Our Product quality

Albums and components
Q. How do I clean my album cover?
A. Use a soft, slightly damp (not wet) cloth. Work from the outside using a gentle lifting motion to remove the stain. You may need to add a diluted mild soap for stubborn spots.

Q. Why are Page Protectors so important?
A. Photo-safe polypropylene Page Protectors slip over album pages to protect the pages and photographs from fingerprints, abrasion, accidental spills and environmental pollutants. Page Protectors also protect the facing page from acidic memorabilia. Page Protectors are recommended for all albums, especially for digital prints, to reduce the chance of damage, and to prevent air pollution from harming your prints.

Q. What do you call the pieces that hold the album strap at the front and back of each Creative Memories album?
A. The polypropylene pieces are called coverholders. Coverholders hold the album pages in place and may be removed to add additional pages.

Q. How should I store my albums?
A. Albums should be stored upright and are best stored where you live – in approximately 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) or less with relative humidity of 20 percent to 50 percent. Keep them away from light, excess humidity and temperature extremes such as those that occur in an attic or basement. If you live in a high-humidity area, you may want to consider using a dehumidifier.

Q. Should I use a protective finish spray on the cover of my album?
A. The book cloth manufacturer already has treated the album covers and does not recommend coating them with any type of protective spray.

Q. How many pages can fit in my album?
A. The amount of material placed on each page determines the number of pages that can be inserted in an album. Overloading albums should be avoided

Q. Can I emboss or paint on the cover of my album?
A. Yes. However, Creative Memories does not reimburse the customer for additional time or money spent if Creative Memories replaces the album due to a manufacturing defect. If the album is personalized with Creative Memories Persona™ Imprinting service, Creative Memories will imprint the replacement album at no charge.

Q. I have an older album page that looks yellow in comparison to a newer page. What happened?
A. Over the years, Creative Memories has made numerous changes in its product collection. In 1993 the color of the paper used for album pages changed from ivory to brilliant white. Consequently, these pages appear yellow in comparison to the album pages we see today. Extended exposure to light can also cause a slight change in the page color due to the bleaching of “optical brighteners” that added to the pages to give them added brilliance.

Q. What is the Creative Memories guarantee?
A. Creative Memories albums and pages are guaranteed against manufacturing defects for the lifetime of the purchaser.

Q. Some album covers are made of leatherette. What is leatherette?
A. Leatherette is a coated, man-made material designed to resemble leather.

Q. What are the features and benefits of Creative Memories pens?
A. Creative Memories pens meet ISO standard 18902-2007 and are acid-free with a pH between 7.0 and 9.5. Like our photo-safe papers, Creative Memories pens are made with pigmented inks that are fade- and bleed-resistant to ensure your customers’ journaling is permanent. All Creative Memories pens are water-based, non-toxic and pass the photographic activity test (PAT). Other pens that are on the market may not meet all of these standards.

Q. What is the best way to use and store Creative Memories pens?
A. Write with light to moderate pressure so as not to damage the tip. Store all pens horizontally and at room temperature.

Q. Can the Photo Labeling Pencil be used for journaling?
A. Creative Memories does not recommend using the Photo Labeling Pencil for journaling. Its intended use is for labeling the back of photos.

Q. How does the ink in the Precious Elements™ Metallic Pens differ from other Creative Memories pens?
A. Precious Elements Pens pass all tests required for other Creative Memories pens. However, their ink contains metallic particles that give the ink its distinctive shimmer. These metallic particles may be removed if the ink is erased or rubbed.

Q. Can I write on my album cover with Creative Memories pens?
A. Creative Memories Precious Elements Pens may be used for writing on the cover of Creative Memories albums. The ink used in these pens is permanent and will show brilliantly on Creative Memories traditional book cloth. We do not recommend using any Creative Memories pens to write on the Masterpiece, Promise, Baby or Window Albums, or any of our specialty tapestry albums.

Q. How do I clean Creative Memories ink out of a garment?
A. Creative Memories pens use pigmented ink that is fade- and bleed- resistant and is permanent. Like a permanent marker, once it has been applied to paper or cloth it is a permanent marking. Several stain removal products are currently on the market that may help to lift the stain. We cannot guarantee that these products will remove the stain or that the garment will resist damage. We recommend laundering the garment according to the garment manufacturer’s directions.

