Do you have a whole bookshelf of scrapbook albums, and are considering the transition to digital scrapbooking? Or perhaps you’ve never made a single scrapbook page, but are searching for a way to organize the hundreds of photos you’ve snapped with your digital camera.
Scrapbooking is an art form that thrives in a digital world. If you’re familiar with traditional scrapbooks, you may be wondering what a ‘digital scrapbook’ entails. These ‘books’ are actually digital files that include digital images of your photographs, text, and other mementos, along with a layout, background, and embellishments of your choosing. Essentially, what you see on your screen is a digital image that looks like a page in a traditional scrapbook.
Why transition from traditional to digital scrapbooks? Before the digital age, avid scrapbookers took their roll of film to the local photo center, and then cut and pasted those precious photos into a layout made with layers of paper, ribbons, stickers, and other creative designs. But the digital era has revolutionized this time-consuming process! There are many benefits to scrapbooking on your computer:
- There are no specialized supplies to purchase or store
- Page embellishments are reusable, and you can change their size or color to suit your design ideas
- These supplies are inexpensive – and sometimes even free
- Using them doesn’t leave you with a mess all over the kitchen table
- With a laptop or smartphone, you can work on your latest project while you’re on-the-go
- The finished scrapbooks don’t require a bookshelf for storage and are easily shared with friends and family around the world
How can you get started with a digital scrapbook? The first step is to gather your digital memories. This may mean scanning photographs from the pre-digital era. Of course, many of your more recent photos will already be in a digital format, whether stored in your cell phone, the memory card of your digital camera, or online on sites like Facebook. You can also use a scanner to capture images of ticket stubs and other mementos.
Now, think about how you want to organize the photos. Of course, there are no ‘pages’ in the digital world. But that doesn’t stop digital scrapbookers from creating amazingly creative layouts. You may want to start with a ‘digital scrapbook kit,’ which provides all of the elements you need to get started, like backgrounds, alphabets, layouts, and even premade pages waiting for your digital photos. Instead of decorating the pages with stickers, ribbons, and dried flowers, use an image editing program to add clip art and bold stripes of color. There are also scrapbooking software programs that can be used to build your pages, rather than using image editing software.
One big change from on-the-page scrapbooking is the number of freebies out there! There are plenty of free downloads for page layouts, graphics, and other embellishments for your digital scrapbook pages. You won’t need any more fancy scissors, die cutting machines, or other expensive scrapbooking tools, or a dedicated scrapbooking room, once you go digital.
What do you do once you’re finished creating the digital ‘page’? When working with a digital scrapbook, you can choose to maintain the pages in a digital format, sharing them through email, Flickr, Facebook, and other websites. You can also print out your finished scrapbook, either on your home printer or through a printing company such as Shutterfly, to create a beautiful photo book.
Now that we all live in a digital world, it’s time to make the switch from paper to pixels!