Since the purpose of compiling a scrapbook is to preserve memories, start with supplies that protect your precious photographs and memorabilia. Choose archival supplies; acid-free and lignin-free paper; acid-free or pH-neutral adhesives; and permanent, fade-resistant inks and pen.
The basics of scrapbooking include an album, adhesive, a pair of scissors, and a journaling pen. With your own photos, you can create pages using just these four items.
Choose a photo album that contains acid-free pages, or purchase acid-free sheet protectors and slip them into a three-ring binder. Be sure the sheet protectors are PVC-free (polyvinyl chloride-free), or chemically stable; look on the packaging for a "photo-safe" or "archival" notation.
Adhesives to secure everything to the album pages come in many forms, including photo tape, photo corners, double-sided adhesive dots, squares or strips, glue pens, glue sticks, non-permanent glue, and bottled glues. Like all of the materials used for your album, the adhesives must be acid-free.
Optional supplies to enhance your scrapbook, mat your photos, and create interesting backgrounds include colored and patterned acid-free papers. Acid-free permanent markers and pens assist you with decorative writing and are fun for adding doodles to your scrapbook pages. Use straight-edge or decorative-edge scissors to cut your photos into interesting shapes and crop out any unwanted areas.
Other supplies you may want to consider are stickers, a paper trimmer, templates, decorative rulers, paper punches, rolling ball glue pen, rubber stamps, computer clipart, circle cutter, idea books, and of course, magazines like Scrapbooks Etc.
Since all of the elements in your album should be acid-free, it only makes sense that you store your supplies in high quality boxes and envelopes. You'll find these and all the above supplies at most stores that carry scrapbook, photography, craft or stationery supplies.