How To Pack For A Scrapbook Retreat

Scrapbook retreats are some of the best events for scrapbookers. They are full of laughter, inspiration, creativity and the development of friendships.

Packing all your gear and supplies for a scrapbook retreat can be overwhelming.

Whether for a weekend-long retreat or day crop, it can be stressful to know what to bring. And it’s easy to want to bring it all … just in case.

I’ve told myself that so many times, “but what if I need it?” Oh, let me tell you. What a mistake! This is for a couple of reasons.

  1. I have to haul all that stuff, and its heavy, plus
  2. It makes it harder to be productive because you end up feeling overwhelmed with stuff and indecision.
illustration of two women sitting at a table at a scrapbook retreat.

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How to Prepare

Sometimes it can be hard to spend a bunch of time prepping for your crop or retreat.

By spending an hour or two organizing and preparing at home you will arrive feeling relaxed and prepared. Not to mention you’ll accomplish much more if you have a plan for what you’re going to work on.

Start with photos. Select the photos you’d like to scrapbook. Print off the ones you know you want to scrapbook. Decide if you’d like to get any enlarged or in a size other than 4×6.

It’s a great idea to choose photos that have a theme. This way they can coordinate with the same type or style of paper and embellishments.

For example, you may want to take pictures from a Mexican vacation, Christmas 2018 & 2019, or a celebration like a wedding. For ease of packing pick something with a clear start and end date and a theme.

Need help getting your projects organized?

Tool Caddy

When choosing a bag to hold all the stuff you want on hand while crafting, there are two things to think about.

  1. An open-top so you can grab what you need because everything is in view
  2. Side pockets.
  3. A proper handle for easy carrying.

You might like a bag like this Mini Floral & Polka Dot Tote Bag

Or this adorable buffalo plaid tote from Hobby Lobby

Must-Haves In Your Tool Caddy

There are a few tools that are a necessity for every scrapbooker’s tool caddy. There are our recommended must-have items.

If you’d like more detail on these products, you might want to read our post The 10 Tools You Need To Start Scrapbooking.

You Might Also Want These Tools

  • Your Favourite Stamps & Inks
  • Alcohol Markers
  • Masking Tape
  • Pen, Pencil, Eraser & Sharpener
  • Replacement Blades for Paper Trimmer


Once you have chosen your photos (make sure to get them printed out), it’s time to decide which patterned paper suits the selected photos. Then add in coordinating cardstock and matching embellishments.

I put all the coordinating items together in “zip-top” bags (like these) to keep it organized.

Choose your paper carefully ahead of time. Of everything you’ll bring with you, a lot of paper can be cumbersome to carry.

  • Coordinate patterned paper and card stock ahead of time.
  • Be sure to bring a bit extra if you have a bit too much wine and make a cut or two that you regret.
  • Bring some neutral colours such as black and white along with your colour-matched cardstock. It goes with everything!
Three women working on a project together at a scrapbook retreat.

Storage & Tote Bags

You may also want a wheeled tote bag to store all your “scrapbook layout kits” you’ve put together. Once you have all your supplies packed up, it can result in a heavy load, so it’s nice to have a bag that rolls and is easy to maneuver. You can find the matching wheeled tote in buffalo plaid from Hobby Lobby.

Or this cute geometric print bag from Amazon would work great!


Scrapbook embellishments can be many things. Some common ones are stickers, chipboard elements, ribbon, buttons, etc. You can pretty much use anything you’d like!

When there is so much to choose from, it’s can be tricky to decide what you think you might need. If only we could see into the future! 

This, in turn, creates this need and wants to bring everything. I mean, you never know, right?

The best way to choose which embellishments to bring is to coordinate them with your photos and papers. Then I always allow myself a few extra versatile items that would coordinate well with my theme.

Cricut & Die-Cut Machines

Should I bring my Cricut or Die Cut Machine to the scrapbook retreat?

This is a question I hear often. The best way to approach this is to contact your retreat host and see if they will have machines available. It’s common for them to be provided at retreats which is great for us; less we have to pack!

The Cricut Explore Air 2 is a fantastic machine! But if you’re looking for something smaller, maybe you’d be interested in the new Cricut Joy.

Click here to learn more about this fun little cutting machine.

Other Supplies You May Want

  • A small, portable photo printer – To be able to print out my pictures as I go is so helpful. You’ve got the perfect layout in mind created but need to print off a different photo or size. It will save you from having to make prints at the store later.
  • A desk lamp – The lighting at many scrapbook retreats is not designed for crafting. It’s a good idea to buy a small desk lamp that is rechargeable or battery operated. That way, you won’t have one more thing to plug in.
  • Laptop or Tablet – That way, you can search for ideas when you’re feeling stuck, uncreative or if need to use your Design Space program for your Cricut.
  • Small folding table– This comes in handy for a bit of extra table space. Set up your Cricut or die-cut machines, or use it to make the table you’re provided a bit bigger.
  • Headphones – One of the main reasons we go to scrapbooking retreats is to spend time with our scrappy friends and socialize. But if it gets too much and you’d like to concentrate, tune out with some good headphones.
three women laughing while drinking coffee.

For Your Comfort

It’s hard to get into a creative flow when you’re uncomfortable. There are a couple of things to keep in mind to make sure you’re comfortable at a scrapbooking retreat.

  • You’ll want to wear clothes for comfort. A room full of women in pyjamas is a familiar sight at a scrapbook retreat.
  •  Keep a sweater on hand. Many of the places where scrapbooking retreats are held keep the rooms somewhat chilly. Sometimes I keep a small blanket with me too for that extra comfort and coziness.
  • Save your butt! Most of us are not used to sitting for long periods. Especially on banquet style chairs. A padded chair cushion might be something worth having with you.

Little Extras

  • Extension cord
  • Power bar
  • Tape to secure the cord
  • Camera – so you can take photos of your scrapbooking friends!
  • Cash & Change
  • Cell Phone Charger


Scrapbooking retreats are such a fun time! Being prepared will make your weekend so much more enjoyable. Creating your scrapbook layout kits will help you arrive organized and prepared. You’ll have time to socialize plus get your layouts completed.

Want some help to get organized before your retreat?

If so, you might be interested in one of our printable planners. Click the image below to get a copy of sent

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