Q. What does the “AP” symbol on Creative Memories pens mean?
A. The symbol found on Creative Memories pens indicates that the pen is properly labeled and conforms to ASTM-D4236, a national standard for labeling the toxicity of artistic products. Creative Memories pens are water-based and non-toxic.

Q. What is the shelf life of Creative Memories pens?
A. All pens have a minimum shelf life of one year after shipping from Creative Memories; however, they will generally last longer if properly stored. Use a “first-in, first-out” inventory system. Be sure to sell the inventory in the order you received it.

At the first party you attended, you heard a Consultant say that Creative Memories paper, both our album pages and photo mounting paper, are . . .

• acid-free
• lignin-free
• buffered.

Whether or not you understood the importance of these characteristics at the time, you must now explain them to your customers.

Acid is a substance that is sometimes added during the paper-making process. It also forms when residues or pollutants combine with moisture in the paper. Acids break down paper fibers over time, causing them to become brittle and, eventually, leading the paper to crumble.

Scientists rate acid and alkaline on a 0-to-14 scale. A substance which has a pH of 0 is very acidic, while one with a pH of 14 is very alkaline. A pH of 7 (the center of the scale) may be considered acid-neutral. A paper with a pH value greater than 7 is generally considered acid-free. Papers may be produced from cotton fibers, rags, esparto (a type of grass), jute, chemical wood pulps or any other fiber manufactured with special precautions to eliminate acid that might be present in the paper pulp. Creative Memories paper has a pH between 7.0 and 9.5 when tested by cold extraction.

Lignin is a natural substance found in wood. It causes paper to turn brown, much like newsprint will turn yellow and then brown over time. Creative Memories’ scrapbook album pages and photo mounting paper are lignin-free to prevent discoloration. Unlike acids, lignin does not migrate. It can, however, react with materials such as photographs. We do not recommend placing photographs in direct contact with memorabilia that contains lignin.

While paper may be acid-free after manufacturing, the presence of residual chlorine from bleaching operations or air pollution may lead to the formation of acids. That’s why Creative Memories paper is buffered with calcium carbonate. The addition of a buffering agent helps neutralize acids and prevents them from migrating to other areas of the page or onto photographs. Acids that come in direct contact with your photographs could accelerate their natural aging process and cause them to discolour or fade.

Some items you mount in your album may contain acid: greeting cards, newsprint, award certificates or other memorabilia. Acid also can be found on your fingertips, in certain types of glues, inks and other substances.

Dye-Series Paper
Creative Memories Dye Series paper products are acid-free, lignin-free, buffered and pass the photographic activity test (PAT).

Photo-Safe Paper
Creative Memories papers are photo-safe and conform to international standard ISO 18902-2007 for photographic preservation and storage. In addition to being acid-free, lignin-free, buffered and passing the PAT, photo-safe papers are also fade- and bleed-resistant thereby providing extra protection for those customers who reside in humid or damp areas. If the area in which you reside is especially humid or damp, you may want to use only the photo-safe papers; they will not bleed due to humidity or if they become wet.

Q. My paper faded when I left it out in the sun. Why did this happen?
A. We recommend protecting unused paper from prolonged exposure to sunlight and storing all albums closed so that the pages are not exposed to sunlight. Dye Series paper contains dyes that may fade over time. Photo-Safe Paper contains fade-resistant pigments.

Q. Why aren’t Creative Memories papers labeled as “archival?”
A. Archival is an ambiguous term to describe everything from backup copies of computer files to documents that will remain accessible for an indefinite time in the future. Even if something is labeled “archival,” it does not mean that the product meets photo-safety requirements. Creative Memories defines the quality of our products in clearly definable terms such as, acid-free, lignin-free and buffered. In addition, we describe all products that comply with the ISO 18902-2007 standard as “photo-safe.”

