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10 Ways to Save Money On Scrapbooking

Updated on April 4, 2014
A fully assembled scrapbook album is such a fun finished project! Hopefully it didn't cost too much money!
A fully assembled scrapbook album is such a fun finished project! Hopefully it didn't cost too much money! | Source

The popularity of scrapbooking rises and falls, but it seems the cost of scrapbooking supplies continually climbs. Scrapbooking is fun, it's an expression of creativity, it's a social hobby if you wish, and it preserves memories. But it can also break your bank if you're not careful!

Purchasing scrapbooking paper and stickers and scissors and glue, pop-dots and punches and stamps and more -- it all adds up fairly quickly. And it's addictive! The scrapbooking supplies available are just so precious in how cute they are. It's quite tempting to buy all new scrapbook supplies for every page. But follow some basic tips and save your money while still getting cute, cool, creative scrapbook pages.

Paper Piecing

Get adorable three dimensional scrapbooking embellishments without the cost of those expensive 3D stickers!

The scrapbooking stickers' aisle in your craft store may be one of the most dangerous territories for a scrapbooker to venture into. Temptation abounds. Especially when you see those precious packs of dimensional art, all ready to be stuck on your page without any need for glue or scissors. They've got stickers for every season, every major life event, even some day to day activities.

But you can create replicas of these dimensional stickers all on your own! They may not look exactly the same but they'll be just as cute and made from scraps, which is a perfect fit for your cheap scrapbook.

With textured paper, scissors, maybe some pop-dots (to add dimension), possibly chalk (chalking the edges of your paper will add further dimension), and a good paper piecing pattern you can create Easter bunnies and Halloween pumpkins and even Disney princesses.

Check Scrapbooks, Etc. for a huge variety of free paper piecing patterns.

A paper-pieced bumblebee.
A paper-pieced bumblebee. | Source

Negative Space

When you punch out cute little pieces from your cardstock and scrapbook paper do you throw away the paper left around the cut-out? Don't! The paper left behind from a punch-out can easily be used in a variety of ways. It's called scrapbooking for a reason, after all.

  • If the remaining scrapbook paper is long enough, cut strips from it and incorporate these paper ribbons into your design somehow.

  • Use the negative space around the punch-out piece. Let's say you've punched out a heart. Around your heart-shaped hole, cut a square. You're left with a new embellishment that fits your heart theme now.

Paper Ribbons

Ah, ribbon. So many colors and textures and shapes and patterns! So many prices! Even the "cheap" or discount ribbon can still run a dollar for a roll of it.

So for cheap scrapbooking use paper instead. When a scrapbook page calls for a nice strip running down the bottom or behind a photo, cut long thin strips of pretty textured cardstock or paper to give the same effect a run of ribbon would. For bonus savings cut the strips of scrapbook paper from scrap paper as opposed to a new sheet of 12x12.

And the paper strip will be a lot easier to glue on than ribbon would have been to glue or tape!

The cost of ribbon for use in scrapbooking can really add up.
The cost of ribbon for use in scrapbooking can really add up. | Source

Alter Chipboard Letters

We've all been there as scrappers: you have the perfect layout with your coordinated colors, but when it comes time for the title you just can't get it right. So you head to the craft store for new supplies instead of digging through the old for something you can "settle" for.

Instead of purchasing new, alter the chipboard letters you have by inking them to match your page. Save the five or six dollars of a new little carton of letters!

Altering chipboard is also a technique for page d├ęcor. Chop the letters in half and use them for a swirly border, for example. This is great when you're down to those last letters you just know you won't be using in text. Don't throw them away! Instead find a way to incorporate them into your scrapbook design. Another example is that round letters such as the "O" can make creative frames if large enough.

This paperbag scrapbook album is held together by ribbon tied through hole punches.
This paperbag scrapbook album is held together by ribbon tied through hole punches.

Paper Bag Albums

Instead of buying a brand new 6x6 album or even a chipboard scrapbook, use standard paper bags to create your next scrapbook album. This is the epitome of cheap scrapbooking and resourcefulness.

Tutorials for a paperbag scrapbook exist all over the internet. Assembly of this simple scrapbook album is actually quite easy and it only requires three paperbags. After folding the bags, you'll either stitch the bags together or punch holes and tie them to each other with pretty ribbon or string. Then you get to decorate just like with any other scrapbook, for a fraction of the cost!

