How to Start Digital Scrapbooking

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

April 25, 2017

I recently hosted two live broadcasts on Facebook about digital scrapbooking. The first focused on the “state of the craft” and how digital fits into the larger industry. The second connected my new rules of scrapbooking to digital crafting, focusing on how the choices you make can lead to feeling unmotivated.

Both were geared more towards women who have some experience with digital scrapbooking, so I wanted to take a moment to step back and focus on how to get started with this approach. Here are some of the basics to help you start digital scrapbooking:

How to Start Digital Scrapbooking

What is digital scrapbooking?

Digital scrapbooking is the creative process of uniting photos, words, and supplies using your computer. The end result can look much like a traditional scrapbook page or quite different, depending on the scrapbooker’s tastes and preferences.

Where can I buy digital supplies?

My favorite 100% digital shops are The Lilypad and Sweet Shoppe Designs. If you like Ali Edwards, she has a variety of digital supplies as well. (If you have a favorite, leave it in the comments below.)

What software should I use for digital scrapbooking?

Most digital scrapbookers user Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements to create scrapbook pages. Photoshop is more sophisticated and can be purchased for as little as $9.99/month. Photoshop Elements (commonly referred to as PSE) is more user-friendly and does not require a subscription payment.

How do you use layered templates?

Layered templates are one of the best ways to get started with digital scrapbooking. The key to using digital scrapbooking templates is understanding layers and clipping masks. This video tutorial from our archives can help you get started:

Are there apps for digital scrapbooking?

Your computer is best suited for creating digital layouts, but the Project Life app is a popular solution for creating pocket-style pages.

How do you print digital pages?

Completed digital pages are generally saved as a JPG file and then printed with a mail order service like Persnickety Prints. Many digital scrapbookers prefer to print individual pages rather than waiting to print an entire bound book.

Where do you store digital items?

Digital scrapbook supplies are files, generally JPGs (digital paper) and transparent PNGs (embellishments). Thus you would store them like any other files on your computer, in folders. I prefer to store my photos, digital supplies, and digital pages separately.

What is hybrid scrapbooking?

Hybrid has always been a catch-all to mean a lot of different ways of using your computer for scrapbooking. Printing a word art overlay on a photo is technically hybrid. Today I’m seeing the most hybrid work being done with printing Project Life cards.

How does Lightroom fit into this?

Adobe Lightroom is photo management and editing software. While you can use this software to organize digital scrapbooking supplies, and even create photo books, you can’t create layered scrapbook pages with Lightroom.

How do you start digital scrapbooking?

The best way to begin is by practicing and finding additional answers as you need them. If you would like to take a class, I recommend Digital Scrapbooking for Beginners at Scrapaneers. It’s free!

Have a question about how to start digital scrapbooking? Leave a comment below.

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4 Comments

  1. Jamie

    Check out http://www.pixelscrappers.com. i like their digital products. Also you can use GIMP to try out digital scrapbooking as it is free software that is very similiar to PSE.

    Reply
  2. Honore´

    Years ago -mid 2000s – I tried my hand at digital scrapping and totally flubbed. Just today – 7May – I added to my list: “learn to digiscrap.” And then read this post. Serendipity. It’s a great primer for getting started – thank you Jennifer. You are a fairy godmother!
    Cheers~

    Reply
  3. Melissa D Snyder

    Can I create project life like pages using Lightroom? I’m using PSE 14 but it is constantly hanging and it took me all day to make one page. I see this complaint online so I don’t think it’s just me. You mention “you can’t create layered scrapbook pages with Lightroom.” but I was under the impression that I could.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      No, you can’t do layered digital scrapbooking in Lightroom. The closest you can get is using the Book module in Lightroom Classic to create very simple photos and words pages. PSE 14 isn’t that old, so it sounds like it’s a computer issue. Lightroom wouldn’t solve that and would likely be more “resource intensive” when it comes to your computer.

      Reply

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  1. Traditional Vs. Digital Scrapbooking - Tiffany Reed Crafts - […] images and designs. You can download templates and whip up a scrapbook page or card in no time. Simple…

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