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Monday, January 25, 2010

Craft Tip 1: Buy Only Acid/Lignin-Free Products for Scrapbooking

Buying the right scrapbooking supplies is important since it could help preserve your layouts and pictures longer, which of course, is ideal and preferable. Using the wrong supplies might look nice now, but give it a few years, and suffer the consequences; the chemical changes could discolor, ruining both your layouts and pictures. To avoid this, buy products that are only acid-free, lignin-free, and archival (or archival quality). Luckily, finding tapes and adhesives that are appropriate for scrapbooking are now relatively easy; scrapbooking stores now carry a huge line of adhesives, glues, tapes, dots (3D glue), and photo corners that are all acid/lignin-free, and even Wal-Mart, Target, Michael's, and JoAnn's have scrapbooking sections where the products are acid/lignin-free and accomodated for scrapbooking. In addition, most manufacturers are also pointing out and advertising their products as acid/lignin-free and archival, making it easy to distinguish.


PHOTO ALBUMS

Many photo albums with tacky sheets will discolor with age; the acid in the glue that help hold the pictures in place will eventually degrade and discolor, leaving a yellow, dark-yellow residue behind. The pictures that are in contact with the glue will also discolor from the acid, turning yellow; this can be quite unflattering, and not to mention, upsetting due to the sentimental value of the photographs. In addition, the glue tackiness will also sometimes degrade with age, to a point where the pictures are not even held in place anymore, falling out whenever the album is handled. (However, there are also times where the glue tackiness will develop a super-grip and the pictures are seeming unremoveable without bending and creasing the pictures). Avoid buying these albums that uses adhesive pages; instead, buy the ones with the plastic protector sheets. There are also albums that require the photographs to be held in place by tape; the problem with these types of scrapbooks is that the acid in the tape will eventually stain it yellow; prevent this from happening by buying tape and mounting corners that are acid-free.


PREVENT SUNLIGHT DAMAGE

The effects of the sun should not be underestimated; evidence of its power can be easily seen with softening plastic toys and yellowing newspapers.

The lignin chemical used to combine tree pulp is responsible for the yellowing effect in paper; buying archival products will help keep the colors stay vibrant, even with excessive UV exposure.


GLUES

Scrapbooking requires all different kinds of glues: glue sticks, tacky glue, ribbon glue, craft glue, permanent glue, repositionable glue...

It is important that all these glue products are labeled as acid/lignin-free, or archival quality. If a label cannot be found, and there is doubt, leave it behind! Also, look for descriptions such as, "won't wrinkle paper," "dries clear," and "extra-strong hold;" this will help your final product stay "final" and not require fixes or routine maintenances.


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