With the advent of digital cameras, not to mention the arrival of baby, we are sure your collection of photographs increased exponentially. While you try to get your hands around all those pictures let us show you a few ways to use them that don’t start with printing.
Since usually photos are downloaded from camera to computer before printing, it is only logical that people would eventually start creating scrapbook pages in digital form. While some prefer the three-dimensional effect of paper scrapbooking, the popularity of digital scrapbooking has grown rapidly in recent years. Some of the biggest advantages are the ability to easily make extra copies of scrapbook pages and to share pages via email or online. There is also less environmental impact and some cost savings — when working digitally you can “undo” effects you don’t like without wasting supplies.
You will need to choose some type of software to build your digital pages. Many of the online photo printing companies have free design programs with preset templates. All you have to do is drag and drop images and type text. Shutterfly offers free downloadable software that allows you to work offline, and the interface is intuitive and simple. For stunning templates with an extra touch of style, check out HowFastTheyGrow.com.
If you find yourself feeling limited by templates, you should consider a more powerful software program that will give you more control over your layouts. Our favorite is Adobe Photoshop Elements. Be forewarned that there is a learning curve so don’t be overwhelmed, and utilize the free tutorials available online.
Another enticing aspect of digital scrapbooking is that aside from software there are no other tools to purchase and store. Also you don’t need to clear space for stacks of paper, but you will need to make sure you have plenty of hard-drive space and memory.
Digital Scrapbookers still need some basic supplies, but what they call “paper” is really an interesting background image that is overlayed with photos, text and embellishments — not an actual bow but rather an image of a bow. Each paper, photo or embellishment is typically placed on its own layer in the document, so it can be repositioned easily. It may not sound too pretty, but just like digital pictures are as beautiful as those made from film, digital scrapbooking layouts can be every bit as creative and interesting as their paper counterparts.
There are many websites offering digital scrapbooking kits with coordinating paper, embellishments and templates. One of our favorites is Shabby Princess, which has complete kits available for no charge. Other websites have coordinated digital kits for purchase and free teasers that can help you build your digital supply closet. Visit DigitalFreebies.com every Friday when they unveil the freebie of the week. Another good resource is DigitalScrapbookingFreebies.com.
If you are feeling limited by the fonts currently on your computer, go looking online — we can not begin to tell you the number of free fonts available. We really like the handwriting fonts at KevinAndAmanda.com.
Now You Print
There are a couple options for printing digital scrapbook layouts. Pages can be printed individually and kept in plastic sleeves inside albums, or you can wait until you have a collection of layouts and print a photobook. Look for a printer that uses archival-quality paper. Printers for 12×12 layouts are the easiest to find such as Shutterfly.com or Costco.com. There are a few printers that can also accommodate 8.5×11 pages such as ScrapbooksPlease.com.
Remember, you don’t have to exclusively choose paper or digital scrapbooking. It truly depends on the project and what you want to accomplish. Of course you can also mix and match — print your digital pages and then add 3-D embellishments. Most of all, have fun as you capture your family’s memories.