As a scrapbooker, one of the most heart-wrenching things that can happen is for your hard work to be ruined. A scrapbook is more than just a collection of memories, it’s a labor of love that involves hours, energy, money, and dedication to preserving moments that hold a special place in our hearts. However, the lifespan of a scrapbook can be threatened by various factors, but with a few simple precautions, you can ensure that your scrapbook will last for generations to come.
The first and most obvious way for a scrapbook to be destroyed is by liquids. Water from broken pipes, leaks, or spills can cause significant damage to memorabilia, photographs, negatives, and albums. To prevent such a disaster, store your scrapbook supplies, photographs, and negatives in a dry and cool place where water cannot reach them. Additionally, keep food and drinks away from your workspace to prevent spills.
Another factor contributing to the deterioration of your scrapbook over time is sunlight. The UV rays can fade and damage photos, negatives, layouts, and albums, so storing your supplies out of direct sunlight is essential.
Extreme temperatures can also pose a threat to the longevity of your scrapbook. High temperatures can cause damage to photos, negatives, layouts, page protectors, and albums, so it’s crucial to store these items in a regular-temperature area with low humidity. Additionally, oil from our skin can cause fingerprints to become visible on photographs, negatives, and layouts over time.
To prevent this, handle all photos and negatives carefully, touching only the edges, and frequently wash your hands or use acid-neutralizing wipes. For added protection, consider using lightweight cotton gloves when handling your materials.
Improper storage is another factor that can cause your scrapbook to deteriorate. Scratches, tears, and bends can occur from improper handling and storage, so it’s crucial to store your photos and negatives in a sturdy container, plastic sleeves in a 3-ring binder, or acid-free envelopes.
However, not all plastics are alike, and some materials, such as PVC or PVA, can cause further damage to your memorabilia. Instead, look for fabrics made of acrylic or polyester from reputable scrapbook stores. It may cost a little more, but it’s worth it, in the long run, to ensure your scrapbook lasts.
Finally, it’s crucial to be mindful of the paper and cardstock you use in your scrapbook. Not all paper sold in hobby stores is acid-free, and just because a manufacturer’s lighter-colored paper is acid-free, it doesn’t guarantee that the darker colors are as well. Your best bet is to test any paper that is not specifically marked as “acid-free.”
In conclusion, by taking a few simple precautions, you can ensure that your scrapbook will last for generations to come. Store your supplies in a dry, cool place out of direct sunlight, handle and store your materials carefully, use acid-free materials, and be mindful of the paper and cardstock you use. By following these tips, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your scrapbook will remain in pristine condition for years to come.