Mission Organization: Scrapbooking

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick is hosting an organizing party. I love to organize so this is my kind of party.
One of my goals for 2009 is to throw paper scrapbooking out the window and say hello to digital. I am fairly familiar with digital scrapbooking through the new wedding photo fad of getting your pictures put in a book. With a combination of some of the web sights I have checked out and recent fun with Adobe Photoshop and the joys of blogging html codes I can confidently say I am ready for 2009 to be digital…(and I’m not talking about TV! Lol!). My unfinished 2008 scrapbook...look familiar???
For those of you who may not scrapbook or think the idea of making a digital scrapbook is too advanced for you…bare with me. I also have some basic photo upkeep tips that can apply to any and all who like to capture life through the camera.

Basic Photo Tips:
1. Back up ALL photos: first you must put your digital photos on your computer…for some of you this is a stretch already! You will no longer have to worry about deleting pictures when you run out of space on your memory card. Then copy all your pictures onto a portable memory device (other than your memory card!)…I choose to use CD’s. Don’t forget to label them…I put the year and months if the year is spread out on multiple CD’s. Having these on CD is also helpful if you take your pictures to a store to be printed…for the sake of keeping things organized and making sure I always have one secure backed up CD, I make a separate CD for printing which only includes the pictures I want to be printed…saves a lot of time!
For photos before digital, I would suggest scanning them onto your computer or take pictures of them with your digital camera to store on your computer.

I would also suggest keeping your pictures in separate files, labeled by the event, on your computer. Have a separate folder for the beach trip, Christmas, and your child’s ballet recital. When needing to find a certain picture, you will be very happy you did. You will know if you downloaded the pictures onto your computer by the folder…and it also eliminates clutter on your computer.

2. Organizing printed photos: Whether it is in a photo box or in scrapbook pages, this is one step that will get you closer to scrapbooking…keep each event separate so that you can work on one event at a time. If you do not scrapbook, this makes viewing easier and helpful when looking for a specific photo.

Photos organized by event...ready to be scrapbooked

Why I am Going Digital:
I started scrapbooking in the seventh grade! My best friend started doing this and it looked so fun. For a long time it was my craft of choice. More recently, I have learned to sew and blog…opening up a whole new realm of crafty projects. What used to be fun and relaxing has now become an unfinished project hanging over my head. I would rather spend my time and energy doing other projects than scrapbook, yet I cannot get myself to give up scrapbooking all together. There is something about having my photos in a book out for myself and others to enjoy that is so important to me.

My "juvenile" scrapbook style is ready for an update!

Playing around with my blog and trying to make it more “pretty,” I have come across digital scrapbooking kits. Just like with paper scrapbooking, you purchase a kit that includes background paper, embellishments, etc. Along with this are companies that print photo books that you can create. Combining scrapbooky elements and a company to print out the book…I think I have found myself a solution!

In order to make scrapbook collages, you will need some type of digital photo editing program. I use Adobe Photoshop. If you are really interested in digital scrapbooking, I would suggest making one of these an investment.

If you want a simpler take on it, you can also use the photo book company’s basic layouts and still create a photo book. Many of these are very user friendly and all you do is drag and drop your photo into their premade layout. They also have background paper you can use and an option to add text.

Another major selling point is that digital scrapbooking will be cheaper. I like to take pictures of EVERYTHING and like to print EVERYTHING…so take into consideration your own photo printing habits… a few months ago I printed a couple months worth of pictures…totaling around $50…I also already had a couple of months worth of photos from this year printed out and still have a few months worth of pictures to still print out…totaling some where around probably $100 a year that I spend on printing pictures. Depending on what type of photo book I print…I can easily make one for much cheaper! Now this isn’t even taking into consideration the supplies I purchase for paper scrapbooking and the amount of time it takes to crop all my pictures and embellish them. I will not know my actual savings until the end of the year when I go to print…but I am pretty sure there will be a savings financially, not to mention mentally!

Types of Photo Book Companies:
I researched some of the major photo book companies and have given you links and a basic rundown of what they offer (you can thank me later!).

All of the books I researched, I chose the 11 x 8.5 landscape size. Depending on the company, the inch size may vary, give or take an inch.

Page allowance: 20 pages
Each add’l page $1, up to a maximum of 101 pages
Cost of book:
Leather $39.99
Suede/Satin/Cloth $29.99

Page allowance: 20 pages
Each add’l page $0.99, up to a maximum of 80 pages
Cost of book: $34.95
Prints on spine

Page allowance: 20 pages
Each add’l page $0.50
Cost of book: $30.95

Page allowance: 20 pages
Each add’l page $1.99, up to a maximum of 160 pages
Cost of book:
Linen: 29.99
Leather: 39.99
Semi-Gloss Laminate: 24.99 (different binding)
Glossy Laminate: 39.99
Seems very simple and user friendly. I have played with this one and find it is good for making creative layouts with out using a separate editing program like Adobe.

