Need vs Nice: A List of Supplies

As I mentioned in my last post (and in my after-post Periscope), the great thing about non-traditional memory keeping is that fewer supplies are required. I started thinking about what the specific lists would look like and it came down to this:


The Basics

– BASIC OFFICE SUPPLIES: A notebook, pen, scissors, something sticky (double sided tape, glue, etc.)

– PHOTOS AND/OR MEMORABILIA: Not a need, but up there on the list of items you’d want to have to take it from journaling to a more rich form of memory keeping. 

And you’re ready! You probably have most, if not all, of the basic office supplies lying around your house. Photos, if desired, can be printed at a local printer or, if you have a modern printer, at home with a few supplies.


The nice list is basically a supermarket sweep of your local craft and office supply stores! However, I wanted to list them in order of difficulty of addition just to give you ideas for starting somewhere and moving up, if you’re so inclined:

EASY: Stickers, washi tape, general ephemera (shapes cut out of various materials used for decorating)

These are pretty straight-forward additions. You can use them in your memory keeping, on gifts or to decorate planners. Low cost, easy and many different ways they can be used makes them a no brainer!  

MODERATE: Stamps, Project Life cards (including printables)

These two require a bit of skill and add-ons. With stamps, unless you’re buying the ones that are already mounted on wood (which take up a lot of extra space), you’ll need an acrylic block. You’ll also need stamp pads. The Project Life or other documenter style cards are easier to buy but depending on how you want to use them will take up a lot of space (in your home and on your pages) and require either sticking them on or using washi tape to make them into a flap. With the printable types, they don’t take up any room other than hard drive space but you’ll need to learn to manipulate your printer settings to get a great print. Not difficult, but an extra layer of learning to do properly.

QUALITY OF LIFE UPGRADES: Adhesives, cutting tools, storage

These things are places where you might have been getting away with the basics but using tools that are created specifically for the purpose you’re using them for means a nicer time. For the cutting tools, I’m speaking mostly of sliding blade or guillotine cutters. They make cutting a straight line a breeze so if you’re bad with scissors like I am, that one purchase will be a big upgrade.

If I had to pick one place where you get the biggest bang for your buck, upgrade-wise, it’s in the area of adhesives. Head over to your local craft store and get yourself some real scrapbooking adhesive. I prefer the tape runner type (I’m firmly a Glue Glider Pro user) and avoid liquids and gels unless the situation really calls for it. Any wet adhesive has the opportunity to warp your paper so I just don’t use it. These are also really cheap. The ones from Michael’s usually run me $9 for three and they always have a coupon or sale running so often much cheaper.

After that, I’d say a good reliable printer is your next nice-to-have. Not only does it allow you to print photos when the mood strikes you, but it also makes it a lot easier for you to take advantage of things like printables (but that’s for another blog post!) From experience, I’d say keep lots of photo paper (4×6 and letter size serve me well) as well as letter-sized white cardstock and printer ink on hand at all times.  


I hope this helps you figure out what you might be missing and where your first upgrade will be. As always, if you have any thoughts or questions, leave them in the comments below. Thanks so much for reading!