Welcome to The Cherry On Top.
A few years ago we posted a blog on how to get started with scrapbooking for free. It's a pretty sweet, thorough blog. On that blog I get into a detailed description of scrapbooking and digital scrapbooking and give some seriously awesome plus points for digital scrapping. I also explain what templates, quick pages and hybrid scrapping is. If ya don't know anything about those things, ya might want to hit up that blog.
I only mention a few programs and that's what I'd like to draw out more on today's blog as well as give you an abundance of places to get free stuff to get started and give you some links to a few of my favorite shops to visit for when you really get good at the process.
I started with Power Pointe. Yes! Power Pointe and I thought I invented digital scrapbooking. BUAH! When I researched it, I found tons of stuff and apparently, I did not indeed, start the whole thing. Hehehe...I came across My Memories which was the first official scrapbooking software I used and I'll tell ya. Not only is it most affordable, but very user friendly. However, after a few years I grew out of it, big time. That means it's very limited and this coming from someone who really isn't all that tech savvy. I don't even own a cell phone!
I would totally recommend PhotoShop Elements to beginners and if you are a bit computer savvy, then go right to PhotoShop. I've been using PSE professionally for several years now and I still don't know how half of that stuff works! I joke to my scrappy sisters and say I still don't wear my big girl panties. I do have PS and I do use it for a few things, but I still find it really difficult to use.
PSE now has a FREE TRIAL, which is so mega cool! A scrappy friend of mine got me started in PSE in 15 minutes. 15 minutes?! As I mentioned, I'm really not all that tech savvy so this is pretty huge. I'm not an affiliate for PSE either. Hehehe...It's just a great program to start in. I don't want to bad mouth any program in this blog so if ya don't see a program here, it might be for that reason. Hint, hint...There are a few out there that are trying to manipulate the entire market and their program really isn't all that great either. PSE is also a one time purchase unlike PS where you have to pay a monthly fee. UGH! That is not a commitment one might want to make if they are not even sure they like digital scrapbooking.
Ya see, that was my whole deal. I had been a traditional scrapper for 20 years before I found digital and I sure as hell was not going to spend a huge amount of money on a hobby that I didn't even know I would like! So go the free route either with My Memories or better yet PhotoShop Elements. Make sure you like it first. I've been hooked since the very start though I do sometimes visit my crafty desk which by the way is so much messier than my digital desk. That's all in the other blog, if you're interested in the logistical part of this subject.
My Memories is 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. Obviously I'll benefit if you buy the MM program and yet I'm still telling you to go with PSE.
Paint Shop Pro is another program great for editing photos and working on graphics and a few of my friends use it. They also offer a free trial.
PhotoShop CC is similar to PhotoShop, but offers something extra and that's Lightroom photos where pictures can be edited and saved to the Lightroom library.
Affinity Photo is another very affordable one time payment program. It's not as versatile as PhotoShop, but might be another great place to get started. They also have a 10 day trial period.
There is also a mention of GIMP which came after I already got established with PSE and it's totally free which is a huge advantage. I'm fairly certain it has it's limitations, but being free is a really big thing.
There are a lot more programs out there, but I highly recommend PSE for those of you who aren't all that comfortable behind the screen or just dive right in to PS if you are tech savvy. You can always bump from PSE to PS. Photoshop does have a monthly fee around $10-$20 depending on the plan you get and they also have a free trial. It is for 7 days.
Y'all! I just did a quick search to see what others were saying about software programs and well, they are not telling you what I am for the most part. So ya might want to do more research. All of my friends in the scrap world use the programs mentioned with the exception of one or two that are not great programs. So I won't waste your time with them.
Let's get into places or sites where you can get free stuff, first. Of course, my blog is a great place and I have several Pinterest boards that provide you with links to freebies. A lot of freebies. Our group and page on FB shares freebies nearly every single day and there are a lot of other groups on FB that share freebies, too.
Shops all around DigiLand which I call it, provide freebies at least monthly. I'll give ya a few links of some of my favorites in the order that I like or use them. It might be worth your while. Many shops that provide only digital scrapbooking goodies have tons of freebies via newsletter hops, challenges, etc...
GingerScraps. (Check out the Welcome Wagon and the Challenges in the forum.)
ETSY (Etsy probably has millions of Digi Scrap products.) Mine is Kreative Design Studio. I have more templates in the GingerScraps shop. All of my kits are in the Etsy shop.
SugarHillCo This is for Commercial Use products
Sweet Shoppe Designs
Digital Scrapbooking Studio
The Lily Pad
Go Digital Scrapbooking
Design Cuts is uber professional and has mostly Commercial Use, but they offer freebies every Friday and I really love their products and promotions.
Creative Fabrica is also a pretty good shop as is Creative Market, but look carefully at Commercial Licenses if it applies to you. They also provide weekly freebies and have super promotions as well.
There are a lot more out there and there are so many blogs, too. Cruise around and find your favorites. You'll find a lot more free stuff that way. I totally go to Pinterest and type in the search filed, "Free Digital Scrap" all of the time. It's a great way to get your stash going and see if you like digital scrapbooking.
As mentioned, this blog is full of free stuff. Scroll back a few weeks and you'll find plenty or hop right over to our group and join in our Progressive Scrap and get this entire collection for free. Find out more over there!
I hope this blog has been helpful. If you ever have questions, visit our group. I've got so many wonderful scrappy sisters there that really know their stuff and we can totally help you get going and maybe even help you with trouble shooting.