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Digital Scrapbooking For Beginners

Inspiration | 12 October 2019

If you never scrapbooked before, this post will help you clarify what is what and how to start your digital scrapbooking journey.

It is for absolute beginners and for those who would like to make a transition from traditional to digital. It is also for photography enthusiasts who don't know what to do with piles of photos. 

Have fun!

This post may contain affilate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

Now is the best time for you to start digital scrapbooking and I'll tell you why:

because everything is easier now! 

You can make awesome photos with your mobile, better than ever before and they look very pretty. If you add some nice filters to them, even better! So what do you do with piles of folders with photographs on your computer and mobile phone? Do you leave them unchecked and forgotten, do they look like a bunch of folders arranged by dates? And now, the most important question: do you like it?

Ditch The Stereotypes

Just like for art, everybody has their own unique opinion and taste when it comes to scrapbooks. Some people like to overembellish, some are minimalists. But when a minimalist person, for example, sees a scrapbook layout with excessive embellishing and not just one but many, he or she thinks it's a norm. There are no "right" and "wrong" scrapbooks. Your personal esthetics should guide you to your version of "pretty". 

Stay tuned with your own wishes and make it as you like it; everything is acceptable. It doesn't have to look like anybody else's.

How It Was Before

Before television, before computers and skyrockets, people entertain themselves sitting together and telling stories.

People saw the benefits of scrapbooking in the early days and that is what keeps it alive today as well.

When paper goods became available, such as holiday greeting cards and magazines, they start collecting them in arranged compositions and, naturally, glued them in some notebook or album. In photo albums, they would glue some text also, explaining who is on the photo and sometimes where were they, what were they doing, etc. And that is how it all started. People start creating those albums on purpose.

What Is Scrapbooking?

Scrapbooking is arranging memories with various embellishments in the form of a document that has a purposeful connection. It is also an artistic craft that develops creativity and creative thinking.

Memories might be photos of any kind: family, vacation, nature scenes, animals, city exploration, or some other memorabilia, like concert tickets, a local map from vacation, etc, and document might be a pdf, single page, an e-book, a book, to name the most widely used forms. Scrapbooks have a theme, both topic and visual one; when you scrapbook, organizing and planning are important as a beginning part that sets the stage for a story that follows.

For memory has painted this perfect day with colors that never fade...

Awesome and addictive are some words that can describe scrapbooking, whether it'll be traditional or digital. It's a creative way to express ourselves and the great thing about it is that you are never alone, even if you scrapbook alone because all the people from photos and memories you have had about them are with you. 

If you never scrapbooked before but you are curious enough to give it a try, or if you would like to switch from traditional to digital, continue reading. Here is some basic information on what to expect when you start.

Life is great when we make memories and it's great when we savor them for us and ours to remember and cherish!

What Is Digital Scrapbooking?

Digital Scrapbooking is scrapbooking done on a computer, in the form of a digital collage, combining photos and graphics with words. 

The cool thing about it is that you don't need a space in your home to stash tons of papers and embellishments, no need for scissors and glue, binders, or even mess! It's a clutter-free activity: start and finish whenever you like.

Making A Scrapbooking Plan

Usually, first enthusiasm makes us want to do everything at... well, now! If you ask me, it is a good thing. But it needs to be channeled. The best way of channeling is to quickly, while your thoughts are jumping from one idea to another, jot them down. Take right now anything closest to you: a piece of paper, some notebook (not too fancy), a tablet, or anything else that is closest and most convenient to you at the moment and start writing topics.

Scrapbooks should be divided into different topics. You can make chronological scrapbooks if you prefer it, but it is best to separate major events into their own folders so that you can join them later if you wish. You can apply this technique, whether you are doing a traditional or a digital scrapbooking. Here are some major topics to help you start scrapbooking:

  1. your everyday photos (should be in chronological order - when the time passes you would be grateful you did it. If I didn't have photos with dates, I would mix up my kittens as they are all black :) )
  2. life events (a new baby, birthdays, graduations, weddings, funerals, etc.)
  3. holidays
  4. vacations

It's best to start planning in writing. Make a simple document either in a notebook or on a computer or a tablet where you can outline your intentions. Just like here, some major events that are ahead of us should be listed there.