Page allowance: 20 pages
Cost of book:
Personalized Covers: 34.99
Classic: 29.99
Wedding Leather: 39.99
Wedding Linen: 29.99
Seems very simple and user friendly, limited page allowance

Page allowance: 20 pages
Each add’l page $0.99, up to a maximum of 100 pages
Cost of book:
Linen: 29.80
Hardcover with jacket: 34.75
Leather hardcover: 49.75

Cost of book:
0-40 pages: 31.95
41-80: 37.95
81-120: 44.95
121-160: 52.95
More pages available on website…up to 440 pages!
Hardcover/Dust Jacket
0-40: 29.95
41-80: 35.95
81-120: 41.95
121-160: 49.95
Prints on spine

I found Blurb to be my favorite. It provides a range of covers, sizes, templates, and backgrounds. I did some math and found that I would probably average a 65 page, double sided book, varying from 1 picture per page to 8. With Blurb you pay by set page amount, not for adding additional pages. For example, if I wanted to add 40 pages, it would cost me $3, unlike others that are $1 a page, would charge me $40! If you are making a fairly large book like I am, Blurb by far would be the cheapest. It does not clarify if the pages are double sided, but either way I am saving money. It also has a hardcover image wrap where you can wrap an image around the whole cover. Something also fun for us bloggers is that they will take your blog and make it into a book! And you never thought you would get published! ;)

A friend of mine used this company for her wedding album and it came out fantastic! Being able to see a real copy of a book definitely helped me lean towards choosing this company. I also looked up reviews for Blurb and they were all pretty positive and mentioned that this is one of the best deals because it looks very professional, uses high quality printing and the book is offered at a low price. One review stated Blurb as the best choice for colored photo books. I downloaded the program and tried it…all I have to do is make my page in Adobe and drag and drop it into the Blurb program and it is done!

Digital Scrapbooking Elements:
In my search for scrapbooking kits, the price range varies from about $2-10. Not bad for digital elements you download on to your computer and can use over and over again.

But then I hit the jackpot…FREE downloadable kits…that are…PRETTY!!!

Here are a few sights I found:
http://www.shabbyprincess.com/downloads.asp (By far my favorite! Beautiful full kits!)

http://www.freedigitalscrapbooking.com/digiscrap101.html (Sight gives basic digital scrapbooking run down)


Just Google “free digital scrapbooking” and you will get loads of information!

Some other uses for photo books:
Recipe books, your children’s artwork, your writings, professional portfolio, publish a story written by your kids (or you!)…the options are endless!

Here is my first digital scrapbook page…I am pretty proud! And all of the embellishments…FREE! Gotta love that!
Happy scrapping! I hope these tips will help you keep your family memories organized and cherished for years to come! If you are a digi scrapbooker, I would love to hear what you use and any tips you might have for this beginner!

Visit Thrifty Decor Chic for more organizing ideas!


  1. That is AWESOME. I am so going digital...i guess I should say starting digital since I havent actually gotten around to scrapbooking! Now if you upload the pages like that will it come out full page on those sites like BLURB?

  2. oh. my. gosh. ashley. I feel like I owe you something??? This is phenomenal information for me.

    here's the thing... I love scrapbooking. I love the papers, embellishments, and the pictures... but I've probably started about 4 or 5 books since high school. Not finished, just started... I have 1 finished book that I started about 2 days before my grad party because I wanted something for people to look at. So I'm surrendering and labeling that my high school scrapbook... but then I have all these pictures from the past years that I'm DYING to put in a scrapbook, but I can never find the time. I don't have anywhere for a "scrapbook room" so I have to always get out all my stuff and then put it away which seems like it takes 3 hours... I've been toying with the idea of digital scrapbooking and you have sold me. This is amazing. I want to hug you.

    but for now, I'll stop taking up your comment space. :)


  3. TONS of great information!...and your first page??? FABULOUS!

    I need to do more digital scrapbooking...maybe if I spent less time messing with my blog layouts I'd get more done!

  4. Check out 2Peas - http://www.twopeasinabucket.com/default.asp?source=cagaw - for some cool free digi scrapbooking stuff. I paper scrapbook and am always buying digital stuff!

    Also, re: the tacky hutch... ours is a little different w/ the shelves but yeah... other than that the same. I am thinking of keeping the yellow glass and painting it a dark navy blue. I really like how you painted the back of yours lt. blue. I would have never thought to paint that part a different color.

  5. FANTASTIC POST! I feel the same way about scrapbooking as you! My problem is, I know I don't have time to scrapbook anymore, but I can't seem to part with all of my supplies!

  6. Wow what GREAT INFO!! Do you know I don't back up my photos and was just thinking about that yesterday?? I used to download them all to photobucket but that takes FOREVER. I need to get better about it. have you tried scrapblog.com? I used it and loved it!!

  7. Wow!!!

    I've done one scrapbook and it was really minor.

