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!