Organizing Your Scrapbook Supplies to Save Time and Money

So, you have decided to make your own scrapbook. You have all of your pictures, scrapbook materials and the album. Now what? The best advice I can give you is to take some time organizing your scrapbook supplies before you start the actual process of creating a scrapbook album.

Why Organize?

Organization will allow you to be able to go straight to the items you need instead of spending a lot of time looking for what you need. It will also prevent you from purchasing items that you already have. I learned this one from experience. After searching endlessly for an item that I need, I would finally break down and go buy it and then find the item I was looking for when I got home. This is so frustrating, so spare yourself the trouble and get organized.

This is an enormous subject to cover in just one post. So, I will only be able to give you the basics and some tips/ideas in this post. Then, I will continue with some more detailed posts that break it down even more.

Organizing Photographs

Let’s face it. Organizing photos can be an overwhelming nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few simple steps to help you.

  • Get all of your pictures in one place. This includes pictures in photo albums, on the refrigerator, in drawers, photo boxes, and anywhere else you may store your pictures.
  • Make sure you have a photo safe pencil/pen to write on the back of the pictures. You will also need photo safe sticky notes and index cards to help with sorting, dental floss to remove pictures from magnetic picture albums, dust rags, rubber cement to remove any adhesive residue on the back of pictures, and photo boxes to sort you pictures into. I use a photo keeper like the IRIS Large Photo and Craft Keeper.
  • Decide if you want your scrapbook to cover time chronologically or by theme. This will govern how you sort your pictures into the photo boxes. If you choose chronologically, each photo box will represent a different period of time, whereas, if you choose to sort by theme, each box will represent a different theme (e.g. birthday, vacation, wedding, etc.).
  • If you are able, it is a good idea to back up your pictures by scanning them into digital format and storing all your digital pictures in one location. I suggest using the cloud or an external drive to store all your pictures on. Storing your photos on a source outside of your computer protects them should the unthinkable happens to your computer. It also gives you the ability to access the pictures from any computer.

Here are some suggestions to make organizing you photographs easier and more fun.

  • Don’t try to do it all at one time. Work on it consistently a little at a time. You can even break the pile of pictures down into smaller, more manageable groups and sort through a group each day.
  • Make it a party! Invite some friends and family members over, get out the refreshments and go down memory lane together. Caution: Be extremely careful about having food and drinks near the pictures to prevent photo damage.
  • Hire a professional to sort them for you.

Embellishment Organization

There are more ways to organize embellishments than one person can count. This topic is endless, but I will give you a quick overview and tips.

The goal of organizing your embellishments is to have like items together in an assigned place, so you can know what you do and do not have and can access quickly and easily. There are two ways to do this: buy organization storage or make organization storage using your creativity and a search engine of your choice.

Here are some common ways to store embellishments.

  • Mason jars – store smaller items with the lids on the jars or larger items without the lids
  • Clear plastic food containers that have been cleaned out – like mason jars, store small or larger items
  • File folders – store fabric, stickers, lace, etc.
  • Peg board – very versatile for storage, hang containers to store things in or store items directly on the board
  • Old spice or thread racks – small items such as jewels, charms, buttons, eyelets, brads, ribbons, etc.
  • Inexpensive paper towel holders – storage washi tape, ribbons, anything with a circular shape
  • Clothes pins – wrap embroidery floss around it
  • Wine rack – put cups in the rack and store pens, markers, scissors, and other tools
  • Baskets/bins – another very versatile storage
  • Spice canisters – store small items
  • Old vases – store pens, markers, paint brushes, rulers, scissors, etc.
  • Decorated boxes – store anything
  • Sauce/dip containers – use to store small items

If you would rather purchase an embellishment organizer, you might want to try something like the Deflecto Rotating Carousel Craft Storage Organizer. It holds a lot of supplies in a small amount of space.

Keeping Your Paper Straight

I usually sort my paper and cardstock together by color: pink, red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, black, brown, white, gray, and multi color. I have a place for multi color paper that would be difficult to put with just one of the colors preventing me from having to remember what color I put it with later. You can also sort by color and design or by just design.

Another decision to make is if you want to store your paper and cardstock together or separately. If you do choose to store them separately, be prepared to provide enough storage space to do so.

Once again there are organization items you can buy for organizing scrapbook paper and cardstock, but I will be giving you some DIY ideas here.

  • Tape stacked priority mail boxes together with one end cut out and decorate
  • Use a crate and dividers
  • Stackable paper trays
  • Store in pizza boxes, one color per box
  • A file sorter and file folders

If you would rather purchase a paper organizer than DIY, I would suggest the IRIS Scrapbook Organizer Cart. It is versatile because you can put paper, cardstock, albums or organization trays on the shelves provided. It doesn’t use much space, and comes with a cover.

Doesn’t that feel better?

We have discussed some of the many ways you can get your scrapbook supplies organized. When organizing your photos, make sure you are using a something that is acid free to put your pictures in. This will prevent future damage.

Embellishments can seem to take over a project, but if you keep them organized, they are easy to control. Look for way to store embellishments everywhere. I use empty oatmeal containers that I have covered, decorated and labeled. With a little creativity anything can become storage for your embellishments.

Organizing your paper is not just for whole sheets of paper. There will be plenty of useful paper and cardstock scraps to organize as well. Try using an accordion file or file folders for your scraps.

It is time organized. You know what you have and where it is. It is time to begin creating your scrapbook album. Enjoy and have fun!

What DIY ideas have you come up with for getting organized? I would love to hear from you. Please share your ideas below in the comment section.

Respectfully Yours,


Founder & Owner, Tru Kraft Creations




2 thoughts on “Organizing Your Scrapbook Supplies to Save Time and Money”

  1. Hi Karla,
    You have so many brilliant information that comes handy readily to organising a scrapbook. Though I don’t have one I am now encouraged to start one now. Thank you for the interesting post.

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