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The ABC’s of Scrapbooking, A Scrapbooking Glossary August 1, 2006

Filed under: Scrapbooking — scrapncraft @ 12:11 am

AAlbum — Blank book used to store photographs and scrapbook pages.

Analogous Colors — Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.

Aperture — The opening in a camera that lets in light. The aperture opens and closes when the shutter is released.

Archival — Term used to describe a product or technique used in preserving artifacts, photographs, memorabilia and other items.


Basic Templates — Templates in basic shapes, such as circles, squares, ovals, etc.

Blending Pencil — Tool used to blend colored pencils to create different shades of a color.

Buffered — Word used to describe products capable of maintaining the core of a solution. For example, buffered paper prevents acid from moving from a photograph to paper.


Calligraphy — Formal, old-fashioned lettering.

Cardstock — Thick, sturdy paper available in a variety of weights.

CK OK (Creating Keepsakes Okay) — Scrapbooking seal of approval. Items that have the CK OK are considered safe to use in scrapbooking.

Clip Art — Art purchased in book or software form with pictures that can be applied to scrapbook pages.

Collage — An artistic composition made of various materials (paper, cloth, wood, etc.) that are glued onto a surface.

Color Wheel — Shows color relationships and placement.

Corner-Edger Scissors — Scissors that cut corners. Each pair creates four different types of corners.

Corrugated Paper — Thick, wavy cardstock available in many colors.

Crop — 1. To cut or trim a photograph. 2. A scrapbooking party hosted by an expert who shares techniques, products and information with the group.


Deacidification Spray — Spray that neutralizes acid in newspaper clippings, certificates and other documents.

Decorative Scissors — Scissors with a decorative pattern on the blade.

Die-Cut Designs — Paper designs cut from die-cut machines. Paper is placed on the die and pressure is applied either by rolling or pressing down on the handle.

Double-Mount — To place a photograph on two background papers.


Embellishment — Any scrapbooking extra (stickers, die-cuts, punches, etc.) that enhance the pages.

Emboss — To create a raised surface by applying heat or pressure.

Encapsulation — A method of displaying three-dimensional memorabilia and protecting nearby items from acid contained in the memorabilia. Items are encased in stable plastics.


Fibers – a material made by compressing layers of paper or clothFilm Speed — Refers to film’s sensitivity to light. Lower-speed films are less sensitive (use these on a bright, sunny day). Higher-speed films are more sensitive (use these in low-light situations).Fine and Chisel Pens — This pen has a fine tip (0.5 mm) and a chisel tip (6.0 mm). The fine tip is good for lettering and it’s extremely versatile.

Focal Point — The element of a design where lines converge. The eye is naturally drawn to the focal point in an image.


Gel-Based Rollers — Pens with pigment ink.

Genealogy — The study of the descent of a person, family or group from an ancestor. Many people who wish to create a family tree by researching their family’s genealogy.

General Pattern Paper — Paper with patterns (stripes, dots, plaids, etc.) that is made to be used for any occasion.

Gift Album — A compilation of photographs and mementos created with a person or event in mind.


Handmade Paper — Paper made by hand that is often rough and uneven in texture. There are flowers and leaves in the paper sometimes, which can add to the natural look.

Handmade Scaps — Embellishments made from layered-looking die-cuts.

Heading — The caption or title that explains the theme of a layout.

Heritage — Traditions passed down from generation to generation.


Idea Books — Books usually about one aspect of scrapbooking. Some are written for particular themes (weddings, babies, pets, etc.) while others are devoted to a particular product (stickers, die-cuts, templates, etc.).

Intensity — The strength of a color based on how true it is to the primary color.


Journaling — Any words you write in your book or on the scrapbook page, from titles and captions to long descriptions, poems or stories.

Journaling Templates — Templates with space left for writing.



Layout — The grouping of pages in your scrapbook that go together. Some layouts fit on one page, most fit on two and some are put on panoramic layouts.

Letter Templates — Templates in the shape of letters of the alphabet.

Light Refraction — Light bent through a prism that shows the colors of the visible light spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, Indigo and violet.

Lignin — A naturally occurring acid substance in wood that breaks down over time. Paper with lignin is not suitable for archival projects.


Mass-Merchandising Store — Stores that sell a large variety of products from sundries to automotive tools to craft supplies.

Master Family Album — Holds photographs of everyone in the family and family documents, typically in chronological order.

Memorabilia — Certificates, documents and other items that tell a story. Memorabilia can include souvenirs from trips and mementos from special occasions or historical events.

Monochromatic Color Scheme — Employs different values of the same color.

Mount — To adhere a photograph, embellishment or other item to another piece of paper.

Muted Colors — Subdued tints or shades of colors that tend to be more suitable for backgrounds.



