Scrapping on a Shoestring Budget

Scrapbooking has become a national pastime; it is no longer just a fad. Women (primarily) are archiving their favorite photos in beautiful scrapbooks. Now, your photo albums reside on the coffee table, in guest bedrooms and other places, instead of in big bulky photo albums which used to be stored away and seldom looked at.

It’s wonderful to be able to safely save (archive) photos of your family and friends. Where pictures used to age, now they can be creatively and safely passed on to future generations.

But, you can spend a lot of money, really a lot, to archive your favorite pictures. Here are some ways to keep those costs down.

Instead of buying those expensive (but beautiful) albums at your favorite scrapbook store, look for them at office supply stores, Wal Mart, etc. In August, these binders will probably be on sale as “back to school” items. Then, take them and cover them in fabric – remember the beautifully covered recipe books that were popular about 20-25 years ago. It’s the same premise – just follow similar instructions for covering your new “scrapbook” binder. I remember a gorgeous wedding album, on the front it had a padded picture frame. My mother bought it at a craft show for my cousin as a shower gift.

Or, for a very casual look (camping scrapbook, sports scrapbook, etc.), choose a heavy cardboard like binder cover – you can then use rubber stamps (you’ll need to embossing powder & a heat gun) to decorate. Or perhaps, laminate the front & back covers with theme page to match the scrapbook.

Check out the prices of the sheet protectors at places other than your favorite scrapbook store. You’ll have to buy them by the box instead of individually but you’ll save a lot of money. I’m a salesperson so I’ve always used these sheet protectors to keep my marketing one sheets looking nice. (I live in a very hot area, so if these pages aren’t protected properly, the print melts and they’re unusable.)

Then, make your own die cuts. “My” scrapbook store has dozens of dies and I enjoy going in there and cutting my die cuts. This is a tremendous savings! You can get a lot of die cuts out of a page of card stock. In fact, since the owner is a good friend, I sometimes go in and cut die cuts for her store stock. Remember to use the smaller scraps of paper for tiny die cuts – golf ball tees, tiny Christmas lights, etc.

Use card stock in various colors for some of your background pages. At the lower per sheet cost, this can save you quite a bit of money. And, I use CS for backgrounds for my pictures.

I also create most of my captions on my computer using various decorate fonts and different colored inks. Sometimes, I’ll use mulberry paper as a background behind a specific caption.

Don’t buy all your supplies at a scrapbook store. Check your weekly newspaper for coupons off on larger items – paper cutter, scissors, cutting mats, etc. Consider buying basic paper from stores like Michael’s and such. But, do check out the prices on your supplies at the scrapbook stores. “My” store is cheaper on almost all products I use.

Take advantage of any activities your local scrapbook store(s) might have where you can go in and use their tools and just pay for the supplies you buy. A nearby store does a “Friday Night Out” twice a month. The gals bring soft drinks and snacks & enjoy visiting while they scrap. It’s also a way to see other scrapbooks and get great ideas for your own.

If your stores don’t do that, consider setting up your own get-together to scrap with friends. Have everyone bring their scissors, glue, etc & you provide the drinks and snacks. Again, you’ll get great ideas from each other, enjoy visit while scrapping and be able to use tools you don’t have. Label your scissors and other items so they don’t get lost when everyone is packing up at the end of the evening.

Happy scrappin!

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