    I am so impressed by your bookcase of scrapbooks!

  8. Oh man, I needed this post so much! This year (after we get our own computer) I am heading into the world of digital scrapbooking. I appreciated this post sooo much. I still love my papers and stickers for crafting but as far as recording my memories, I definatly want to go digital. I just love the look and all that you can do with a computer. Seems so much quicker to me too. Thanks for this post. I thikn I'll refer to it often!!!

  9. You're brilliant. I need to do this.

    Instead, I'll go hide in a corner.

  10. Ok I'm going to check back and see how this digital thing goes for you. I think I would like it too and it sure SEEMS like I could actually get some scrapbooking done without my kiddos getting into everything!

  11. What a great post breaking down scrap booking online! Impressive. and helpful.

  12. Holy COW!!!! This post was spectacular! I saved it already, so I can keep referring back to it. Thank you so much!

  13. Good information! I've really gotten into the digital scrapbooking though I haven't ordered a book yet. I've heard that artscow.com makes good books and they are cheap... you even get a few for free just for signing up. Haven't tried it myself though.

  14. I LOVE Creative Memories Storybook Creator!It is really easy and the quality of the books is GREAT! I got my software through a friend at www.mycmsite.com/michellebaldwin.There are a few pages I did with it from my disney album on my blog. Have fun it is addicting!

  15. I choose digital scrapbooking - I can't bear the thought of cutting my photos (it's a quirk)! But with digital, it's like the best of both worlds!

    Check out scrapgirls.com. They have cool stuff.

  16. Oh My Heart! I am so impressed with your hard work & all the awesome information you shared! I copied and saved your post in my documents!!!
    I so needed a start point. I have probably a couple thousand dollars worth of scrapbooking supplies and yet it seems digital is the way to go now.
    Ashley, you really are a talented sweetheart.

  17. I just made a book from Blurb...I love it..it was wonderful!
    -sandy toe

  18. Wow, you are an incredible organizer, Ashley! Will you come to my house and organize everything? I will promptly unorganize everything when you leave. ;) I guess you could say I sort of started the digital scrapbooking thing. I only got so far as 5 disks of saving images on 'em. It's a start! Great ideas though!

  19. Thank you so much for sharing this info. I am definitely going to try it. I am so behind with my scrapbooking.

  20. I'm over here from Thrifty Decor Chick and I love your blog so far! This is such useful stuff! I love digital scrapbooking. I was looking up photobook sites and to add to your list I think Viovio! is going to be a good one too. Thanks for the post!

  21. Hey! Thank you so much for this! I actually just got into digital scrapbooking a little over a year ago and found another awesome site for freebies.


    I've also made a book that gives detailed instructions on how to make full colored scrapbooks for 20 cents a page! Digital scrapbooking is the best, I totally agree with you!

    Jessica Christiansen

  22. Thanks for all the info!!! I have 3albums I have been working on for a while. I've been lagging and no motivation. I am definately going digital.

  23. I just recently started digi scraping and love it. My favorite go to site for FREE downloads is www.summertimedesign.blogspot.com. I LOVE LOVE LOVE every one of her kits. Check it out - you won't be disappointed.

  24. I use blurb and love it. The price is unbeatable. The pages are double sided. I pay a bit extra for the image wrapped cover and like it. They have a new option to upgrade paper quality that I want to try next round. The regular paper quality is average compared to the other options, so I'm curious to know what the nicer option yields.

  25. I love your review of the book companies! This is my first year of going digital too. One digital supply company that I LOVE is:


    Their style is TOTALLY my style!

  26. I LOVE digital scrapbooking ever since I found it 2 years ago.

    Lots of great freebies, tutorials and help, friendly forums out there.

    I also love the instant shopping - you can spot a kit, pay and download it, and be using it within a few minutes....but dangerous for the paypal account!

    I recommend Ikea Goddess for great selection of daily freebies, and DST for a great gallery where you can post any digi-layouts irrespective of what kits you have used.

  27. I love digital scrapbooking but it takes time! I love the endless possibilities though. I built my mom's blog www.scottishtoile.blogspot.com with photoshop and free embelishments :-)

  28. I use Photoshop Elementstodomy digital scrapbooks. I have yet to buy one kit. Everything I use is FREE or my friendwho hasmoney to burn will buy the kits and she just uploads them onto my external hard drive. I love it. But Iwas looking at your post and that is pretty cheap for blurb. Is that 12X 12 sheets? Great site. I love it. Youre so creative!

  29. I went digital for a while, and I love it for the "no mess" thing but I prefer traditional scrapbooking. I like the 3-Dness, but I still do both :)

  30. thank you for this!! the information is SOOOO helpful!

    i need to get my scrapbooking more organized.

    i love the published photo books. thanks for the info on that also. just curious, did you do research on snapfish? i have ordered a book there before, they are good. i think i will try blurb next time though.


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