Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How To Start Digital Scrap Booking For FREE

Welcome to The Cherry On Top.

We are often asked, "How do I start digital scrapbooking?"  What an excellent question!  We can totally get'cha running and all for free, too.  That's right!  You don't have to spend a single cent to get started digital scrapbooking.

Read further about the various kinds of software, supplies, tutorials, links and of course in Cherry fashion, we'll give you a ton of free stuff to get you started and you'll be hooked on digital scrapbooking, too.

First, let's look at the differences as well as the commonalities between traditional/paper scrapping and digital scrapbooking.

The aesthetic is completely the same and you can apply most of your techniques to your digital layouts and projects.  Don't forget, that you can create just about anything digitally.  Just like you can with paper and even both when you go hybrid.  Hybrid is when you design your project digitally, then print it out and shape, glue and fashion up your finished project.

This a traditional scrapbooking, tag mini album.

I totally layer up in the exact same manner with my digital projects as I do my traditional ones.  Learning to shadow in digital is a skill you'll have to learn, but no worries.  There are actions that do it for you and you can also use templates and transfer/copy the designer's shadow to your design.

This is an example of a digital layout.

As in traditional, when it feels like something is missing, I layer up and keep adding.  Just like I do in my digital layouts.  We often joke about using elements to cover mistakes.  I do it in pictures, digitally.  Putting a flower over some unknown who is in my nearly perfect picture.  Hehehe...

Of course, an enormous positive point to digital scrapbooking is your cost is minimal, depending on your software.  You also never run out of supplies.  If you fall in love with a paper/background, you can copy it as much as you like.  Same with that fabulous flower you've been saving and afraid to use because it's so pretty.  Hehehe...There is no mess.  No glue and your glitter doesn't go anywhere you don't put it.  You don't need any space and you can scrap on the run without dragging all of your supplies with you.

Another digital layout using a template.

Let's talk about time.  Digital scrapbooking/crafting can be a huge time saver.  There are so many goodies out there that are half finished or designed to make scrapbooking fast and easy.  Some have the shadows all ready.  Designers have what's called a quick page,  All you have to do is plug in the pictures.  You can find albums that are completely finished.  Add your photos and send to your favourite printer and that's it. 

You can take all of the time you have or make something, literally, in minutes even seconds.  Designers often sell gorgeous built up borders, clusters, word art and even stacked papers.  Add a couple of bits, your pictures and your finished.

Free stacked Princess Papers can be found here.  We plan on releasing all of the goodies, for free, eventually.

We design templates at The Cherry and they are really great for getting started.  You'll get a super idea about what kinds of shadows to use on your layouts as well as learn balance and aesthetic in layouts.  They are great for when you don't even know where to start or when your mojo is on low.

Here's a blog on with more on templates.

The basics:

OK, the obvious.  You need a computer, lap top or tablet. Of course, the better your internet, the quicker your goodies will download.  You'll need a considerable amount of storage on your computer because files can get pretty large.  Windows or Mac typically doesn't even come into play as a potential problem when it comes to digital scrapping.  I'm a Mac user and have never had a problem.  

A printer is ideal if you want to print out your layouts or projects.  I print almost everyday.  So make sure to consider this if you plan on printing out what you design. I'll blog about printers more in detail another time, but I'll quickly say that a lazer/LED printer is the way to go for when you want to print a lot.  I used to never print because of the crazy cost of ink.  My hubby bought me a printer that's ideal for printing in large quantities.  With my Brother printer, I can print over 2,000 pages before I have to refill!

This is an example of a hybrid.  Designed digitally, printed and assembled.

We'll take a look at software in a nutshell.

PSE or Photoshop Elements is a super software program to get started.  It's what I'm currently using.  It is a bit pricey at about $100.  Photoshop has been around for 20 years. So if longevity is a concern of yours, it's a pretty safe choice.  Photoshop is also an option if your very comfortable with computers and are not intimidated.  I always tease my scrappy sisters by saying, I'm still wearing my little girl under panties, by using PSE.  Hehehe...PSE is a bit more user friendly than PS when it comes to beginnings.

Corel PaintShop Pro is another very popular program.  It's really a matter of preference as far as I can see.  Some designers and other crafty chicks love PSE and PS while others are all about the PaintShop.  Though, both are at the higher end of the pricing scale.  These three are THE most popular for scrapbooking and designing.

My Memories Suite is another option and one I often tell folks to get started with.  It's mega easy to use.  So, if you're not uber wise with all of the technical computer stuff, then this would be a great option. They've been around for quite a few years. They have their own store, gallery and forum, too. No other software provider can say that, as far as I know.  They also have totally awesome customer service.  The kicker is, there is a free trial available.  You can play for an entire 30 days before you decide to buy.  Now, get ready for the cherry on top!  It's one of the cheapest software programs out there, too.  You can also find numerous tutorials and videos on their site as well as around the net. We can provide you with a coupon to save even more money.  Use this code STMMMS18837 and save $10 on the already low price of just $39.99.  They give a lot of freebies, too!  Here's the link for the free trial.

Before I know about digital scrapbooking, I was using Power Pointe because it was already on my computer and I was using it for designing slideshows and activity sheets for my high school students.  That's how I even thought about scrapbooking on the computer. I went out cruising the web, not even five years back and found the wonderful world of digital scrapbooking/design.

I went right for that free software from MyMemories, then bought the real deal and nearly two years later, bumped up to PSE.  I'm still there and have so much to learn before I take the even bigger jump into Photoshop.

You can use your digital program for so much more than scrapbooking.  You can edit your photos, design invitations, book marks, cards, boxes, stickers, planners, tags...the options are endless!

 tot free book marker
 This is a bookmark designed digitally and printed and laminated.  It's also free.  Find it here.

 This is a greeting card, designed digitally.  Print and fold and you're finished.  It's free, too.  Find it here.

This is my favourite, up-cycled Christmas card box gift.  All done digitally!  5 4x4 layouts and tags.  Find the tutorial here.

These are lovelies designed by my gal Paty Greif Digital Designer.  The things you can do, eh?

I still like to get glue and glitter on my fingers and I make the time to do both because they are still quite a bit different, but that creative, artsy aspect is in both.

Here's an example of a digital layout, printed at 8x8 and inserted in a standard scrapbooking album.  You can see the entire album along with tutorial by clicking on the image, below.

 hybrid mini and bow tutorial

I printed out my son's very own book.  He loves is so much.  I made this entire book from start to finish in an afternoon.  Find out more on how to make books like this, right here.

 tcot book tutorial

I'll leave you with one of our most recent hybrid projects and a favourite as well as popular.  It's these tea envelopes designed with Alexis Design Studio's Spot Of Tea digital kit.  Get the free envelopes here and click on the image to see more gorgeous goodies from Alexis Design Studio.


There are a couple of blogs like this one explaining how to get started with digital scrapbooking as well as videos.  Here are some links that might help you further.


Oh, how about a couple of free, digital goodies to get you going?  Check out our Free Digi Scrap Stuff board on Pinterest and download until your heart's content.  Be sure to check out our blog.  We have freebies on nearly every scrappy edition.  Our Facebook Page provides our fans with freebies every single day, too!  All of our goodies are for Personal Use ONLY. Meaning they are just for you and are not to be sold our claimed as your own.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have.  I've got scrappy sisters all over the world that can help. Thank you so much for stopping by The Cherry.

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