Scrapbooking has become such a popular hobby that scrapbooking papers, stickers, albums and embellishments can be found everywhere – even at the grocery store! And every single one costs money.
Sadly, it seems we’ve gotten away from the purpose of scrapbooking, which is to preserve our photos and memories, and turned our focus instead toward making elaborate works of art to be admired. And that’s okay… if you can afford it.
But the cost of scrapbooking can intimidate a beginner and even cause some frugal moms to shy away from this enjoyable hobby altogether. That doesn’t have to be the case. Creating simple, less costly scrapbooks is just as rewarding and will be treasured just as well by your families and loved ones as will extravagant works of art that cost hundreds of dollars.
Rather than look at scrapbooking as an elaborate craft you can’t afford,, try some of these frugal ideas to create lovely, cherished scrapbooks at a fraction of the cost of what you’ve been led to believe they would cost.
1. Opt for 8 1/2″ x 11″ inch pages rather than 12″ x 12″. The reason? Paper, sheet protectors and albums are all cheaper than the larger size. You can even use a three-ring binder if you choose for the least expensive album option.
2. Buy supplies on sale or at the dollar store. You can find great deals on clearance items in craft and scrapbook stores. Hobby Lobby, for one, often marks down their entire stock of stickers, papers or punches by 40 percent or more. And the dollar stores always have packages of embellishments for $1 each.
3. Use your printer to create titles and graphics, then attach them to your pages with photo squares or a glue stick. The options and possibilities are unlimited!
4. Borrow punches and other tools rather than buying them. While every scrapbooker would probably love a computerized cutting system, or a dozen large, pricey punches, frugal scrappers know they can’t afford them. Buy one or two tools you’ll use often then swap with friends who have something different.
5. Barter for supplies and tools. Find a Creative Memories representative or someone who has a lot of scrapbooking supplies on hand, and make a trade. You can swap something other than scrapbooking supplies to get what you want and come out with less clutter and some real goodies for your scrapbooking projects.
6. Learn a variety of techniques such as paper tearing, dying, stitching your pages, etc. that will give you many different looks without additional cost.
7. Use what you have on hand. While you want to be careful that nothing that isn’t acid or lignin free touches your photos, many experts teach that it’s okay to use almost anything around the border or outside edge of your pages. Look for hardware findings, buttons, fabric or lace scraps, ribbon, feathers, etc.
8. Save the remnants. Even the smallest scraps of paper can be used to create punchies, mosaics, or colorful geometric designs. Keep a shoe box filled with leftovers and get in the habit of checking there first before cutting a new sheet of paper. You’ll be surprised how far your paper will go if you’re conservative.
9. Use on-hand items for organizing. Instead of spending your money on organizational systems, use tins, baskets, totes, etc. that you already have to separate and store supplies. Save your money for the more important part of scrapbooking – the paper!
10. Find layout ideas online or at the library rather than in purchased magazines. Scrapbooking magazines are expensive. And you really don’t need them to find great ideas. Search online for “frugal scrapbooking” and you’ll find tons of great layouts that you would pay steeply for if you bought a scrapbook magazine. You can also find books at the library that contain layouts and ideas. Again, save your money for supplies and use the ideas you can find elsewhere free.
These are only a few of the many ways to scrapbook your memories without spending a lot of money. Use your imagination and creativity to come up with many more of your own.