One of the most devastating things that can happen to a scrapbook-er is for their creation to be ruined. So many hours, time, energy and money have been exhausted in putting together a work of art that brings back those memorable moments in time. There are plenty of ways that your book can get destroyed. With just a few simple precautions, you can make sure that your book will be around for years to come for your grand childrens and family members to enjoy.
1. Liquids obviously will destroy memorabilia, photographs and negatives. To avoid disasters, store your scrapbooks supplies, albums, photographs and negatives in a dry, cool place where water from broken pipes or overflowing toilets cannot reach them. Also, keep food and drinks out of your work area. Over time, sunlight can diminish photos, negatives, layouts, and album quality. Keep all supplies out of direct sunlight.
2. Extreme temperatures damage photos, negatives, layouts, page protectors and albums. Always store all items in a regular-temperature area and in an area where there is low humidity.
3. Although it may not be an immediately apparent problem but fingerprints on photos, negatives and layouts become visible over time. Oil from skin is the cause of this problem. To prevent this deterioration, handle all photos carefully, touching only the outer edges. Wash hands frequently or use acid neutralizing wipes but make sure your hands are dry before handling any materials. Use lightweight cotton gloves if available to ensure those pictures stay perfect.
4. Handle and store your photos, negatives, and layouts carefully. Improper storage increases the risk of scratches, tears, and bends. Store and seal your photos and negatives in a sturdy container, in plastic sleeves that fit into a 3-ring binder, or in acid-free envelopes. Keep in mind that not all plastics are alike. In fact, some sheet protectors, binders, photo enclosures, and photo corners will eventually damage your memorabilia more than if you had not used plastic protection or enhancement at all. To avoid this, do not buy materials containing PVC or PVA, buy your materials from reputable scrapbook stores. Yes, it may cost you a bit more but your scrapbook will last so much longer. Look for acrylic or polyester materials as an alternative.
5. Finally, paper and cardstock you find in your local hobby store are not necessarily acid-free unless stated on the packaging. Also realize that just because a manufacturer’s lighter colored paper is acid-free does not guarantee the darker colors will also be. Your best bet is to test any paper that is not specifically marked ‘acid-free.’