An Intro into Digital Scrapbooking
(Day #24: 30-Day Blog Challenge)
Seeing as though a lot of my friends have questions about digital scrapbooking, I figured that I would just do a post about it. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to let me know and I will do my best to answer them. 🙂 I want to note that I am not trying to offend anyone for their choice of paper or digital scrapbooking. Each is wonderful but this is just my opinion on the subject and the value I find in digital. I am also not affiliated with any of the companies. I am just sharing their links.
I began digital scrapbooking when I was pregnant with Shawn (2008) because I was giving up my craft room for his nursery. I also had other reasons and you can read about it HERE.
On average, traditional paper scrapbooking could cost you anywhere from $2-$20 (obviously it could be higher or lower) per page. This includes printing of your photos, paper, elements, supplies like glue, punches, etc. The cost adds up the more complicated the page is. With digital scrapbooking, the average kit costs $6-12 and depending on where you buy them, it can come with a lot of stuff or just a few. It really depends on what you are looking for. The cost per page varies because if you choose to print the digital page, the cost will rise but in my opinion it is still worth it and no where near the cost of a paper page.
With paper supplies, you get a one time chance to use it. Once it’s gone, you (obviously) can’t use it again and if you make a mistake or do something you dislike, you just wasted your money. With digital supplies, you can reuse your supplies over and over again. So a kit that cost you $8 to begin with, can be used to make more than a single layout. I reuse my digital kits over and over and feel like I got a lot for my money. Plus, if I find that I don’t like how something looks, there is un-do and the delete button and I just start again.
One last thing I want to say about the value of digital over paper scrapbooking is that it is much easier (and faster) to create a scrapbook for multiple people. You can create your book once and print it out numerous times for different people. With paper scrapbooking, you would have to create each page “X” number of times and the that takes up time and (to me anyway) can get boring if you are creating them same thing over and over again. Just my opinion though…
(You can view details about my end of school year letter to Shawn, HERE!)
QUESTION: What do I need to begin digital scrapbooking?
Like anything that is done on the computer, you will need a program to build your pages in. There are many different types and it truly depends on what your dedication is to learning the software. Your budget is also a concern.
I personally use Photoshop to create all of my pages (but I am a graphic designer and have been using it since 1999). It’s a very powerful tool and with practice you can do amazing things with it. It comes with a price tag though but with Adobe’s Cloud Membership it is a lot more affordable than it used to be. For Photoshop alone, you can pay $20/month and if you find that you don’t like it, you can cancel. I suggest checking out their pricing and deciding on what you want to do. You can also get a 30-day free trial too!
Photoshop Elements (PSE): This version of Photoshop is what a lot of digi-scrappers use because it is much more affordable. However, it isn’t as powerful as the full version of Photoshop. It depends on what you are looking to do with your pages but if it were me (the non designer me), I would skip this and go for the full version of Photoshop. Who knows what you will want to do down the road and your program is holding you back.
There are also many other options out there: Paint Shop Pro and Gimp are just a couple. Plus there is actual scrapbooking software out there. I don’t have much experience with these programs but what I have heard is that they are very limited in their capabilities. Again, it just depends on what you are looking to do. But here are a few that I found by doing a search in Google. Memory Mixer, MyMemories Suite, and Amazon has a ton of different programs as well.
QUESTION: Now that I have software, what products do I use?
As with paper scrapbooking there are many different supplies to choose from. The nice thing about digital though is that you can reuse, resize and recolor your kit over and over again. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the kits. So what types of supplies are out there?
Papers: There are digital papers that you can use to make mattes, frames, and backgrounds for your pages. You can cut, crop, resize and recolor them and use them however you want.
Kits: Kits are wonderful because the designer has taken the time to coordinate an entire kit around your theme. Everything matches in color, style, and theme and makes for a very consistent look for your page. Another great thing about kits is that depending on the kit you purchased, you can create multiple pages and not have to reuse the same elements but they will coordinate with each other. This is great if you are making a themed book and want a similar, but different feel for each page.
Alphabets: There are a few different ways that you can approach alphabets. Some designers will give you coordinated letters, numbers and symbols in a single file and others will save each individually. You can also create your own using the papers and elements of the kit. It’s up to you on what you use.
Layered Templates: If you are having a difficult time coming up with a layout, there are a lot of templates that you can purchase. The designer will create an editable file that will allow you to place your photos, elements, etc. and build your page from there. I find that these templates are very useful as a jumping off point.
QUESTION: Where do you get your digital scrapbooking supplies from?
It all depends on your preference and I certainly don’t want to put down one site (designer) vs. another. However, I will say this… not all digital scrapbook supplies are created equal. Everyone is at different levels in their design abilities and it is up to you to decide if you feel the supplies are worth buying. Being that I am a perfectionist and want everything perfect, I want the highest quality supplies. I pay more for them but to me it’s worth it. This is just my personal opinion and preference.
There are a couple of different types of digital scrapbooking supply sites. Some of them have many designers that create coordinating supplies for the “company” and others have many different designers that sell their own products. I have purchased both types depending on my needs and there is no right or wrong way when it comes to it.
I tend to purchase my supplies from a few select websites and will only venture onto other websites if I can’t find something I am looking for. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other websites out there that sell quality supplies. I just really like the designers at these websites.
These aren’t listed in any particular order:
Sweet Shoppe Designs: I actually purchase most of my supplies of from this website. they are very high quality and I can find a variety of themes.
Gotta Pixel: This website has a lot of designers but I find that the variety is pretty limited when it comes to themes.
The Shabby Shoppe: They have beautiful supplies but are very limited in themed kits. I tend to use their kits as accents to other supplies that I am creating with. They also have a lot of FREE scrapbooking supplies (and not all free supplies are created equal but these are exceptionally well done!)
Pickleberrypop: I just started using this website because I needed some supplies that I couldn’t get anywhere else. They have a good variety and great designers.
Shabby Miss Jenn Designs: This site is great and the graphics are very well done but their kits are all done in the same style. I tend to want more variety in my kits but that is totally up to you.
Designer Digitals: This site has a lot of the popular scrapbook designers selling their stuff but I tend to find their kits very small and not what I am looking for most of the time. I like large kits with tons of options but they do have great stuff when I do buy from them. I also find that they are quite pricey too.
(Please remember that this is my PERSONAL preference when it comes to these websites. You may or not feel the same way and that is completely ok!)
There is no right or wrong way to go about digital scrapbooking and it is all about your personal preferences. It is all about preserving your memories and stories and all of the other stuff just makes it “look good”. You need to figure out what you feel is right for you. Also, this is my style and what I like but if you find that you don’t care for the “clusters of elements”, you don’t have to do it. If you like the pages neat or messy, that’s up to you. Try things and see what you like or don’t like and don’t be afraid to do something different. That’s the great thing about digital scrapbooking – you can be open and free to try something without ruining anything and wasting your money!
I am going to be splitting this up into multiple sections because there is so much to cover. Coming up next: Creating a basic page.