Monday, July 27, 2009

What is digital scrapbooking and how do I do it?

I've been asked this question several times, so I thought it was about time I posted this information on my blog.

I LOVE digital scrapbooking. I'm such a perfectionist, and, honestly, I'm terrible at paper scrapbooking. It's lots cheaper, doesn't take an entire room in your house, and you can make prints for anyone who want them. I love giving Shutterfly books to people for Christmas and birthdays. But I'm warning you, it's totally addicting. Seriously.

Most people seem to use PhotoShop Elements, but I use a free program called the GIMP. You can download it from
It's actually more ramped up than PSE is, but there aren't a whole lot of tutorials on using it. I just really figured it out on my own. I do have a couple of tutorials on my blog, and I would love to do more if you had any specific questions. I own both programs, and it's really a personal preference, but I do love the GIMP.

Here are a few forums that I visit that have quite a bit of information and large galleries to inspire you. You can also post questions, and people are really quick about answering them:

DigiShopTalk: A forum where tons of members post from all over the world. Extremely large and busy gallery; there are so many pages going up all the time that you're bound to find one to inspire you.
My Scrapbook Art: The gallery here is of the highest quality since it's mostly more advanced scrapbookers here. I love browsing the gallery and the forum is useful, but slow.
DigiScrap Addicts: A new forum, but their gallery is quite good and they are always having various contests.

One of the best things about digital scrapbooking is that it's a hobby that you can try out completely free. The internet is full of legal free downloads, many of them high quality, full kits.

Here are some links to sites where you can find some digital freebies:
Shabby Princess: They put a new one up every few months or so, but all their past ones are downloadable.
Peppermint Creative: Every few months. Past kits aren't available for free, but you can buy them super cheap if you want.
Two Peas in a Bucket: New one every month, and past ones are available. Also has lots of tutorials, etc. This is mostly a paper scrapbooking site, but there is a very small digital section. Don't purchase kits here, though, because they're much more expensive than at other sites.
Scrapping with Ikea Goddess: She lists most of the freebies that are out for that day. Be warned: many of these are put out by beginning designers, so be discriminating.
Digital Freebies: New freebie every Friday. Lots of quick pages (which I'm not big into, except for inspiration), but sometimes there's something really cute.
Little Dreamer Designs blog: Small freebies every week or so.

Other suggestions:
Subscribe to stores' newsletters. They'll often send you a link to an exclusive freebie. Also, check out the blogs of designers you like. They'll often post blog-only add-ons to their new kits.

A note about file sharing: Please avoid Yahoo groups or other sites that share files. This is illegal. With so many legitimate sites to download from, there is absolutely no need to do this.

Some stores to try:
Sweet Shoppe Designs: No freebies, but their kits are my very favorite. Check out Dani Mogstad and Traci Reed. They're very reasonably priced, too. (I create for five of the designers here, so I get all their stuff for FREE!!) Try their quarterly assortment; you get a mini kit from each of their designers for just over $3. Can't beat that.
Funky Playground: Miss Tiina is awesome. They also have dollar days Tues-Fri where certain products are marked down.
ScrapArtist: Their Fab Friday is amazing! Tons of great stuff marked down to a dollar each Friday.
Little Dreamer Designs: One-derful Wednesday is another dollar feature. This store is generally quite expensive, so I rarely buy from here unless it's on sale. However, I occasionally make an exception for C.D. Muckosky, since her stuff is amazing.
Catscrap: Great doodles and miscellaneous stuff.
Oscraps: Cinzia Loosemore is one of my favorites. I also love the word art by Paislee Press.
Scrap Orchard: They just added several new designers, and they have a very fun style.
After Five Designs: Pretty much everything in this store is amazing, and their collabs are the best out there.

Have fun!! And don't forget to download the GIMP!! There's quite a learning curve when doing this, so let me know what I can help you with. I'd love to do more tutorials on my blog, so if you have any suggestions for tutorial topics, that would be great!


Anonymous said...

so happy to have found your blog. I am beginning to learn GIMP to use in my scrapbooking. Thanks so much for your tutorials; they have been a big help!