“Pictures and stories brought together.. that is scrapbooking.” Becky Higgins, scrapbooking guru and Project Life creator, said in a Facebook Live video to her followers.
And she’s right, scrapbooking is about documenting your memories with your photos. It’s not about needing fancy paper, professional photos, or perfect grammar. It’s about writing down your stories and bringing them together with your photos.
The word “scrapbooking” can frighten many people. They think that means a lot of time, money, creativity, and supplies. Or they may think it means that scrapbooking is an all or nothing hobby and if they don’t do it “full out” then they won’t do it at all.
I want to tell you that scrapbooking doesn’t have to be all or nothing and anyone can do it!
Scrapbooking can be done in so many different ways. Especially now where most of us don’t own cameras, but use our smartphones as our cameras. It makes the process even easier to upload photos to scrapbook. However, no matter how you take, store, and print your digital images, you should always document the stories behind your photos.
So what are these different ways to scrapbook your photos, you say? Well, I’ve detailed out different 8 different ways to scrapbook your photos, so you can find the method that works best for you.
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1) Physical – Traditional Photo Album Scrapbooking
Traditional Photo Album Scrapbooking is very easy and simple. It’s literally taking the photos you’ve printed and putting them into a photo album and writing a note on the lines next to each photo. This is the traditional, “old way” of putting your photos into an album. What makes it scrapbooking is the combination of those notes and stories with the photos.
My Grama keeps her photos organized in chronological order by family. As simple as it may be, our whole family loves looking through those albums. Her notes are usually simple with names and the year or a little story, but everyone ends up talking about our memories at Grama’s house.
Even if you don’t have a lot of time, but want to print your photos, using traditional photo albums is the easiest way to go. Just don’t forget to write those quick little notes and stories. Those reflections will be cherished for many years to come.
2) Physical – Free Form Scrapbooking
Free Form Scrapbooking is what I call “traditional scrapbooking”. It is what most people think of when they hear the word scrapbooking. Photos, colorful papers, adhesives, stickers, embellishments, and more. It can be getting as many photos on one layout as possible or creating a beautiful work of art to showcase one large photo.
I like to call it Free Form Scrapbooking since it truly is a freedom of expression and creative process. You create ideas in your head or “scrap-lift” someone else’s layout to make it your own. But you are creating a work of art and not following any predefined layout.
No matter how you scrapbook each layout, you are documenting the stories behind your photos. Free Form Scrapbooking just adds that extra “pizazz” through journaling and the creativity that you add to your layout.
3) Physical – Photo Pocket Scrapbooking
Photo Pocket Scrapbooking is a newer scrapbooking system that started around 2010 to take the “work” out of scrapbooking. Becky Higgins was one of the first to start the craze when she created Project Life.
Photo Pocket Scrapbooking is a quick and easy solution to scrapbooking. It is much like Traditional Photo Album Scrapbooking, but uses a designed, photo pocket page protector. Using the structured layout, it also allows you to add in elements of creativity. You can choose the placement of your photos, decorative cards, and journaling cards.
There are a variety of photo pocket page protectors to choose from. They can be purchased in bigger variety packs or single design packets. The decorative cards come as core kits and include journaling cards that coordinate. You can find core kits in different styles to use for an entire album or try value kits for specialized occasions or smaller projects.
Photo Pocket Scrapbooking Systems are the next generation’s version of Traditional Photo Album Scrapbooking. It provides a quick and easy solution to document your stories in a structured, creative way. What also makes it fun is the ability to express your creativity similar to Free Form Scrapbooking, but without having to use any scissors or adhesive!
4) Digital – App Scrapbooking
App Scrapbooking is a more recent way to scrapbook using your smartphone or tablet. Using apps on a device, you are able to document your stories digitally and share them in different ways.
There are a variety of apps that allow you to choose different layouts and embed your photos. However, true scrapbooking apps should also allow you to journal and do more than just “join” your photos together.
One of the more popular apps in the scrapbook world is Becky Higgin’s Project Life app. It can be downloaded to any phone or tablet using iOS or Android.
In the Project Life app you can create pages using a variety of pre-designed layouts and easily add your photos. You can also add digital designer cards and journaling cards that allow you to type directly on them in the app.
Once you’ve finished your layout in the app, you can also have them printed and delivered to your home right all from the app! It’s a one stop shop with a ton of options for every step in the process. How easy is that?
For many of us, trying to find the time to document our stories in the physical form is a rarity. App Scrapbooking solves that problem. It allows you to work on the go and complete layouts throughout your day without needing supplies.
