An Introduction to Digital Scrapbooking

One piece of paper used plus two photos, plus lots of blending!

Kanga (Sarah) from the forum has written this introduction to digital scrapping.

Want to scrapbook but can’t get started – too frightened to cut your favourite paper and get in a mess with all that glue? Well, digital scrapbooking could be the answer for you.

A little about me – I have been scrapbooking digitally since January 2006, and started creating my own papers in July 2006 – but didn’t start selling my designs (by which time they had improved!) until November 2006. Over the last 2 and a half years, my style has changed a lot – if you want to see a little about me, you can check out my blog: Kanga's Kreations

I sell at Plain Digital Wrapper which is a great store with some fantastic designers, and a lovely forum – quieter than some, so easy to keep up with.  I sell a variety of papers that can be downloaded and are suitable for all papercrafting projects.

And I have a free gift for you they can be printed and used on any paper projects - perfect for card making, or use it with your first time at digital scrapbooking, details are at the end of this page, I hope you enjoy it.

What you need:
1. A computer – ideally with plenty of space (digital kits are around 50MB each) and speed (the programs used tend to be memory hoggers)

2. A digital camera or scanner – to have digital copies of all the photos you want to scrap.

3. Software – there are scrapbooking softwares out there, but if you do get into digital scrapping, I would highly recommend a graphics software package such as Adobe Photoshop Elements or Corel Paint Shop Pro.  There is a free program called GIMP, but it does have limited capabilities.  Most programs have a free 30 day trial so you can see whether you like them or not.

4. A Printer – you can just leave all your layouts on your computer, or can have them professionally printed, but it is good to be able to print at home too.  This also means you can print out digital papers and elements to use on other projects.

5. External hard drive – computers can (and do) crash – and you will be very disappointed if you lose all your supplies and layouts – so be sure to back up regularly!

Paper & elements - “Is There a Fairy at the Bottom of Your Garden” by Kanga at PDW

Uses pieces from “Serenity” by Betsy Tuma at PDW

Digital / Hybrid / Traditional Scrapbooking
Traditional scrapbooking uses “real” papers and elements that you purchase from the craft shop, along with photographs and memorabilia to create pages.  Pages tend to be bulky, but are lovely to touch and feel, with fabulous depth.  Can be messy with glue and tape, and you cannot “uncut” a piece of paper once cut.  Once a page is complete, it is difficult to change it.

Digital scrapbooking uses “virtual” papers and elements in a graphics program, along with digital photographs to create a page that can then be printed.  A printed layout is just one sheet of paper thick, so even though you can add shadowing to your elements, it still doesn’t look as real and deep as a traditional page.  No messy glue; you can use the same paper and element hundreds of times in lots of different shapes.  Very easy to change the page even after it is finished to correct mistakes!

Hybrid scrapbooking uses a combination of both techniques – from simply printing out the digital papers and using them as though they were shop-bought papers, to printing a LO and adding depth with “real” embellishments.

Quickpages / Ploppers
These are pages with a “hole” in the middle for your photo – very simple, easy way to show off photos!

Digital Kits
These tend to be produced at 300ppi for perfect printing – the papers are generally saved as jpegs which are 12” square.  Elements are saved as png files so that the area around them is transparent.  Elements vary tremendously – from digitally created embellishments to scanned and extracted “real” embellishments.

There are literally hundreds of digital scrapbooking sites out there with kits for sale, and even with kits given out for free.  Many of them also contain some fantastic tutorials:

Shabby Princess – fantastic designer, gives away gorgeous kits and has great tutorials too!

DigiShopTalk – probably one of the biggest forums around – lots of help and advice, but does get very busy and may have a little too much information to start with

ScrapBookBytes - Lots of freebies, plus great tutorials and a site that helps those new to scrapping

RAKScraps - Lots of freebies, tutorials, and help

Gotta Pixel - Has a great, supportive, friendly forum with simple tutorials and places to ask for help easily.

Don't forget to visit Kanga's shop for more of her creations PDW

FREE download
So here is the free gift, it has been saved two ways for you
1. As a card kit – A4 papers, A4 quick print papers (4 A6 papers on each A4 page), A4 sheets with toppers, embellishments and greetings.
– Size of zip file. Approx 32MB
Only need printer to print onto card/paper

Link to download: Birthday kit  

2. As a normal scrap kit – 12” square papers and all elements as individual transparent png files which allow you to print onto any colour, not just white.
Size of zip file approx 57MB.

You will need a program that can manipulate png and jpg files to cut and move where required.
(sorry file no longer available)

 © Crafts by Carolyn May 2009