Digital Scrapbooking for Beginners

New to digital scrapbooking? Great! There are several ways to learn how to scrapbook quickly and easily. The secret? Knowing what you need to learn first!

Step 1: Find some inspiration and decide what types of styles you like
There are a lot of different scrapbooking styles and methods. Spend some time looking through Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram to get some inspiration. Pinterest is a great starting point so you don’t feel completely overwhelmed staring at a blank screen. Type in “Scrapbooking Layouts,” or your favorite digital art brand such as “Lucky Girl Creative,” in the search bar and start pinning away all the different scrapbook layouts that catch your eye.
Once you’ve made a board with anywhere from 25-50 pins, you’re ready to start looking through them and identifying what you like about each page you pinned. Is it the color scheme? The layout of the pictures? The embellishments? The journaling? Do you like a realistic style, a traditional cut paper style, or an abstract artsy style?
Knowing what you like will help you decide what style you want to achieve and make it way easier to know exactly what techniques you should be learning. The longer you scrapbook, the more your style and tastes will evolve and change – but that’s okay. You must start somewhere!
Step 2: Learn your software program
There are many different types of scrapbooking software programs available, but I recommend getting started with either of the two that I use –  Photoshop and FOREVER Artisan. Both Photoshop and FOREVER Artisan have free trials available.
These graphics programs may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but once you learn them, you will realize just how much more creative freedom and control you have to create almost anything. With Photoshop, you’ll be able to edit your photos in amazing ways and create beautiful pages from free templates available within the software. With FOREVER Artisan, one of the only software programs that specializes in digital scrapbooking, you’ll be able to design, create, and print one-of-a-kind pages, albums, wall décor, and more.
Step 3: Choose a digital scrapbooking kit
Digital scrapbooking kits are downloadable files of image graphics, typically .png and .jpg images compressed into a .zip file for easier downloading. This format makes it possible to use the graphics for papers and embellishments in a variety of software programs. You can resize, re-color, and edit as needed.
At Lucky Girl Creative, we even have some freebies to help you get started at no cost!
When choosing a digital art kit to work with, look for these things:
  • Colors: What colors are going to coordinate well with your photos? Or, what colors appeal to you?
  • Theme of Kit: Take some time to look through your photos – would an all-purpose kit work best, or would you do better with a holiday or special occasion-themed kit?

One thing to look out for as a beginner is to make sure your digital scrapbooking supplies are high-resolution and high-quality graphics, like those created by Lucky Girl Creative. If you use inexpensive, low-resolution graphics or the images are blurry, pixelated, or have jagged edges, your designs will not look as sharp when printed.

Step 4: Start by trying to copy a favorite layout that you found in Step 1
As they say, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Open a 12” x 12” page file in your software program and add your background paper. Secondly, place your photos on the page just like your preferred sample. Thirdly, add your digital art embellishments in similar locations. Lastly, add your journaling. Note: Journaling is highly important as a photo without the details will someday be lost. The date, location, and the story behind the photos are a must, in my opinion.
Imitating or ‘copying’ a page takes the guesswork out of creating your layouts and helps you get started as a beginner. As you grow more and more comfortable with the process you can start altering your layouts, even beginning with a blank page!
Step 5: Save Your Work
While working on your page, and of course after you finish, be sure you save your work! If working in Photoshop, always save an editable PSD file in case you decide to make any changes later – as well as a flattened .jpg image file that can be uploaded to any printing or photo book site of your choosing.
Also, be sure to back up any digital scrapbooking kits that you purchased. Save one copy on your computer and a secondary copy in a cloud storage system such as FOREVER Permanent Cloud Storage, Dropbox, or OneDrive. Note for Artisan Users: Do not store your digital art files or scrapbook pages in OneDrive as OneDrive is not recognized by the Artisan software and it will corrupt your files.

Getting started with digital scrapbooking is a lot of fun and not that difficult to do. Like any new skill, you just need to jump in and start practicing! It may be some trial and error before you are 100% happy with your pages, but they will turn out great the more you learn. Remember, done is better than perfect.

Get started today with your free trial of Photoshop or FOREVER Artisan! And, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!