5) Digital – Software Scrapbooking
Software Scrapbooking is a more recent way to scrapbook, but it’s been around a a few years longer than App Scrapbooking. Instead of using a device, Software Scrapbooking uses different programs on your computer to scrapbook. The programs used most often are Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.
Software scrapbooking is more closely related to the digital version of free form scrapbooking. But it can also be done similar to pocket page scrapbooking using pre-made digital designs. Some people even take digital layouts from scrapbooking apps and add more digital embellishments in Photoshop.
A lot of scrapbook companies now offer their products in both physical and digital forms (including embellishments). It can be a complex process to learn the software, but this method doesn’t require any physical supplies.
For those of us who are techie nerds, or love to work on our computers, this is the method that will let you express your creativity. Software Scrapbooking lets you geek out over the digital side of scrapbooking while documenting your stories and creating a beautiful layout.
6) Digital – Online Scrapbooking
Online Scrapbooking is another way to document your memories that has evolved over the last 10 years. One of the more popular ways of online scrapbooking is to create photo books on websites like Shutterfly.
Shutterfly provides over 200 different photo book templates on their website. They have a drag and drop method for creating the photo book. The editor also allows you to add, edit, and move titles, journaling, photos, embellishments, and fonts.
Shutterfly has even begun to offer a “make my book” option. You upload the photos you want in an album and they will put the photo book together for you – how simple is that?!
There are also other websites that allow you to create photo books online, like Walgreens, CVS, Costco, and Snapfish. Generally any major photo printing website offers photo books. Just be sure to check out the options they offer before starting.
Some companies offer more options for editing, like Shutterfly, while other companies offer only simple photo books with less editing capabilities. Regardless of the website you choose to create your photo book, it’s a great way to document your stories and have a completed album delivered to your home.
7) Hybrid Scrapbooking
Hybrid Scrapbooking is the process of combining the digital and physical methods together. It’s a form of scrapbooking that I started to notice after Project Life evolved. If after printing your digital layouts, you add physical products to those printed layouts, then you are hybrid scrapbooking.
It can really liven up your digital layouts, which sometimes feel flat without added digital shadows. The cost to add the embellishments can be minimal and not take too much time or effort as well. Just be sure to follow the scrapbooking golden rule – only attach physical embellishments to printed surfaces using acid-free adhesives.
Hybrid Scrapbooking brings together a newer method of scrapbooking digitally and adds another level of physical components to complete the look of your layout. It is another way to help express your creativity to document your stories without needing a lot of scrapbook supplies.
8) Digital – Social Sharing Scrapbooking
Social Sharing Scrapbooking is a little bit outside of what would normally be thought of as scrapbooking. But, remember that scrapbooking, as Becky Higgins states, is the the process of bringing your photos and stories together.
When life gets in the way and you want to share your memories, you can do it digitally via social sharing. We all have the best intentions to scrapbook these photos later, but preserving the memories now is important. Document the little details of the story that you want to remember. Don’t wait 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years later to write the story. (We’ve all been there at one time or another.)
Social Sharing Scrapbooking can be done in a number of places around the web. Facebook is the most obvious social media platform where photos are shared, but other websites that are specifically for photo sharing should be considered instead. Photo sharing websites should be used to document your stories and a place to preserve your photos.
Shutterfly, Google Photos, and Flickr are all good options for sharing your photos. After uploading your photos, you can share them with friends and family and some platforms even allow comments. You are also able to add journaling to your photos to document your stories on each photo as a caption.
There is one very important feature to consider when using photo sharing websites instead of social media platforms, like Facebook. Photo sharing websites will store the original size of your photo. If you go back to print that photo or download the photo, it will retain the original size.
Facebook and other social media platforms do not store your photos at the original size. If you download the photo direct from Facebook, the resolution will be reduced and won’t print good.
Even though Social Sharing Scrapbooking doesn’t produce a final scrapbook, it is important to remember to write down those stories. When time and money are slim, you still have options to document those stories so they won’t be forgotten.
These 8 different ways to scrapbook your photos provide you options so that you can preserve your memories. You can decide on the way that best fits your current lifestyle and document your photos and stories together.
Tell me your favorite way to scrapbook or which method you haven’t tried yet. I’d love to hear from you!
In a follow-up post, I explore these same scrapbooking methods and how they compare in cost. I’ll show you that with each of these methods, anyone can scrapbook and on any budget.