What is Digitial Scrapbooking?

I’m going to disagree with WikiPedia on this one… [I wander how controversial that is?!]

According to WikiPedia, a scrapbook is a method of preserving family and personal history and memorabilia in a scrapbook. That seems basic enough doesn’t it? – Its about you, your family, moments in your life or things you treasure and you keep it in a book. – This book is usually decorated (or as we say in Scrapbooking (and quilting, beading, jewellery making and probably lots of other art and crafts)) – embellished.

That part I agree with. They then say that if the book is entirely digital it’s Digital Scrapbooking, this part I disagree with. To me, and I think to a lot of other Digital Scrappers, it’s the content of the book and where it originated from that is ‘digital’ and the material of the book itself is quite irrelevant.  I would hate to think that when I print out a hard copy of my Digital Scrapbooking Creation it is no longer Digital Scrapbooking.  So my definition is when the scrapbook is created in a digital environment with digital content, it’s digital Scrapbooking.

There are 3 different categories of Scrapbooking:

  1. Paper Scrapbooking – The traditional original version
  2. Digital Scrapbooking – As discussed above
  3. Hybrid Scrapbooking – A combination of 1. and 2. in one item

Getting Started with Digital Scrapbooking
In order to get started with Digital Scrapbooking, you need to have software that will help to Scrap digitally; you need to have scrapbooking elements (or kits) to digiscrap with and you need to dive in.

Software for digital scrapbooking come in all sorts of flavours, there are scrapbooking services online that allow you to plop your photos onto pre-existing templates and are more about being a printing service than a scrapbooking service. There are scrapbooking sharing services online that also provide pre-existing templates and printing, but are more social in relation to sharing your layouts and scrapbooks with others – Like Flickr is for photo-sharing.  There are software that only allow or facilitate Scrapbooking, which are generally very easy to use and a great option for those who are not particularly comfortable with computers, but can be very limiting for someone extremely creative who has an idea in their head that their software is entirely incapable of delivering. There are entry level photo/graphic editing software which have reasonable price tags and in some cases ship free with camera packages, that most scrapbookers who would like to have a play and get into digi scrapping would be comfortable with.  I personally use a high end graphics editing package called Adobe Photoshop CS3.  The latest version of the software is CS5, but I have not upgraded yet.  I will be writing lots of software specific tutorials for Digital Scrapbooking, so if you do not have Photoshop (in one of it’s forms) the rest of the tutorials may not be quite appropriate for you.

I am not affiliated with Adobe in anyway, it just happens to be the software I own, and what I am comfortable with.  If you know of good tutorial sites that relate other software, feel free to let me know and I can add a link to resources for those who use other software.

Getting Free Digital Scrapbooking Kits and Elements

There are lots of sites online that offer either individual elements for free or entire page kits for free. I would do a Google Search for Free Digital Scrapbooking Kits and have a look around to see what you like.  Some designers who sell their work sometimes offer freebies on their blogs. Some digital Scrapbooking Forums, offer you a free kit when you sign up and register at their site.

When I first started looking I almost filled up my hard drive with oodles and oodles of both good and bad but free digital elements and resources. I spent so much time getting all the freebies and organising them on my hard drive, that I didn’t end up touching them or starting to do any scrapbooking for several months after because I was totally overwhelmed by the quantities styles and what exactly I needed to do.  Some of you, (like me) will probably not be able to help yourself, so go for it, whatever makes you smile at the end of the day is good!

What I suggest (do as I say not as I do!) is that you find a few nice free kits you like and then start to play with them.

My Suggestions for Freebies:

  • The Digital Scrapbook Place – you will need to register in the forum to access the freebies, there is a freebie section with downloads, I think as a new member you are also sent a link to free welcome kit, and every purchase at the store gets an additional bonus item, that changes each week. There is also a 99c Page Kit on special each week, this also changes. – To look at the Freebies click on The Place in the top menu and select Freebies
  • Shabby Princess – if you click on downloads (in the top left corner of the header) this will take you to the page with free kits available for download.
  • Peppermint Creative – Select Free from the top menu. I think the Peppermint Creative Freebies are rotated so depending on when you have a look you would be able to access a different freebies.

Like, I said, I nearly filled up my hard drive! – It was a while ago now that I started (I think 4 years) so I forget what size my Hard Drive was, but there was still a very large amount of items available.  I am very partial to The Digital Scrapbook Place and almost exclusively scrap only with items created by their designers, but to follow along with my tutorials, there will not be a prerequisite to use any specific site’s elements.  I am an extremely loyal customer (whether it comes to where I buy my bread and milk, get my eyebrows waxed or in this case, purchase my Digi Scrapping kits) and it would take a huge amount (usually) for me to defect to some other provider. But that is me, you may not be like that, and it doesn’t matter, I think I said before, whatever makes you smile, is good!

So go get your freebies and then (well hopefully since I haven’t actually written any of the other tutorials just yet) come back and follow along, learn some and if you know better cooler things, teach some too!

Scrapbooking Terms:

Scrapbooking Layout – A single page in a Scrapbook, this can be any size and does not even have to be in a book it can be just one page

Beyond the Page – Something that is embellished using Scrapbooking Methods but is not really part of a book – Photo Frames, Vessels, Key Rings, Storage, etc.

Journalling – (seen spelled Journaling, but my British English does not want me to type it with 1 l for some reason…) refers to the story telling part of your layout, where you explain what the layout is about and what it means to you.  Some layouts can contain nothing other than journalling

Crop – (or cropping) refers to a group of Scrappers (Scrapbookers) who have come together to all work together socially on their own Scrapbooking projects. This can also be referred to as a Digi Crop or a Laptop Crop which would make those crops digital specific.

Faithbook – A faithbook is a scrapbook that is created with one’s Faith in mind and related in its entiret to one’s Faith

Art Journal – An art journal to me is essentially a Scrapbook Diary, but as it has it roots in more traditional mixed media, some artists may be offended with their Art Journal’s being referred to as Scrapbooks. Art Journals usually have a tendency to be more inward looking and highly personal.

As I think of more definitions or Digital Scrapbooking eccentricities I will add to this page, if you have a question relating to this content, please feel free to leave a comment or to contact me.