By now, the term “scrapbooking” is as well-known as the terms “knitting” or “quilting.” What started out as a small industry has exploded into something HUGE that is constantly growing, changing and expanding. You can see this at any local craft store – where there used to be a few racks of scrapbook goodies there are now rows and rows. There are the scrapbook albums. And the papers. And the embellishments. And the storage systems. And the cutting systems. And the list goes on and on.

Over the past decade, however, there has been a new movement among scrapbookers. Many “scrappers” have decided to transition from “paper scrapping” (scrapbooking in the traditional style of photo prints, papers and adhesives) to digital scrapbooking (or “digiscrapping”). There are so many incredible programs available today that ones options are practically endless!  There is even a newer trend called “hybrid scrapping” which combines both traditional scrapbooking and digital scrapbooking so you get the best of both worlds.

Why DigiScrap?

Once upon a time, I was a “paper scrapper.” I was a strict paper scrapbooker for approximately 14 years. When I first heard about digital scrapbooking and saw some samples of what it looked like, I SWORE I would never EVER make the transition.  The things I saw just looked – well – digital!  There was no depth, no texture.  But I began feeling very overwhelmed when I thought about scrapbooking.  I have four children and I am a photographer, which means that I have bazillions of pictures. I did not have space in my home to set up a scrapbooking table or area, as many people are able to do. While I enjoyed getting together for scrapbooking parties with friends, I usually ended up talking too much and hardly get anything done. So in April of 2006 I succumbed and thought “what would it hurt to do a few digital layouts?” I did one. Then another. And then another and another and another. And in one week, I had finished 5 layouts! This was an AMAZING accomplishment compared to the 5 paper layouts I had finished over the previous 4 months. I was immediately hooked.

While some people really love the appearance of “real” scrapbook layouts, the digital designs that have been coming out over the past few years are created with the intent of APPEARING real. I have seen some digital layouts that make me I feel like I could reach out and touch them through the screen, and that is what my goal is when I am creating products.

One huge benefit of digital scrapbooking is the delete or undo button. Don’t like where you put that picture? Undo. Don’t like how you cropped that photo? Undo. Misspelled in your journaling? Undo. And then there are the limitless options available through the photo-editing software. Have a picture you think might look better in black and white? Change it. Have a background paper that doesn’t quite match the picture? Re-color it. Have an alphabet you’d like to use, but think the letters are too big? Shrink them. The options are literally endless.

Getting Started

For people who are unsure about making the change, there are so many digital scrapbooking freebies available online for download. All you need to do is download a free kit or two and play around for a bit. It may be awkward at first – you may not know what you’re doing and may need to practice a little. But once you have everything figured out, you’ll be amazed at how EASY it really is.

Printing Your Layouts

And what about printing your layouts? Again, there are so many different options! Many people have their larger layouts printed from photo labs (places such as Costco and Sam’s Club cater to digital scrapbookers and offer 12×12 prints that you can order online and pick up right in the store) and then insert them into their scrapbook albums. Some people who do smaller layouts often print their right at home. There are even companies online who specialize in printing scrapbook layouts. A newer trend is to have your layouts printed in a bound coffee-table-style book. A great place to order those books is Shutterfly. Or you can simply leave your layouts in your computer and email them to friends and family or set them up to be your screensaver!

If you are on the fence about digital scrapbooking, I hope you will give it a try!  You might surprise yourself.

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