The popularity of scrapbooking rises and falls, but it seems the cost of scrapbooking supplies continually climbs. Scrapbooking is fun as well as an expression of creativity. It can be a social hobby if you wish it to, and it preserves memories. But it can also break your bank if you're not careful!
Purchasing everything from scrapbook paper and stickers to scissors and glue, not to mention accessory necessities such as pop-dots and punches and stamps and more adds up fairly quickly. The scrapbooking supplies available in craft stores are just so precious that collecting them is a bit addicting! It's quite tempting to buy all new scrapbook supplies for every page. But follow some basic tips and save money while still getting cool, creative scrapbook pages.
1) Paper Piecing
Get adorable three dimensional scrapbooking embellishments without the cost of those expensive 3D stickers!
The scrapbooking sticker aisle in your craft store may be one of the most dangerous territories for a scrapbooker to venture into. Temptation abounds. Especially when you see those cute packs of dimensional art, all ready to be stuck on your page without any need for glue or scissors. They've got stickers for every season, every major life event, and even some day to day activities.
But you can create replicas of these dimensional stickers all on your own! They may not look exactly the same but they'll be just as cute and made from "scraps", which is a perfect fit for your cheap scrapbook.
With textured paper, scissors, maybe some pop-dots (to add dimension), possibly chalk (chalking the edges of your paper will add further dimension), and a good paper piecing pattern you can create Easter bunnies and Halloween pumpkins and even Disney princesses.
Check Scrapbooks, Etc. for a huge variety of free paper piecing patterns.
2) Negative Space
When you punch out cute little pieces from your cardstock do you throw away the paper left around the cut-out? Don't! The paper left behind from a punch-out can easily be used in a variety of ways. It's called scrapbooking for a reason, after all.
- If the remaining scrapbook paper is long enough, cut strips from it and incorporate these paper ribbons into your design somehow.
- Use the negative space around the punch-out piece. Let's say you've punched out a heart. Around your heart-shaped hole, cut a square. You're left with a new embellishment that fits your heart theme now.
3) Paper Ribbons
Ah, ribbon. So many colors and textures and shapes and patterns! So many prices! Even the "cheap" or discount ribbon can still run a dollar for a roll of it.
So for cheap scrapbooking purposes, use paper ribbons instead. When a scrapbook page calls for a nice strip running down the bottom or behind a photo, cut long thin strips of pretty textured cardstock or paper to give the same effect a run of cloth ribbon would. For bonus savings, cut the strips of scrapbook paper from leftover paper as opposed to a new, full 12x12 sheet.
And the paper strip will be a lot easier to glue on than ribbon would have been to glue or tape!
4) Alter Chipboard Letters
We've all been there as scrapbookers: you have the perfect layout with your coordinated colors, but when it comes time for the title you just can't get it right. So you head to the craft store for new supplies instead of digging through the old for something you can "settle" for.
Instead of purchasing new alphabet pieces, alter the chipboard letters you already have by inking them to match your page. Save the five or six dollars of a new little carton of letters!
Altering chipboard is also a technique for page decor. Chop the letters in half and use them for a swirly border, for example. This is great when you're down to those last letters you just know you won't be using in text. Don't throw them away! Instead find a way to incorporate them into your scrapbook design. For example, an "O" can make a creative frame if it's large enough.
5) Paper Bag Albums
Instead of buying a brand new 6x6 album or even a blank chipboard scrapbook, use standard paper bags to create your next scrapbook. This is the epitome of scrapbooking on a budget by being resourceful.
Tutorials for a paper bag scrapbook exist all over the internet. Assembly of this simple scrapbook album is actually quite easy and it only requires three paper bags. After folding the bags, you'll either stitch them together or punch holes and tie them together with pretty ribbon or string. Then you get to decorate just like with any other scrapbook, for a fraction of the cost!
