As mentioned in my recent posts, I’m working on making a series of baby books for my little guy. Since I tend to favor clean lines and streamlined layouts, I’ve never been big on elaborate backgrounds or clip art. I don’t generally use the embellishments offered by most of the photo book companies out there as I find a lot of them rather cheesy, but I decided to see what I could find outside of the offered stock art, by venturing out into digital scrapbooking-land. I’ve admired many layered scrapbook style layouts I’ve seen and it’s an art in itself to creatively design them. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of it yet but I’m always up for a challenge.
I decided to Google “baby digital scrapbooking” to see what popped up. (b/t/w I Google everything – my good friend Mary calls me the “Google Queen”). In addition to the list of sites that pop up, have you ever taken notice of the “images” results? Image searches on Google or Yahoo etc. is one of the best features of online searching. I’m a visual person and I hate to admit, I don’t really read anymore. I loved to read as a kid – I learned to read at age 4 and in sixth or seventh grade I recall reading To Kill a Mockingbird in one sitting until the sun came up. Every night before going to sleep, I would read a book as a bedtime ritual, but I rarely read for leisure as an adult. Shameful isn’t it? Anyway, as a visually oriented person, I do Google image searches all the time – mostly to get inspiration and ideas for photo book layouts and photography, sometimes to search for furniture, rugs, etc. If I find an image I like, I click through to the website and see what I can find there.
My “baby digital scrapbooking” search on Google turned up this…
I quickly scanned through the pages of results and found a layout that caught my eye. Clicking on that led me to the ScrapGirls site where ended up buying two baby-themed digital scrapbooking packages. One of them is the “Loving Boy Baby Collection” and the other is the “Tender Moments Collection” (you can find these kits if you enter the above phrases into the site’s search box). I spent about $17.00 on the two kits.
This is the first time that I’ve bought anything for my photo booking before and I tried playing with the elements by uploading the sets directly to Photobook America and by opening them in Adobe Photoshop. Since they’re jpegs you upload them just like you do any other photo. Then depending on how flexible and customizable the photo book software is that you’re using, you can layer them, add drop shadows, etc. etc. – really easy. If you’re using Photoshop or InDesign or some external photo editing or graphic design tool, the possibilities are endless. An added bonus is you can reuse them.
You can also find “easy pages” (which in digital scrapping terms are full page templates that are ready for you to add your images) – the clip art and photo boxes are already fully laid out for you so it’s basically drag and drop. They are just like the pre-made themes or templates that a lot of photo book companies offer, but you get to choose to buy what works for you. I also found a lot of digital scrapbooking kits and backgrounds on Etsy. The prices range from a couple dollars to about $10.00 for a large package of a dozen or so backgrounds, lots of clip art and a set of letters.
As mentioned I bought two sets first and bookmarked other ones I liked so I can decide later if I want to buy more. I’ll be sure to share with you the designs I come up with using those kits.
You can also find free backgrounds, fonts, and clip art on the Internet by doing online searches as well. There should be information on the site about whether it’s authorized for personal or commercial use or if credit to the designer is required or requested.
So have you ever bought any digital scrapbooking tools, or do you prefer to use the free ones provided by the company?
ScrapGirls is one of my favorite sites right now. They have great photo placement templates as well. If you sign up for their emails, they almost ALWAYS have percent off discounts in addition to what is posted online. I also like her emails – she shows completed pages, and then links to the different kits that created those pages. I’m not affiliated – just discovered them a few months ago. There are SO MANY digital scrapbook stores and blogs out there. You can easily get overwhelmed. I’ve started saving jpegs of kits that I like in a folder on my computer, so that I can remember where I find things that I like so that I don’t buy things all willy-nilly.
Generally, I create pages using Photoshop Elements, and then upload them as jpegs into the photobook software from the different companies. I like the flexibility to choose my own papers, fonts (I have one of my own printing that I like to use for my journaling), and templates. It takes a little longer, but I like the results.
Can’t wait to see what you come up with for your baby book :-).
We’re definitely on the same wavelength! After trying to decide for a while who to go with to print my books, I decided to design my own pages in Photoshop for the flexibility as well even though it takes longer to do. Plus I’m sure the grandparents are going to love a copy or some version of it for themselves, and by doing it in Photoshop I’ll have the most choices on where to print. I have my own font too! More on that later 🙂
Anne MacLellan says
Welcome to the dark side 🙂 I started off a paper scrapper about 10 years and then switched to digital several years after that (digital was just starting off then). I’ve scrapped digitally on and off since then using Photoshop Elements.
Hi Anne, I was a paper scrapper too! 🙂 It’s such a huge difference in weight and size of the paper scrapbooks versus the digital ones isn’t it?