Thinking About Trying Digital Scrapbooking?
Digital scrapbooking can be very fun and highly addictive. I know because I switched from traditional scrapbooking to digital scrapping in mid-2018. And I sheepishly have to admit, I used to be one of those people who just didn’t “get it” and swore they’d never go digital. I tend to be a very “tactile” oriented person; I love feeling the textures of papers and embellishments. I just couldn’t fathom doing everything on a computer. It just felt “wrong” to me. But if you’ve already read “About Me” then you know I made the switch for multiple reasons. And I’ve never regretted it.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love traditional scrapbooking, nothing beats feeling the textures of papers and embellishments. Modern traditional scrapbooking is what re-ignited my interest in scrapbooking in the first place. Traditional scrapbooking is what I’d done for years. And there’s still plenty of room for some traditional work too. Actually, you can combine the two which some call tradigital or hybrid scrapbooking. Sometimes it’s fun to work up a digital page and then still add some real three-dimensional elements after it’s been printed. Or you could also add you own special keepsakes to the digital page by scanning them and including them digitally.
Learning Something New
For beginners, getting started on digital scrapbooking can seem like a daunting task at first…but that happens for traditional beginners as well. Don’t we all feel like lost birds at times, especially when starting something new? I personally made the switch to digital scrapbooking after I read a tutorial about creating a layout in Photoshop Elements (PSE). I already owned PSE for other “work-related” purposes but hadn’t ever used it much. I followed the tutorial and was hooked. I loved being able to customize absolutely everything (including all my 4 x 6 photos) with a few mouse clicks. When I realized that I could use PSE to scrapbook, I was more than exited…I was intrigued!
One tutorial led to another and another. Before long I was quickly getting my footing in the digital world. All of those tutorials ended up leading me to some digital scrapbooking websites that continued the exploration. As much as I loved traditional scrapbooking, it now seemed almost like a chore. I quickly learned that I could do so much more than was ever possible with just paper and glue. And I could do it all on my computer. Recent advances in technology now enable the craft to be pursued on tablets and smart devices utilizing imaging apps as well as hobby specific apps, some of which have been created specifically by brands for use with their own image products. This all makes it possible to easily (relative term😉) scrapbook no matter where you are.
No “Supply-Chain” Issues
And don’t even get me started on the availability of supplies. I thought I was in trouble the first time I walked into JoAnn Fabrics when I started my first modern-day, traditional scrapbook back in 2007. I nearly ran out in tears I was so overwhelmed by all the choices. The same can be said about digital supplies. Digital scrapbooking kits are available to purchase and download at many websites that specialize in the craft. Kits contain graphics and word-art and are usually themed and color-coordinated. They usually consist of a mix of background papers, solid papers and elements. And did I mention that there are just oodles of mouth-watering digital freebies available that can give your wallet a much-needed break?
Digital page templates make putting a layout together so much easier. So, what are templates exactly? If you’re a paper scrapper you may be familiar with page sketches or maps. A sketch is a flattened image that shows a composition for a scrapbook page. If you were to bring the sketch file into your digital program, you’d still be able to use it as a guide. But you’d also need to create/add your own shapes & embellishments using the sketch as a guide to your composition.
A digital page template is a layered file that allows you to manipulate the individual layers with papers, elements, photos and fonts. If you look closely, you can see the different layers in the sample above. You simply “clip” your papers and photos to the designated layers included in the template to quickly and easily create your page. There are thousands of digital page templates available. Good news is…there are also numerous sites offering tutorials on how to use them. If you’ve opted to “Follow Me” you’ve already received a free page template. I plan to post template tips from time to time and I may even hold some template “challenges” in the future. So, stay tuned for more about templates.
