Digital Scrapbooking

Remember that whole section about organizing your papers, tools, and embellishments? If you choose to scrapbook digitally, all of that is a thing of the past!

From Digital to Paper and Back

Scrapbookers often use both digital and paper scrapbooking. Although digital scrapbooking is efficient and fast, it cannot offer the “therapeutic benefit” of a hands-on craft activity.


Without realizing it, you may already be using some digital scrapbooking techniques in your paper scrapbooks. If you use typewritten text, edit your photos digitally, or use computer-generated design elements, you are already using digital scrapbook techniques.


Likewise, you can create digital layouts and then add physical embellishments and papers. Instead of choosing between digital and paper scrapbooking, enjoy the best of both worlds!

Digital scrapbooking can be more affordable than paper scrapbooking because “papers” and embellishments can be used over and over again. Paper scrapbookers can choose to make digital images of their existing materials with a scanner, or digital files can be purchased. Look in the following section on Free Scrapbooking for information on where to find digital scrapbooking supplies at no cost.

Many scrapbookers are already using digital photography, so their photographs are already on the computer. Other benefits of digital scrapbooking include the ability to:

  1. Easily rearrange page elements and undo any mistakes with a click of the mouse,
  2. Quickly match colors with the eyedropper tool,
  3. Resize, crop, or tint photos on the computer,
  4. Move and arrange texts on the virtual page, and
  5. Duplicate albums for family members and friends.

Once you have downloaded or scanned in some papers and embellishments, you need to choose a software program to create and edit your layouts. Many different programs are available; the Digital Scrapbook University at the Digital Scrapbook Place offers tutorials on some of the most popular programs.

Organize Your Images

Just like with actual paper and tools, you will need to organize all of your digital files. Luckily, it’s just a few clicks of the mouse instead of backbreaking labor!

Keep all of your photos in one place on your computer and create a system for organizing them. Typically, some kind of chronological order works best. Sort your photos as soon as you upload them to the computer so you won’t have “piles” to go through at one time. Get rid of any photos that are unusable or duplicates. If you get nervous deleting photos, you can always burn all photos onto a CD for safe keeping, and then delete the files from your hard drive.
If you have downloaded or scanned in paper textures, embellishments, and other elements to create your pages, you’ll want to organize all of those, too. Sort them into folders based on their main category and within the folders however you’ll find it easiest to navigate.

Finally, as you create pages, be sure to keep these organized, too. You can organize chronologically and by page size or by event. If your albums are well organized, it will be easy to go back in and make a copy for family and friends.
At Digital Scrapbook Place, they recommend downloading a free program called Google Picasa to add keywords to files for more efficient searching. For more organizing idea, read the “Organizing Digital Files” tutorial.

Create Your Pages

Now that you’re organized and have chosen your software, you’re ready to start creating pages! Although the details may vary between programs, in general remember to:

  • Save often.
  • Use the “Undo” button when you make a mistake.
  • Start how you would with paper scrapbooking—choosing photos, then background and embellishments.
  • Many programs or websites have free scrapbooking page sample layouts to get you started.
  • Use print quality (300 ppi) images. Web-only images are typically 72 ppi (pixels per inch). If you print a low quality image, it will be fuzzy and ruin the crisp look of your page.

For a summary of the digital scrapbooking tips and the other sections of the guide, move on to the next page for a scrapbooking checklist. Feel free to print it and use it while you embark on your scrapbooking adventures.

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