Album: Life and Times albums are made of the best acid — and lignin-free materials available for protecting your photos. The covers are padded and covered in acrylic-impregnated book cloth (no insect-attracting starches or acidic leather) and sized so pages don’t protrude from the closed album. Matching slipcases are available. A multi-ring system securely holds 35 pages (that’s 70 front and back). At $40 for a 12×13-inch album, you probably won’t buy one per grandkid per year, but they’re wonderful for heritage and special occasion scrapbooks. <www.lifeandtimes.com>, (800) 852-8873
Scissors: Fiskars 5-Inch Microtips are our favorite scissors for cutting out traced titles, paper-piecing shapes, photo silhouettes and more. The super-sharp blades have pointy tips that get into the tiniest nooks and crannies, and the comfortable handles help prevent sore thumbs. Use them only for paper and they’ll last you forever — not bad for $14.50. <www.fiskars.com>
Storage: The Generations by Hazel Memory Tote provides lots of space for your supplies while remaining affordable at $74.99. It’s easy to carry and small enough to sit inconspicuously by your feet at crops. The sturdy bag has more than 35 see-through pockets for pens, scissors, punches, stamps and stickers. A large expandable compartment holds a 12×12-inch album plus the bonus pen/paper organizer binder. If you’re a supply junkie, consider upgrading to the larger, wheeled Crop Station. <www.generationsbyhazel.com>
Paper: Bazzill Basics acid-free, lignin-free cardstock comes in coordinated color groups such as “Oceanside,” “Preppie” and “Summer Smoothies.” Shades range from earth tones (great for heritage photos) to sherbet-y brights. The papers are sold individually at scrapbook stores or in packs at <www.bazzillbasics.com> and <www.scrapbook.com>. Price is typically $15.10 for a seven-color package of 35 12×12-inch sheets or $15.18 for 70 8 ½×11 sheets.
Photo Paper: With more and more of you buying scanners and digital cameras, ink jet photo paper options are growing. We picked Kodak’s Premium Picture Paper for its whiteness, feel of a traditional photo (the paper weighs 220 grams and is 8 millimeters thick), choice of glossy or satin finish and availability in bulk. The suggested price is $9.99 for 158 ½-inch sheets or $29.99 for 50, we found lower prices at online office supply stores. Or go in with friends and buy 1,000 sheets of Premium glossy for $499 from the Kodak store at <www.kodak.com>.
Adhesive: A little Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Clue goes a long way. It’s thick and strong, won’t wrinkle your paper and has a dual-tip applicator with a wide tip for big mats and a narrow one for wee punches. The cost is $2.98 for an .88-ounce bottle. <www.tombowusa.com>
Photo corners are handy for attaching photos securely but not permanently. 3 L’s clear plastic self-stick mounting corners are acid-free and generously sized so you don’t have to worry about photos falling out. Double your money by cutting each corner in two, parallel to the open side — you’ll have one photo-holding strip and one good-sized corner. The suggested retail price is $4.55 per box of 250. <www.3L.com>
Adhesive Remover: Who, us? Make a mistake? All the time, which is why we love un-du. It removes anything that’s attached with acrylic adhesive — including stickers and photos stuck to magnetic album pages — leaving the item undamaged and reusable. That saves you money and precious photos. Tip: To avoid using too much un-du, squeeze a drop onto the plastic scraper and replace the lid before unsticking the item. <www.un-du.com>, (888) BUY-UNDU
From the December 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine