Paper Crafting Glossary

Hi everyone!

Are you new to paper crafting? Or maybe you have been involved in this craft for a while now? Either way, you may be surprised to discover the large array of paper crafting terms out there. I acquired this list years ago. Hopefully it may be of some help to you in understanding the basic terms, tools and products that you will use in creating your projects.


*Please feel free to copy/paste and then print it out for easy reference. My apologies, I don’t yet know how to turn a word document into a PDF.



accordion album

An album made from a strip of paper that has been folded back and forth in a series of “Z” shapes. Its name comes from its resemblance, when opened, to the pleats of an accordion.


A product that has a pH balance of 7.0 or slightly greater. This is important in paper crafting to protect photos or materials from being damaged by acid over time.

acrylic album

An album made of clear sheets of acrylic plastic.

altered art

Any existing piece that has been changed or decorated to become a piece of art.


A term referring to materials used in photos and memorabilia, implying that they are chemically stable and permanent. This is not a technical term, and it is safer to look for labels that state “acid-free,” “lignin-free,” and “buffered.”



background & texture paper

Paper that has a pattern and/or texture printed on it.

base page

The bottom piece of paper upon which the rest of the scrapbook layout is adhered.

blending pen

A pen whose ink is clear but aids in picking up and merging ink colors for a watercolor effect.

bone folder

A tool used to score or crease paper. Though traditionally made from bone, it is now typically made from plastic.


A two-pronged fastener featuring a round or decorative top.


A rubber roller with a handle used to spread ink.


Having been treated with a neutralizing agent to resist acid production and migration.




Sturdy paper, typically of a solid color. Some brands have a white core.


Thick, pressed fiber paper, which is considerably sturdier than cardstock.

 craft heater

A tool that blows very hot air. Used to dry ink, fuse embossing powder, etc. Also known as “heat tool” or  “heat gun.” *Please note: a hairdryer will not work for heat embossing – it is not hot enough.

craft knife

A sharp knife with pointed replaceable blades, used for precision cutting.

craft tray

A tray with a funnel at one end so that its contents can be poured back into a container. Often used for embossing powder or glitter.


To trim a photo or paper. It is also an event where people get together to scrapbook.



die cut

Paper or other material that has been cut into a shape using a die, or block with a metal blade formed to cut that shape.


To artificially create the appearance of aging or wear and tear.

double scrubber

A case with a scrubbing pad in the base and another in the lid. Used to clean stamps.

D-ring album

An album with spring-loaded, D-shaped clamps that are threaded through the holes in the page protectors. This kind of album snaps open to add or remove pages.

dry brushing

A painting technique in which a relatively dry brush is used to apply paint to a surface, producing a scratchy look.

dry embossing

To create a raised image by using a stylus to push the paper from behind, often using a stencil of some kind. It is sometimes also called “debossing.”




Any  accent added to a scrapbook/album page, card or tag  to decorate it.

embossing powder

The powder used in heat embossing. When heated, the powder particles fuse to create a shiny, raised image.


Written or printed matter that is not intended to be preserved. Examples include advertisements, tags, ticket stubs, napkins, and more.

extender post

A post added to the existing posts of a post-bound album to increase their length, and therefore the album’s page capacity.


A metal fastener with a hole in the center that forms a cylinder, which is inserted into a hole through a surface and then flattened on the back to secure it.

eyelet setter

A tool used to flatten an eyelet and fasten it to a surface. Commonly used is the Crop-o-dile by We R Memory Keepers.




Short, loose fibers that can be adhered to create a velvety look and feel.



Glossy Accents

A clear crystal lacquer used to create a shiny, raised surface. Can also be used as a strong adhesive.



heat embossing

Creating a raised image by heating embossing powder adhered to the image. This is usually done by stamping with Versamark ink, which is a clear sticky ink. Or with a colored pigment ink which stays wet longer than a dye ink.




Written or typed words that give details about what is featured on a scrapbook page.




A set of two side-by-side scrapbook pages.


Free from lignin, a chemical substance that breaks down over time, releasing acid and turning paper brown.




To back a photo or other page element on a slightly larger piece of paper to create a frame effect.


A finish that is not shiny or glossy.

mini album

A scrapbook smaller than the typical scrapbook sizes of 8 1/2″ x 11″ and 12″ x 12″. A mini album can be created from any number of materials and does not necessarily have the standard pages of a regular scrapbook album.

monochromatic color scheme

A project made using variations of saturation or shade of the same hue.




Clear acetate sheet placed over all or part of a page to change its appearance. Often has a pattern or words printed on it. Also known as a “transparency.”



paper piecing

Adhering various shaped pieces of paper to create an image.

paper trimmer

A tool used to make straight, uniform cuts in paper.

photo clip

Small metal clip that can be swiveled to secure or adorn a photo. Also known as “photo turn.”

photo corner

A small triangle of paper, metal, or other material into which a corner of a photo is slipped. Designed to hold a photo in place without adhering it.

photo mat

A slightly larger piece of paper or other material placed underneath a photo creating a frame effect.

photo storage page

A sheet protector with multiple pockets designed to hold photos.

post-bound album

An album whose pages are held together by metal posts.



red-eye pen

A green-tinted pen used to fix red eyes in photographs.


A bottle of ink used to refresh an ink pad. Also, may be used as paint and to dye ribbon and selected embellishments.

repositionable adhesive

Adhesive whose bond is not permanent but will continue to hold after repositioning.

ribbon slide

A buckle or other accent through which ribbon is threaded.


Also known as a “transfer”, is a decorative image that may be applied to papers using an applicator.



self-healing mat

A mat that can be repeatedly used as a cutting surface and still maintain its form.

sheet protector

A plastic pocket in which a page can be inserted. Generally has been punched with holes to be held in an album or binder. Also known as a “page protector.”

 spine expander

Inserts placed between the bound edges of page protectors to maintain proper spacing between pages.

sponge dauber

A small tool with a sponge on one end that can be slipped on the finger like a thimble to apply ink.


A technique where ink is applied using a sponge.


A tool with rounded ends typically used to score or indent paper, either for folding or dry embossing.



tape runner

A type of adhesive applicator from which double-sided tape is dispensed by rolling on a surface.

textured cardstock

Cardstock that has a raised or textured surface rather than a smooth one.




A water-filled pen with a brush tip that is used as a paintbrush.

watercolor pencils

Colored pencils whose pigment will smear when wet, creating a watercolor effect.


Until next time,


The Country Touch





2 comments on “Paper Crafting Glossary

  1. Kim HENDERSON says:

    Wow – I learned some new things. Thank you Erin!

    Sent from my iPad



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