Low Cost Digital Scrapbooking

cash_registerFor me digital scrapbooking is the most budget form of scrapbooking I can do.

“How so?” you ask, “When you have to buy the computer equipment and software before you can start.”

Well stop and think for a moment. You already have the computer equipment, or you wouldn’t be reading this article.

So all you need extra is the software.

Now if you’ve been reading Scraps of Mind for a while you will know that my digital scrapbooking weapon of choice is Adobe Photoshop Elements. You can read why I like it in my review of Photoshop Elements here.

But I would never pay full price for it!

I always run with a version that is not the latest one and I buy it from eBay. The important thing is to make sure you are getting an original copy that you can register with Adobe. Then if you want to upgrade at a later date you can do so easily.

Adobe are up to Version 7 of Photoshop Elements but I am still running Version 5 because I find that it gives me all the scope I need for my digital scrapbooking and photo editing. Plus I can easily make my own scrapbooking embellishments to print out and use with my paper scrapbook layouts. So I’m never stuck for the right embellishment.

So you see, you don’t need to spend over a hundred bucks to get your software. And once you have that you actually don’t have to spend another cent if you don’t want to. Because the Internet abounds with scrapbooking freebies. If you browse through the Scraps of Mind Scrapbooking Freebies section you will find links to some great sites that regularly offer freebies.

And in a shameless plug for my own tutorials, I can teach you how to digital scrapbook with Photoshop Elements in my  Step by Step Digital Scrapbook Program of tutorials which brings you full length video tutorials showing you how to create a scrapbook layout and teaching you new techniques. As well as a full complementary digital scrapbooking kit with each new layout.

postcards-from-veneziaGenerally when you start digital scrapbooking you will like to create scrapbook layouts that look like paper scrapbook layouts. And of course digital scrapbooking kits provide all the elements, nicely color coordinated to let you do that. But often you will then move on to incorporate techniques that let you do some fancy things like blending a photo to become part of your background and giving your photos a soft feathery vignette edge. That’s where you will enjoy all the functions available in a broader graphics editing package like Photoshop Elements.

But if you can’t be bothered learning how to use Photoshop Elements there are a number of very simple to use software packages on the market that will get you creating digital scrapbook layouts in the blink of an eye.

My Memories Suite is one of them and you should check out my review here. And there’s a tasty discount for Scraps of Mind readers too. I have tried this out and I can tell you that it is a very easy to use package with practically no learning curve. So for instant digital scrapbooking gratification it’s hard to go past. And if you are opting for one of these packages, I would definitely recommend it.

But there are others too that can offer a variety of templates for you to use to create instant scrapbook layouts on your computer.

Top Ten Reviews is an online store which sells a number of these packages. It’s a handy place to go and browse through the reviews to see which ones you might prefer. The reviews are likely to have a certain bias. But at least you can get a bit of an idea of what each package will give you. So you know what you are getting for your money.

These packages are a very easy way to get started with digital scrapbooking.

But I would issue a warning.

If you’re already a scrapbooker you obviously have a creative turn of mind.

Most of these packages can be a bit limiting creatively. They may allow you to work with the templates and elements provided but not to create or import your own. And they will probably not let you use any other digital scrapbook kits that you download from the Internet as they won’t be in the correct format for these packages.

So there’s a possibility that you will outgrow these packages. But even if that’s the case, a package like these will serve the purpose of acting like a stepping stone to ease you into digital scrapbooking.

That’s one of the reasons why I prefer a generic graphics editing program such as Photoshop Elements. Sure there’s a bit of a learning curve, but I think it’s worth it for the freedom you get to do your own thing.

But whether you decide to go with one of these simpler packages or with a Photoshop Elements graphic editing program, you will easily save the cost of the package with the scrapbook supplies that you won’t be needing to buy.

Other Related Articles:

What’s the Best Digital Scrapbooking Software?

Learn How to Digital Scrapbook

My Memories Suite – Review

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4 Responses to Low Cost Digital Scrapbooking

  1. Joe Cheray aka wildheart4vr June 19, 2009 at 6:18 am #

    I am going to throw in my two cents here and plug Paint Shop Pro as an easy to use, cost friendly program for digital scrapbooking. If you go to Amazon you can get the older version 9 for about the same price it takes to fill up a midsized car. So we are talking about $25 to $30 USD. Don’t let the folks who tell you that it isn’t as dynamic yadda yadda as Photoshop it is equally as dynamic.

    Here is the link to something I did with paint shop pro that used scrapbooking templates and elements.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wildheart4vr/3451811558/

    I also did this one with scrapbooking elements.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wildheart4vr/3453135469/

    Sometimes as with the first piece at the first link it takes a lot of resizing and multiple copying and pasting and working with layers but it is still a lot of fun.

    • karooch June 19, 2009 at 8:20 am #

      Always happy to give equal time to PSP and other photo editing programs. But because I don’t use them myself I can’t really write about them.

      So thanks Joe. Your comments on PSP are very welcome.

  2. Ayer June 20, 2009 at 2:25 am #

    Aside from needlepoint crafts, I have been and will always be drawn to the idea of scrapbooking. It simply gives me so much fun and excitement turning beautiful photographs to more meaningful and precious momories.

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