Travelers Notebook, DIY, Scrapbooking

Scrapbook For Less

Being a Stay At Home Mom I am motivated to make my Scrapbook hobby time effective and affordable. Let’s be honest, there is so much to do everyday as a mom and around the home so unless its simple and fits the budget, its not happening! When starting a new hobby, it’s so easy to want to jump in and buy everything. Plus, there are so many gorgeous products out there so its very tempting to buy it all, however most people do not have the budget to do so. Although it may seem overwhelming at first, it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to get you started and help save you money.

Documenting life is preserving a legacy, if we don’t record it, it is forgotten.

The key to starting is figuring out why you are doing this and if scrapbooking is for you. For me, scrapbooking is about preserving memories and documenting life with my family. My kids are still so young, and I want to have something to look back on when they are all grown up. Documenting life is preserving a legacy, if we don’t record it, it is forgotten. That is why I have made it a priority, I never want to forget those precious moments and milestones with my loved ones.

Since we are a one income family, I knew I had to gradually build my supplies to keep it affordable for my family. Finding time is also key, however, for me, it has become my form of “self-care” so eventually I made sure to set the time aside to do it. Seeing the results and how my craft improved, book by book, gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. If you enjoy journaling, crafting and preserving memories through photos then scrapbooking will suit you. Before you get started remember this, it’s about Progress not Perfection!

It’s about Progress not Perfection

Let’s Get Started

To begin, I want to discuss how to get started on a memory book or scrapbook and maintain cost efficiency and time efficiency. This will take the guess work out of the process for you so you can get started right away.

First, you need a scrapbook to document and record memories. The way I have done this is to make my own Travelers Notebook inserts. #travelersnotebooks I discovered these about a year ago and am loving every minute of using them.

Check out the instructions to create these beauties here.
I made these for about $1.50 each.

The size of these books are 4.25” x 8.5”. They are a compact size so you don’t need a lot of patterned paper and embellishments to complete the pages. I used white printer paper for the inside pages, and patterned card stock paper or brown kraft paper for the covers. You can also add your patterned paper on the inside. If you have double sided paper then each side would provide a different look for each layout.

Second, you need some tools to get to work! There are lots of fancy tools out there, but these are the main ones you need to get started. I use these the most and couldn’t scrapbook without them. One thing to remember when purchasing supplies is to make sure they are acid-free or over time your photos will discolor and your books will be ruined.

Key Tools

  1. Paper Cutter
  2. Glue Runner
  3. Corner Punch
  4. Fine Tip Pens

Photos

Photo printing can be pricey, so I have opted to print my photos at home. I use an HP Envy Printer and subscribe to the HP instant ink service. This system is a dream! Whenever my ink is low, HP sends me a new ink cartridge in the mail. I always receive it before the ink runs out. I use 4×6 HP Photo Paper to print and it comes in 100 pages per box. When I calculated it, it worked out to be $0.15 CAD per 4×6 photo. The other nice thing with printing at home, and using the #TN size is that I can print multiple 2×2 pictures on one 4×6 sheet. The size of picture I use most in the #TN is 3×4, and I print two per sheet. This also saves a lot on printing, and I can print photos as I need them. So as I view the photos and see what I have, I plan out my layout then print what I need for that layout. It cuts down on waste big time!

To print 2×2 and 3×4 pictures, I use the Becky Higgins Project Life App. It was a game changer for me. It’s so easy to use, you can import your pictures from your phone and print them as a 4×6 photo with whatever size pictures on the page. It gives you options for various sizes and layouts to print.

The box below shows my favorite sizes to print. All three of these layouts print as 4×6 photos.

Documenting

Life gets busy and on any given day you’ll end up having so many photos to choose from, then wonder what the story was from those photos. My solution to this is to use the Collect – Photo, Journal Diary. It allows you to upload a photo and document the story for that photo on the specific day. When I got behind on my scrapbooks and just couldn’t find the time to sit down and work on them, I opted to document photos this way and it allowed me to easily go back and finish those albums. It’s a free app however it is only available on the iphone.

If you do get behind, and are finding it hard to document photos regularly in your albums, this is a very efficient way to stay on track. Another bonus with this app, is that you can print the photos with journaling and date in a 3×4 format. This was another game changer for me. You can export the photos into iphoto and they will print as two 3×4 images on a 4×6 paper. So I print them all out for that month, cut them into 3×4 and organize them by date to start catching up on scrapbooking that particular month.

Note: for my #TN I made one for each month.

Layouts

To complete the layouts in the TN I use stamps. Stamps are great because you can use them over and over, and create different designs and layouts by changing the ink color and position of the stamps. My favorite stamps to use are from Studio Calico and Scrapbook.com.

Stamp, Scrapbooking
My first Studio Calico shipment of stamps in 2018. My stamp passion begins!

Here are two examples of how I used stamps in my #TN and different color patterns to create layouts without using any card stock.

I have even been able to transform some of the Creative Memories layouts designed for 12×12 pages, into #TN pages. It’s so fun to get ideas and inspiration from their layouts. I absolutely love their paper as well! It’s double sided and thinner so it works well in these books. It’s not cheap, but you don’t need as much of it when using a TN size page. I’ve done multiple layouts using just one paper pack.

I’ve also found some nice thin paper from Walmart for $6.97 CAD a pad. It’s not double sided, but it works great on the printer paper because it doesn’t bulk up the book too much.

From front to back, that is how you make and design your own #TN albums for a super low cost. So far it is my favorite style of scrapbooking and has been the most budget friendly. I have even made them as notebooks for my kids to draw in or make an album of their own. My son made his own March album, we made picture stickers on photo sticker paper and he designed his own album. He also loves using stamps! It is so fun to be able to share the joy of scrapbooking with my kids and to document our life together without breaking the bank!

I hope this inspires you to try it! Now more than ever is a time to document our lives! There is no perfect way to do it, you just have to start!

I’d love to hear about what you are creating and if you’ve ever tried this #TN style before. Contact me or Comment below!

We are Created to Create!

-Whit

Disclosure: If you click on the links you will be redirected to an affiliate site where I will receive a commission upon making a purchase. Opinions and reviews on this site are my own.

3 thoughts on “Scrapbook For Less

  1. Thanks for these great tips! I love scrapbook 12×12 albums thought being bigger has been a little hard in making it affordable…so not sure if it is something I will do for the year 2021 (All ready started my 2020 12×12 pages) though I found stamps have made BIG difference in cost when doing these 12×12…I am slowly when money always adding
    to my stamps collection and doing less stickers…has I find like you said in the end cheaper then sticker, versatile and reusable! One thing I have started is that due to my hubby’s job we move every so often so I decided to do a 8×8 album of the places and people that meant alot to us in that location! Plan to do one for every location we will be at through out his career! One thing this post reminded me of is that I need to do better job at documenting the moments so I can later put them in the Scrapbook pages… Sadly I have Android so the app you suggested I can’t use (tho it sounds awesome) I was thinking a suggestion for the Android users who follow you to keep a small note book or a word document on your phone to documenting that moment you just snapped and a little description of the photo (s) has well has the date location and maybe even the weather that day 🙂 Happy scraping and crafting everyone!!

    Liked by 1 person

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