Scrapbook On A Shoestring

This question was posted on the old forums

How do you accomplish scrapbooking cheaply. We do some lapbooking, but I saw several scrapbook type projects on the Internet that were based on educational topics. It looked really fun, but when I looked into materials and equipment, it seemed quite expensive.
So any ideas how to scrapbook on a shoestring?

Do you have a Hobby Lobby near you? If so watch their ads, you can access them at – they usually run some scrapping/craft item each week half price. They have great prices on paper everyday, but when it is half price you can’t beat it! If you don’t have a Hobby Lobby, another thing to do is use the 40% off coupons for Michaels to purchase bulk packs of paper and larger items. There are tons of internet sites that sell supplies. QVC sometimes has some great deals also.

Watch on eBay or some other auction site. People sometimes sell lots of scrapbook related items for really cheap.

Also start saving scrap pieces from various arts and craft projects the kids do. That little piece of ribbon you think will have no use for anything else comes in really handy when you are doing a scrapbook page. That little odd piece of fabric. Start looking at things you previously would have tossed out and start looking at them as items for a scrapbook. You would be amazed at the ideas you come up with. Old buttons, charms, small game pieces (like bingo chips), even old game cards come in handy. Check with your neighbors and friends. See if they will save you their scrap pieces.

Make your own stickers. The sticker paper is a little expensive. Kids can find pics on the internet and print them on the sticker paper or make your own using KIDPIX. Rubber stamps come in real handy and have a variety of uses. Making theme papers, lapbook covers, scrapbook pages.

Create the pages on the computer. As you surf the net and find a graphic you like, save it in a file marked scrapbook (use sites that offer free graphics or buy some CD-ROMS that have them on there). Find borders, backgrounds, charms, etc. There is actually a whole community of people who do this and they love to share ideas. You use a graphic/photo program to put all your graphics together and then print them out. This is a great way to incorporate photos you take with your digital camera and store on your computer. You can change the photos to be however you want.

You could look online for free printable scrapbook sheets and fonts. Also, certain stores have great deals during the year on scrapbooking supplies. Check out the dollar stores as well–sometimes places like Dollar Tree, Deals, or Dollar General have great things for scrapbooking. Make sure it is acid free (sometimes even construction paper is acid free which makes it affordable for scrapbooking).

Use the Michaels coupons every week. They come in the paper on Sunday’s generally and collect them from as many people that you know get a paper. Get supplies with the 40% off coupon. Also get on Joann Fabrics mailing list. Get several from friends and they usually have a %50 off coupon every couple of weeks. Subscribe to the newsletter from Scrapbookers Inc and they send out coupons in their newsletter. Get as many supplies as I can at 40% to 50% off. Also get film developed at Costco or Sams Club. Much cheaper price than most that can be found. Meijer’s also has sales on supplies every couple of weeks. Keep an eye out for those.

JoAnn has a couple of 40% off sales, you can wait until then. Also at JoAnn use your educators discount.

Try York Photo. It is mail order. Info can be found at: Best of all, they come right to your mailbox in about a week! You don’t need to go anywhere to pick them up or wait for the clerks to locate your photos.

Check your local library for old National Geographic magazines. You can probably get them for a song. Perfect for lapbooks about animals! Thrift stores may also be a gold mine for old magazines for these projects.

Some local libraries have bins near the entrance with free magazines. See if yours does.

For those who are scrapbooking challenged. If you find you just can’t spend as much money and time as it would require to do a good job, you might have the capability with your computer. A scanner is really relatively cheap and you can scan your photos into the computer to make memory cds for each of your kids. You can use Roxio CD creator. With that you can add borders, graphics music voice etc. to the photos. There are other programs like PowerPoint that would let you do the same type of thing.

All of your precious baby videos (VHS tapes) can faded and deteriorate. Photographs may eventually do the same. Put them in digital format on CDs and movies on DVDs.

See if your church historian will digitize your photos and movies. Once on CD, you can make as many copies with your computer’s CD burner and send them to relatives. There are places that can do this for you.

Use one of those collage-type frames that contain several pictures to use per kid. You can also put in ribbons they’ve won, etc. You can display a larger collection of each child in a more contained space and it doesn’t look real cluttered.

I found myself even babybook challenged! I save stuff to put in my dd’s babybook but haven’t written in it though. Being a single parent – it was difficult finding even the ‘right’ babybook. I ended up buying a computer program a while back (uses floppys but I burned out the A-drive connection on my motherboard so it’s useless right now) so I could make my own babybook. I also have the Roxio CD creator on my computer as well as Microsoft Picture It and should get started on that before my dd gets married (at the rate I seem to be going that’s when it’ll be started LOL!).

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