Let’s get digital?

Laptop keyboardIndividuals share personal information, thoughts and feelings all over the Internet every day. Facebook profiles, blogs and tweets allow us to interact with others online but also develop a personal brand.

My scrapbooks are personal to me, and I enjoy creating each page by hand: cutting the paper, cropping the photos, tying the ribbons and writing the journaling.

Digital scrapbooking is a trend that transforms the hobby into something very different; it introduces older traditions to the future. This recent method is convenient for some, but does it retain the quality and meaning behind handmade scrapbook pages?

Below I have outlined some pros and cons of digital scrapbooking and traditional scrapbooking:

Digital scrapbooking


  • It uses less physical storage space.
  • You don’t necessarily need to make space or use a table to complete a page.
  • You may save your work in several formats and locations (i.e. flash drives, compact discs and external hard drives).
  • Many individuals now use digital photos, so scrapbooking via computer software saves the cost of printing multiple copies of photos.


  • Pages are less personal since typography replaces handwriting and layouts appear to be flat and less three-dimensional.
  • Digital scrapbooking software can be expensive, as prices may exceed $100. However, some software may be downloaded for free.
  • Staring at a computer screen for hours while creating a page can be tiring.
  • Technology can go wrong and perform slowly sometimes, so the process may be frustrating, depending on your resources.

Traditional scrapbooking


  • You don’t necessarily need technology to complete a page.
    Handmade cards, blue and green colors

    Cardstock, stickers and ribbons add three-dimensional aspects to a project.

  • Scrapbook supply stores exist in local areas to provide you with many options for scrapbooking resources.
  • Traditional scrapbook pages have three-dimensional capabilities.
  • You can use up old printed photos that have been taking up space for years.


  • Photos and scrapbooks take up a lot of space.
  • Finding the correct supplies to use and then creating a traditional layout can be time consuming.
  • Traditional scrapbooking requires a lot of clean up.
  • Scrapbooks are unique, but you can only save them in one spot. Your work cannot be copied without physically creating the same page twice.

What do you have to say about the differences between digital and traditional scrapbooking? Do you agree with the comments I made?

Although I think digital scrapbooking is less personal than using craft supplies to create scrapbook pages, digital scrapbookers do create some beautiful designs. Check out a gallery of digital pages on digitalscrapbookpages.com. You can find more ideas via digital scrapbook designers’ blogs on the site as well.

I may decide to venture into the digital scrapbooking world someday, but for now I’ll stick to at least using up the excess of scrapbook supplies I’ve had for years.

How about you? Have you tried digital scrapbooking, and if so, what was your experience like? What do you like about traditional scrapbooking?

If you are interested in trying digital scrapbooking, check out some tips from Karen Ellis. Also, a Picnik tutorial for creating a digital page can be found on www.housewifeeclectic.com in a post by Debra.



Filed under Digital scrapbooking, Scrapbooking

11 responses to “Let’s get digital?

  1. Cassandra Beck

    I have been a traditional scrapbooker for years just like you, and although I have never tried the digital scrapbooking, I just don’t think it’s the same. I enjoy cutting out pictures and shapes and deciding what colors goes with what. It’s all in the creative process and I can even say that sometimes I like going “Oh no that goes better with that” and have to pull a picture from somewhere, trying not to rip it. I know you can do a digital type scrapbook on the Walmart photo site, and I played around it for a little, but I thought where is the fun in this? I like the whole feel of keeping your scrapbook on a shelf and picking it up or having your friends pick it up from time to time. I think I’m with you and will stick withe the traditional scrapbook.

    By the way – love the name of your blog, very cute 🙂

    • Thanks Cassandra! I definitely agree that it’s fun to grab a scrapbook off the shelf once in a while to just look at it for fun. I think traditional scrapbooking is much more involved since there are so many supplies to use, which is why I enjoy it more than digital scrapbooking.

  2. stefaniemoore

    I’m “connected” 24/7 and although I do enjoy being creative online with Web design and Photo Shop, sometimes it’s nice to unplug and cut paper! Traditional scrapbooking is therapeutic.

