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Let’s face it, as far as hobbies go, scrapbooking isn’t quite as easy on the pocketbook as say gardening.
But that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to make beautiful albums and interesting scrapbook layouts.
Here are some tips for stretching your scrapbook dollar…
#1. Save Money At The Checkout Counter
The easiest way to save money on scrapbooking is to watch your nickels and dimes at the store.
Generally, larger craft stores like Michael’s and JoAnn’s have better prices than specialty scrapbook stores. You can often find coupons in your local paper for these stores, and save up to 40% on your scrapbook purchases.
This is a great idea if you are shopping for bigger items, like a toolkit for eyelets or an album. Watch for sales on your favorite items, and stock up on basics (like colored cardstock) when you can.
Also, try shopping online for good deals. Using online auction sites or an online scrapbook store to buy your scrapbook supplies is a great way to save money. Although you will be paying shipping, in most cases you can find better deals than you would locally.
When you buy online, make sure to buy several items at once so you can save on shipping. Also, shopper’s comparison websites like Froogle will tell you the best price for a certain item on the web, which is helpful if you know the exact brand and type of item you are looking for.
#2. Trim Your Sticker Costs
If you have a color printer and some time, you can totally wipe out the need for store-bought stickers. Making your own stickers is easy and allows for maximum flexibility in your layouts.
All you’ll need is some sticker paper (bought from an office supply store) and a little creativity. You can use clear or matte sticker paper for different looks. Scrapbooking clip art and pictures are easy to find online, and you can even custom print your own scrapbook page titles in different fonts, sizes and colors.
No more running out of the letter “S” on an alphabet stickers page or halting your layout to find the perfect cow sticker!
#3. Save Paper Like A Packrat
If you use 12×12 pages with certain types of scrapbooks, you know that there is always a little quarter inch you have to cut off each background paper. Save those paper scraps!
Or, when you cut an oval out of a piece of paper and end up with a rectangle with a hole in the middle. Save those too!
Create a file of paper scraps that can be used in other layouts. Those long strips are great as embellishments on future pages. You can use them in your design to link pictures or divide the page. The rectangle with a hole in the middle will make a perfect frame, or you can put a picture right over it and have a nice mat around your picture.
Also, never use a full piece of paper to mat a photo. Think about how much paper is wasted behind that photo — especially if you are matting full-sized 4×6 pictures. Instead, use a template to cut away the inside of that mat and make a frame to put your picture on top. You will end up with more paper you can use elsewhere in the layout or that you can use at a later date.
#4. Buy Wisely
How many times have you ever really used
that hot pink pen? Could the same effect have been achieved by using paper? Many of us have a rainbow of colors in pens, eyelets, ribbons and other specialty embellishments.
The worst part is, we may never use that greenish-taupe eyelet or the peachy-pink ribbon. When you buy embellishments and pens, stick to neutral colors at first.
If you find yourself needing specific colors again and again, go ahead and buy that color. But don’t feel like you need little flowers in every color under the sun in order to scrapbook correctly.
#5. Consider Investing In A Scanner
A scanner can truly be a good friend to your layouts and design.
You can scan in old wrapping paper, fabrics or art from books to make your own custom background papers. You can even scan in 3-dimensional items like flowers or seeds. Scanning in portions of text from magazines or books can give you fun titles or quotes for your pages.
You can also use your scanner to save money on photo printing costs. If you have been buying double prints (one for your scrapbooks and one for safekeeping), you can scan in your photos before you crop them for safekeeping.
Old music scores, favorite childhood books, greeting cards, postcards and clothing can all become part of your preserved memories. Just make sure to print out your scans on acid-free paper.
Basic scanners start out well under $100, so the investment is minimal compared to the versatility and flexibility that this handy tool adds to your scrapbooking.
In addition to scrapbooking, I also enjoy classic movies, super hero lore, making crafts with my 2 young daughters and cooking dinner from scratch.