My 3 Monsters: Digital Scrapbooking on the Cheap - Part 1: Getting Started

Recent Posts


Digital Scrapbooking on the Cheap - Part 1: Getting Started

I've had several friends ask me how I make some of the digital projects that I make.  I always tell them that I'm no expert, I'm completely self taught, blah, blah, blah, {because it is nearly a physical impossibility for me to accept a compliment gracefully}.  I also tell them how super easy it is when you get a handle on a few basic ideas.  In lieu of sitting down with each person individually, though I'm willing to do that if anyone requires a little extra tutelage, I thought I'd write a series of blog tutorials to get people started.  Once you know some of the basics, all you'll need to do is practice to figure out the more complex things.

Before we get started creating things, you'll need to gather a few "supplies".  First and foremost, you'll need a photo editing program on your computer.  Photoshop and Photoshop Elements are very popular.  They are also very expensive and I'm a super cheapskate.  For that reason alone I don't use them.  Lots of awesome tutorials exist for learning Photoshop.  If that is what you'd like to learn, I recommend starting here at Kevin and Amanda .com.

Instead, I use a free program you can download from the internet called Gimp, so that is the program for which these tutorials will be written.  Gimp is not without its flaws -- mainly that it crashes if you open too many things at once or if your project is large, so you have to get in the habit of saving regularly.  The upside is that the price is right.  I love free!  And I think I can do just about everything that can be done in the more expensive programs with it.  You can download Gimp from this site.  Once you are on the Gimp page, click on "download Gimp 2.6.11".  Save it to your computer and then run the .exe file to install it.  

Next, you'll need to download some digital scrapbooking kits.  This is the really fun part for me.  There are a million places online where you can buy kits and they're really pretty affordable - $3 to $5, some more, some less.  But even better than that are the free kits, because free is the ultimate in affordability.  The thing to know about free kits is that they are almost always meant for personal use only.  You cannot make and sell anything with these items.  Read the Terms of Use that come in every kit so you know what the rules are for each designer.  Some of my favorite free resources are Shabby Princess {their Shabby Shoppe is also divine!} , Two Peas in a Bucket {make sure to sort by PRICE: LOW TO HIGH to find the freebies easily}, Digital Freebies {sign up to receive the Friday Freebie in your e-mail or pay $4.95 to access all the past kits.}, Shabby Blogs {their .png images can be used for more than just dudding up your blog and they have some of the best frame images in town!}, and Kevin and Amanda {she only has a couple of kits, but they are indeed lovely and worth stopping by for}.

In the past 6 months or so I have discovered Blog Trains.  Every couple of months a bunch of really great designers will design mini-kits based on a common theme and color pallet, which you can download FOR FREE!  Each site links to the next, hence the train concept, and by the time you have reached the end of the line you'll have a giant, beautiful digi kit.  It's one of my favorite pass-times.  My two favorite trains are at the Blog Train Blog and the LDS Blog Train Blog.  This is a great way to not only expand your collection, but to find designers you really love so that you know where to go when you have some money to spend. 

Now, my friends, go forth.  Download away!  {Be sure to unzip the files and save them somewhere that you'll be able to find them again easily -- I made a DigiScrap sub-folder in my Downloads folder where I keep everything organized, but do whatever works for you.}  When next we meet, I'll walk you through a really simple scrapbook page layout and we'll talk about layers.  Yippee!


  1. You just got yourself a new follower. I have been looking for something like this forever as I too am a cheapskate ;)
    Looking forward to more of these tutorials.

  2. Hi, friend! I'm admiring all your creative posts here so can you please share them with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there at the party :)

    PS: I am also currently holding a blog party called Market Your Biz and Giveaways where you can link up your etsy, online boutique or giveaways. You're more than welcome to come and get your business and giveaways promoted.


Thanks for leaving a comment. I try to respond to every one, even if it takes me a little while!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...