Scrapbook Paper Basics 101

There are many types of scrapbook papers — patterned papers, card stock, textured papers (embossed, glitter, flocked, velvet, suade), vellum, hand made/exotic papers, and double sided papers to choose from. Sheets usually are sold individually and the standard size is 12 x 12 although some papers do come in standard 8 1/2 by 11 size.
Weight or thickness of paper varies so you have to handle it to see if that is the weight what you want to work with or for your album.

There are kits/packs that have all co-ordinating items (paper, layers, embellishments, tags, buttons, ribbons, brads, eyelets) to build pages, page maps or sketches to use the products,  this saves time from you matching paper or elements/embellishments. 

Slabs or stacks are pads of scrapbooking papers.  They can come in patterns, solids or a mix of both and are sometimes a more economical buy if you are doing many pages that need co-ordination.  Slabs or stacks come in 12 x 12 sheets and smaller for layering or card making.
Some companies create lines and you can choose your own papers to mix and match.  These can be bought individually or in a slab/stack or kit.
Lighter weight papers usually are used to layer with.
Most papers are archival (acid and lignin free) so that your scrapbook does not break down over time.
Make sure you use the correct glue also, there is a wide range to choose from.

Scrapbooking papers can also be used in stamping and cardmaking as well as altered art,  mini-books and as doll house wallpaper!

Scrapbooking paper can be found at any national chain ACMoore, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Archivers, Ben Franklin, or JoAnn Fabric stores. 
Visit their website to locate a store near you. 
These stores also usually have weekly specials and coupons to help you save money. Sign up for their email newsletters to get their promotional sales and special coupons.
Many scrapbookers think that JoAnn’s has the best selection of the chains but that depends on the size of the store and volume of business.

There are also local scrapbook stores that sell all sorts of paper items for scrapbooking needs (embellishments, stickers, die cuts, doodads, and more).
Check your local business directory or the Yellow Pages for a local shop (also known as LSS, “local scrapbook shop”).

As mentioned, most scrapbook papers come in the standard size of 12 x 12 sheets that fit into 12 x 12 albums.
However, those sheets can be cut down to smaller album sizes. 
Album types are another entire subject, you can read more about album types here!
If you go to a shop, you can see all these mesmerizing  items and sample pages to inspire you.

Stores (including the chain stores mentioned) usually have beginner classes or crops where you can get together with others, chat, and learn new techniques.  Stores usually offer use of their die cut machines for free if you buy the paper there.
Make and Takes can be mini-introductory fast technique or product introduction/use classes — they can be free (promtoting a product) or a small fee (mini-class).

Conventions and magazines offer more information on products, use of products, new to the market, ideas, and layouts.
Conventions also offer classes, demo’s and make and takes.
The same information can also be found on the net and is free just to get you started.  There are many videos for product use on the net also.

You can visit a few scrapbook paper vendors off this page to get a sampling of what they offer plus ideas how to use their product.

Good place to get scrapbook ideas (gallery), info(formum), resources, and shop:

Good Luck!