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Digital Scrapbook Basics

Updated on August 4, 2019
linfcor profile image

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

This is a typical digital scrapbook page. All you would have to do is drag and place your photo in the blank part of the page
This is a typical digital scrapbook page. All you would have to do is drag and place your photo in the blank part of the page

Getting Started With Digital Scrapbooks

There are a lot of benefits to digital scrapbooks vs traditional scrapbooks. The first being the cost factor, While you are going to have to invest in a scrapbook program, the first thing you will notice is that in the end the cost will be less. You can use the layouts, papers, embellishments and fonts over and over again. You are not repurchasing paper, glues or double sided tape. No making flowers again. Everything you need is there for you. You can add to your collection as you want to. Adding to your software is very reasonable,

Another thing that is a benefit in making digital scrapbooks is that you need very little space . All you need is a computer, a printer and a table top to work on. This is a great way to keep your memories alive in a very minimal area.

With digital scrapbooks, you can make duplicate copies. This makes sharing precious photos of family history easy to share.

With some programs you can add music and videos. This feature makes your digital scrapbooks more fun.

Finally, there is less mess than making traditional scrapbooks, No gluing, taping and glitter mess. It is all done on your computer,

There are two basic types of programs to help you create a digital scrapbook.One is general graphics software like Adobe Photo Shop or Corel Paint Shop Pro, which help you create digital layouts from scratch. The other is specialized digital scrapbook software like Hewlett Packard Creative Scrapbook Assistant.

Many scrapbook programs have a free trial period. If they do, take advantage of the free trial to determine which program is right for you.

There are many programs devoted to digital scrapbooks. Photoshop is one of the most popular. It is an Adobe product. You can get a free trial, You do have to have some knowledge about the product. There is a free trial available.

Program Name
Memory Mixer 4
Drop shadows for photos, zoom and crop feature, color matching,easy photo editing, text shapes
This program doesn't offer paintbrush tools or text effects, so you cannot create your own graphics. This is the only software that allows you to add video and links to your digital scrapbooks as well as music.
Downloaded to your computer-$34.95. On CD $39.95
Scrapbook Boutique
Hundreds of layouts, themes and pageEach page is printable right from your computer, or save each page as a .jpg file for sharing or professional printing.
Step by step programs make it easy for new digital scrappers
Software is $29.95
Scrapbook Flair
provides basic photo editing capabilities and has artwork to fit almost any page theme. When you're finished you can even choose to share your project with fellow digital scrapbooking enthusiasts via the Scrapbook Flair online gallery
Free Software. Windows XP, NT, 2000, ME & 98SE.
Charges for printing and sharing depending on size of prints
My Memories
You can use templates or design from scratch. Also includes photo editing.
If printing isn't the way you want to go you can also save your work in a number of different formats, including .jpg, .png, .pdf and .svg.
Software retails for $39.97
Photo Mix
You can get a free trial of this program, but you will need to buy the software in rder to print and save
Can only be used for windows Easy to use for beginners.
My Memories Suite 9
Can use in Mac or on Windows. Templates are customizable
Free trial offered. You can do everything except print or share with the free trial
$29.95 available on download or disc
Scrapbook Factory Deluxe
This scrapbooking software comes with photo editing capabilities that are incredibly easy to use.
he software shows you a thumbnail menu of all of your photos after you import them from your digital camera, CD or scanner. Then all you have to do to start designing is take advantage of the drag-and-drop feature.
Forever Artisan 5
The photo editing tools are extensive. You won't need to use another program to edit them before uploading to the scrapbook design program as you're able to crop, fix red eye and even put filters like black and white or sepia over your images.
You can print your creations, and while there isn't a specific way to share on a CD or DVD, you can save a JPG or PDF and find ways to share those digital files yourself.

Free Digital Scrapbook Programs vs Free Digital Scrapbook Programs

There are many free digital scrapbook programs. They may not, however have all the features of the fee based programs. The cost with the free based programs is often the saving, printing and sharing end for every page. Understand the cost of the free programs vs the fee based programs before you chose one,

What Equipment Is Needed For Digital Scrapbooking

Like with any other hobby, there are some "tools" that you will need to begin your digital scrapbook adventure:

  • Computer with at least 1 MB RAM; Mac or Windows operating system.
  • CoDigital Imaging Software that supports layers, such as Corel PaintShop Pro or Adobe Photoshop/ Photoshop Elementsmputer with at least 1 MB RAM; Mac or Windows operating system.
  • Optional: Designer quality Simply Digital™ Download Paks
  • Optional: Photo quality printer and photo paper, if you want to print your layouts at home

Basic Digital Design - Not Software Specific

Just like a regular scrapbook page, digital layouts have elements in them that need to be considered to create the page that best suits your images. Always use the tutorial if your program has one. Otherwise, especially in the beginning have your user manual handy.