Do you wish you could get a stunning, layered look for your layouts in less than 1 minute? Impossible? Nope! Quick pages to the rescue! So, what are quick pages? Quick pages are full, pre-made scrapbook pages, with a space for the photo. Everything is on one layer so you pop the photo underneath! But in most cases, you can still add journaling or other embellishments if you so desire. So quick and easy! If you’re feeling lazy, overwhelmed or are just in a hurry, you can find a near-finished quick page (QP) like I’ve done with this layout below (using a QP from “Seashell Passion” by Xuxper Designs). All I did was just pop in my photo, add a quote and details like date and place, and I was done!
Before you think that it’s cheating, or somehow less heartfelt to scrap with QPs, think again. QPs are a game changer. Especially for anyone who’d love to scrapbook with small kids at home. QPs are the perfect solution for that. You can create entire scrapbooks using QPs and keep those precious memories without feeling overwhelmed or taking time away from raising your kids. Many stores sell QPs and even quick albums. I love the idea of quick albums; they are a coordinated set of QPs. They make it so simple to put together a coordinating album!
S-t-r-e-t-c-h Your Stash
I think one of the most amazing things about digital scrapbooking is the value. Digital supplies never wear out. They never get torn or wrinkled. You can use the same digital kit/supply on one layout or a hundred layouts. No more buying multiple sheets of the same paper in case you make a mistake cutting. No need to purchase that set of graduation embellishments 4 times because you have four children. You are literally stretching your craft/hobby dollars because your digital supplies last forever! All my digital supplies take up a whole lot less space in my house. And I have to admit, there’s never a mess to clean up when you’re done! If you’ve ever tried to get glitter back into a container, washed glue off your dining room table or tried to get ink off your hands this is a no brainer. Less mess is a good thing!
Practically speaking, I’ve never met a digital scrapbooker who wasn’t a huge fan of how flexible and adaptable digital files are. Anything is possible. I feel like I can be so much more creative, do things digitally that I could never do with paper. Every digital file can be enlarged, cropped, rotated, flipped, recolored, and combined with other digital supplies to match your creative needs. Love the fancy swirl embellishment but it needs to face the other way? Easy, just click a few commands and it’s a perfect mirror image of the original. You found the perfect flower but the color is all wrong for your current project. Not to worry, there are a multitude of ways you can recolor all or just parts of any embellishment in arsenal. I do this all the time. My oldest granddaughter said the cutest thing to me once but it sums up how I feel…“You can do anything grandma…you just trick the computer!”
Another bonus with digital scrapbooking is by using computer technology, you hold the “magic wand” of erasing away your mistakes by redoing it over and over again. You never have to worry about ruining your journaling text, tearing your pretty cardstock the wrong way, or simply mucking up the whole layout. You just redo, as many times as you like, to get the look the exact way you want it. And if you’re a perfectionist like me, you can seek perfection where you usually can’t achieve that with traditional paper scrapbooking. Just like my granddaughter said…all I have to do is “trick” the computer. With paper scrapbooking, bigger mistakes are much harder to cover up. This limitation is taken away in digital scrapbooking.
And you have more options of what to do with completed digital layouts. You can choose to print out your digital layouts and slip them into scrapbook albums like in paper scrapbooking. You can even print layouts and hang them on a wall. Framed scrapbook pages make great gifts for family members. Or you can just save the layouts online, share them through online galleries, or even send them out as email attachments. You can even reduce 12″x12″ digital layouts into 8″x8″ or 6″x6″sizes, and print them out as beautiful gift books for others! And you don’t have to stop with scrapbook pages. Think of all the great birthday, anniversary or holiday cards you can create! Those too, can either be printed or shared electronically! Seriously, the possibilities are endless.
Are you tempted by the advantages of digital scrapping now? I hope so. Give it a try you might like it! But as with nearly everything, digital vs. traditional is a personal choice. My choice to go digital was primarily motivated by how much more creative I feel. But there’s an added bonus for someone like me with physical limitations…I no longer have to work with scissors, glue and all those tiny embellishments. My hands are very happy about that.
Whether you choose traditional, digital or hybrid (tradigital) the most important thing is to enjoy preserving all those precious memories.