About Digital Scrapbooking

What is digital scrapbooking? Digital Scrapbooking is simply creating a scrapbook on the computer. You use “virtual” papers, elements and designs that are created either through graphic design software (such as Photoshop or Illustrator) or specially designed scrapbooking applications.

The one thing to understand is that there are many pros and cons, and those interested should weigh each to see if this is something they’d be interested in doing. As much as I love doing digital scrapbooks, I also maintain a manual one as well for special occasions that for me and the family.

Digital Scrapbook sample - camping

To start creating a digital scrapbook for yourself, there are some things that you will need.

  • A computer to work from
  • Software or applications to design your scrapbook

Depending on how sophisticated you want to get, you typically don’t need the latest and greatest computer that’s out there. It should be sufficient enough to run the programs you want to run. In the beginning, I used an old computer and was doing a lot of my initial designs in MS Paint! 🙂

Since then, I have moved on and updated my computer as well as the software I use. Nowadays I do most of my work in Photoshop and Illustrator, but these programs can become costly. There are many other programs out there such as Digital Scrapbook Artist or Hallmark Scrapbook Studio that may be more cost effective. Some programs also have a library of background papers, designs and layouts included which is helpful in the beginning.

The nice thing about digital scrapbooks is that you don’t need a lot of room. You can work from a laptop or tablet anywhere! It’s also not as messy. You won’t need scissors, glues, tape or other misc materials. This makes it safer for kids as well to get into and can be a fun family activity!

In fact, the only things you need to buy (if you decide to buy anything at all) are perhaps content you don’t want to create yourself – digital scrapbook papers / backgrounds, visual banners and art, maybe fonts. These are all inexpensive and the nice thing is that they can be reused countless times.

With digital scrapbook, mistakes can rarely happen – so long as you save your work, which makes it more forgiving than a manual scrapbook where glue and materials can ruin a whole book 🙁

If you decide to share or make manual copies of your digital scrapbook I recommend getting a good laser print that doesn’t go through ink quickly. I also have a cricut, more of a luxury item to create stencils and cut paper – something I carried over from my manual scrapbooking days!

When designing your digital scrapbook in your preferred program, set the page sizes so that if you decide to ever share or print yourselves, they will be accurate and as you see them on screen.

For more sophisticated digital scrapbook layouts and designs, you’ll want a dedicated computer and graphics design program. Photoshop, Illustrator, or Elements all have a learning curve and can take some time (and money!) to learn to use. If you’re not familiar with these programs and don’t have time to learn them, I highly recommend using a dedicated digital scrapbook application.

Once you have your tools and chosen software you’ll want to organize your content. I have libraries and disk drives filled with images, layouts, various visual elements (frames, paper style, words/text designs, artwork, etc).

digital-scrapbook-art and doodles

Just like a manual scrapbook, a digital scrapbook is all about a central image. Decorate that image all you want with frames, borders, artwork and backgrounds. Don’t forget to date each one!

I personally also like to write a little note about each one, as to where I was, what I was doing, others that were there and other little details.

It’s up to you how you want to organize each scrapbook. Personally I keep one for each year, then others for each vacation or special event that has more photos or details.

Once your digital scrapbook is finished, you can choose to print, share or burn on DVD or create a video file to send to others or post online on your website. A digital scrapbook can be printed out or burned to CD/DVD as many times as needed to share with friends and family as often as you’d like! These are perfect as well for greeting cards or to send to distant relatives; a bit more of a personal touch than your Facebook status update.

Throughout SpaceRaven, I have posted digital scrapbook background papers as well as art that you can use for your own project. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions!

Have fun putting together your digital scrapbook!