Plastics in photograph storage
Many albums contain plastic parts, as do Creative Memories albums. Just as acid-free, lignin-free and buffered paper is safest to use near photographs, certain types of plastic are safe and not so safe to use near photos.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
Polyvinyl chloride is a common plastic, but it should not be used in a photo album. PVC contains plasticizers (or softening agents) that can migrate out of the vinyl and cause photographs to fade or become discolored. PVC is characterized by a strong “plastic” smell.

Photo-safe plastics
Safe plastics that can be used for long-term storage include . . .
• polyester
• polypropylene
• polyethylene
• polystyrene.

These plastics are chemically stable. Polyester is the most inert or rigid of the four. It generates static electricity, which can attract dust, and it is expensive. Polypropylene is as rigid and strong as polyester when in sleeve format, but is almost as soft as polyethylene. Polyethylene is the softest, most easily scratched and least rigid of these four plastics.

Creative Memories albums and supplies are made with photo-safe plastics.
• Pocket Pages are made of polyester.
• Portrait, Multi-pocket and Side-Loading Sleeves are made of polypropylene.
• Photo Mounting Sleeves are made of polypropylene.
• Page Protectors are made of polypropylene.
• Coverholders are made of polypropylene.
• Album straps are made of polyethylene.

Q. Is the insert in the Portrait Sleeve photo-safe, and can I use it as a backing sheet or page?
A. The Portrait Sleeve insert page is acid-free, lignin-free, buffered and meets current international photo-safety standards. The insert may be used as a backing sheet or page.

Cropping tools
Q. Can any of the Cropping Tools be sharpened?
A. There is no way to sharpen any of Creative Memories cropping tools including the Personal Trimmer, Shape Makers, Custom Cutting System™ blades, 12-inch Straight or Decorative Trimmer blade cartridges, Corner Maker or Corner Cutter. All of these cropping tools were developed using high quality materials; however, over time the blades will become dull and need to be replaced.

Q. Approximately how many cuts will the Personal Trimmer, 12-inch Trimmers, Corner Maker, Shape Makers and Custom Cutting System blades make?
A. The typical number of cuts each cutting tool will make depends on the type of paper and the frequency of use. The following are our estimates for the number of cuts each cutting tool will make before needing to be replaced

Cutting System


Personal Trimmer

50,000 cuts

Corner Maker

50,000 cuts

Scallop Corner Cutter

2,000 cuts

Shape Makers

2,000 cuts

Custom Cutting System Blades

500 cuts

12-inch Straight Trimmer

500 cuts

12-inch Decorative Trimmer

500 cuts

Q. What is the best way to use the Personal Trimmer?
A. First, extend the arm of the trimmer all the way up, then place the paper or photo at the top of the trimmer. Next, place your fingers at the very top of the blue guard and your thumb closer to the bottom and hold down firmly. Then bring the blade in slightly toward the cutting mat and lower it straight down. These steps will give you a clean, crisp edge.

Q. My Custom Cutting System Mat is warped. Is there any way to flatten it out?
A. No. Flattening the mat may damage the product. The Custom Cutting System Mat may become warped if exposed to high temperatures. If your mat becomes warped, we recommend purchasing a replacement mat.

Q. What is the best way to cut vellum paper?
A. You may experience problems when cutting thinner papers, such as vellum. When using the
12-inch Trimmers, start the cut from the inside of the paper, rather than the edge. Simply slide the cutting blade so that it is a short distance in from the edge of the paper. Press down, and cut outward toward the closest paper edge. You may then slide the blade back and finish the cut to the other side of the paper. Cutting two layers of vellum will generate a cleaner cut.

To safely mount your photos and memorabilia, use Creative Memories adhesives. Some consumer tapes, glue sticks and liquid adhesives are not permanent or may react with photographs and cause them to deteriorate. Some of these adhesives contain acids and other materials, such as plasticizers or softening agents, which can migrate onto a photograph and cause discoloration, fading and brittleness.

All of our adhesives conform to the international photo-safety standard ISO 18902-2007. These adhesives are acid-free, latex-free, nontoxic and permanent.

Creative Memories adhesives have a minimum shelf life of two years from the date of purchase.

Use a first-in, first-out inventory system with Creative Memories products. In other words, be sure to sell inventory in the order you receive it.

