Hi everyone! I’m Noreen and I am so happy to be guest posting on Simply Frugal! Taya’s tips have certainly saved me lots of money, and I hope these tips on frugal scrapbooking might save you a little bit of cash too!
Scrapbooking can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be. There are so many ways you can preserve your photos and memories, and indulge in your passion to create beautiful keepsakes without breaking the bank. Here are 10 ideas to help you save some of your hard earned cash!
1) If you are just starting out, focus on getting good quality basics – a package of multi-colored acid-free card stock, archival or photo-safe adhesive, and an archival pen. You can always use scissors to trim your papers and photos and you can purchase an album as funds allow. Use coupons when you can to make your initial purchase cost less.
2) If you have been scrapping for a while, shop your own stash! It’s amazing what you might find at the bottom of your scrap box from 2 or 3 years ago. By doing a little sorting and organizing, you’ll probably come up with fresh ideas for old products. Challenge yourself to use up a certain amount of old product (say, 10 layouts or 1 mini-album) before you purchase anything new.
3) While you are sorting and organizing, purge all your unwanted products and place them into a box or bag. Then, organize a Swap & Crop with some friends. Tell them to bring their unwanted product for everyone to discover. What’s old to you is new to them!
4) When you do shop for new products, make it a rule to never pay full price! Make sure you take advantage of coupons and special offers. Sign up at Michaels to receive weekly coupons via email (also try Jo-Ann’s if you live in the US). Check out whether your local scrapbook store offers special deals in their email newsletter. Try shopping online – lots of sites offer greatly reduced prices (just remember to factor shipping and handling charges into the final cost!) Here are a few sites to check out:
5) Try shopping at alternative sources – check out the craft sections of your local discount department stores, dollar stores, and warehouse outlets (I have found unique supplies at great prices at Zellers, Wal-Mart, Winners and Costco!). Check out ads for scrapbooking supplies on your local Buy and Sell or kijiji websites. Watch for supplies while you shop garage sales. And you can usually find good deals if you have an idea of what you are looking for on e-Bay.
6) Take advantage of FREEBIES! Many websites and blogs have Printable Freebies such as background papers, embellishments, tags and journaling spots that you can print at home to cut out and use on your scrapbook pages and cards. (Hint: make sure to subscribe to the site’s RSS feed so you don’t miss any freebies they may post!) Some of my favorite freebie finds:
- My Scrap Chick
- Scrapbook Scrapbook
- And I even offer some free printables on my own website: Sharing Memories Scrapbooking!
7) Think “Reusable”. Tools such as die-cutting machines, punches and stamps may cost more initially, but you will be able to reuse them over and over again with different supplies to get different looks. Use coupons or shop alternate sources for these items to make them more affordable to begin with. Or consider taking out a membership at a local scrapbook store where you can use their tools with your supplies. Local crop groups and independent scrapbook consultants in your area may also offer use of tools for a small fee.
8) Digital scrapbooking offers the ultimate in reusability! Buy digital papers and embellishments and reuse them forever! And, you can find lots of free digital kits online – check these sites:
9) Customize basic items using other supplies. Instead of spending top dollar on designer brads, buy a box of bulk brass brads in the stationary section of your discount department store or dollar store. Then, use your craft paints, nail polish, permanent inks, glitter glue or embossing powders to make them coordinate with various supplies you are using. Buy plain chipboard alphabets and shapes and add color to them with markers or paint to match individual projects. Buttons from your sewing basket can be customized with cute designs (think dots, doodles, flowers or stripes) using colored permanent markers.
10) As for getting new ideas, you can certainly get them online just by doing a Google search of “scrapbooking”. But sometimes I like to flip through a magazine or book to get ideas and to bookmark these for future reference. Scrapbook magazines can be expensive at $8.00 or more per copy. Consider subscribing for much less. For example, you can get a 12 issue subscription to Creating Keepsakes Magazine for only $19.97 or a 6 issue subscription to Scrapbooks Etc. for only $13.97! And check out these sites for great deals on scrapbooking and craft books:
I hope this article gave you some ideas on how you can save a little, while still having lots of fun! Happy scrapping!
Noreen Smith is a SAHM who runs a small scrapbooking business from her home. Visit her website at http://www.sharingmemoriesscrapbooking.com/ for more frugal crafting ideas and tips!