Tip: paper bags don't have to be brown. If you'd like to leave a border of the bag around your cut out paper then choose a color of paper bag that best compliments your scrapbook theme.
6) Wait For Coupons
Coupons seems like a bit of an obvious suggestion on how to save money scrapbooking. But it's one to take to heart! Joann Fabrics and Michael's, two of the most common crafting stores and suppliers of scrapbook supplies, frequently send out coupons in a flyer to those on their mailing list.
And of course download their apps! I've yet to not have at least a 25% Off One Item coupon waiting for me in my phone.
Besides coupons, the discounts and sales spread throughout the stores are regular as well. Never pay full price for your scrapbooking stickers or paper when the right scavenging and waiting will save you a good piece of the price.
7) eBay Lots
While online shopping sometimes seems a threat to "real" stores due to how common it is, it's surprising how easy it is to forget to look to a site such as eBay for your craft supplies. Perhaps it's the stigma of "used" merchandise or simply forgetting or the appeal of instant gratification if you choose to head to the store right then and there.
But individual sellers who are clearing out their scrapbooking supplies are rampant and ready to hand off piles of stickers and paper and other embellishments to you for the right price - which is likely less than you would pay buying these scrapbook pieces individually at a store.
(Also check eBay for discontinued supplies!)
8) Scavenge For Scraps
Put the "scrap" back in scrapbooking by scavenging for supplies in unlikely places. The possibilities are limitless! Scrapbooking supplies are all around you for free or minimal costs! For example:
- Cut out images from magazines or text from old books
- Clip newspaper articles
- Collect postcards from trips or even local areas and use them with your own photos in your scrapbook
- Keep tags and ticket stubs and other souvenirs to help fill your pages with memorabilia
- Try incorporating old buttons off shirts you would be getting rid of
9) Make Your Own Photo Corners
While a roll of photo corners isn't that expensive, making your own allows you to get creative and match the design to the page, blending papers together.
Instead of purchasing the stick-on triangles to hold your photos, bend small squares of paper to create the same effect. Use pop-dots on top of the finished project to add buttons or other embellishments. This is a great way to use smaller scraps that you might have thrown into the trash. You'll love the effect, plus you'll be recycling old supplies.
10) Fun Foam
Cheap and easy and cute, fun foam is all over the place in craft stores. It comes in cute shapes and bright colors and is generally available for all the main holidays and the seasons.
Just make sure it's acid free since you'll be using it next to photos. But if so, you're good to go. Fun foam often has a sticker back, meaning you can save your glue too.
It's three dimensional as well!
What are some of your tips to save money on scrapbooking?
peachy from Home Sweet Home on April 07, 2013:
wonderful ideas. I need to save some money for scrapbooking. Bad times right now. Voted useful
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 18, 2013:
My main souvenir from traveling is the photo albums I put together after a trip. I sometimes include tickets, menus, etc. These scrapbooking ideas came along after I had already been doing my type of remembrance book for years. I can certainly understand the allure and the beauty of creating them. One thing that one would need is lots of space to display them or store them. Same with my photo albums! Excellent tips on saving money when scrapbooking. Voted up, useful and interesting.
Priyanka Estambale from United States on February 15, 2013:
Saving is something all look for, this is a great way to save up and be creative :) Thanks for sharing!
JessBraz from Canada on February 15, 2013:
I'm a novice scrapbooker... I've made one or two and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but MAN! Did they cost me a lot of money. lol... Michaels Crafts is a dangerous store for me... That aisle with all the stickers is hard to resist...One way I try to cut down on costs when I'm ready to make a new scrapbook is I get a lot of my stickers and decorative accents from the dollar store... Just as pretty, no retail markup.
I really loved this hub.. Especially the part about making a scrapbook from a paper bag! I've never even heard of that technique before. I'm going to have to try it out instead of buying scrapbooks all the time... I'm quite excited about this new piece of info. lol.
Great job! Voted up, useful, awesome & interesting.