Anything that touches your photos should be acid-free and lignin-free, including paper, glue, markers, and stickers. If you do not use acid and lignin-free supplies, your photos
will discolor and fade more quickly than they would naturally. Products that are photo-safe will be labeled as such. You can also look for the CK-OK label, which means the product
has been tested by Creating Keepsakes magazine's experts for photo safe qualities.
What Is Acid-Free?
Acid causes paper and photos to disintegrate. This aging process is slowed significantly when acid free paper is used. Not all scrapbooking materials are photo safe, so be sure
your paper, glue, and markers are labeled acid-free or archival-quality.
What is Lignin?
Lignin is the natural bonding element which holds wood fibers together. Newsprint contains lignin and becomes brittle and yellowed after just a few days. Like acid, lignin can
be removed during processing to make scrapbook safe paper and other supplies.
If you want to include newspaper articles or announcements in your memory album, photocopy them onto acid-free, lignin-free paper. You can copy articles onto an off-white paper
that resembles newsprint for an authentic look.
This term specifies materials which have undergone laboratory analysis to determine the acidic and buffered content is within safe levels.
During manufacturing, a buffering agent such as calcium carbonate or magnesium bicarbonate can be added to paper to neutralize acid contaminants. These papers have a pH of 8.5.
The pH factor refers to the acidity of paper. The pH scale is the standard for measurement of acidity and alkalinity. It runs from 1 to 14 with each number representing a ten-fold
increase; pH neutral is 7. Acid-free products have a pH factor of 7 or above.
This is a term similar to archival quality but more specific to materials used with photographs. Acid-free is the determining factor for a product to be labeled photo-safe.
Page (sheet) protectors
These are made of plastic to slip over a finished album page. They come in side loading or top loading and fit 5'x7', 8.5'x11', or 12'x12' pages. It is important that they be
acid-free; those that are will be labeled as such on the box they come in or the album they come with.
Cropping a photo means to cut (resize) the photo by hand or by using a computer photo editing program.
A layout is the arrangement of photos, text, and embellishments for a cohesive scrapbook page.
Journaling is writing down the 'who, what, where, when, and why' that goes with your photos. An important part of scrapbooking is 'telling the story'. The text can be a word,
several words, whole phrases and/or quotes, poems, songs, and paragraphs. Just remember, most of the time a word turns into a phrase that turns into a sentence, which can turn
into a paragraph, so do not be daunted by journaling. It can be as short or as long as you desire.