Basic scissors are a great starting point. But remember to get ones that fit your hand. Scissors come in all sizes and many shapes. Some people work best with ones with small finger holes, others need a larger opening. Some scrapbookers will want ones with very sharp points, others prefer the added safety of rounded corners.
An Xacto knife is another indispensable tool. There are times when it’s ever so much easier to slice on a board rather than cut. Expand on that idea by investing in a cutting or trimming board or mat. That will save your desk or kitchen table from looking like a bunch of airport runways with lines at all angles.
A trimmer will allow you to place a flat object, usually paper, then slice a clean straight line in one motion. There are all sorts of fancy ones with ruled edges, paper holders and other features. Some have interchangeable face plates. But don’t forget the key feature: sharp blades that are safe and easy to use.
A hole punch is another handy tool for scrapbooking. If you print out something on the computer or buy some paper for a scrapbook page it will often be a continuous rectangle. But many scrapbook designs call for storing pages in an album that is similar to a three-ring binder. That creates a need for a hole punch to avoid making ragged-edged punctures in the paper.
Three-hole punches allow you to adjust where the holes should go to fit any scrapbook album style. At the same time, they make it easy to line up the holes and create them with one simple push. But a single-hole punch can be equally useful. Many small items, like an invitation to a special event or a ribbon won in a contest can be stored securely in a scrapbook by making a single, clean hole.
You may want to invest in a cropping tool. Many professionals who have to trim or crop photos find they can’t live without one. They can be as simple as a special pair of scissors or a knife that will trim photos and illustrations to just the right size and shape.
On the higher end of the scale, small machines will allow you to feed your photo in and have it cropped to just the size and shape you want. They also allow a scrapbooker to create a dazzling array of paper or cardboard letters and unique personalized embellishments.
Don’t forget to order a personalized stamp pad or die cut. You can give your scrapbook that unique look that anyone will identify with only you. It could be a personally created design, your name, a logo… anything! Go one step further and get embossing powder and a heat tool and you can permanently encode your own personal design onto any page.
But be sure to add that set of pens and pencils, with stencils and templates, that allow you to journal and color your scrapbook to your own personal taste.