Wanted to give you a comparison of Creative Memories 12 x 12 strap-hinged albums versus the Paper Studio brand from Hobby Lobby. Watch my video for details and find useful links below!
Creative Memories – Albums are made to stand up to time, very durable. Wipe clean. Photo safe (acid and lignin free). And lie flat. You can add up to 3 page packs, but they get heavy. Originally made to just glue your photos to the page, they now make paper and encourage you to decorate the pages. I have always made my 12×12 pages and then glued to the pages.
- Flex-Hinge 12 x 12 Bookcloth Album covers ($28.50) – plus shipping
- Refill pages with protectors/16 per pack ($29.50) – white, spargo, natural, and black
Hobby Lobby (brand is called Paper Studio)– Makes an album that is the same size and strap-hinge like Creative Memories. I have not bought their albums, and I see they have a rating of 2 out of 5. They are not bookcloth, just cloth. I think they would show dust and not wipe off cleanly. However, their pages and sleeves have a higher rating, 5 out of 5, and fit the Creative Memories albums.
- Cloth Strap Hinge Album covers ($24.99) — Half price 12.49 right now (1/1/2020)
- Strap Hinge Album Refill Pages ($14.99) — just 7.49 on sale for 20 pages
- Slip-on Refill Sleeves ($9.99 ) — just 4.99 for 20
So to compare prices, the Creative Memories 12×12 album with 2 page sets would cost you approximately $87.50 for an album with 32 pages, plus shipping. And the Hobby Lobby setup would cost only $24.97 for 20 pages/37.45 for 40 pages.
But here’s my recommendation. Purchase the bookcloth Creative Memories album since they will hold up longer. Then purchase the pages and protectors from Hobby Lobby when they are on sale. This would be a total cost $40.98 for 20 pages or $53.46 for 40 pages.
- Creative Memories album + 32 pages for $87.50
- Hybrid of CM album + 40 Hobby Lobby pages for $53.46
- Hobby Lobby album + 40 pages for $37.45
- Find garage sale CM album + Hobby Lobby 40 pages for $29.96
BUT an even better deal is to find the Creative Memories albums online or at garage sales for under $10! For some reason, people started switching from Creative Memories when the 3-ring notebook style books came out. It might have also been influenced by Creative Memories going out of business. But you can still find the Creative Memories albums for sale, unopened, for a steal. Look on eBay, watch for local garage sales. They are easy to find. I’ve gotten ones for $5. That can make the cost as low as $29.96 for 12×12 bookcloth album with 40 pages. That’s just $0.75 per page!