It is common knowledge that traditional paper scrapbooking can be (and usually is) a pretty expensive hobby with all the tools and supplies needed to even just start. For that reason, some scrapbookers have turned to digital scrapbooking. However, we can often hear comments that it might cost just as much, while just taking less space. Who is right? In fact, it is not the hobby itself that can be less expensive, but the way it is approached by the user. Let’s have a look at ways to make the digital hobby less expensive than its traditional counterpart.
1- Choose a less expensive program that is powerful enough to meet your needs. There are various programs that can be used for digital scrapbooking. In fact, just about any graphic program can be used for it, and their prices range from free to quite expensive. PaintShop Pro is an inexpensive program that is quite powerful as a photo editing, or graphic program. If you want power without busting a budget, give PSP a try. Download the trial version to check it out. Keep an eye on sales as it is often offered at a discounted price, either at your local store or online through the Corel site.
Just like any other hobby, it is easy to buy everything on sight that looks interesting. We all have those moments when we see a tutorial or a layout that showcases a kit or a tool in such a way that we feel we “must” have it. Unfortunately, this can often lead to impulse purchases that will just sit on our hard drive, unused. There are a few simple ways to manage our wallet (or credit card use).
2- Find quality free supplies. Designers often offer free samples of their work. They might be distributed through their newsletter, their blog, or Facebook fan pages. Give those a try. Blog trains and blog hops can also be a great way to gather free supplies. Completing challenges in some forums will allow you to download some free supplies too. Learn to distinguish between quality products and lousy supplies. You will quickly find out that all freebies are not created equal. Check our Resources page for places where you can look for free supplies.
3- Be selective in what you get, whether it is free or paid. It is easy to collect a ton of supplies that are going to just take space on your computer. Ask yourself if you really need it or if you are just making an impulse purchase. By setting yourself a limit on your purchase, it will help you set priorities in what you buy.
4- Watch for sales. If you like the work of some designers, keep an eye on their store, and check for sales or coupons. If they have a wishlist in their store, use it. Some time of the year will also bring big special offers, like Black Friday, DSD (Digital Scrapbook Day), and iNSD (InterNational Scrapbook Day).
5- Choose more generic supplies than themed ones. Often, your photos will be the focus of your layouts and will set the theme for it. You don’t always need a themed kit to embellish your page. In fact, more generic supplies can be used with many more layouts than themed ones. This means that you would need to buy fewer kits.
6- Use and re-use the supplies you have. Find creative ways to use those papers and embellishments. You can reuse papers to make tags, frames, mats, titles, and more. Resize elements to use them in several projects. This is one of the biggest advantages of digital scrapbooking: the ability to reuse the same supplies over and over again. Read more about the 3R’s in digital scrapbooking.
7- Make double pages. This way, you can stretch the use of a single kit to two layouts and you won’t need to pretend they are from different sources.
8- Learn your program. A lot of supplies you can download or purchase are created using graphic programs just like yours. Learn to create your own papers and elements, or use some designer resources to do the same. The DIAMOND membership is a perfect place to learn how to create many of those supplies.
10- Find non-printing ways to showcase your projects. Although printing is one way to have one’s layouts look like traditional scrapbooking, the digital world offers many more options, whether it is to place them on your desktop, in a digital frame, on a slideshow, etc. Those methods are often less expensive and have the advantage of being easy to share with multiple people around you. Read more on non-printing options.
Is digital scrapbooking an expensive hobby? It can definitely be VERY expensive, but it does not have to be. With those few guidelines in mind, you will be able to enjoy your hobby without stretching the family budget.
Do you have other money-saving tips to share with other digital scrapbook lovers?