Lain’s Picks

The Best Scrapbooking Products.

Here’s a list of my favorites — favorite product lines, favorite trimmer, favorite idea books. So I figured I’d put a little list together here. Each link may take you to a different vendor, but I’ve tried to save you trouble by sticking to and as much as possible. Check back — I’ll be updating as I find new favorites!

tombowTombow permanent is my current fave adhesive. I buy it in bulk!cropadileThe BEST hole-puncher for paper and chipboard. Two sizes. Also sets eyelets. I use it constantly!cutterI love the clean cut of the rotary trimmer. The blade seems to last longer than  other trimmers.glossy accentsThe perfect glue to add buttons and chipboard to layouts or cards.
sticklesCheck out my ode to Stickles, including product usage ideas, here: How to Use Sticklesgelly rollMy one and only choice for a white pen for journaling on opaque papers.albumsI adore AC’s 12×12 three-ring binders! They fit both 8.5×11″ pages and 12×12″ pages.lettersAdorable fonts that are cute without being cutesy.
journaling spotsI love all the Jillibean products, but these journaling sprouts are the must-haves!bazzillIf I could only use one color cardstock, I’d opt for kraft. It’s a little more jazzy than white or black.

The Best Scrapbook Idea Books.

big picStacy Julian is my #1 must-follow scrapbooker. She gets that it’s less about the page ideas than it is about the accessible philosophy. Start with “The Big Picture.ali2Ali Edwards is nothing short of amazing. She reduces scrapbooking to a simple philosophy. Her books are out of print but worth ordering used.elsieFlip open Elsie Flannigan’s book and get scrapping.  I never fail to get a ton of inspiration from her layouts and designsHappyScrappercoverHow could I leave out this one? Filled with layouts as well as tips on how to scrapbook happier. Stacy and I had a blast writing it.
czLest you think that all pages have to include tons of embellishments and frou-frou, Cathy Zielske will show you otherwise.ali1Here’s another must-have Ali E. book. She breaks the process of matching patterned paper into a simple, easy-to-follow process.
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  • AmySo

    Can I ask a dumb question? Is the Bazzill Kraft cardstock textured? I like a smooth Kraft, and the one I have been buying, my very favorite, isn’t available anymore. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    No dumb questions!
    This kraft is part of the “Smoothies” collection and is… smooth! :)

  • Luisa

    We share some faves: Tombow Adhesive, Stickles, Sakura Gel Pen, AC Customizable 12×12 albums, Doodlebug Design Stickers, 52 challenges book and 20 simple secrets of a Happy Scrapper!!!

  • Anonymous

    OMG Comadre,
    I have over half of these items. Great minds!

  • Anonymous


  • Erink

    With the exception of the adhesive and Echo Park (I have all boys) I have all of these! LMAO

  • Anonymous

    What paper lines do you like for boys?

  • Susan

    I don’t know about Bazzill kraft cardstock, but I know that the Stampin’ Up Kraft cardstock is not textured.

  • Gypsy Chaos

    I love rotary cutters – and I just bought the latest Fiskars you’ve shown here. The wire guide is ABSOLUTELY worth the expense of buying yet another cutter.
    Tombow ROCKS. I too buy bulk refills.
    Stickles – check. Sakura white – check AC Precision Pen, black – check
    The most amazing matches: I have every one of these books, except the one by you and Stacy Julian. Guess what I’ll be doing with my B&N gift card?

    So, tell me in detail why you (and everyone else it seems) love the crop-a-dile so much.

  • Anonymous

    We’re scrapping twins! Will DEFINITELY do a video on my love affair with my Cropadile. :)

  • Kelli

    How do you scrap without it? LOL. If you do mini-books, it is a MUST. Punches through cardstock with no effort. I also like it because with my big one, I can put a hole ANYWHERE on a 12×12 layout …. in addition to holes (2 sizes) it will set eyelets, snaps, grommets etc. SILENTLY. When I was at crops and people were pounding, silently I would think :Geez, will you buy a crop-a-dile already!!!!

  • pamela.dixon

    thank you for your favs,  I have been debating on what Rotary cutter to get and you just helped me make up my  mine.    I also have just started to use Stickles, but I really love the Ranger Liquid Pearls the best.  I also outline or enhance different aspects of my layout.  You  must try them they are the best.

  • Anonymous

    Haven’t tried the pearls yet – thanks!!

  • Carol

    Thanks for this list, I have been struggling with adhesives…I will definately try the TomBow. Also rotary cutters can be “tricky”!

  • Anonymous

    This rotary trimmer is a no-brainer – LOVE it!!! Just remember to replace cutting pad before replacing blade. When the cuts go wonky, it’s usually the pad, rather than the blade.

  • Gzuswins

    Funny I have had and tossed the fiskars trimmer… I agree with the others however.. I will say if you have not tried the Signo White pen you should it is AAAAAAWWWWWEEEEESOME!  I just stumbled onto Ella Publishing yesterday… and found my way here… so good things! 

  • Anonymous

    YOU TOSSED IT? Should have sent it to me. :)
    Thanks for stopping by, chica!

  • Sharonscraps

    The Crop-a-dile goes through anything like butta. (I’m a Boston girl, if you didn’t catch the accent)  I have even used it topunch holes on the side of metal paint cans to add my own handles.  The best hole punch there is.  It also works on eyelets (it’s main feature) but I ditched all my eyelets years ago.  Still a great tool!!!

