Using scrapbooking products

Maybe the hospital bracelet that connected you to your precious newborn still causes you to swell with emotion. But do you know what it's made from? When you don't know what an object is made from, find a different way to include it in your scrapbook. We have a few suggestions for that.

Is it safe?
Many people found out too late that those magnetic photo albums were detrimental to their pictures, even though they were marketed for them. Manufacturers know a lot more now, and you'll find products labeled "photo safe," "acid-free," and "archival." These are terms generally used to define a product designed for long-term use.

Don't be scared off by other products, though. In some cases, like typical copier paper, products have been "acid-free" for so long they are no longer labeled that way. In other cases, it can be assumed by the intended use of the product. Artists' pastels and colored pencils, for instance, are probably safe. Ask yourself, "Is this product designed for long-term use?" If you need further reassurance, purchase a pH Testing Pen, which will instantly tell you whether there is acid in your product.

Make it safe
Resist the temptation to include harmful materials in your album by finding a safer alternative:

  • Take a picture of the hospital bracelet (better yet, while you and your infant are still wearing them).
  • Include newspaper clippings and the pretty wrapping paper by scanning or taking a digital picture of them.
However, if the sentiment is greater than the risk, consider these precautions:

  • Place a safe material under the questionable item to buffer the adjacent item from any harmful ingredients.
  • Use a photo safe plastic envelope to encapsulate the questionable item.
  • Use tape that is archival safe.