If you love creating archival quality scrapbook layouts, acid-free stickers can open up new avenues of creativity. You'll find that these embellishments are not only inexpensive, but also easy to use.
Why Go Acid-Free?
If you're like most scrapbookers, you hope your work will last several lifetimes, preserving beautiful memories for future generations of your family. However, some scrapbooks can actually harm their contents, destroying photographs and special documents.
This happens because acids in the paper and scrapbooking embellishments speed up the degradation of your photographs. Since they are created using chemical processes, photos can be very sensitive to changes in acidity. When you buy stickers to use in your scrapbook layouts, it's essential that you find products with a neutral pH.
Determining Whether Stickers Are pH-Neutral
As you purchase new stickers for scrapbooking, read the package carefully to make sure the product is safe for your photos. Look for one of the following phrases:
- "pH of 7"
- "Photo safe"
If you aren't sure about the acid levels of your stickers, you can test them using a pH-detection pen. You can find pH pens at your local craft store or any scrapbooking specialty shop. They typically cost under $10, and you can use them many times.
Use the pen to draw a short line on one of the stickers or on the surrounding material. Then, follow the directions on the pen package. Usually, you'll need to wait a few minutes and then examine the color of the mark. The color will give you a rough idea about the pH level of your sticker.
How to Use Acid-Free Stickers
You can use stickers to dramatically enhance you scrapbook layouts. Most scrapbook stickers are very affordable, often selling for less than $5 a package. They're also very easy to use. You simply peel the sticker off the backing and place it on your layout.
You'll find scrapbook stickers in a variety of styles, including the following:
- Words or phrases
- Simple shapes
- Components for layering
- Complex images
- Three-dimensional designs
- Photo corners
- Textured or embellished images
Most scrapbookers draw inspiration from these stickers, but if you're stuck for ideas, try one of these:
- Create a beach-themed layouts with three-dimensional stickers. Look for stickers featuring beach umbrellas, glittery sand castles, and cute bikinis.
- Use a sticker word or phrase to highlight your page's theme. A large sticker word will help draw attention to your layout.
- Give your layout a retro feel by using photo corners. These stick-on corners will hold your image in place and create visual interest.
- Use holiday-themed stickers to give your layout a more festive appearance. Most scrapbook stores sell stickers for Christmas, Halloween, and other holidays.
- If you're making a wedding or baby scrapbook, watch for stickers that will complement your layouts. There are many stickers for special occasion layouts.
Where to Buy
You can buy acid-free scrapbook stickers at your local craft store. If you're looking for something special, however, you may want to shop online. Since stickers are lightweight, shipping is generally very affordable. Consider the following Internet scrapbooking stores:
Making Your Own Photo-Safe Stickers
If you love making your own stickers for scrapbooking, there are ways to create stickers that are photo-safe. You can use acid-free blank sticker paper to print your stickers, or you can spray your stickers with acid-free coating to seal in any acid in the paper. You can find acid-free printable sticker paper and acid-free spray coating at your local craft store.
It's very important to protect you photos and mementos from damage caused by acidic paper products. Luckily, with all the great options for buying or making acid-free stickers, you don't have to sacrifice style for practicality.