Guest Author - Amber Stull
Digital scrapbooking can be fun and easy! Whether you own a fancy Photoshop program or not, you can easily start making gorgeous digital scrapbook pages without leaving your home office.
In many cases, you can start scrapbooking digitally for free. But there are also many available sites that offer digital elements you can download for a small fee. I use Adobe Photoshop CS5 (which was not free), but there are online scrapbooking programs that can be downloaded for free such as Smilebox. You may have to pay a fee to print or save the images on your computer, but Smilebox is a nice place to try your hand at digital scrapbooking to see if you like it first before investing in a pricey program.
Once you have a program selected, itís time to dive in and get started. Select a set of pictures that you want to digitally scrapbook. Digital photos already on your computer are easily accessible. You can scrapbook about many things such as a birthday, vacation, holiday or even a set of favorite family photos. If you are using a ready-made scrapbooking program such as Smilebox, then just find the elements you want to use, point and click, and youíre on your way. Smilebox offers a variety of digital elements (papers, stickers, ribbons, titles, etc.) that are at your disposal. Photoshop does require that you obtain digital elements on your own but also offers more customizability.
I recommend using free downloadable digital elements to get your feet wet. It is time consuming to make your own elements and takes a lot of Photoshop knowledge. Some good sources for free downloadable elements to use in photo editing software include jessicasprague.com, freedigitalscrapbooking.com and shabbyprincess.com to name a few. Jessica Sprague also offers online classes for those who would like to learn more about Photoshop.
Once you have your digital elements downloaded, start by opening a new document. Set the size at 12 inches by 12 inches, 300 dpi. This will make your images print quality. Open the file that contains the digital papers you downloaded (you may have to extract the files if you downloaded a .zip file). Select a background paper that complements the photo(s) you have chosen to scrapbook. Drag the file into the open Photoshop document and it will paste the paper as a new layer. Size it accordingly. Insert your photo by clicking on it in the file and dragging it over to Photoshop in the same manner. Add embellishments and journaling including important dates. Save the file as a .jpg. Your digital scrapbook page is ready to print or share online! Many places offer 12 by 12 printing services.
Digital scrapbooking can be an easy convenient way to preserve your memories without getting your hands dirty. There are a lot of great digital scrapbooking tools available at your fingertips.