What Is a Top-Load Scrapbook?

Top-load scrapbooks allow you to easily add photos and mementos.
Top-load scrapbooks allow you to easily add photos and mementos. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Old sports tickets, classic movie stubs, sepia-tinged photographs and tear-stained love letters are common scrapbook items. The most common scrapbook form is an album, and basic scrapbook supplies include sheet protectors to preserve photos, scissors for trimming, adhesives and scrapbook paper for individual pages. Top-load scrapbooks are easy to use because they allow you to load photos and other items from the top of each page.

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Album

Scrapbook albums can help set the tone or theme for your scrapbook, depending on the kind you choose. Albums that contain top-loading pages come in a variety of sizes, with 8-inch-by-8 inch and 12-inch-by-12 inch sizes being very common. Many of these albums have three-ring binders or are post bound, with a metal post and screws that hold the album together. Albums are available in cloth, leather-bound and fabric, and feature sports-, nature- and animal-themed covers.

Pages

Top-load scrapbooks come with top-loading pages that are often acid- and lignin-free to help preserve photos. Make sure any top-load scrapbook you purchase has these features, because paper that has acid will act as a corrosive on your photos and degrade the image quality. Lignin, an organic substance in wood, can thin paper and change its color. Most top-load scrapbook albums come with between 20 and 40 top-loading pages.

Function

Top-load scrapbook pages allow you to remove and add photos, mementos and other scrapbook items without having to take the entire album apart. The opening of the page is at the top; the bottom, left and right sections of the page are sealed. This provides ease of use and lets you quickly transfer items from one page to another. Most top-load scrapbook pages come with clear protector sheets for additional protection.

Building a Page

With the ease of loading items through the top of each page, you can build your top-load scrapbook in no time. Though you can start with any item you want, selecting photos first gives you a nice foundation to which you can add other mementos and keepsakes. Divide photos by theme or location, such as birthdays and holidays or family vacations. You can then choose background paper to add to the scrapbook, and lay out your pages in any manner you like.

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