Also, photographs you already have that need to be sorted out. If you have a lot of them and not really time to classify them at this moment, just put them in one folder and leave them be. You are about to learn a lot of new things and there is no need to overwhelm yourself to exhaustion. This should be a fun and pleasurable experience.

Things You Need To Start Digital Scrapbooking

Digital scrapbooking is the newest media of creating pages and books with your family photos. 

To start it, you will need:

  • your computer (or a tablet or mobile phone)
  • a software (any software where you can import images and write in is good to start with)
  • photos (photos imported from your camera, mobile or scanned)
  • some scrapbooking kit

I would recommend starting on a computer because it is easier to work on and to see your final result. 

Software programs you can use to scrapbook are various. It needs to have an option to import images and to arrange them and your writings accordingly. They can be free, paid and membership-based. 

Scrapbooking kits can also be free and paid. You can find them here, at OliveraAtelier.com or browse other places. 

Different Personalities, Different Types of Scrapbooking

Anyone can scrapbook and it should be a fun activity for you. There are different levels of engagement in scrapbooking that suit different personalities. From those who would just like to sort out family photos in some pleasing arrangement to those who make art out of their craft. There are some apps that can help you be done quickly. If that is what you want, you will have neatly arranged photos; some apps have editing software easy to use, so you are good to go. 

There are those of us who like to do things a little more elaborate. The main thing is to make it fun.

You Can Scrapbook Digitally Anywhere

Digital scrapbooking has evolved over the past decade a lot. There are numerous applications for photo enhancements, photo grids so that you can easily scrapbook on your mobile phone in no time. However, you get results accordingly. Photos are beautiful, grids too and these apps are great for quick, on foot scrapping, but to make your family holiday fairytale photo album, you need to do it yourself. 

The best of all, you can do it at your home, on a vacation, on a train or as a nomad. You can bring your creative projects with yourself, everywhere.

You can use digital scrapbooking kits for more than making a scrapbook, like to create wall art for your home or office, make your own stationery, or use it for an art journal. You can make photo albums in a form of books and keep them in your home library, make your own desktop unique wallpaper, your Facebook / Twitter / YouTube headline, school projects, e-cards, greeting cards, invitations, party decor.

Stashing Photos

The time comes when your computer memory goes red. It means there is no place left to store your precious photos. So where to put them? 

I use both hardware and software solutions. For hardware solutions, you can put them on your external hard drive. I don't like external hard drives because they can easily get broken. I use USB flash drives. Nowadays, USB's have lots of storage, they are cheap, small and not so easily broken. You have to be careful not to infect them, though. It is also easy to name them (Christmas 2010-2017). 

For software solutions, I use free online storage spaces.

Endless Possibilities

If you are paper scrapper, you can use computer to print our journaling, or to print layout and embellish traditionally. It is called a hybrid scrapbooking.

You can make an entire album with photos and fully embellished and print it as a book; make greeting cards, print finished page onto canvas and hang it on a wall. Printables can be used for art journaling just the same. 

Digital supplies are reusable, so you will never have to buy the same kit again. You can experiment with photos and papers and if you don't like it, just click undo.

So, When Do You Start?

Scrapbooking is one of the most wonderful and satisfying hobbies one could have. It is very useful and it leaves you with a library of beautifully arranged family photos according to your taste.

When you make a scrapbook, you write your family's history for you to document, to remind yourself of certain events and for generations that are coming after you to meet their ancestors. In doing so, your great-grandchildren will always know who is on the photo and is that person a relative of theirs.

In a world of scrapbooking, no one is forgotten.

Like any other creative endeavor, scrapbooking brings great pleasure when practiced. It brings that feeling, like when you were a child, you dive into your game so deeply, you didn't hear someone's calling your name.

To experience such rejuvenating feeling on a regular basis brings more positive things to a person than meets the eye. 

I hope to see you in How Do I Start Digital Scrapbooking.

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