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AfriGeneas Heritage Arts & Crafts Forum

Scrapbook hobbyists go digital

Scrapbook hobbyists go digital
By Jennifer Forker
Associated Press
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Denver —- Scrapbooking has gone digital, and so have all those little, decorative bits and pieces.

Although paper scrapbooking is still thriving, the digital option has attracted a new range of crafters, from men —- many of whom think paper scrapbooking is too precious for them —- to women who can’t commit to the paper process.

For the novice, these formatted photo books are the way to begin.

The 12-by-12-inch books are the costliest (beginning at $59.99 at Shutterfly, $49.99 at Snapfish, and $79.95 at Creative Memories), and they are best reserved for special events such as weddings and “new baby” books. All three of these companies offer a less expensive 8-by-8-inch format, and Snapfish offers a 5-by-7-inch “paperback” (starting at $11.99) for documenting family vacations and other events that don’t quite merit a large cash outlay.

A smaller Web company, Smilebox, offers scrapbooking and e-cards with a multimedia twist: Customers can animate their Web-based scrapbook pages with music and video clips.

“It’s really easy,” Dosios said. “Everything is supposed to happen in a couple of clicks.”

That’s the key to digital scrapbooking for those who’ve fallen for it: It’s flexible, portable, potentially inexpensive —- and clutter-free.

“It’s good to get rid of the clutter,” said Brentnall, who scrapbooks professionally on her Web site,

Digital scrapbooking allows enthusiasts to save their work on a Web site, which provides a little insurance: Another book can be printed if the original is lost or damaged. Also, extra copies can be printed for family and friends.

“These are not irreplaceable things any more,” Brentnall said.

Digital scrapbooking can be as addictive and time-consuming as paper scrapping. Kits full of formats, typefaces and embellishments can be bought and downloaded.

“You can get carried away in either method,” said Ali Edwards, a graphic designer who creates scrapbooking artwork for “That whole hording mentality, which happens in paper, is going to happen in digital scrapbooking as well.”

Will digital scrapping one day sideline the paper scrapbooking so many women enjoy? Not according to Brentnall.


The pros concur that novices should start digital scrapbooking the easy way: Make a photo book first.

Most online photo sharing and printing companies offer this simple option, which involves uploading your pictures to a Web site, then dropping them into preformatted pages. Most services will allow you to print individual pages, too, for just a few dollars each.

Once you can handle that, it’s time to move on to open-format scrapbooking, in which you start with an empty page. Again, the various online companies, such as Snapfish, Shutterfly, Creative Memories and Smilebox, can help. They offer formats and embellishments, some for free.

Because it’s the Internet, there are thousands of digital-scrapbook suppliers out there. Savannah Brentnall, a professional digital scrapper in Los Angeles, recommends the tutorials at for getting started.

Find digital scrapping Web sites that you like, and watch them for sales and coupons. Katie Pertiet, the owner and lead designer at, recommends downloading free items from her site’s “freebie gallery” to try them.

Pertiet recommends and her accompanying blog (http://spraguelab.square for a beginner’s guide, online classes and inspiration.

Digi-scrapper Erin Clayton of Alton, N.H., has these suggestions:, and Then there’s Gallery Standouts (, which showcases scrapbooking as an art form.

If frustration sets in, the major players in digital scrapbooking have got your back: Free online help.

Messages In This Thread

[SCRAPBOOKING] Scrapbooking Layouts
Re: [SCRAPBOOKING] Scrapbooking Layouts
Scrapbook hobbyists go digital

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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