations to your scrapbook.

You can purchase uncoated (standard), coated (iridescent), glitter, glossy, matte, or textured cardstock. It’s an excellent choice for printing, dying, or stamping.

Standard cardstock scrapbook paper sizes are 6” x 6”, 8” x 8”, 8.5” x 11”, and 12” x 12”, and they come in various heavy-weight options.

Kraft Scrapbook Paper

Kraft paper is best used for decorative embellishments within your scrapbook. While you can use it as a base scrapbook page, it is relatively thin and could rip under the weight of glued additions.

Sometimes called butcher paper, kraft paper usually comes in a shade of brown sold in rolls as opposed to sheets. While you can find 12” x 12” kraft scrapbooking sheets, rolls can come as large as 48” tall.

Since it’s also used for wrapping, you can find thin and lightweight kraft paper similar to candy bar wrappers. Thicker kraft paper is best for scrapbooking purposes.

Acetate Scrapbook Paper

Acetate paper is a clear paper often used in cards, page protectors, pocket pages, and scrapbooking. It’s thin, easy to cut, mildew-proof, and often cheaper than its non-transparent counterparts.

This type of paper is great for decorating overlays within a scrapbook. It can add depth when added over other generic scrapbook pages. It’s often sold in thin films but is also available in thicker sizes.

While you can’t print on them, you can create your own unique designs on transparent acetate paper with certain markers. Acetate paper is sold in 5” x 7”, 6” x 6”, 12” x 12”, and mixed sizes.

Patterned Scrapbook Paper

Patterned paper is made especially for scrapbooking. With thousands of beautiful designs, there is something for everyone when choosing patterned scrapbook paper. Some even come with foil accents, glitter accents, embossed, or glossy.

While most types of paper can be created with a pattern, patterned scrapbooking paper is unique in its weight, which is lighter than cardstock. Patterned scrapbook paper is printer-friendly, although you may have to cut its size down to fit your printer.

You can find this paper in single or double-sided styles, usually sold in 12” x 12” collection pads.

Vellum Scrapbook Paper

Vellum scrapbook paper can come in two forms: rougher standard paper or translucent paper. Made from cotton, vellum paper is weaker than normal paper and typically comes in lighter weights.

In scrapbooking, vellum paper is ideal for overlays, card inserts, borders, and decorative accents. Since vellum paper has fewer pores, ink takes longer to dry on it.

Printing Scrapbook Paper

Printing paper is the standard white 8.5” x 11” paper we are all accustomed to seeing. This paper is not highly used as a scrapbooking base page, but it is used to print out add-ons that are then added to scrapbooks.

Differences in Scrapbook Paper

Scrapbook paper can be purchased in different colors, weights, sizes, and materials. Depending on the type of design the person wants to create, one type of scrapbook paper may be better than another.


Choosing a theme for your scrapbook or each scrapbook page begins with colors. You can find scrapbook paper in every color of the rainbow, from pastels to darks.

For those looking for solid colors or tie-dye options, cardstock scrapbooking paper is best.

Paper Weight

Paper weight is the measure of the density of a particular type of paper. You can find light, medium, heavy, and extra-heavy weight scrapbooking paper.

The higher the paper weight, the thicker each sheet of paper. Denser papers also allow less light to pass through them.

In scrapbooking, medium or heavy-weight paper is best used as a base. Cardstock is the most popular option. This type of paper withstands added-on embellishments and the liquid adhesive that some require.

Lighter paper weights may break or fold under the weight of your scrapbook mementos, so they’re best used as layovers or for decoration on a heavier paper.


Standard scrapbook paper is generally 12” x 12” or 8.5” x 11”, although you can find scrapbooks in many different sizes.

Plenty of suppliers also sell scrapbooking paper in other measurements, and some are even sold in rolls.

You can purchase scrapbooking paper in individual sheets or collection pads. Collection pads selling a combination of scrapbook paper designs are usually sold in a 24-count.  

How Scrapbook Paper Is Made

Most scrapbook paper, except for vellum, is made in a paper mill. Wood is broken down into a wet pulp and mixed with additives before entering a machine that presses it into paper.

Depending on the paper type, it is pressed either heated or non-heated and then dried.

Final steps such as coating or painting the paper are then completed to create the final product.

Vellum paper, on the other hand, was originally made of calfskin. Nowadays, it’s instead made with cotton rag fibers to create a translucent paper finish.

The History of Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking has been around for centuries, first documented in the 1400s. It is defined as a crafting and documenting activity in which you fill the blank pages of a book with photos, embellishments, memorabilia, and more.

Many people have chosen to preserve their photos, recipes, tickets, and receipts within scrapbooks, adding decorations to create their unique design.

In the 1980s, Mormon people began utilizing scrapbooks to preserve their family history. This soon spread to other households across the U.S. as a popular pastime.

In 1981, Marielen Christensen opened one of the first scrapbook stores, advertising the hobby of scrapbooking in her book, Keeping Memories Alive.

How to Scrapbook

Creating a scrapbook is a great way to pass the time, utilize your creativity, and preserve ideal memories. To create a scrapbook, you should come up with a theme, select your photos/memorabilia, plan out the pages, purchase supplies, and then put together your scrapbook.

Decide on a Theme

First, you’ll need to think of what material you want to include in your scrapbook. This will give you an idea of your theme.

Some common scrapbook themes include:

  • Vacation album
  • Special event album (engagement, relationship, wedding, honeymoon)
  • Landmark birthday album
  • Album for parents or grandparents
  • Career album
  • Recipe album
  • All about me album
  • Traditions album
  • Life history album

Select Photos

Next, you’ll need to gather all of the photos and memorabilia you want to include in this album. This is the most important part, so be sure to dedicate time to finding the best content!

Plan Your Pages

Most scrapbooks go in chronological order. Put your memorabilia and photos in the order that they should appear in your scrapbook.

Purchase Supplies

Some basic scrapbooking supplies you’ll need include:

  • A scrapbook
  • Scrapbooking paper
  • Embellishments
  • Scissors
  • Craft paper glue

Put It All together

Once you have everything laid out, it’s time for the fun part. Start putting together your scrapbooking pages according to your vision.

Once you’re done, share it with others and look back on it for the rest of your life!

Summary: What is Scrapbook paper?

As you can see, scrapbook paper is any type of paper you want to use in a scrapbook. The most common types of scrapbooking paper are cardstock, kraft, acetate, patterned paper, vellum, and printing paper. Scrapbook paper can be purchased in different colors, weights, sizes, and materials

To create a scrapbook, you should come up with a theme, select your photos/memorabilia, plan out the pages, purchase supplies, and then put together your scrapbook.

Remember, just have fun with it!