Scrapbooking Without Breaking the Bank

I love scrapbooking. Although I am not an incredibly artistic person, there is this great joy I get from creating a beautiful page with photos of my friends and family, highlighting my memories of special times. Seeing some of the prices of scrapbook supplies, scrapbooking can seem like a rich person’s hobby. However, my husband and I have a very modest income, and I have no problem financing my scrapbooking hobby because I keep it cheap. Following are some ways to create awesome scrapbooks without spending a lot of money.

Digital Saves!

If you haven’t already, it is time to go digital with your photography! If you bring a roll of traditional 35 mm film to a special event, you will probably take about two dozen pictures. You then end up paying to develop the whole roll, while you will probably only use at most 10 pictures in your scrapbook pages about that event. If you use a digital camera, you can go through the pictures on your computer and pick just the ones you want to use in your scrapbook pages, significantly reducing the cost of your prints.

Print Only The Photos You Will Use!

Along those lines, it is important to realize that you don’t have to print hundreds of pictures to scrapbook a few events. Many people are under the misunderstanding that to develop digital photos, you must take the memory card in and print every photo on it. That is absolutely not true! Plus, if you are taking that memory card to a fancy photo developer, you are probably paying far too much. There are many websites online where you can upload your photos, choosing to order prints of only the ones you want. There are sites such as and where they will mail the prints to you, but that means paying shipping. To cut costs even further, you can go through a local store website, such as,, or Through these sites, you can upload the photos and order prints to be picked up at the location nearest you, eliminating shipping costs. I highly recommend While I will not use Walmart for traditional photo developing (the negatives have often been damaged), the quality of their digital printing is just great, and they can be picked up 1 hour after ordering for about the same cost as other stores charge for next day pick up.

Save Greeting Cards, Gift Bags, and Other Mementos For Use in Your Pages.

Some of my favorite scrapbook pages have been made using accents that I have created from greeting cards and other such things that you would often throw away. Sometimes, the cover of a greeting card will have a decorative border around the text, and these are great to use as frames for photos. Just cut the text out of the center and replace it with a photo. You can also use clips from gift bags as a background for photos, or cut strips to make a nice trim on the edge of your page. Save everything you can from that event, because you never know what might look neat on a page. I have even used ticket stubs or event wristbands to trim the bottom of a scrapbook page. I took a cardboard coaster from a restaurant we visited on a vacation to Washington D.C., and used it as a background for a photo of us eating at the restaurant. Be creative! These things are all free and will add a unique and personal touch to your scrapbook pages!

When You Do Need To Buy Scrapbook Supplies, Shop Around and Buy Cheap!

If you like to scrapbook, visiting a scrapbook supply store can be like a trip to Disneyland. The huge assortment and variety of stickers, papers, die cuts, and specialty scissors is exhilarating! However, the prices are a lot like Disneyland too- expensive. Only at Disneyland would you pay $5.00 for a soda pop, and only at a scrapbook specialty store will you $5.00 for a pack for three stickers. My best recommendation is to go to scrapbook stores primarily for inspiration. Make a list of things that you saw that you would like to have, and then shop for them elsewhere, or figure out ways that you can create the same thing on your own.

There are many places that you can buy cheap scrapbooking supplies. Okay, they may not always be cheap, but they are usually cheaper than scrapbooking stores. Places like Michael’s or other craft stores usually have a few aisles of scrapbooking supplies for fairly reasonable prices. You can also look at just regular art supplies at places like a local drugstore. This may be a great place to buy things like glue sticks; just make sure they are always photo safe and acid free. Another place that you can find cheap scrapbooking supplies is at Walmart. In their craft section, which is usually somewhere in the back of the store near the fabric, they have a variety of scrapbook stickers, vellum papers, background papers, and other accents and scrapbook toys for a fraction of the price of scrapbook stores or even craft stores. It is by far my favorite place to buy scrapbooking supplies!

Scrapbooking is so much fun, and such a wonderful way to hold onto memories, but you don’t need to break the bank to do it. Just be creative in your purchases!

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