Tip: paperbags don't have to brown. If you'd like to leave a border of the bag around your cut out paper then choose a color of paperbag that best compliments your scrapbook theme.

Wait For Coupons

Coupons seems like a bit of an obvious suggestion on how to save money scrapbooking. But it's one to take to heart! Joann Fabrics and Michael's, two of the most common crafting stores and suppliers of scrapbook supplies, frequently (meaning every single week) send out coupons in a flyer to those on their mailing list.

Michael's also has an app available for coupons. I've yet to not have at least a 25% Off One Item coupon waiting for me in my phone. Joann's sometimes offers a special in which a simple text message will gain you 20% off.

Besides coupons, the discounts and sales spread throughout the store are regular as well. Never pay full price for your scrapbooking stickers or paper when the right scavenging and waiting will save you a good piece of the price.

Look out for great savings on scrapbook supplies!
Look out for great savings on scrapbook supplies!
Get tons of cute scrapbook stickers on eBay for a fraction of the in-store cost.
Get tons of cute scrapbook stickers on eBay for a fraction of the in-store cost.

eBay Lots

While online shopping sometimes seems a threat to "real" stores due to how common it is, it's surprising how easy it is to forget to look to a site such as eBay for your supplies. Perhaps it's the stigma of "used" merchandise or simply forgetting or the appeal of instant gratification if you choose to head to the store right then and there.

But individual sellers who are clearing out their scrapbooking supplies are rampant and ready to hand off piles of stickers and paper and other embellishments to you for the right price -- which is likely less than you would pay buying these scrapbook pieces individually at a store.

(Also check eBay for discontinued supplies!)

Scavenge For Scraps

Put the "scrap" back in scrapbooking by scavenging for supplies in unlikely places. The possibilities are limitless! Scrapbooking supplies are all around you for free or minimal costs!

Cut out images from magazines or text from old books. Clip newspaper articles. Collect postcards from trips or even local areas and use them with your own photos in your scrapbook. Keep tags and ticket stubs and other souvenirs to help fill your pages with memorabilia. Try incorporating old buttons off shirts you would be getting rid of into your layouts. Just some examples!

Make Your Own Photo Corners

While a roll of photo corners isn't that expensive, making your own allows you to get creative and match the design to the page, blending papers together.

Instead of purchasing the stick-on triangles to hold your photos, bend small squares of paper to create the same effect. Use popdots on top of the finished project to add buttons or other embellishments. This is a great way to use smaller scraps that you might have thrown into the trash. You'll love the effect as well as be recycling old supplies.

Fun Foam

Cheap and easy and cute, fun foam is all over the place in craft stores. It comes in cute shapes and bright colors and is generally available for all the main holidays and the seasons.

Just make sure it's acid free since you'll be using it next to photos. But if so, you're good to go. Fun foam often has a sticker back, meaning you can save your glue too.

It's three dimensional as well!

Saving Money

What are some of your tips to save money on scrapbooking?


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    • JessBraz profile image

      JessBraz 4 years ago from Canada

      I'm a novice scrapbooker... I've made one or two and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but MAN! Did they cost me a lot of money. lol... Michaels Crafts is a dangerous store for me... That aisle with all the stickers is hard to resist...One way I try to cut down on costs when I'm ready to make a new scrapbook is I get a lot of my stickers and decorative accents from the dollar store... Just as pretty, no retail markup.

      I really loved this hub.. Especially the part about making a scrapbook from a paper bag! I've never even heard of that technique before. I'm going to have to try it out instead of buying scrapbooks all the time... I'm quite excited about this new piece of info. lol.

      Great job! Voted up, useful, awesome & interesting.


    • Wonder wool profile image

      Priyanka Estambale 4 years ago from United States

      Saving is something all look for, this is a great way to save up and be creative :) Thanks for sharing!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      My main souvenir from traveling is the photo albums I put together after a trip. I sometimes include tickets, menus, etc. These scrapbooking ideas came along after I had already been doing my type of remembrance book for years. I can certainly understand the allure and the beauty of creating them. One thing that one would need is lots of space to display them or store them. Same with my photo albums! Excellent tips on saving money when scrapbooking. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wonderful ideas. I need to save some money for scrapbooking. Bad times right now. Voted useful

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