  • Anonymous

    I just did a video on using the Crop-A-Dile… you can see it here:

  • Vesta

    My favorite albums are the 3 ring albums by We R Memory Keepers.  They are beautiful, hold their shape, hold a ton of pages.  I also LOVE my big shot.  I have the electronic die cut machines (notice plural!), but I always go back to my Big Shot and Spellbinder dies.  My new favorite things are the dies from Memory Box. Great for making cards, too. 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the suggestions! I’m going to check out those binders and Memory Box. :)

  • Sarahloughran

    I know that I have read somewhere in the mountains of scrapbook materials, that there is a spray Stickles. Is this true??

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t heard of that! I’ll see what I can dig up. ;)

  • Ruth G

    You got something against stalking?  It’s what I do best, although I am trying hard to participate in Cathy’s Ten Tips about Type class, so I’m technically not stalking  there…
    I totally agree about the Sakura white gel pen! It’s consistent, doesn’t skip and creates a wonderful fine line! I’ll have to look into your other favs, except for the book since I only read blogs, although you really know how to make me smile, so maybe…

  • Ruth G

    Oh, yeah, and I love my Fiscars rotary trimmer, too!  It’s so wonderful to be able to cut more than one sheet at a time, which you can’t do with the other kind, as well as cut with all the decorative edges in.a.straight.line! I have the Stampin’ Up! version of glossy accents and use it to add shine and love stickles for adding a little bit of bling (along with the Clear Star pen from Sakura, Smooch ink – looks like nailpolish- and the liquid pearls from Ranger.)  I prefer the “My Stick” style adhesive.  I have never had much luck with the kind that doesn’t leave some kind of little tabby thing behind – bless you if you don’t find it frustrating!  OK, I think I’m really done this time!

  • Kris Van Allen

    Have you read Cathy Z’s book on a Slice of Life? Just excellent!

  • Cheryl McCain

    I’m a digi gal although I love making mini albums and hybrid schtuff, so does anyone have suggestions for a binder for my mini books and albums?
    I like using the chipboard from and then using up my paper stash from days of old or print something digi to add to it.

  • Barb in AK

    Liquid Pearls can make “pearls” on your page, cute “confetti”, and great dripping candle wax :-)

  • Barb in AK

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Big Bite crop-a-dile—sits on my table. The regular crop-a-dile is too bulky in my hand. Can’t live without crop-a-dile in my sb room!

  • Kelly Ayer


    I scrapbook 12 x12 layouts and I’m not happy at all with my pioneer page protectors in my post-bound album. Even though I cut down my 12 x 12 pages, use cardstock, patterned paper and mats with a few brads here and there, my pages buckle and won’t lay properly. They’re far from chunky pages. Does anyone have a suggestion on what brand page protectors I can try or what I can do differently.


  • Lain Chroust Ehmann

    I love being stalked. :) No problem here at all!

  • Lain Chroust Ehmann


  • Lain Chroust Ehmann

    You can post this on our facebook page and you might get some suggestions…

  • Lain Chroust Ehmann

    It may be the post-bound album itself, or the way you’re storing them. Are they stored flat or upright?

  • Bethany Rielage

    I really, really like Close To My Heart’s page protectors. They’re thicker than most and fit true 12×12 papers really well.

  • Cynthia gee

    Wow I actually think that I might try to do some scrapbooking and use some of the gadgets and paper that I have obsession for. You have a great teaching style. I’ll be watching you more and more and will do more than dangling my toes!

  • Cynthia gee

    Wow I actually think that I might try to do some scrapbooking and use some of the gadgets and paper that I have obsession for. You have a great teaching style. I’ll be watching you more and more and will do more than dangling my toes!

  • Karla Hilbourn

    With Creative Memories going out of business, and I having their paper trimmer, which I will no longer be able to get the rubber piece for, I’ve decided to see if I can sell it on Craigslist, and I bought your recommended Fiskars trimmer this weekend. Hopefully I’ll have time this week to give it a try! Thanks for the advice, Lain…..and keep those “bunny ears” open — I might think of something to ask you! LOL

  • Heidi Criswell

    Tombow stamp runner the blue
    one. The best I have ever tried!

  • Beda Stoner

    Kelly I am a CTMH consultant and our page protectors are the bomb. They are true 12 x 12 and I have never had to cut down any of my pages and they do not buckle or anything. Hope this helps. Beda Stoner,

  • Mary Tilman

    Have you read “Cut Loose: Break the Rules of Scrapbooking”? It’s by Crystal Jeffrey Rieger. I found it very rewarding.

  • Tommye

    I’ve lost some of the notes I took while watching a podcast recently. What is the name of the place that produces 100 photos a month for a nominal amount of money? And the place where everything is $5..Fivver? Thanks Much.

  • lainie9

    ##- Please type your reply above this line -##

    [True Scrap] Re: Re: New comment posted on Lain’s Picks

    Your scrapbooking superheros have solved your call for help request (242). That means you’re all set to start cutting things up again. If your scissors have stopped working and you’d like more help, reply to this email. ———————————————-

    Mary Stone, Jun 12 19:06 has services starting at $5 and you Groovebook is the place for photos. Use code EHMANN8 for a free month.

    Disqus, Jun 09 13:10

  • Stephanie

    There is a card you made and it was stamped with dots, I believe it was a yellow/ cold color. I’m wondering you used to imprint the dots on there and where you purchased it at?? It looks like it could of been some type of crimped, I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

  • Lain Ehmann

    Can you link me up to a specific image or post? I’ve made so many…

  • Christa

    I have two Trimmers that I really love, first the Cutup from American Crafts with all the different blades it is great to use. I had to change the straight blade after 2 years.
    For the times I go to crafters meetings I use my 12″ Paper Trimmer by Provo Craft, a blade to cut and a blade to fold.

  • Islemartin

    It would be grand if this page could be updated and include new products you or your team have actually tried