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Preserve Your Memories With Acid Free Paper Products

Chantel Danis

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Scrapbooking is a wonderful, rewarding hobby, however, not every aspect of it is black and white. Acid laden papers used in scrapbooking are detrimental to your photos. Ever notice your grandmother's or mother's old photographs? Many of them have yellowed over time and become very brittle making it almost impossible to remove without damaging them. This is not mother nature at work, it's the acid contained in the paper.

To make sure your photos don't get tarnished in a slew of acid, buy your paper products at a specialty store. This could be a scrapbooking store or craft store. Although these stores often carry a line of sound products, it's always a good idea to check the label and make sure it's deemed safe for your photos. If in doubt, ask for assistance or check on-line.

If you are still unsure if acid is present in your products, you can buy a simple tool that looks like a pen which measures the pH levels. All you need to do is write on a small piece of paper and if it changes color, then you know it has acid in it. Although it's another out of pocket expense, it can be the difference between discolored, unappealing photos or beautiful memories that lasts a lifetime and more.

Another important thing to remember is that acid is not just present in paper, it can also be found in adhesives, page protectors and even photo storage boxes. Again, reading the labels is essential. Glues that have a strong smell usually have some form of acid in them and forget buying the old versions of years past, these are a scrapbooker's worst nightmare.

If journalling is an important part of your scrapbooking hobby, be sure the pens or markers are also acid-free. Many stores carry wide selections of writing tools in various colors that are safe. When your photos are not in use, it's also a good idea to keep them stored in a acid-free box. This will ensure your pictures are safe until you are ready to add them to an album.

If you can't find find acid-free paper products in your area or find them too expensive, there are a few more options. Krylon sells a spray that neutralizes acid found in paper. It offers protection and slows the aging process. You can also turn to the digital world. Most inks today are acid-free.

Scrapbooking is about telling a story. Preserving those memories for as long as you can will ensure that future generations can relive those precious moments year after year. For free printable scrapbooking pages visit


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