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I didn’t really know what to expect from the Prima Build a Book Clear Albums when I first ordered them. I ordered mine from Twopeasinabucket.com. Unfortunately, they gave no information whatsoever about the product- they did not even mention the most basic things like how many pages were included, or how thick the acrylic is, or whether it is flexible (for those of you who are wondering that, it is flexible). I later discovered that A Cherry on Top Scrapbook Shoppe has a better selection of Prima Build a Book Clear Album Pages and Components. However, they don’t seem to provide much in the way of information about the product, either.
I purchased one package of 6″ x 12″ clear acrylic rectangular pages from the Prima Build a Book system. Little did I know, there were only 4 pages in the package. To my way of thinking, 4 pages isn’t really enough for a satisfactory clear album. I suppose the whole idea is that I should have purchased several other packages as well and combined them. However, not knowing what to expect from this product, I did not want to invest upwards of $30 without knowing whether I would like the product or not.
If I had known that there were only 4 pages included in the package, I would have ordered at least one additional package of pages at the time I placed my order. And my album would probably be finished by now, as well, because I wouldn’t be sitting here staring at it wondering what to make with only 4 clear album pages… But…oh well!
So now that I know these things I want to share my experiences with you about the Build a Book Clear Albums by Prima Marketing so you can make a more educated decision about whether you’d like to purchase these products or not.
The Pros: Things I Like About Prima Build a Book Albums:
- There is a fantastic variety of page shapes available, and most of them are really aesthetically pleasing.
- FREEDOM and VERSATILITY are 2 very important characteristics of this product line. In fact, the Build a Book product line comes highly recommended by one of our very own design team members, Jodi Ethington, for that very reason. Prima Build a Books are Jodi’s favorite clear albums precisely because of the freedom you get from being able to completely customize your own clear album.
- I LOVE having the ability to create a 6″ x 12″ album at all- there seems to be a shortage of albums this size and it is a tremendously popular size for scrapbooking layouts. So I think this definitely fills a need, and I was really excited to get my hands on the 6″ x 12″ album pages. ESPECIALLY since they are clear album pages! A double bonus, in my opinion! I am so thrilled about them!
- I like the idea of being able to completely design my own album from the ground up. The possibilities for customization are truly unlimited. You should have no problem creating an album that totally suits your style!
- The product is high quality.
- The product is innovative and creative.
- You’ll be able to design a really STUNNING conversation piece of an album using the Prima Build a Book System.
- I think you will be really pleased with this product if you do decide to buy it.
The Cons: Things I don’t like about Prima Build a Book Clear Albums:
Book rings are not included with the purchase of packages of Build a Book Clear Pages. You are going to have to buy your own binder rings, and keep in mind that it is an extra expense.
- If you aren’t careful, your finished album might end up looking chaotic. You have to plan these albums carefully to avoid making them look too haphazard.
- This is an expensive product. By the time you are finished putting your whole album together, you will probably have spent a decent chunk of change. In my opinion, if what you are looking for is a clear album with a good variety of different pages, Clear Scraps albums are a better value for the money. Let’s do the math on an example. You can get a Clear Scraps all mixed up album for $15.99- full price- at scrapbook.com. With the All Mixed Up album, you get 6 pages plus the book rings are included. The album measures approx 5″ x 11″ and each of the pages is different. To build a comparable album with the Build a Book system, you’d have to buy a minimum of 2 packages of pages at a cost of at least $9.99 each, plus you’d have to spend a few more dollars- possibly more- buying book rings. If you buy the 6×12 pages like I did you’re going to need at least 10 book rings in order to place one book ring in each hole in the album. If you DO build a Prima Build a Book, in the end you are going to have a seriously impressive customized clear album that is just the way you want it! Because in the end the album will have more pages and more customization than probably any of the others you could buy currently. But you really have to evaluate if that is the best way to spend your scrapping money.
- This isn’t a complaint about the actual product itself, it’s more of a complaint about the way the product is marketed; but, I really would have appreciated knowing in advance what exactly I was getting. It would be great if the stores could tell us how many of each page you get in the package you buy, and how thick the pages are, and things like that.
The Verdict: Prima Build a Book Clear Albums are Recommended Products.
Overall, I think this is a great product and I am happy to recommend it to you. Please keep in mind that I do recommend buying at least 2 packages of pages plus book rings if you are going to purchase anything at all from this product line. (That is my personal opinion; your mileage may vary.) I did order these; I spent my own money on them, and they were not given to me as a gift or promo or anything like that, so you can be assured that my review was not biased in that respect. I was satisfied with the product I received when I ordered it. I think you will be too! I do think there are plenty of other fantastic alternatives as well. Having tried lots of other clear albums, these are not my overall favorite, but I do really like them a lot! I can think of zillions of creative things to do with them and I am sure you will be able to as well. I also know that there are plenty of designers out there- including Jodi- who pick the Prima Build a Book collection as their favorite. So until you actually try them for yourself, you will not really know if these are the best choice for you or not. If you absolutely fall in love with any of the page shapes available in this system I would definitely recommend giving these a try. Especially if you enjoy creating 6″ x 12″ layouts- this system offers the perfect opportunity to create a 6″ x 12″ clear album. If you are on a really tight budget and an affordable album is your most important priority, I would recommend that you look at the other options available and compare pricing before you decide which to buy. It all depends on what exactly it is you want, but there is a good chance that you might be able to find a more affordable clear album that will meet your needs just as well.
Posted by: Amy Solovay