Get your Craft On – Scrapbooking, paper vs digital

I started scrapbooking about 10 years ago, when I won a bunch of scrapbooking die-cut packs on a game show.  At first it was completely overwhelming, and at my first 6pm-midnight crop I completed only 1 layout.  Given my lack of knowledge and experience it actually wasn’t bad (and no, this isn’t it! LOL).


I have album after album packed with beautiful 12″x12″ paper layouts, I’ve been published a couple of times, and I met most of my BFFs via a scrapbooking swap group online.  Scrapbooking has been a wonderful way to showcase my family photos & memories in one place, and I have collected some really cool toys along the way *hee hee*.

But a few years ago I got busy with other things, started doing some design work (as evidenced in the layout above), and I had less time and inclination to create paper layouts for my albums.  It was about this time that I discovered digital scrapbooking.  I swore I would never try it, as it seemed like a ridiculous double up.  But as I found I had less time and space for traditional paper layouts I delved into the world of digital, and that is how I do most of my layouts now.

This is the same photo & subject, but made using a digital scrapbooking kit.  I’ve found some distinct advantages to digital scrapbooking.  The supplies are cheap, they can be re-used, adjusted and never run out!  Set up is as simple as opening Photoshop and cleanup is as fast as closing a file.  No sharp blades for little fingers, no glitter on the floor and no mess on the dining table.  My favourite digital kits come from Shabby Princess, and she always has a free kit available for those who want to try before they buy.  So, even though 99% of my layouts are now digital, I do still get the urge to make a nice 12″ x 12″ layout with paper and ribbon and double sided tape every now and then.  😀

If you are thinking about starting up with scrapbooking, either paper or digital, I have a few tips for you.

Paper – Take your photos with you when you shop for supplies so you can match colours. If you need to work on a budget, or have limited space, ONLY buy what you need for each layout.  If you don’t want leftovers hanging around, make sure you use everything over a double layout, or create a card or two (they always come in handy).  Always keep blade covers on your tools, and if there are little people in your home, keep ALL your goodies packed away (they will draw on your paper & cardstock and use all your stickers on their baby brother!).  Plan, plan and plan your layouts.  Give sketches a try, as they are helpful as a starting point to create a pleasing layout.

Digital – Photoshop Elements is a cheaper alternative to a full Photoshop suite, and it will do a very fine job for digi scrapping.  You can find tutorials online to help you learn how to use the tools.  There are hundreds of free digital kits, papers and embellishments available online if you want to try before you shop.  You can buy ‘templates’ which are easy to use, and take all the guess work out of placement.

So … are you a scrapbooker?  If so, do you prefer paper or digital or a mix of both?  If you’re new to it, are you thinking about giving paper or digital scrapbooking a go?  If anyone is interested in Photoshop classes for digital scrapbooking and photo adjustment, please let me know … I’m considering running some online classes. 🙂  Regardless of your preference, I would love to see some of your scrapbooking, so please feel free to share a layout or two over at the Cake & Enemy facebook page.  Happy paper crafting everyone!


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