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Digital Scrapbooking For Beginners

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New to digital scrapbooking? Don’t worry, everybody has to start somewhere! Today I wanted to share some tips, ideas, and basics for how to get started with digital scrapbooking as a beginner.

Whether you’re just starting to go digital, or even if you plan on going paper or even doing a little bit of both, my hope is this post will guide you through some great ideas and inspiration and share important tips.

I’ll also tell you what lessons I’ve learned over the past 10 years of scrapbooking so you can avoid the same mistakes I made!

There are a number of ways to learn quickly how to scrapbook – whether digitally or with paper. The secret? Knowing what you need to learn first!

Here are some digital scrapbook for beginners tips:

Step 1: Find Some Inspiration and Decide What You Like

There are TONS of different scrapbooking styles and methods. The first thing I suggest you do is spend some time looking at Pinterest to get some inspiration and have a starting place so you do not feel completely overwhelmed staring at a blank screen!

Type in “Scrapbooking Layouts” in the search bar, and start pinning away all the different scrapbook layouts that catch your eye.

Once you’ve made a board that has anywhere from 25-50 pins, you’re ready to start looking through them and identifying what you like about each page you pinned. Is it the color scheme? The layout of the pictures? The embellishments? The journaling? The photo effects?

This will help you decide what kind of style you want to achieve and make it way easier to know what kind of digital scrapbooking supplies you need and exactly what techniques you should be learning.

You’ll find the longer you scrapbook, the more your style and tastes will evolve and change – but that’s okay. You have to start somewhere!


Step 2: Learn Your Software Program

There are many different types of scrapbooking software programs out there that you can use.

I personally think you can scrapbook with ANY kind of software…but there are some types of software programs that just make scrapbooking a LOT more fun and easier once you know how you use them!

Today I primarily recommend most beginner scrapbookers to use either Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements. {Read more about why I use Photoshop for Scrapbooking here}

These graphics programs may seem a bit daunting at first when you first get started, but once you learn them you will realize just how much more creative freedom and control you have to create almost anything.

I believe it is worth learning these programs – not only will you be able to edit your photos in amazing ways and create those stunning layouts – but you’ll use it for many other things also!

We have several Photoshop tutorials here that may be useful for you:

You can also find many, many step by step video instructions to use this program.


Step 3: Choose a Digital Scrapbooking Kit

Digital scrapbooking kits are downloadable files of image graphics, typically .png and .jpg images compressed into a .zip file for easier downloading. This format makes it possible to use the graphics for papers and embellishments in a variety of programs.

Here at Scrapvine we have many free digital scrapbooking kits you can download to use to create your scrapbook with.

When I’m choosing a kit to work with, I look for these things:

  • Colors: What colors are going to coordinate well with my photos? Or, what colors draw me in?
  • Theme of Kit: Take some time to look through your photos – would an all-purpose kit work best or would you do better with say a holiday or special occasion themed kit?

One thing to look out for as a beginner is to make sure your digital scrapbooking supplies are high resolution and high quality graphics. If you use low resolution graphics or the images are blurry, pixelated or have jagged edges your designs will not look as sharp when printed.


Step 4: Start With a Free Digital Scrapbooking Template

Templates are basically a starting place for creating a layout. You don’t have to use a template if you’re comfortable with your software and know what you want to create – but if you’re new to digital scrapbooking a template is awesome!

It takes the guesswork out of creating a digiscrap layout, and it really helps those who are digital scrapbook beginners get a huge head start in creating.

All you’ll need to do is download the template, unzip, and start working with it! There are many sources to find free Photoshop Digital Scrapbooking templates. You can download one to get started with {and watch a video tutorial} in our post about How to Use Digital Scrapbooking Templates.


Step 5: Save Your Work

After you finish your layout make sure you save your work! You’ll probably want to save the editable PSD file in case you decide to make any changes – as well as a flattened .jpg image file that can be uploaded to any printing or photobook site.

Also, you’re going to want to make sure if you download any digital scrapbooking supplies that you keep backups of them. Dropbox is great for this, you can also get cloud storage or an external hard drive if you prefer that.


Here are some of the important lessons I’ve learned from my past mistakes:

1. Concentrate on the memory keeping, not the design:

I love pretty layouts. But I also have to be realistic – if I want to capture the memory, I don’t have hours to design a page from scratch. Sometimes simple is better.

2. Play around. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!

Mistakes are the best way to learn, and one of the beautiful things about creating digitally is there is always the “Undo” and “Step Backwards” Buttons!

3. Always proofread your pages:

Before you send your pages to the printer, you’ll want to make sure you proof them for any spelling errors, red eye, etc. etc.

4. Never Stop Learning:

I love learning new techniques, and yes, after 10 years designing in Photoshop I very much am still learning new things!

When you are always learning it helps you find new ways to become more efficient and productive when working with your software. The more you learn will also help you gain confidence and find your own unique personal style for scrapbooking!


Getting started with digital scrapbooking is a lot of fun and not that difficult to do. Like any new skill, you just need to jump in and start practicing! It may be some trial and error before you are 100% happy with your pages, but they will turn out great the more you learn.

Have any tips for scrapbooking for beginners you’d like to share? We’d love to hear your comments below!

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1 thought on “Digital Scrapbooking For Beginners”

  1. My sister would like to have her photos scanned so she may start making her digital scrapbook. Well, thank you for sharing here that she may use various types of styles and methods. It’s a good thing that you clarified here the importance of opting for the right colors that will coordinate with her photos.

    Reply

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