In early 2009, nearly two years ago now, I wrote two posts that have been very popular over the years. In these I shared 7 essential plus 6 more essential supplies for digital scrapbooking.
A few weeks ago a reader commented that some of the links were outdated – as designers have moved or retired. Since many people come into scrapbooking, particularly digital, this time of year, I thought this would be a perfect time to update that list. In this post, I’ll share my revised list of essentials including updated picks and links for my favorites.
10 Must-Haves for Digital Scrapbooking
1. Photos that speak to you
Without photos or at least a story in hand, your scrapbook page is simply a collage. Choose to keep your images organized to be able to honor your memories when the inspiration strikes.
2. A great handwriting font
Sometimes I’ll use a classic serif or sans serif font on a digital page, but most of the time I go for the semi-messy look of handwritten journaling. The Fonts for Peas collection from Kevin & Amanda is my go-to source for endless choices in fun, girly handwriting. If you want your own font, however, I will always recommend Darcy Baldwin at the Sweet Shoppe.
3. Neutral textured paper
If you didn’t paper scrapbook before coming to digital, you may not initially appreciate a perfect crisp solid card stock. While there are many options across the community, Katie Pertiet is known for her classic paper collection.
4. A classy alpha
Many digital kits come with customized alphas, but they are not always as timeless as say, Thickers are to a paper scrapbooker. Look for simple, neutral alphabets that are easily recolored, like these from Sahlin Studio.
5. Several fresh but timeless kits
I like to build my stash with colorful, well designed products in a range of themes. While I have many go-to designers, my never-fail sources for freshness are Sweet Shoppe Designs, The Digichick and The Lilypad. Look for funky collections that stretch your imagination as well as timeless basics you can use again and again!
I Keep Believing by La Grier
ABCs & 123s by Sugarplum Paperie
6. Photoshop Elements
I used to recommend that you should get the software the meets your needs and fits your budget. With Photoshop Elements under $100 (or less with rebates and/or education discounts), there is no reason to beat around the bush. PSE is the industry standard for consumer-level photo editing and digital creativity. While there are nice software packages for digital scrapbooking, no other tool will allow you to do so much and have such a wide user community to support you. If you need training, I recommend Scrappers Workshop or Everyday Elements Online.
7. A source of inspiration
Everyone could use a little kick start now and again to get the ideas flowing. Do you enjoy seeing other peoples layouts? Do you love to read blogs? Does the discipline of a class feed your needs? Identify what fires you up and follow that path, regularly. I’m appreciating the classes at Shimelle.com for being about the stories, not the technique or the products.
8. Digital stitching
Give me some stitching and I’m a happy girl. No other embellishment can take a page from blah to wow with less work. Traci Reed has been a long-time favorite source for stitches, but I am over the moon for stitches from Anna Aspnes these days.
9. Other little bits
I used to think I didn’t need to buy element packs, since many of these basics can be found in coordinated digital kits. While a well-tagged digital scrapbooker might find this workable, my simple organizing approach says something else. I can’t think of one store that really pops out, as I am seeing more and more collections of basic embellishments that could adorn any scrapbook page.
Time Classic Stamps from Studio Tangie
Vintage Date Tickets from Kathryn Wilson Designs
I’m not quite sure why layered templates didn’t make my first two lists – as I find these completely essential for digital scrapbooking. (You all get so many free templates here because I like to make my own templates before making a page.) For simple templates with less-whitespace and more memories, I’m liking Oscraps as a great shopping destination. These two products particularly caught my eye:
Art Starts 13-16 by Aja Abney
Inspire Me Sketches 1 by Kitty Designs
You left off wordart….even though it really is a simple addition…TITLES and journaling really makes the page personal.
Oh most definitely – while I didn’t state it explicitly, I was including word art in “other little bits”.
Great post! Just the type of info that Newbies like me need. Thanks!
Thank you Jennifer! That was a great post indeed…I love the Time Digital Stamps at 1st sight! 🙂
Thanks! some of these sites are new to me and I try to cruise the links folks leave pretty thoroughly. Its soo helpful to get insight into how others go about things!
Fabulous list. I found some new faves from your list of essentials! Thanks!
I love the stitching sets from Chelle’s Creations. Real stitching and holes too – on seperate layers.
Thanks you for the mention!! These are all such great basic products.