Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Digital Scrapbooking Resources

I received a couple of questions via the comments and email about my post yesterday. And in the past so many people have asked me what I use to scrapbook digitally so I thought I'd compile all my resources and share them here. This is what you'll need to get started, but be careful...if you have any affinity for scrapbooking whatsoever, this can be addictive. Don't say I didn't warn you!

1. Editing Software. You must have some kind of editing software in order to create digital layouts. I currently use Photoshop CS3 but started out with Photoshop Elements, which I loved. Elements is a more affordable version and has the added benefit of an excellent organizer... which, incidentally, I still use to organize my digital stuff. I would highly recommend PSE to anyone. Other options are Corel Draw, Paint Shop Pro, or Digital Image Pro. There are probably others. Basically, you need something that will allow you to use/handle .png files and layers.

2. Digital Kits/Supplies. In paper scrapping, this would be the background papers, elements, word art, frames, stickers, etc. that make up a layout...only these are digital files that are sold at digital scrapbook stores online in downloadable form. Here's a list of my favorite shops...don't forget that many of these offer free kits and supplies so always check for that. Freebies are a good way to start out and get used to making layouts before you start buying stuff.

3. Tutorials. If you are new to Photoshop (or any other editing program), online tutorials can be very helpful. Or, if you know your way around but want to get into some more advanced stuff, tutorials will help you with that too. Many of the scrapbook stores listed above have tutorials on their websites so check them out for that. Additionally, I've found some great tutorials on these sites:
4. Printing Layouts. As I mentioned briefly yesterday, there are several options to get your digital layouts in printed form so that you can enjoy them and show them to others. But actually, you can upload digital layouts to any photo sharing website {Shutterfly, Snapfish, Smugmug} just like you would any other photo. But, obviously most of us wouldn't go to the time and trouble to scrapbook if we didn't want to print our scrapbook in some form. There are two main ways to do this.

First, you can print individual pages and put them in a traditional scrapbook with clear sleeves for each printed page. This allows you to print pages as you go and not have to wait until your entire book is done to print some of the first pages. Here are a few places that will do this, although there are many more if you look around the internet. I have not used any of these specifically for printing pages because, as I said before, I don't like printing individual pages.

Or you can complete your book and have it printed in bound form like a photobook...just with your digital layouts instead of the regular templates. Often you have the option of creating the cover, back and spine for your book as well, which makes it even more customized. This is what I have done and intend to do with my digital layouts. It is worth the wait for me to have a product that I think is most attractive, practical and durable. Here are a few places that will print a finished book:

5. Inspiration. For me, this is crutial. Sometimes I need a little spark to get the creativity flowing. For most digital kits, the designer will post a couple of sample layouts using the files in that kit. Look for these on the page that shows the details of the kit. There are also galleries of layouts on every single digital scrapbook store website. Additionally, most designers have a blog or website on which they post their layouts. I go to all of these places to get ideas.


Lynn Leaming said...

Thanks Rachel! This was great to get these resources. Maybe someday you can then tell us how you apply them to your blog:)

Mary said...

I love it! I am going to have to start doing this. I decided that the first book I do for my kids will be a traditional book, because I want to put in mementos from their birth that aren't pics, like the hospital bracelets, their first drawings, etc. But from THEN ON, I think I will digitize galore! I think it seems esp. practical for boys, because the books aren't as "girlie..."