    • I agree. I feel like I’m on the computer all the time, so setting aside the space and supplies for traditional scrapbooking makes the hobby more special and unique.

  3. Kristen


    I completely agree that as a generation of technology we almost can never escape it. And though the Internet has made ways of communicating more convenient, we have turned ordinary personal ways of communication into plain black and white text. Scrapbooking has always been a way to be creative and savor memories by adding your own personal touches to the pages. Which is why I also believe that digital booking becomes less personal, because the computer is actually generating the book, not you.

    • Kristen, I completely agree. It would be interesting to try the techniques on the computer, but for now I’d like to stick to my traditional books. You’d think it would be easy to change my habits since I’m on the computer for hours every day, but I enjoy working on traditional books much more.

  4. I might be the only one reading this who is in love with digital scrapbooking! I find it equally as therapeutic and artful as traditional scrapbooking, just in a different format. The main benefits of scrapbooking – creating art, telling stories, capturing images and memories you want to keep and remember forever – still remain, but for me, the benefits of digital outweigh the benefits of traditional scrapbooking. I had my handwriting made into a font for just $10 (I also bought a Wacom tablet but rarely use that) so I could use my handwriting on my pages. I am beginning to create my own papers and embellishments, so I have an extra level of artistic creation I didn’t have with paper. And I have the freedom and flexibility of printing and sharing my pages in a multitude of ways – from Facebook to my blog to printed album pages – without having to recreate the page over and over again. I can use photos in whatever size I wish, I can edit them in a way that makes me happy and use them immediately, and I rarely have to print photos, something I have been terrible at keeping up with since moving to a digital camera six years ago. I love the feel of a nice, heavy scrapbook made with love (and the feel of a completed layout in my hands) just like I can see you all do (who doesn’t?), and so I print my pages individually as 12×12 photos and slip them into page protectors just like I would a regular scrapbook page. Doing this also allows me the flexibility of mixing digital pages with the traditional paper ones I still have and might occasionally still create. But when my kids go off to college, I’ll be able to print them their own custom hardbound books of all of my favorite layouts for them to take as their own – while I get to keep the originals for myself. (Maybe I’m selfish that way, but the thought of sending off my blood, sweat and tears I put into my traditional albums makes me want to cry!) I also like to share my images with family, and with my kids’ grandparents 1200 miles away from us, I have been known to make them their own albums for gifts! Anyway, I am completely with all of you in the value and therapeutic nature of traditional scrapbooks, and I will always, always love them. I also can’t bear to part with my traditional supplies. But despite my initial hesitancy toward digital, I have found myself completely emerged in it and loving every second! 🙂 Hope you all give it a shot sometime. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy it! (In the meantime, though, I love that you’re all scrapbookers, either way! It’s an awesome hobby, isn’t it?)

    PS Found you on WordPress doing a search for “digital scrapbooking.” Thanks for listening to this randomness from a stranger!

    • Corie,

      I really appreciate your input on digital scrapbooking! You mentioned some aspects of the format that I have never thought about before. I especially like the fact you can print multiple copies of a page because I agree, it’s even hard to give away scrapbooks as gifts! Also, thanks for letting me know how you found my site! I’ll have to check out yours, too!


  5. Wow, that was long. Sorry!

  6. I agree with Corie. Before I had my daughter I dabbled in digital scrapbooking but mostly stuck to paper scrapbooking. I like working with my hands. After having a baby I found it almost impossible to finish a page and keep my daughter out of the mess I made with my supplies. I found I was spending all my time tidying or feeling guilty that I wasn’t creating very much. One day on a whim I made a digital page again and I loved that my “supplies” weren’t making a mess, I could go away from the computer and come back and everything would be where I left it, I could work at it for a couple minutes when I had moments to spare, and most effects from paper scrapbooking could be achieved with a little skill and knowledge. So now I’m totally digital but in the future (once the kids are older) I hope to use my paper supplies for craft/home/scrap projects. I’m not ready to give them up yet!

    • I understand your concern about the mess. I don’t have kids but I don’t want to feel like my supplies are in the way! I’m thinking I should use up my supplies while I can and then try digital pages once I’m busy with a career and a family. I don’t want all my supplies to go to waste!

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