An Additive Hobby
Scrapbooking is a crafty hobby that thousands of people of all ages have discovered. Although the actual practice came into play in the 1800s, it has only recently become a huge franchise. You might scrapbook pictures of vacations, family and friends, kids’ drawings, heirlooms or mementos, just to name a few. In this day and age there are tons of ideas in books and the Internet to help you set up beautiful pages. The only problem with this fun craft is the cost: If you buy supplies nearly every month, as I do, you’ll notice that the price of paper, stickers, lettering, and albums can add up to a huge sum.
It doesn’t have to be that way! You don’t have to give up scrapbooking to save money; just be creative! There are many ways you can make your own scrapbook supplies without having to empty your pocket, AND feel better about your pages because you know you created them yourself!
What You Will Need
– – – – A thrifty mind
– – – – A color printer
– – – – Scissors, either plain or with decorative edges
– – – – Acid-free glue
– – – – Magazine, old wallpaper books, brochures, etc.
– – – – A scanner
Scrapbooking Tips For a Happier Wallet
#1: The most expensive scrapbook items may be the papers that make up the basis of the page. Find out if you or anyone you know might have wallpaper sample books lying around, or see if your local craft stores may have discarded some. Sometimes businesses will give these books away free if they no longer have use for them. These papers cut easily and look beautiful in a scrapbook when cut to the size of your album
#2: Forget fancy frames! Construction paper in various colors makes bright and cheery backgrounds for your favorite pictures. If you’re artsy, try splattering the construction paper with paint or cheap gold stars. This way, you’ll have your own unique backdrops without having to spend extra on already-made frames
#3: Stickers make up a huge part of scrapbooking, off-setting pictures and bringing excitement to the page. You can find endless varieties of “homemade” stickers just by going through old magazines and brochures. Find pictures you like, such as flowers, trees, children playing, or animals, cut around the corners, and glue on just like a sticker. It will be extra special because you used your creativity to make your stickers
#4: Many people make reprints of photos in order to keep the original intact; while this is a good idea, it isn’t necessary every time. With some glossy photo paper and a scanner, you can scan in a picture, crop it to your liking, and print out the copies for scrapbooking use. This glossy paper is what professional companies use to create pictures that look just like the originals
#5: Photo corners, although they can be bought cheap, add up if you buy sheets of various colors. You can make your own photo corners! Cut a corner off a discarded piece of paper and then use it as a guide to cut three more the same size. You will have the effect of patterned photo corners without having to buy the more expensive patterned kind. You can use plain paper for solid color designs as well
#6: This may sound strange, but, it’s all about the wrapping paper! There are many possibilities here, especially for holiday-themed pages. Find some discarded but unwrinkled wrapping paper. Cut out the shape of a tag, place a white piece of paper in the middle and cut it the same shape but somewhat smaller than the tag, and the wrapping paper will create a cheery border for your tag. This will look so professional, no one will know you didn’t spend extra. Wrapping paper also works for frames and photo corners. Get creative!
#7: Lettering is one of the biggest expenses. If you are like me, you always seem to run out of “a’s” and “s’s” first, and it doesn’t seem wise to buy a whole lettering kit just to replace a few letters! If you’re willing to take a little extra time, open a program such as Microsoft Word, and type out the letters you will need for your page in different heights and fonts. You can make these letters different colors as well. Print the letters, cut them out, and glue! This is where it comes very much in handy to have a color printer!
#8: Think office supplies. In your local Wal-Mart or most other chain stores, they’ll probably have a paper supplies section. The circles used to put around punched holes to reinforce them come in different colors. You can use them for photo corners or fun page accents. You might be able to find small white tags for business packages here, too. With some acid-free pens you can write on or decorate these to your liking
#9: Magazines can also come in handy for lettering. Find big words or letters that pertain to the page you’re working on in magazines or catalogues, and scrap ’em. No lettering or color printer necessary, and the effect is cool and unique. If you’re a traveler, use words from brochures or travel packets that mention the place you are scrapbooking
#10: These days, you can find albums already decorated, or with picture frames in the front, and of course these are very expensive. You can buy a plain scrapbook and still decorate the cover fashionably! You can use rub-on transfers of butterflies, animals, people, flowers, or many other things. If it’s a travel scrapbook, use brochure pictures or some of your own to decorate the cover. If it’s a family book, use tiny pictures of friends and relatives!