Scrapbooking Doesn't Have To Be Expensive
By Elaine Lemons
I love scrapbooking, making cards and little gifts, but it can be very expensive if you limited your creativity only to items you purchase. We all love die cuts but who says you have to buy them? Why not make your own? It takes time of course, but like scrapbooking it’s very therapeutic. Plus when you’re done you have something else special to add to your scrapbook, die cuts personally made by you!
When I sit down at my table to start on a project I have two bowls nearby. One is for scraps and the other is for trash. Scraps come in handy for many reasons. One, you don’t have to cut a perfectly good sheet of paper for just a small piece. You can use a piece of scrap. I also use my scraps to create my own die cuts. Whether I’m creating a journal block or a snowman with pop dots, I eventually end up using all my scraps.
Another good source for die cuts are magazines. Believe it or not, you can cut pictures out of a magazine and glue them to a piece of card stock and have very nice accents for your pages. I’m pretty resourceful when it comes to finding the perfect items for my scrapbook pages. I have even used old Christmas Cards and pieces of wrapping paper. I save movie tickets, napkins and brochures to put on my pages. I’ve even used a paper placemat from a dinner on my page. I’ve seen pages that used pieces cut from a cereal box.
Titles for your pages don’t always have to come from the scrapbook store. You can make your own, too. Cutting letters out of a magazine works really well as does using your home computer to create titles and to do your journaling. Clip art works well on scrapbook pages, too! I’ve also made it a habit that when I’m taking photographs to think about titles. If we’re going to a museum I will take a picture of the museum sign and later crop that picture to create my title for the page. Taking photographs of signs is also a good way to remember names.
Many times instead of purchasing new paper for my backgrounds I’ll use my rubber stamps. I have a small variety of stamps and using white card stock I can create some beautiful pages. Making gift bags is so easy using plain luncheon sacks and my rubber stamps. My family and friends always appreciate a gift bag custom made by me. I’ve purchased several rubber stamps throughout the years. Some stamps were all ready mounted while others required me to cut the rubber and mount the stamps myself. In those cases, I did not let the scrap rubber go to waste either. I saved each piece to use as pop dots. I still have several pieces of scrap rubber and eventually I plan on making my own mosaic stamp.
I love all those different pattern scissors but I can’t afford to buy them all. I found that ripping paper with my fingers works well. At first I was terrified to rip a page but I got the hang up of. Sometimes I use a ruler as a tearing edge. I will hold the ruler on my sheet of paper and rip the paper straight down the side of the ruler. This technique is quite effective.
I bought a tag punch a while back and it has proven to be a wonderful investment. I can make my own tags in as many different colors as I want and tags are great for journaling, too. I no longer have to purchase expensive tags.
A friend of mine introduced me to drywall tape instead of buying magic mesh. I couldn’t believe the difference in cost and drywall tape comes in a variety of colors. I’ve also used my inkpads to color white drywall tape to match my color scheme if I didn’t have that color on hand at the tape.
For organization I’ve purposely stayed away from items that are specifically for scrapbooking. Ziploc bags work great and I love the aisle in Walmart that has all those plastic containers. I have a storage bin on wheels that I store all my paper in. It works great and didn’t cost much at all. Plastic kool-aid containers and butter tubs come in handy.
Something else about shopping and staying away from the scrapbook aisle, you can usually buy things so much cheaper. I buy quite a bit of paper and I usually stick to solid colors. Occasionally I will buy pattern paper if it’s something that I know I can use. I use a lot of white card stock and it’s actually cheaper to buy it in the office department than in the scrapbooking department. Check it out! I’m telling you the truth. Same thing with craft bags, they’re cheaper in the food section.
Instead of subscribing to those very expensive craft magazines I surf the Internet. There are many craft sites that offer free newsletters and many sites are packed full of ideas free of charge!
I’m always looking for a sale, too. This is the time that I will buy the items that I need whether in the stores or on the Internet. Keeping an eye open for those sales papers and newsletters that trickled in your inbox can save you a lot of money.
Scrapbooking doesn’t have to be expensive. There are so many ways to save money. The ideas are endless and so is your creativity.
Elaine Lemons loves to scrapbook on a daily basis and is an author on Writing.Com.[top of page] [more scrapbooking articles]