Wikepedia defines Digital Scrapbooking as a form of scrapbooking that is done using a personal computer, digital or scanned photos and computer graphics software. It is a relatively new form of the traditional print scrapbooking. Quite simply it’s just creating a scrapbook on the computer. You use scanned images, digital photos, and backgrounds and embellishments and digital clipart that have been created with graphic design software.
You don’t really need some expensive graphic design software to do this as there are quite a few websites that offer digital scrapbook printing where you only need to upload your photos and pay for the printing of the final book. They offer a variety of templates and layouts that make this format the easiest. Walgreens.com offers a finished 12 x 12 book of 20 pages with a hard cover for under $50 and occasionally they offer 40% discount coupons to use on their photo services. An 8 1/2 x 11 book of 20 pages starts just under $25. Additional pages cost extra. Both of these books can hold up to 150 pages. Walmart.com also offers this service for about $10 less but doesn’t have the coupons. Samsclub.com and mymemories.com also offers the same services with comparable prices and additional member benefits and discounts. There are plenty of other online services to try that offer specials or sales on occasion such as picaboo.com, shutterfly.com, smilebooks.com, and more. The best thing is to do some research and find the best price for the same quality book. Don’t forget to factor in production time and shipping.
There are also digital scrapbooking programs available now that range from free to $40. Here are a few of my favorites:
• Craft Artist Compact (FREE): www.serif.com/digital-scrapbooking/
• Scrapbook Factory Deluxe ($39.95): www.novadevelopment.com/software/scrapbook-factory-deluxe-129016
• Hallmark Scrapbook Studio ($29.99): www.hallmarksoftware.com/products/Scrapbook_Studio_Deluxe
• My Memories Suite ($39.99) www.mymemories.com/
Use coupon code STMMMS47244 to get $10 off the cost and 10% off photobooks and photo gifts.
My Memories Suite was rated the best digital scrapbooking software overall in 2016.
For those who are more serious about digital scrapbooking there are other programs available, also at increased cost. I would recommend either Adobe Photoshop Elements ($70) or Corel Paint Shop Pro ($52). These programs are more geared for designing from scratch and don’t have many templates to help your creativity. They do have a lot of photo editing tools and special effects.
And for the ones who like total control over creativity there are even more intense programs made for professional Graphic Designers such as CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator, priced at $500 and up. They do have a harder learning curve but are well worth the time invested.
After you produce your scrapbook pages you have three options of printing the pages into a book. Use the online services mentioned above, find a local printing shop with a larger format printer or buy a printer yourself.
If you choose to use the traditional 12×12 size scrapbook layouts then printing is not as easy as using the 8.5×11 size. The smaller sizes can be printed just about any printing shop and very reasonably priced, as low as $.25 per sheet. If you want to invest in a home printer I would recommend an Epson brand printer as their ink is fairly inexpensive cost per copy. Most of them can print on plain paper or heavy and on the special gloss papers that give your photos real life look. Ones that print the smaller books are available for less than $100. To print the 12×12 sizes, printing shops may charge $1.50 and up per sheet. Epson also has a printer that handles this size for under $300. It’s hard to tell you how much the ink costs per copy because they depend on what colors you are printing and how much coverage there is, and usually on the scrapbook pages there is a lot of coverage but I know from experience that it’s the best cost per copy around. Whatever brand or printer you get be sure to get one that has individual ink cartridges instead of the shared cartridge. Having the convenience of the printer at home is well worth the initial expense if you plan to scrapbook seriously.
Once you print your pages you can bind them in a book. Local printing shops have capabilities to do some binding. This makes a great gift for any family member. For the larger pages you can also buy a traditional scrapbook and add these printed pages to it or for the smaller pages any three ring binder will also work. You can even buy the page protectors to keep your pages clean as people look through the book.
You can also use the artwork and templates to print them out and use them as background sheets or embellishments for the traditional scrapbooking process of cutting the photos and adding 3 dimensional embellishments.