It’s reasonable that you might have questions when it comes to using your computer to help you create scrapbook pages. Once you understand that you don’t have to abandon all the wonderful traditional scrapbooking skills, supplies, and tools you love, you’ll see that the computer is just another way you preserve your precious memories.
Many scrapbookers hesitate to use digital elements because it feels a little like cheating. Scrapbooking is supposed to be personal and handcrafted; some people don’t see the computer and its systems lending warmth and emotion to this art genre. Somehow we thought the computer would destroy the human touch valued in designing scrapbook pages.
But don’t let that cold metal fool you! A computer can be used to create vibrant, heart-touching scrapbook pages and scrapbooking embellishments. After all, since you are the one inputting data, such as photos, creative borders, and journaling to the computer, your unique personality will be reflected in your pages whether you cut and paste with scissors and glue or with the point and click of a mouse.
Is it Safe?
Many scrapbookers are worried about the safety of entrusting their scrapbook pages to the computer. They think that digital elements will not be archival due to the untested quality of computer paper and printer cartridge ink. However, as interest in digital scrapbooking increased, the computer industry started going out of its way to dispel these worries.
Acid-free computer paper is available at most computer stores, and don’t forget that all those great acid-free scrapbooking papers you see in craft and scrapbooking stores can be used in any printer. Most printer inks have a long life if cared for properly, and you can find art sprays that will add to the paper’s life. As with any scrapbook pages, you should keep them out of direct sunlight, store them in low humidity, avoid exposing them to extremes in temperature, and handle them with clean hands only.
You can safety store all of your digital elements in files and folders in your computer that you can access for years to come rather than having them scattered around your scrapbooking area. And, by scanning all your completed scrapbook pages, you will have them at hand to quickly review for inspiration.
Moreover, if you copy and store your scrapbook pages, photographs, documents, and memorabilia on digital media like a compact disk, they have an estimated shelf life of 100 years. Like most computer technology, this is likely to be upgraded and extended within the next five to 10 years. For comparison, knowing that a video’s lifespan is 10 years should further motivate you to begin using digital technology in your scrapbooking.
Why Should I Try It?
Once you feel comfortable knowing digital elements can safely be added to your treasured scrapbooking pages, you might start wondering why you should even bother adding digital elements to your scrapbooking efforts. Up until now you’ve been doing fine without it.
The best reason is that you can expand and explore your creativity using some of most powerful and productive artistic tools available to you. You don’t need any special skills or talents to use a computer to create dynamic scrapbook pages. You may need to read a few instructions or a manual, but the computer, software, scanners, printers, and digital cameras offer you almost unlimited ability to stretch your creative abilities. It’s not just artistic reasons that should have you excited about using your computer to scrapbook. You can save yourself time and work more efficiently. Let’s take a closer look.
One of the most important benefits of using your computer and other digital gadgets is the convenience of doing much of your work at home. This is especially important when working with photographs. You can copy or print your own photographs rather than driving to your photo developer. With photo-editing software you can enhance your photos by adjusting the brightness, contrast, and color rather than crossing your fingers and hoping the photo technician has the time to make all those adjustments.
Think a bigger photograph would be better for your scrapbook page design? Or maybe you need to make a photo smaller? Photo-editing software makes it easy to resize photos quickly. You can even create your own contact sheets or print out wallet size photos for a small scrapbook. You can crop a photo without cutting it on your computer by simply using a digital cropping tool found in photo software programs. You can also remove bothersome red eye and pet eye.
You can have the pleasure of creating your own decorative background papers instead of spending hours trying to find a decorative paper that will do justice to your photograph at a craft store or scrapbooking shop. You can create a theme for a scrapbook with a click of a mouse rather than trying to find the right sticker, die cut, paper punch, rubber stamp, or buying duplicates.
By using specialty papers in your printer, like silk, twill, poplin, or denim fabric (with paper backing so it flows smoothly through the printer), oil canvas (textured just like painting canvas), bright white, glossy, and matte, you can expand the range of looks for photos, frames, and borders. And if you get brave or just plain crafty, you can try a magnetic sheet to create refrigerator magnets, a fabric-transfer sheet to create a T-shirt, a shrink-plastic sheet to create jewelry or window-cling sheets to share your photos with the world that walks by your front window.
Although some personal handwriting should be included in a scrapbook, there is no reason not to take advantage of the availability of attractive fonts and specialty types. Think of it—no more lightly tracing straight lines onto your scrapbook page with your pencil while hoping you can erase those lines when you are done journaling. There is even software that allows you to turn your own handwriting into a font! You can spend more time choosing your words rather than worrying if your grandchild will be able to read your writing.
Working in Multiples
Using your computer to duplicate a scrapbook page or an entire scrapbook can save you time, effort, and money. All you need to do is create the page, scan it, and then print the scanned page onto quality paper. This is great for pages you design around family gatherings such as a birthday party, wedding, or family reunion. You can create several traditional scrapbook pages and print out duplicates that you place into simple binders and give as keepsakes to family and friends. Imagine how much time and effort that saves you—time you can spend creating more scrapbook pages.
Are you inspired to create on your computer yet? Creating digitally doesn’t mean you can sit back and let the computer do all the work. You need to know the principles of photography and design before you meet the monitor face to face. Taking the best photographs you can and applying proven design theories will help you create pages that please your eye. The following information will help you save time by avoiding common mistakes. You need to combine your technical knowledge with your creative enthusiasm to produce the best results.