How to Use Scrapbook Album Spacers Correctly

Updated February 21, 2017

Scrapbooking is a hobby that has been around in one form or another for hundreds of years, but has reached new popularity with the rise of many products manufactured specifically for the pastime. There are many sizes and brands of scrapbook albums. Most brands offer album spacers, also called spine spacers, that can be purchased separately to insert between protective sleeve pages to help albums lay evenly without bulging. Some hobbyists refer to post extenders as album spacers. Post extenders expand the album to allow more protective sleeves and pages to be inserted.

Take apart your album by unscrewing the screw tops from the posts beneath the cardboard flap at the back of the album. Use a flathead screwdriver to unscrew if the posts are too tight to use fingers only. Put the screw tops in a safe place.

Remove the back cover. Leave the front cover and the posts in place. Remove any protective sleeves/pages. Protective sleeves are clear plastic sleeves in which finished scrapbook album pages are slipped to protect the images and designs.

Put one protective sleeve/page's holes onto the posts. Albums have two or three posts. Albums get thicker as you add pages. To eliminate album bulge, add album spacers to lift pages slightly.

Insert a paper or cardboard album spacer over the posts. Album spacers are narrow strips of cardboard, card stock, thin foam or paper with holes corresponding with the position of the album posts. Spacers can be purchased at scrapbook or craft stores and most anywhere scrapbook album supplies are sold. Make sure you buy spacers with the correct amount of holes. If you purchased two-hole spacers and need three-hole spacers, use a hole punch to punch a hole in the centre of the spacer using the posts as a guide.

Place a protective sleeve/page over the posts, followed by another album spacer. Some hobbyists prefer putting an album spacer in every two or three pages if they aren't using any three-dimensional embellishments on their designs.

Follow Section 1, Steps 1 to 2. Remove the extender posts from the packaging. Extender posts look like little cylinders of metal with threads on one end and a "screw" on the other. According to Alternative Photography, post length determines how many pages you can use, so using extenders allows for a thicker album.

Hold the post attached to the front cover of the album and screw one extender post into or onto the post. Repeat for the other extender posts.

Place your protective sleeves/pages and album spacers over the extended posts. Replace the back cover cardboard flap and the back cover by inserting the holes of the cover over the extended posts.

Screw the screw tops onto the posts. Use a flathead screwdriver if you can't get a good grip with your fingers.


Make your own album spacers by cutting card stock or thin cardboard the same length as your protective sleeves/pages by 1 1/2 inches wide. Store-bought spacers are sold to fit standard album sizes (8 1/2 inches width by 11 inches length and 12 inches width by 12 inches length). Use a hole punch to punch holes corresponding with the placement of your album's posts.

Things You'll Need

  • Photo album
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Protective sleeves/pages
  • Cardboard or paper album spacers
  • Hole punch
  • Post extenders
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About the Author

Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.