Scrapbook Rub Ons: Everything You Need To Know!

Scrapbook rub ons are getting more and more popular!  They’re super easy to use and now come in a wide variety of choices and are a great addition to almost any layout.

In this quick tutorial we’ll reveal everything you need to know about using scrapbook rub ons for your projects.

Scrapbook Rub Ons…What Are They?

A rub on is sort of like a tattoo, but instead of applying it to your skin, you’re applying it to your scrapbook layout.

When rub ons first came out, they didn’t work very well.  They would sometimes wrinkle as you rubbed it onto a page, sometimes would tear, and

Scrapbook Rub Ons
You can even get rub on feathers!

over time would lift  from the page.

Today’s rub ons are simple to add to a page.  You place the rub on face down onto your paper, firmly rub it with a popsicle stick, and that’s it!  Rub ons will last for a long time once applied to a page and won’t fade like some scrapbooking materials.

What Kind of Rub Ons Are There?

Check out most any craft store, a retail store that has a craft section, or go online, and you’ll discover lots of fun rub ons.

One of the most popular types of rub ons is letters.  Letters commonly come in black, but you’ll also find ones in color and even ones with little designs on them.  There are also rub on pendants, borders, journal blocks, flowers, and so much more.

If you’re creating a special themed scrapbook, you can purchase themed rub ons, such as vacation, school, Christmas or swimming.  Rub ons come as a sheet with a protective sheet placed beneath it.

Rub Ons Scrapbooking Ideas:

There are many ways to creatively use rub ons for your scrapbook pages.  Here are a few ideas to get you started, and you’ll bound to come up with your own fun ideas as well.

  • Page title.  Whether you’re using a person’s name as the title of a scrapbook layout, an adjective to describe the layout, or some other title, letter rub ons work great for titles!  By using a grid, you can evenly space out your letters.
  • Border.  Adding a border to at least one edge of your layout will draw special attention to the layout.  One of the most popular types of rub on borders is stitching.  Stitching borders are made to look like a zigzag cut, dotted cut, etc.  You’ll also find borders with themes, such as floral, teddy bears, or even little hearts.
  • Photo frame.  Small rub on borders make great photo frames!  Create a frame on the scrapbook layout and then add the photo.
  • Accent piece.  Do you have an empty space on your layout?  By using a black rub on, you can create an accent piece.  For example, if your photos have flowers, use a floral rub on and enhance with colorful butterfly or ladybug stickers.  This will certainly add a wow factor to your page.
  • Quotes.  There are many quotes and key words (i.e. Happy Birthday, Christmas, love) that are available as rub ons.  A quote is a great way to enhance a page.
  • Journal blocks.  For a quick and easy journal block, rub a journal rub on onto a piece of cardstock.  Use a permanent marker to write on the lines of the journal block.
  • Grids.  If you have a layout with a row of photos, instead of framing each photo, use a stitch rub-on in between each photo.  This is a fun way to help each photo stand out.
  • Accent a brad.  Remember the small gold brad fasteners that you used to use to hold your papers together for a special school report?  Brad fasteners are fun embellishments for scrapbook pages.  However, they now come in a variety of colors and some are about the size of a penny.  You can accent a brad with a rub on!  Be sure to wipe off the top of the brad first to remove any oil that might be on the brad from your fingers.  Then apply the rub on.  You might need to use extra pressure to make sure that it totally adheres to the brad.

Where Can I Buy Rub Ons?

Rub ons can be purchased at any major craft store, online, at a retail store that has a decent craft section and sometimes even at a dollar store.  The following stores are a good place to start:

  • Craft stores:  Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Joanne Fabrics
  • Online stores:,,,,,
  • Retail stores:  WalMart, Kmart, Targets

Because scrapbook rub ons are a onetime use, just like stickers, you want to keep a stash on hand.  You’ll most likely use letter and border rub-ons a lot, so stock up on different sizes, colors and such. 

Other types of rub-ons you might want to wait and purchase when you need them or you find a good sale.  Speaking of sales, be sure to check out the clearance racks at the end of each season.  You’ll be surprised at the great deals you can get on holiday rub ons!

There you have it!  As you plan your next scrapbooking project, be sure to give rub ons a try!

Topic: scrapbook rub ons