How To Choose A Scrapbook Size

Everyone has a shoebox full of old photos, movie ticket stubs, and art their children did in kindergarten. But how to keep them into a scrapbook can seem intimidating to some. If you are new to scrapbooking, or perhaps even the more seasoned scrapper, you may wonder what size book to  make. There are pros and cons to each size, and I’ll discuss them here.
    12×12 is the most popular size. The pros are that you can fit quite a few pictures on a page, and it is so easy to find 12×12 paper. Realize this is a square foot of scrapping space, so be prepared with cute embellishments to fill in the gaps. You also have room for, say, a child’s handprint or footprint, or a report card or award certificate. 12×12 paper also goes on sale very often. The cons are that a 12×12 scrapbook is huge and usually not very portable. Albums can get to be quite costly, and some 12×12 albums are actually meant to hold Just Smaller than 12 inch paper. I don’t know why that is, but it drives me mad.
    8.5×11 is a nice size to work in because it is sooooo cheap. You can print up digital scrapbook pages right from your own home computer.Staples and Office Maxx have page protectors and binders. You can find a nice selection of papers at the craft store or online, and a 12×12 sheet can be easily trimmed down. The downfall to this size is that most computer printers don’t print to the edge of a page, so you will have white borders on every sheet. Also, if you trim down 12×12 paper to 8.5×11, you are left with these odd scraps.
    8×8 is nice because you can take it out and show it off- it’s small enough to easily fit just about anywhere. 12×12 and 8.5×11 paper can be trimmed down to fit. It doesn’t take much to fill a page, so you can make a page with a photo, journalling, and embellishments in under an hour. Way under an hour. The cons are I rarely find a sale on 8×8 paper or books.
    6×6 is a very common size for a smaller book. The pros are that you can finish a page very quickly, and the book is small and portable. 6×6 is a great size for a brag book, or even an autograph book for a trip to Disney, or to remember classmates, camp, or scouts. You can easily find 6×6 paper and books, but a 12×12 sheet of paper can be trimmed into quarters. One 12×12 sheet will make Four 6×6 sheets, with no odd scraps. However, all of your photos, (which are 4×6) will need to be cropped if you want to use mats. And most pre-cut mats are 4.5×6.5, so they will need to be trimmed also.
    Some manufacturers ‘invent’ other sizes of scrapbooks. I think they probably do that so you are stuck buying only from them, the paper and trims. Some of the ‘consultant companies’ are guilty of this practice.
    Ultimately, do what feels right to you. I prefer 12×12 or 8×8, since I like to work in a square.  My suggestion is to purchase one or two sheets in each size and try to make a page from them. Craft stores often have ‘Crop Parties’ where, for a small fee, you can try out different machines and techniques on your paper. Crop Parties are a nice way to share ideas with other scrappers also.
    Have fun scrapbooking! 
    There are now even larger than 12×12 books, made by only one manufacturer. The larger than 12×12 books are heavy and a bit cumbersome, but they are square, and you can fit tons of stuff on a page. Only one craft store has this line, so it is a bit impractical.
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