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Digital Scrapbooking Wins Over Traditional Scrapbook Lovers

Jul 2, 2008
Digital scrapbooking is becoming so popular that even traditional scrapbook enthusiasts are making the switch. Read why so many are learning to scrapbook on the computer and why you should give it a try.

1. Saves Time

As in all things digital, there are many ways scrapbooking digitally saves you time.

If you're really lazy or think you can't even combine two elements without messing something up, you can buy pre-made pages with spaces for your photos and journaling and just drag and drop your pictures onto the page.

Printing your pictures before you put them into your scrapbook pages is no longer necessary. Just download your digital camera pictures to your computer.

No need to spend hours going from one store to another looking for the right color paper to go with your daughter's Easter dress. Shopping the Web is faster or you can create your own paper. This also eliminates those unwanted 2-year-old tantrums in the paper aisle of the local store.

Everyone I've spoken with that's made the switch to digital says they love how much faster they can complete pages.

2. Saves Space

For some traditional scrappers, the idea was whoever dies with the most supplies wins. Setting aside a permanent corner, room, basement or annex for your supplies was a way to beat your husband at his game of collecting tools.

On the other hand, the only physical space required for digital scrapbooking is for your computer, scanner and printer. The other "space" requirement is the size of your hard drive in your computer. Digitized images do take a lot of megabytes of drive space, but have you seen the price of hard drives lately? You can get a 500 gigabyte drive (that's 512000 megabytes) for under $100 these days.

Many digital scrappers also like the fact that printed digital scrapbooks are just like any other book. No bulky pages filled with buttons and ribbons.

3. Clean and Tidy

With your supplies on the computer, there's no need to physically sort through all the punches, paper, ribbon or other embellishments you might have lying around. No worries about leaving a project partially done and laying out where kids can spill a soda on it. No need to get supplies out on the dining room table only to put them away later so you can serve dinner. Just click save and don't leave your computer screen where someone can accidentally delete your work.

Since you don't have to worry about the hassle of getting supplies out and cleaning up afterwards, you will find many more opportunities to work on your pages than ever before.

4. Saves Money

You already own a computer, now all you need is the right software. Cost of software such as Adobe Photoshop Elements is $75 - $100.

Digital scrapbook kits usually go for around $5.00 to $7.00 and have lots of paper and embellishments included. The equivalent in physical paper and embellishments costs $20 to $35 and are "consumable" meaning once you use them, they are gone. Digital kits can be used over and over to your heart's content.

Once you learn how to use your digital scrapbooking software, it's not hard to create your own supplies if you feel adventurous.

Oh, and saves a lot of gas money too since there's no need to spend hours going from one store to another looking for the right color paper to go with your daughter's Easter dress.

5. Waste Proof

This naturally follows number 4 because you can literally re-use any digital scrapbook element as many times as you like. No more buying extra paper to avoid running out of a certain pattern or color. No more keeping piles of leftover paper scraps. Imaging starting each new project with a complete new scrapbook kit. With digital scrapbooking, you can.

6. Mistake Proof

The most precious items in your scrapbooks are your photos. So why take the chance of butchering them with scissors. With digital scrapbooking, there's no worry of ruining the only photo you have of Great, Great Grandpa. Scan the photo and make as many copies as you need. Resize and crop as many times as you like. Don't like it? Back up a few steps with the Undo function or start over.

Ever place a sticker on a page and didn't quite like it? Oh well, it's stuck on the page now. Digital scrapbooking allows you to experiment with a multitude of possible combinations until you get it just the way you want.

7. Photo Manipulation

Restore vintage photos to make them look just like new. Take current photos and purposely make them looked aged. Remove the red eye in that otherwise perfect candid shot. Get rid of ugly facial blemishes (the proverbial pimple in the Prom portrait) or too much sweat making the face glisten. Crop, enlarge, tint, age -- there are so many options to make your photos even more attractive, you'll be absolutely amazed. Photos you thought were hopeless are given new life.

8. Easier to Share

Ever create a scrapbook page only to duplicate it once again for your mother? Not anymore. In addition to being another time saver, digital scrapbooks can be shared so easily in so many ways. Print multiple copies of your completed books to share with family. Upload pages to your family blog. Email pages to relatives wherever they live. Use the same digital template for multiple photos. Get the idea?

9. Archival Quality

Remember when everything had to be acid free? First it was the paper, then the sheet protectors, the inks, the glue. Then came all the embellishments. Were they acid free too? Wait a sec...with digital scrapbooking, everything is acid free because there is no ink or glue to mix with your photos. Everything is preserved digitally either on your computer hard drive or on CDs or DVDs. Print as many copies as you need as often as you like. Not only is this archival, but keeping extra copies of your photos digitally either in a fire-proof safe or in a second physical location is the best way to ensure against your keepsakes being destroyed by a disaster such as a fire.

10. Unlimited Styles

With traditional scrapbooking, you're limited by whatever paper you can find in your local store or on the Web. Even then, you might find a pattern you like but sometimes the color isn't quite right.

Not a problem with digital scrapbooking. It's so easy to adjust the paper color from one hue to another so you can always match your daughter's Easter dress perfectly.

11. Trendiest

Scrapbook paper manufacturers use designers to create a new line of products. Then they decide which designs go into production. From there, retail buyers decide how much of the line to carry in their stores. By the time you get around to shopping, you're lucky if the product is in stock and in the right color.

Digital paper is not limited by any of the above. There's a multitude of online purveyors of digital scrapbook kits and there's no waiting for the product to hit the store. New designers don't have to have a big company behind them to sell their own designs. You get the trendiest designs and they are guaranteed to always be in stock.

12. Makes Anyone an Expert

So what if your handwriting looks as bad as a doctors prescription. That's what computer fonts are for...to make you look like a professional calligrapher. But the best part is, there's no commitment, so if you misspelled a word in your journaling, you're free to go correct it without damaging your layout. Cropped photos always have perfect edges and text is always straight. Using a computer to scrapbook brings out the real artist inside you when you don't have to worry about making mistakes.

13. Flexibility

Try this exercise: Take a piece of pattern paper and attach a photo. Now add some ribbon and some journaling. Now go back to the pattern paper and change it to another style to see if it will look better. Can't do it? You can when doing it digitally. That's what layers are for. It's like making a big Dagwood sandwich and deciding you want relish instead of pickles after the sandwich is already built. With layers, you can change any element on the page at any time.

14. Professionalism

Sure we like homemade stuff, but if we can make it look professional, it makes us all the more proud we created it. Submit your digital scrapbooks to printers like Viovio to have them professionally printed and bound. Then show everyone how talented you really are.

15. Versatility

Take any design you like and turn it into just about anything you want. Change the opacity to make it look like vellum. Tweak the colors to add a little more blue or red. Increase the color saturation or decrease it. Change it into anything you desire.

16. Endless Supplies

Never, ever run out of the letter "S" when using a sticker set again. And always have it in the right size, color and style. With digital scrapbooking, you will never run out of supplies again.

And who knows, maybe you'll start designing your own paper lines.

17. Easy on the Furniture

No more hammering eyelets! No more dents in your oak dining table. Enough said.
About the Author
Paul Lindberg is a freelance writer and co-owner of toNoodle.com where you can learn digital scrapbooking through Adobe Photoshop video tutorials.
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