What Is Digital Scrapbooking?
written by Laura of Wishing Well Creations for SugarHill

Digital scrapbooking involves creating scrapbook pages (also called layouts) on a computer, using software that supports layers. It is essentially the same as paper scrapbooking — pages are created using papers, photos, and embellishments — but the “supplies” used in digital scrapbooking are digital images.

In order to scrap digitally, you need the following: a computer, photo editing software that supports layers, digital photos, and digital scrapbooking papers & embellishments. Many people already own a computer and a digital camera, and therefore quite often the only additional expense involved is for the software and/or the digital scrapbooking products themselves.

Hybrid scrapbooking is the combination of “traditional” paper scrapbooking with digital scrapbooking. For instance, some scrapbookers like to use printed digital supplies (papers, embellishments, etc.) along with physical supplies—like those purchased at a craft store—(ribbons, fasteners, etc.) to create scrapbook layouts. Hybrid crafting is the use of both digital supplies and “traditional” supplies to create other (non-scrapbook/layout) projects. One example of this would be the creation of holiday cards/birth announcements/invitations using digital papers and embellishments that have been printed, cut, and assembled by hand.

Is digital scrapbooking better than “traditional” paper scrapbooking? Not necessarily… they are simply two different mediums used to accomplish the same end goal. For some, this end goal is to put photos and memories into a meaningful, lasting form (a book, etc.), for family and friends to enjoy for years to come. For others, the end goal also involves love of the creative process: the enjoyment that comes from creating a form of art. In my opinion, both forms of scrapbooking accomplish these goals very well.

With that said, however, I have found a few advantages to digital scrapbooking:

  • Long-Term Cost - Digital scrapbooking supplies are relatively inexpensive (some can even be found online for free)… and they can be used over and over by the original purchaser. Thus, once you obtain your digital images, you can use them for multiple projects in the years to come, without having to purchase them again.

  • Less Work - Digital scrapbooking enables you to create a layout once, but share it multiple times and multiple ways without having to create multiple copies. For instance, say you create a 10-page “book” to commemorate your child’s first birthday… done digitally, you can then (a) print copies of the pages multiple times to share with extended family, (b) share copies online in a gallery or on a photo sharing site, or (c) print the 10 pages into a photo book, using a service such as Shutterfly, Kodak, Snapfish, etc… and order multiple copies. Meanwhile, you only had to create one original copy. So much less work!

  • Convenience - In my opinion, though, the biggest advantage to digital scrapbooking is that it doesn’t take up much space, tends to save time, and is really convenient. While traditional paper scrapbooking often requires you to get out a lot of supplies to create your projects (and therefore requires a decent amount of tabletop or countertop space)… digital scrapbooking is done on your computer, so it requires no set-up and no clean-up. You can work on projects whenever you have a few spare minutes, and then hit “save” and walk away from your projects just as easily. For me, this helps me actually sit down and document my memories and photos, which would otherwise sit untouched in boxes until someday when I “have more time”. Sound familiar?

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