I really enjoy scrapbooking. I don't have the time for it that I'd like, but I really love doing it when I can. I have "first year" baby books for all three kids pretty much done and am moving onto individual "memory" books for each of them. We take a fair amount of pictures, so I'll be busy for quite some time. I used to really get discouraged at how far behind I was or how my books didn't measure up to others. But I've really tried to adopt the attitude that these are "memories" for our kids, not trophies.
One problem with scrapbooking (besides the time element) is cost. It can be SO expensive! All the doo-dads one can get, you can end up spending a fortune! Trying to do scrapbooking on the cheap is a little tricky, but it can be done. Especially if you learn some secrets and start thinking outside the box. Let me share some of the few secrets I know. I would also love it those reading this could post some of their "secrets" in my comments, I'm always on the lookout for new information!
This LO I just completed last night. My son has a special buddy who is moving away. Our church is compiling a scrapbook to give to the family. This is our contribution. I would say that this LO cost roughly $0.25 for me to fabricate. Yep, $0.25 cents! See...scrapbooking can be frugal and fun at the same time! Honest, it wasn't hard or time consuming either. Let me tell you what I did.
First off, learn to journal!! Seriously, I've seen so many scrapbook pages where there is little to no journaling on the LO. Journaling does two things. One, it preserves memories and specifics about the event that you'll forget in a few years. Two, it takes up space! Seriously, learn to journal. My kids LOVE reading what I've journaled on their pages as much as the actual pages themselves.
Print large pictures to add to your LO's when you can. We have a fairly good photo printer. I specifically bought it with scrapbooking in mind. Yes...I know that printed pictures from a printer at home don't last as long as "professional prints" but they last nonetheless. Also, again a bigger picture takes up more room on your LO and it adds variety. It's fun to see different sized pictures on your pages.
Add special, personal touches to your pages. I had my son draw a picture of him and his buddy to add to my LO. How many of us have a
thousand few pictures that the kids have drawn lying around the house? Use them! Put them in your LO's, they add so much to them. Not to mention, they take up room on the page!
Make your own embellishements when you can. Fabric flowers, felt embelishements, buttons, ribbons can all be whatever from wherever. Buttons are buttons, they don't have to come from the "scrapbook" section. Fabric flowers can be used from the floral section at your local dollar store, just snip off the plastic backing to flatten them out for use. Felt is felt, you can cut out whatever shape/design you need. Ribbon is much cheaper in the floral or sewing section than in the scrapbooking section. Jewels, rhinestones, etc. from the notions department are cheaper too, just use a dab of glue to affix them. Learn to look for things in other departments or repurpose them from your own home (think outgrown clothing even!).
Shop around for your materials. Papers, embellishments, etc are everywhere. Don't become store or brand loyal, that costs you. I buy my things wherever I can. Everything that I used in this LO came from Big Lots. I bought two $2 scrapbooking "grab bags" and all that you see here was in those bags. Plus, I only used a small amount of what was in those bags. I can easily make 4-5 complete LO's with what is left over plus extra. Some of my favorite places to look for scrapbooking materials are Big Lots, Dollar Tree, Target's dollar spot, Wal-Mart and garage or rummage sales. Also, make sure to use your 40% coupons at the craft stores whenever you can. My craft store that I frequent also takes competitors coupons so I make sure to use them whenever I buy.
My last suggestion is to hold "scrapbooking stash swaps" when you scrapbook with friends. Bring items you no longer need or like and swap items with your friends. That way you get rid of things you aren't using, and come home with new things for FREE! This is always fun as you will come home with something for nothing, and there is nothing more fun than that!
Have fun preserving those memories! Linking up to the following: