What is Digi Scrapping?
It’s just like paper scrapbooking – you collect and display photos with lots of fancy bits and pieces to preserve and share memories and special moments in your life. Except with digital scrapbooking there isn’t any paper or scissors or glue or expensive bits and pieces or mess!
A digital scrapbook page is created by arranging digital or scanned photographs, journaling (text) and embellishments in a software program that can manipulate text and graphics. Most digital scrapbookers use a photo editing and graphics package such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop Pro, or GIMP, but there are also specific software packages available just for scrapbooking. GIMP is a fabulous (and free) program that you might like to begin with. Or Adobe Photoshop Elements is also a great option as well, it is reasonably priced and often comes bundled free with a scanner or camera.
Digital Scrapbook kits are much like paper scrapbooking kits or items. They contain all the bits and pieces you’ll need to create a page or ‘layout’. Things like papers, tags, ribbons, frames, stickers and more. The big difference is that a digi scrapping kit is made up entirely of digital files, it is purchased via the internet (usually) and downloaded directly to your computer, ready to use. Digital kits can be very large files (often more then 60mbs) so if you have trouble downloading large files most online stores also offer a CD/DVD burning and postal service for a small additional fee.
The easiest way to start understanding how digital scrapbooking works is to think in layers. Each item you place on your scrapbook layout should be on its own layer – each photo, your text, each paper, each embellishment. To make it all work, you adjust which layer is on top of which. For example, if you insert a photo, and then a background paper, chances are you won’t be able to see your photo any more because the paper is much bigger than the photo. By changing the order of these two layers, you will see the photo is now displayed on top of the paper. Get it? Don’t worry you will when you start playing!
You can scrap your layouts in any size you like, though most digi kits come in the standard scrapbooking size of 12×12 inches. Some digi scrappers like to scrap at 8.5×11 inches (roughly A4) as this way they can print their layouts at home. One thing to remember is that you can always make and print a digital layout smaller without loosing quality but you can not make it bigger. Always scrap at the accepted print standard resolution of 300dpi/ppi (dots per inch / pixels per inch). Even though your layout may look fine in the screen, using a lower resolution will mean low quality, pixilated images when printed.
You should save your layouts as either .tiff or .psd (photoshop format) files while working on them to preserve the working layers and the quality. When readying a layout to print the usual file format is high quality .jpg.
Copyright and File Sharing
Printing and Sharing
So what do you do with these digital ‘pages’ when they are done? Many digi scrappers print their layouts, either at home or professionally and compile them into albums or frame them. There are many professional printing options available these days – you can have your pages printed on calendars, mugs or even on canvas. A bonus with digital is that you can have one layout printed and presented in as many different ways and as many times as you like. Digital layouts are also easily uploaded to online galleries or to your blog, burnt onto a CD or DVD or emailed, making them super easy to share with family and friends.
Digi scrapping doesn’t have to be all about making album pages either. You could create your own personalised cards (with or without photos), make calendars or one of a kind t-shirt designs. Use digi scrapping to make a personalised book for your child or perhaps to capture and record their art and creations without having to keep a huge pile of papers. You are only limited by your imagination.
Find out more
There are many many great digi scrapping web sites with friendly forums and great tutorials to help you get started.
- Pickleberrypop is an Aussie digi scrapping website and you can download a free start up pack including a small free kit and step by step instructions on how to create your first digital layout. There is also a tutorials page.
- Digital Scrapbook Place has a great list of tutorials for all skill levels and programs.
- Digi Scrapping Tutorials is another great site for beginners.
Thank you so much to Kate, who popped in from the Pickle Farm to share this great tutorial with us. Learning to digi scrap has been on my ‘to do’ list for a while now and this might just be the inspiration I need to get started! And, if you don’t already read Kate’s adventures over at Picklebums, get thee over there now as she is truly fantastic!