I do get fed up every time I read “the first thing you need to do as a beginner to scrapbooking is buy an album, a few papers and some adhesive”!
That makes me cross because you DON’T need to buy an album, if you are just trying scrapbooking out as a hobby. It’s a wasted expense if you decide you don’t like it for a start, but I put beginners off buying an album until they have made a few pages and can decide in what size they prefer to work.
If you want to work in 12×12″ size layouts, then it’s pretty obvious what size album to buy, but I always start off my beginners with 8×8 scrapbooking pages because they are quicker and easier.
Of course, if you buy a 12×12″ album you will be able to fit any size layout up to 12″ inside it’s sleeves, so if you HAVE to buy one right now, buy a 12×12 one.
But I would actually recommend that you just try out a few pages first, get a feel for things and more importantly haing your layouts up, go on be a devil and display them. I have my layouts on a large pinboard in my office/craft room (with small bulldog clips holding them (I haven’t stuck pins through my scrapbook pages! ) and each time I make a new layout I take down an older one and replace it with the new one.
I have also framed some of my layouts and I have 3 hanging on the living room wall with another 2 layouts hanging from ribbon and bulldog clips underneath each one, making a display of 9 layouts.
So even if you are a beginner, display your creations, admire them and let it motivate you to make more. Most of all, you DON’T need to spend a fortune on albums, and embellishments, just make some simple layouts with paper.
Here are some links of examples of pages and mini albums where I have done just that…
For $4 you can download a printable (and therefore RE-printable!) scrapbook kit which I have designed especially for beginners. The picture above shows a simple layout made using the kit contents.