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A few years ago, I co-worker of mine (now a dear friend) brought her scrapbooks to work to show off the new pages she had created at her weekend retreat. Wow. They were beautiful! At the time I had only one daughter and was quickly amassing albums of photos. But there were many photos that were too special to be in the albums, but not quite good enough for the wall.

I offered to pay my friend to make pages for me. “Please, make me a book like this!” I begged. Being the sweet person she is, she did not take my money but encouraged me, “This is easy. I’ll teach you how.”

She understood that I did not have a lot of extra money or time to go experimenting with products. I needed someone to take me shopping and say, “Here, you need this.”

Following in her steps, I’ll show you what I’ve learned.

First things first, you’ll need cardstock, photos, and probably some patterned paper. I prefer textured cardstock and I think it’s worth the little extra expense. (Wait until Hobby Lobby has paper packs half off for a good deal!) With patterned paper, I happen to think less is more. If your paper is a little less exciting, it allows the photos to take center stage. But really it’s all personal preference.

What size do you get? It’s up to you. 12×12, 8×8, 8.5×11–Doesn’t matter. 4 x 6 photos work fine. Choose your albums, papers, and cardstock in the same size, though, so you can put them all together.

Next, adhesive. Everyone has their own preference, but for ease of use, cost and storage size, I like these.

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Vario from EK Success works for all photos, papers, and most things.

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And Zots. They work on metal and heavier accents, as well as ribbons and fuzzy things.

I have tried numerous glues for non-paper things, but I like Zots the best. They are, again, easy, inexpensive, and small. And not messy. Just be sure to press your items onto the zot to pull it off the roll. Do not use your fingers–it makes the “zot” less sticky.

Remember, this is for people who are completely starting out.  Because I am no expert.