Although digital scrapbooking, by its name, is meant to be digital, a lot of people still like to have a paper version, to hold, to feel, to share. If you are a paper scrapper who switched to digital scrapping, it is more than likely that you have already started albums with your paper layouts. In this case, it would be natural to want to continue the same process and want your digital pages printed so you can either insert them inside your existing albums or create similar albums. There are many ways to approach
the printing process of your digital layouts.
When paper scrapping, each page is done one at a time (except if you work on a double-page), so maybe you would like to have the same kind of schedule when you finish a digital layout. Most print shops will allow for single-page printing. This will allow you to get your prints sooner than if you wait until you have completed a whole album that might be 20, 30, or more pages. It also allows you to have your pages printed as you go, especially if you are scrapping photos in more or less random order, instead of chronologically. Sometimes, you might be inspired to create a layout for a particular photo that is out of the timeline, or out of the theme you are working on. Once you printed your single pages (of course, you can get several single pages printed at once), you can insert them into your albums, or frame them. If you choose to print single pages, remember that printers will usually trim off a tiny bit of the image to make sure there are no white margins, so plan your layouts accordingly: leave important details of your layouts away from the edge. You surely want to keep all your photos and journalling intact!
If you do a lot of digital scrapping, you might want to consider printing an album. Again, this depends on your workflow and scrappy style. If you scrap in random order, you might have a hard time finding a good moment to print the album. However, if you have a specific theme, like a wedding, a vacation, a baby’s first year, and the like, it is easier to have a set number of pages and be more or less finished with it. When it relates to a set theme or a set timeline then you likely will have only so many pictures to use (even if that is a large number). Printing albums is obviously more expensive than single pages, but you have a binding, often a custom cover, and sometimes a customizable side. You can get softcovers, hardcovers, all combined with various types of binding. When planning the printing of your book, the same principle will apply as far as bleeding: there will be a small trimming of your design all around the page. However, unlike single-page printing, you need to allow even more space for the binding. If you are already sure of the specific order of your pages, you might be able to add an extra half-inch to the left or the right of your pages, since you will know which page will be displayed on the left and which one will be on the right. But if you are creating layouts and planning to simply bind them in an album in no specific order, you might want to avoid headaches, and leave that half-inch margin on both sides. Better safe than sorry, don’t you think?
Brag books are similar to albums but definitely smaller, and most of the time will only have a softcover. The binding is not requiring as much of a margin. They are great for gifts to grandma, or for a photo album to carry in your purse to show off to your friends and colleagues.
Other creative printing
Various printing companies will be able to offer you many other options to print your layouts. These can include mouse pads, cups, blankets, key chains, canvas prints, tote bags, t-shirts, etc. Check out these print shops and see what they offer.
Remember that you can also check at your local print shop. Many stores now offer some printing services, like Costco, Staples, Walmart, etc. Of course, you save on shipping if you go locally.
If you read above, you might wonder what to do if you already had your layouts finished, and merged, and unable to add an extra margin before printing. Don’t worry. If you have a jpg version of your image and have a copy of PaintShop Pro (version 8 or above) you can purchase this script called JPG Bleed. This script, once run, will automatically add a standard quarter-inch all around your image, in colors that will match perfectly. If you need a different margin, because you want a bound book, you can adjust that too.
Now, it is up to you to choose what you want to print and where! Good luck.