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5 Things You Need to Know to Start Digital Scrapbooking

There are a lot of people out there that want to start digital scrapbooking, but it can be so overwhelming to get started. The sheer amount of information out there can be daunting. Where do you begin? What do you need to start?

1. A Photo Editing Program

The first thing you need is an editing program to create your pages in. Although there are many such programs, the industry standard is, of course, Photoshop. You can get a cheaper version-Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 (Win/Mac)-which is great for digital scrapbooking. PSE is  about $88. Or you can get an the full version-which is now Adobe Photoshop CS5. You can try  PS or PSE for 40 days free.

In my opinion, Photoshop or Photoshop Elements is the only way to go. If you’re going to do it, do it right!

2. Storage Space

You’re gonna need some storage space. Not a lot to begin with, but you may need to add to it as you get more involved.

Kits, Photoshop files, and photos take up a lot of space. Still, I digital scrapbooked for about two years before I felt the need to get an external hard drive.

3. Printing

This is the price you pay for the ease of creating your work on the computer. There are many choices for printing. You can

  1. Print them yourself on a high-quality printer on good paper.
  2. Take them to a photo printing place or upload them online and have the pages sent to you.
  3. Upload your pages to online places like Cherishbound or Shutterfly, and have it made into a bound book that is sent to you. This is the option I use.

4. Kits

A kit is a set of files that include coordinated elements, papers, alpha, etc. You can get them online for free, or better ones you can pay for. They are not absolutely necessary for digital scrapbooking, but they make it much easier. Unlike paper scrapbooking supplies, however, once you download a kit it’s yours forever and can be used over and over again.

Get a Free Kit Here

Once you have these four things, you’ve got your next big obstacle.

5. Learn Photoshop

This program is not exactly user friendly. It’s very hard to open it up and just figure it out. It’s nice to have a mentor, someone who can answer your questions. You can take classes, or find tutorials online. This is where most people get stumped. It’s a big and intimidating program. But once you’ve learned it-you will use it every day for projects in all areas of your life. You’ll wonder how you survived without it.

But this is where the FIVE THINGS come in. This is what I tell people who ask me about digital scrapbooking-it’s what my blog is based on:


That’s it. Five things. I taught a class the other day, and in an hour and a half we were able to cover all five things quite easily. I have outlined each of these in lessons on my blog. So, if you are feeling overwhelmed with the whole idea-learn these five things, and it won’t be quite so scary.

  1. Opening and manipulating files – Create a new file in Photoshop. Pull your photos into the program, then into your page.
  2. Manipulating layers – Understand what layers are-each element of your page is a layer. Change the order, hide them, delete them, copy them.
  3. Manipulating photos – Pull in photos, crop them, re-size them.
  4. Working with Text – Add text. Insert text, change the size and font. Move it around where you want it.
  5. Using Layer Styles – A simple menu, easy to find, which allows you to add a little zing to your pages-adding shadows, borders, bevels, etc.

That’s it. You can learn these things in less than two hours with the proper tutorial.

If you would like free tutorials and information on how to use Photoshop, and more details on digital scrapbooking, check out my blog- Learn to digital scrapbook from start to finish-for free. You can do it!

Learn the Basics Free with Video Tutorials

About the Author

Megan Rees is a long time-scrapbooker and has taught digital scrapbooking classes in several venues. She now has a blog at, which takes readers step by step through the process of digital scrapbooking from start to finish. Everything from printing to kits to tutorials and even videos on how to use Photoshop. Article Source:


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