Q. How should I remove old adhesive residue from the back of photographs?
A. To remove adhesive residue from photographs we recommend the use of the Pick-Up Square. If the Pick-Up Square proves to be ineffective, we recommend having reprints of the photographs made, either from the negative or through scanning and reprinting them digitally or at a kiosk.

Q. Is the dispenser of the Tape Runner latex-free?
A. The dispenser of the Tape Runner is made of polypropylene, and the grip of the casing is made of Santoprene™. Neither of these materials will elicit an allergic reaction from a person with a latex allergy.

Q. What is the best adhesive to use for vellum paper?
A. Creative Memories Frosted Photo Splits are a photo-safe, permanent adhesive that can be used with vellum paper and is less evident to show through on white, natural and spargo pages.

Creative Memories stickers are acid-free, lignin-free, buffered and pass the photographic activity test (PAT). This is to ensure that they will not harm your photographs in any way over time. Creative Memories stickers are printed with pigmented ink. Our stickers form a permanent bond once applied to an album page.

Like adhesives, stickers have a minimum shelf life of two years from the date the Consultant purchases them. If stickers go beyond their shelf life, they will start to break down. Old stickers may become permanently adhered to the release liner or may fail to stick to the album page. We recommend that all adhesives be stored at 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) with a relative humidity of 20 percent to 50 percent.

We do not recommend placing Creative Memories stickers on the front of your photographs because residue may be left on your photographs if the sticker is ever removed.

Sometimes memories come in forms other than photos. Creative Memories albums can safely store various types of memorabilia, including newspaper articles, locks of baby hair, ticket stubs, etc.

Q. How should I preserve newspaper articles in my album?
A. Memorabilia such as newspaper articles can be a great addition to your album. You may display newspaper articles loosely in a Photo Mounting Sleeve, Portrait or Side-Loading Sleeve. You may also choose to mount them to the page using our Photo Mounting Corners for easy removal at a later date. Or, you may mount them directly to your album page using Creative Memories adhesives such as the Tape Runner or Frosted Photo Splits.

You may want to create a copy of the article and place either the original article or the copy in your album.

Photographs should not be mounted on top of newsprint, and Page Protectors should be used to protect the adjacent page.

Q. Can I preserve my baby’s ultrasound or sonogram picture in my album?
A. Yes! Your baby’s first picture can be preserved in a Creative Memories album. Because it is not a traditionally processed photograph, we suggest treating it as memorabilia and mounting it to the page using either Photo Corners or a Photo Mounting Sleeve. We would suggest not adhering the original print directly to the page, because you may want to remove the print from the album at a later date. We do suggest making a copy of the ultrasound as, over time, the blackening increases and the image can become less crisp.

You may also want to check with your health-care provider’s imaging department to ask about any special handling tips.

Q. Can I laminate things and put them in my album?
A. Creative Memories does not recommend laminating. Lamination traps any acidic or harmful by products that may be released. Also, the plastics and adhesives used in laminates may not be photo-safe. In addition, laminating is not reversible, and contaminants in the environment may be sealed with the material.

Q. Can I mount my photo on a piece of fabric?
A. We suggest placing the fabric in a Photo Mounting Sleeve and then mounting the photo on top of the sleeve. The sleeve will act as a barrier between the fabric (which may not be photo-safe) and the photograph.

Q. Is it OK to use eyelets, ribbon and other non-Creative Memories materials in my album?
A. The use of miscellaneous items within a Creative Memories album is a personal decision that the album owner must make. Creative Memories does not have technical information on the photo-safety of these products.

Q. Does using other manufacturers’ products in a Creative Memories album void the Creative Memories guarantee?
A. No. However, the Creative Memories guarantee only covers manufacturing defects and does not include problems that result from using other manufacturers’ products within the album. Creative Memories does not replace other manufacturers’ products or reimburse customers for the additional money spent on those products should it become necessary to replace that part of the album.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Just Jenny
    Aug 02, 2011 @ 00:53:48

    Hi! Again, great info!
    I wanted to give you this award. Hope you’ll accept 🙂


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