Oval Croppers/Cutters — Paper trimmers that cut paper and photographs into ovals.


Page Protectors — Plastic sheets that display and protect pages.

Page Toppers — Hand-drawn illustrated phrases in bright colors meant to be used as titles at the top of pages.

Page Exchange — Participants are invited to create a page to share with other scrapbookers. Often, a theme is given (Halloween, Christmas, etc.). Each participant brings enough copies of an original page to trade with the others.

Paint Pens — Pens with soft, brush-like tips. The amount of ink dispensed is controlled by the pressure that is applied to the tip.

Paper Trimmers — Paper-cutting tools used by placing paper, lining it up on a grid and moving down a blade.

Pattern Paper — Paper with designs repeated on the entire page.

Perforated Punches — Shapes that the scrapbooker can use as embellishments on a page by punching out on the perforations.

pH Level — Measurement that tells a scrapbooker how acidic or basic something is. For scrapbooking, you want to use products with a pH level of seven or above.

pH Testing Pen — A pen used to test the acidity of paper. The pen mark changes colors, depending on the level of acid present.

Photo Activity Test (P.A.T.) — This test, created by the American National Standards Institute, determines if a product will damage photographs. If a product passes the P.A.T., it is safe to use with your photos.

Photo Corners — Paper with adhesive on the back used to adhere photographs to a page on the corners. Used to adhere photos in scrapbooks and photo albums without applying adhesive directly to the photograph.

Polypropylene, Polyethylene and Polyester — Stable plastics that are safe for photographs.

Post-Bound Albums — Albums that are held together with metal posts that run through the pages.

Pre-Embossed Paper — Paper with a raised design. Some of it is thick, like cardstock, and some is vellum.

Product Swap — A scrapbookers’ swap meet where the host gathers up duplicates of products or tools that she/he doesn’t use anymore. The guests also bring their unwanted scrapbooking items to trade.

Punch — 1. A tool used to create small shapes. 2. the shapes created by the punches.

Puzzle Templates — Templates in puzzle shapes.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chlorides) — Because this substance is harmful to photographs, scrapbookers should avoid it and use products that are composed of polypropylene.



Red-Eye Pen — Used to take red-eye out of flash photographs.

Reversible Adhesive — An adhesive that can be undone.

Rubber Stamp — A detailed, intricate design cut out of rubber and mounted on wood or foam. A design is made by applying color to the rubber and imprinting on paper.


Scroll and Brush Pens — Pens that have one tip for coloring and one for writing.

Secondary Colors — Colors created by blending primary colors. Orange, green and violet are the secondary colors created b mixing a combination of red, yellow and blue.

Shade — A color with black added to it.

Shape Cutters — Tools designed to cut shapes (ovals, circles, squares, etc.). The cutters can be adjusted to create different sizes of these shapes.

Specialty Paper Books — Books that contain information about different papers, both pattern paper and plain. Some may come with extras, such as templates.

Spiral-Bound Books — Albums that are secured with a metal or plastic spiral binding running up the side of the album.

Stationery — Paper with a decorative border that is blank on the inside.

Sticker — An adhesive decorative accent ranging in size from a few centimeters across to a full page.

Strap-Binding Albums — Albums secured with plastic straps that run through a holder directly on the pages and keep the book in place.


Tape Roller — A device that distributes tape on the back of photographs and scrapbooking pages.

Template — A stencil used to trace shapes onto scrapbook pages or photographs.

Tertiary Colors — Also called intermediate colors, these are blends of primary and secondary colors. Colors such as red-orange and blue-green are tertiary colors.

Theme — The overall emphasis of a page or scrapbook.

Theme Album — A scrapbook devoted to one idea. Some popular them albums focus on birthdays, weddings and school days.

Time Capsule — A container holding historical records or objects that represent a culture and that is deposited for preservation.

Tint — A color that has had white mixed in.

Title Sheets — Pages with a variety of premade titles. They are often used as the starting point for a section in a scrapbook.

Tole Painting — Painting on wood, typically done in a rustic style and depicting country scenes.

Triad — A group of three colors that form a triangle on the color wheel.



Vellum — A lightweight, translucent paper.

Velveteen — An archival paper with fabric-like, velvety texture.

Vivelle — An archival paper with fabric-like texture similar to a terry-cloth towel.


Wax (or grease) Pencils — Soft pencils designed for use on photographs.

Wide-Edge Scissors — Decorative-edge scissors that make a cut that is five times deeper than normal scissors.

Workshop — A class usually held at a scrapbooking store and taught by an expert. Participants bring photographs and pages to work on and get advice from the instructor.


Xyron Machine — A machine that applies adhesive to pages and can also laminate.



Glossary Credits

DIY’s Scrapbooking Glossary terms, craft & scrapbooking experts, books, magazines, newspaper articles, and online.


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