Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Learn to Digital Scrapbook

I received my first scrapbook and supplies for my sixteenth birthday and have been scrapbooking every since. About a year and a half ago I made the big leap over to digital scrapbooking. I love traditional scrapbooking, but here are my top reasons I prefer digital scrapbooking to the traditional method:

  • I don’t need to have my photos developed from my digital camera
  • There is no mess or clean-up – I shut down my design program and clean-up is finished! No scraps of paper to clean up or supplies to put away.
  • I can download paper and embellishments for free! If I don’t have a certain embellishment or paper color I can download it right away. I don’t have to run to the store to get my supplies.
  • It doesn’t require storage bins! This is my husband’s favorite part of digital scrapbooking. I don’t have all the plastic drawer bins around the house taking up space.
  • It’s faster! Once you learn your design program, you can design an amazing page in a matter of minutes.
  • The finished product is less bulky and looks more professional.

To begin digital scrapbooking, you first need to purchase a design program. I have used the following two programs and like them both.

  • Memory Mixer
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements

I would recommend Memory Mixer if you are looking for a basic, easy program to use. It is more basic and straight forward than Elements and easier to use for those who aren’t quite as computer savvy. I recommend purchasing the Memory Mixer Lite. It is currently $34.95.

Adobe Photoshop Elements is more powerful than Memory Mixer and can do more customized projects, but is harder to learn how to use. However, it is probably one of the most popular programs used in scrapbooking and there are lots of online tutorials to help you learn the program.

Memory Mixer Tutorials
Digi Scrapping Tutorials
Digital Scrapbook Place Tutorials
Adobe Tutorials

Once you have purchased a design program, you will need your digital supplies. I get all of my digital kits free online. The kits come with papers, ribbons, buttons, embellishments, fonts, etc. Anything you could put in a real paper scrapbook comes in digital form, too. I suggest spending a couple hours and downloading many kits so once you start scrapbooking you have don’t have to stop to download. Here are some of my favorite sites to download free kits. They also have kits you may purchase.

Free Scrapbook Kits

Digital Freebies

Shabby Princess

Simply Clean Digi Scraps

Simply Sweet Designs

Scrap Girls

CG Essentials

TK Whimsy

I always enjoy looking at pages others have designed to get inspiration. My friend Sara showed me some of her pages when I got started and it really helped. I practiced with some of her ideas. Below are links that go to galleries with completed pages that will give you some great ideas.

Scrapbook Page Idea Galleries

Digi Chick

Scrap Outside the Box

Creating Keepsakes

The basic fonts that come with your computer will work for scrapbooking, but I think it is fun to download some specialty fonts. You can visit one of the following links to pick some new fonts.

Font Download Tutorials

Free Font Downloads

It does take some time to get started digital scrapbooking, but it becomes easier after some practice. Once your page/book is completed, there are a couple options for printing. You can print the pages as a picture and put in a traditional scrapbook album. There are all kinds of online photo printing sites, such as Shutterfly and You can also print on your own home printer, if it is designed to print photos.

A few scrapbook page examples

I prefer to have my scrapbooks printed as a hard bound book. I recently made a scrapbook for my mother-in-law (see photo below) and had it printed by Memory Mixer and they did a wonderful job. My book was around 140-pages (8.5” x 11”) and with a 25% promotional discount I believe it was around $70. It may seem like a lot, but everything else was free. I didn’t have to buy paper, stickers, glue, etc.

Please let me know if you have any questions. If you already digital scrapbook, please leave a comment with any additional tips you may have.


  1. I bought some software about a year ago . . . and have never cracked it open. I seriously might call you and have you hold my hand through a page or two! I would LOVE to get going on it!

  2. I love digital scrapbooking as well. I use FotoFusion for my digital scrapbooking and it works great. A few more websites that I use to find scrapbooking freebies, in additon to the ones you listed are:

  3. Also, I got an email that Shutterfly has a free 8 x 8 photo deal going on now. Promo code is PHOTOBOOKS. The offer ends on March 10th.

  4. Thanks for the info, Rachel! And Lisa, I'd be glad to help you out.

  5. Thank you for this. I have been thinking and wondering about Memory mixer etc. I only have done shutterfly books so far.