Scrapbookers spend countless hours creating pages that will stand the test of
time, taking care to choose only photo-safe, archival quality materials, but how
you store your completed albums is just as important to the preservation as the
creation of the layouts within the albums- a step many people forget. Storing
albums in less than idea situation can cause more damage than acidic supplies,
so where you choose to store your completed albums is just as important- if not
more so, than using safe materials!
Did you know that when photographs are stored in an environment with high degrees of heat, the photos will fade faster? If the storage area is humid, the humidity can actual cause the photographs to grow fungus, or get stains for the dampness. Make sure you take the proper precautions for preserving your photographs, both before they make it into albums, and then after they're on your layouts to help preserve them. Don't leave photographs in the car after you've picked them up from the developer, never place your albums or boxes of photographs in attics or basements, since both are subject to extreme temperatures or dampness. The best areas to store your albums and photographs are in the main living areas of your home.
Albums should be stored vertically, and preferably inside specially designed slipcases meant to keep dust from getting inside your albums. Studio K offers albums in a multitude of styles and sizes that come with protective slipcases to store the albums in. A slipcase is a thin box, with one complete side open so you can slide your album in and out, with the spine facing out the open end of the slipcase. This is an ideal storage solution because the albums are vertical, which will keep any three dimensional objects from damaging surrounding pages, and because it is stored with the album closed, which will prevent prolonged exposure to light which will help decrease fading and yellowing of your photographs, papers and ink.
Many scrapbookers love the look of the three dimensional elements, like eyelets, brads, rivets, wire, beads, buttons, clay and even items they've created themselves. The trouble with these beautiful additions is that they can cause indents, or scratches in the surrounding pages of albums if there is too much pressure on the sides of the album, or if the album is stored horizontally. A way to diminish the possibility of three-dimensional elements damaging your pages is to use them on pages that you've created a shadow box effect. You can use foam adhesive to build up a frame that is actually slightly higher than the embellishment, and then decorate the foam with paper and stickers to make it blend with your page design. If you're using post-bound albums, or the three-ring binder style albums, you can insert what are called "spacer strips" that you make out of cardboard or foam core cut about 1/2" thick, between each page in the album. Just use a three-hole punch to create holes in your spacer strips so that you can match it up with the holes on your pages. The additional depth the spacer strips create will reduce the adverse effects using three-dimensional objects can cause.
As a scrapbooker, the amount of time and effort you put into creating your albums proves your desire to preserve your memories and photographs. Don't forget the last step to taking all the precautions to protect your preservations- proper album storage is just as important as choosing the right materials to design your pages.