What is Digital Scrapbooking?

When I was pregnant with my son I became a self-described obsessive paper scrapbooker. I could spend hours in the aisles of scrapbook and craft stores–touching the textures of each paper, filling my cart with spools of ribbon, and studying the layouts in magazines. Before Ryan was born I’d already created a stack of layouts–all they needed was the perfect photo, which I would add later. After he was born, as you probably know, newborns sleep a lot, and when he did rather than napping myself, I spent my time creating more layouts. Then when he was a few months old I took a very part-time job two evenings a week at a local scrapbook store–just so I could support my hobby.

5thingsR2010W

Scrapbooking and setting up home photoshoots of my new baby became my life and it was very rare for a day to go by when I didn’t create at least one page.

Fast forward a couple years later…our second baby was born.

Overnight I became extremely overwhelmed with the seemingly unmanageable amount of photos I was beginning to collect now that we had two kids. I wasn’t sure how to manage it all and I also had WAY less time to scrapbook. When I did find a minute to pull all my supplies out to the dining room table naptime would end and instead of having a completed layout or two, I just had a mess–and a curious two-year old who wanted to get into it all!

bedtime story

When I became frustrated a friend suggested I try digital scrapbooking. I looked into it but the digital resources and printing companies were limited so I dismissed the idea, packed up most of my paper scrapbooking supplies, and filled my time with other things.

Then one day both of the kids were napping and I was (dare I say) bored so I started to play with a photo-editing program I had received (and never touched) months back. And then I decided to download some digital freebies. And then I made a [very simple] page. And then another page. . . . and pretty soon I was hooked. And scrapbooking was suddenly manageable in my mind again.

After that one afternoon over three years ago I never looked back at my paper scrapping supplies, and in fact ended up selling most of them so I could purchase Photoshop. Now there are thousands of amazing digital designs ready to adorn your pages, and several companies have catered to the digital scrapbooker’s needs. And now those who’ve known me for more than five minutes know I have a not-so-secret digi obsession!

dream layout

WHAT IS digital scrapbooking?

It always seems like it’s hard to describe, but really, it’s basically the same thing as paper scrapbooking, except you create your layouts on your computer. Just as traditional paper scrapbookers go to the scrapbooking store to purchase supplies, digital scrappers go to online stores to purchase digital supplies—papers, and a variety of embellishments such as ribbons, tags, brads, stickers, etc.  Digi scrappers then use software to create a layout by arranging pictures, papers and elements.

Read more to find out WHY I think digital scrapbooking is the bees knees.

Comments

  1. Love this! Can’t wait to see what is next!

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  2. great article! :D

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  3. Just wanted to share that my experiences mirror yours tremendously and that it is nice to have kindred spirits who value the passion and importance of memory preservation. Digital is such a great way to go and doesn’t have to be complicated!

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    pameladonnis Reply:

    Isn’t it crazy how complicated we can make it, when really it’s the memory we should focus on…

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  4. I recently purchased PSE 8 too for Digital Scrapbooking. I only have one child, but never could keep up. I like it a lot. You can find some great freebies online. Also, Etsy is a great place to find cheap stuff too.

    I just need to learn how to edit photos better in PSE 8. Learning about all the layers and tricks is so time consuming. I don’t even know how to download the free actions/presets that people offer on their sites. Aghhh… I need to start watching tutorials.

    Blessings!

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    pameladonnis Reply:

    Honey, you stick with me and I’ll teach you all about digi scrapping! And check out my free kits in the Samplers section under scrapbooking at the top of my blog :).

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  5. I subscribed to your feed so I could learn more about this! Looking forward to future posts =D

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  6. I am so confused. how do you actually get your pages you create online into your hands??!! I want to make books for my children to keep and sit and look at with the book on their lap. Will digi scrapbooking provide that? help!!!

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    Pam Reply:

    @cheryl, When I digital scrapbook, I create the pages on my computer and then I can easily share them online (blog, facebook, e-mail, etc.), but like you, I want physical books for my kids to look at. The great news is there are MANY places that can print and bind our scrapbook pages! I have printed several of my books and they are some of my kids’ favorite books to look at because they are about THEM. And the good news is I don’t worry about the pages getting ruined because I have the original files saved and I can print them again if necessary.

    I will be writing more about how to print and where to print in the near future.

    Hope that helps some. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

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  7. I’m a graphic designer and love Photoshop. I just discovered digital scrapbooking a few weeks ago and use it to create my personal greeting cards (which I upload to print and send at Send Out Cards). Are there any tips about how to get started in the digital scrapbooking industry? I would love to learn the do’s and don’ts about crativing papers, elements, etc.

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    Anita Reply:

    @Anita, errr…that last line should be “creating” papers…

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  8. I am in love with paper, so I must admit this all seems a little evil to me, but I keep hearing so much about digi scrapbooking that I feel I am close to giving in. Darn it, peer pressure!

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    pameladonnis Reply:

    LOL. I love paper too…still, so I get my fix when I need it by doing an occassional hybrid project or paper craft project. Or cards. Maybe you could give that a try? That way wouldn’t have to completely give in. hahaha :)

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