  1. Create a New Image/File-To begin with we need a blank canvas. Open your scrapbook program. The first thing that you need to do is to decide the size of the page that you want to create. Part of that consideration might be the size of your printer. While 12" by 12" is probably the most popular size, not all computers will print that. 8.5" by 11" is the standard size of a printer paper. You need to decide what will fit your album and select the size that you want. Enter the settings in your software’s new image dialog box, including a white background, then press OK.
  2. Add Your Photos-Since the colors of the papers and elements will be determined by the colors in your photos, the next step is to add them.Browse your photos. Find the files that you want to use and add them to your layout. Click and drag photos into the layout or use the edit/copy and edit/paste commands to paste them into your new layout.Move the photos to their desired position and resize if necessary.
  3. Create The Background Or Add A Designer Paper-You can now pick the colors of the papers that compliment your photos with the software's color pick tool. Use your software’s paint bucket tool in your color of choice to fill in the background, then use effects or paint brush tools to design your background. Add some effects, such as texture, or use the paintbrush tool to design your own, and just like that you have a gorgeous background to set off your memories. Or you can add a digital paper that you have downloaded to your system.
  4. Add Photo Mats And Frames-Use your photo editor’s rectangular shape tool in a color of your choice and draw a rectangular photo mat (or use whatever shape you desire). Or select a digital Page Pak or Element Pak of choice and choose mats and frames of choice.
  5. Add Titles And Journaling-Using your text tool, pick the text color, font, and font size. Then click the mouse on the page where your text should be placed and type away. Play with different text sizes, effects, bevels, etc to give your text dimension. You can even warp text to make it wavy.
  6. Add Ready Made Embellishments-While your layout is open, choose File > Open and browse your hard-drive or CD drive for which embellishment(s) you’d like to add, open them, and then drag them onto your layout. You can change their rotation, color, and size, if desired. You can even duplicate them if you want more than one
  7. Save File For Printing And Web Display-If burning to a CD to take to print at a professional copy center, save as a full-size .pdf or .jpg format file. For posting to Internet sites or e-mailing to family and friends, also save to different name at 72 dpi, 500-600 pixels wide, .jpg format, keeping file size around 100 KB.

Storing Your Digital Scrapbooks

An external hard drive is the perfect place to store your digital scrapbooks

Digital Scrapbook Tools

No matter what program you decide to use there are tools available that are common to all programs. One of the advantages to digital scrapbook is that you can reuse the tools over and over again. Another advantage of digital scraping is that there is no mess to clean up after you design !

  1. Paper-Both patterned and solid color
  2. Alphabets: Individual letter files to create words and titles
  3. Illustrations: Drawings with transparent backgrounds to add character to your pages
  4. Decorative elements: Embellishments like frames, ribbons and flowers
  5. Templates: Page layouts you can personalize with your own photos
  6. Stamps and digital art: Details and accents for your pages (i.e. suitcases and airplanes for a travel-themed page)

You can add quotes and sayings to your digital scrapbook page. You can include some clever quotes or poems to add some individual charm to your pages.

Learn How To Organize Your Digital Scrapbook Kits

Digital Scrapbook layouts are the easiest way to do digital scrapbook pages. All you do is add the photos to the pre-made templates.Perfect for beginners

Digital Scrapbook Tips

  • Resize your photo before moving it onto your digital scrapbook page.. If you download your digital photos into a program like Photoshop, you can easily resize the photo by holding down the shift key while you use the arrow to determine your size; this will keep your photo proportionate so you are not distorting your images. Once you have the right size,you can move the photo to your scrapbook page layout.
  • Shadowing adds more depth and dimension to your digital page.However, too much shadowing can make your photos fuzzy, so learn to adjust your shadowing to get the best effects
  • The undo button is your best friend. When you are unhappy with an element of your layout, use the undo button to go back and make your changes
  • Restrict downloading freebies. Remember that every freebie that you download will take some of the memory space of your computer, Only download the freebies that you really like and think you will use,
  • Always do a backup of your layouts and digital scrapbooks. Remember,there a many different ways to do this, burning your data once a week to DVD’s, manually backing up to another hard drive, or an online backup service like I use (I prefer this because it is automatic and off site…away from my house). ember to back up for digital scrapbooks and digital photos.

Printing Your Digital Scrapbook Pages

Remember, some programs that you use for your digital scrapbook pages, have the ability to let you print your digital scrapbook pages on your home computer. Some free programs will charge you to save and/or print your pages. Another option is to take them to a photo processor to have them printed.

If you are using a home printer, you will want to make sure that it has a good quality photo capacity. You will also need to be sure that the printer will print the size that you want. ( not all printers will print a 12" by 12" layout)

If you chose a photo lab, be sure that they are able to print your layouts. Make sure to keep your text about a 1/4 inch away from all edges. The lab may crop it a bit.

Printing With On Line Processing

Ordering the printing of your digital scrapbook online is easy, To print both 12×12 and 8×8 digital scrapbook pages with you , simply upload your digital designs as .jpg files, drag and drop them into our blank page layouts and order – it’s that easy.


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    Post Comment
    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      11 months ago from Spring Hill Florida

      Thanks Larry ! I have about 19 physical scrapbooks that I am working on, Now I am progressing to the digital side. More information to follow !

    • Larry Slawson profile image

      Larry Slawson 

      11 months ago from North Carolina

      Very informative. I've been wanting to do something like this for awhile. Might have to give it a shot. Thank you for sharing :)

    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      11 months ago from Spring Hill Florida

      I know that the digital frontier in scrapbooks has really changed the landscape of where we are going with this hobby. Although, like having a regular book in my hand, I do enjoy having a scrapbook in my hands, I can sure see the advantage of having the digital option. More on this interesting topic to come

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      11 months ago from Houston, Texas

      This is very interesting! Had I known about this capability years ago, I would not have so many photo albums displaying pictures taken on vacation trips taking up space in our home. Of course, years ago this probably did not exist.


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