How Much Does Scrapbooking Cost? –

How Much Does Scrapbooking Cost?

Scrapbooking can be expensive. There are so many wonderful supplies available and those of us who have been scrapbooking for a long time probably have a whole room full of accessories, cutters, templates, paper and other scrappy stuff. The key to keeping scrapbook costs under control is just buying what you actually need, keeping track of what you spend and knowing what you can afford.

So what does scrapbooking cost? In paper scrapbooking the average cost of a page is $5-$15, per album $150 and up). Having your digital scrapbook pages professionally printed costs $2-$10 per page. Printing your digital pages at home costs $2-$10 (not counting the cost for the printer itself). 

There are many ways to create your scrapbook album, and all of them have different costs. The main difference will be if you are a paper scrapbooker or a digital scrapbooker.

Paper Scrapbooking: Traditional Scrapbooking – $150 (and up) per album

This is the method most people think about when they hear the word “scrapbooking”. You get to use all the scrapbooking goodies: patterned paper, embellishments etc and can create beautifully decorated scrapbook pages.

Depending on how elaborate you want to decorate your pages you may need to use a lot of supplies. Since every scrapbooker has their own preferences it is quite difficult to pinpoint the exact costs. If you are just starting out the following list of cost-effective (and additional) supplies needed for this method are listed below.

Basic supplies needed for traditional paper scrapbooking:

  • Paper ($1-$5 per 12×12 sheet)
  • Photos ($0.20-$2 per photo)
  • Scissors ($5-$15)
  • Adhesives ($3-$10)
  • Album ($30-$60)
  • Page protectors ($0.50-$2 per piece)
  • Embellishments (up to $5 per pack): stickers, ribbon, letters, die cuts etc.
  • Pen ($1-$10)

Additional options could be a paper trimmer ($10-$70 and up), acrylic or rubber stamps ($5-$15 each), paper punches ($3-$10 each), templates ($5-$30) and more. Pre-made scrapbook kits for weddings, births or other special events are about $20-$40. Kit clubs cost about $24-$40 a month.

Specialized equipment such as die cut machines ($50-$350) will add even more additional costs (special cutting vinyl, mats, subscriptions, software updates etc).

Paper Scrapbooking: Pocket Scrapbooking – $70-$150 per album

Pocket scrapbooking has become very popular in recent years. It is a scrapbooking method that makes memory keeping quick and easy. You need relatively little supplies and you can complete an album in a short amount of time.

Project Life is probably the best known example of this method. Becky Higgins,  Project Life’s creator, promotes that you can create an entire album without scissors or adhesive. You may want to keep some scissors or a paper cutter handy just in case you need to trim down your photos to fit in the smaller pocket spaces.

The supplies needed to complete a pocket scrapbook album include: an album, photos, pocket page protectors ($5 for pack of 12) and a designer card kit ($30), a pen and scissors or paper cutter. All of those supplies come to a fairly cost-effective total of $70! For a 12×12 album of approximately 30 pages that comes down to a cost of $2.33 per page.

Digital Scrapbooking: Using Software – $115-$250

In digital scrapbooking you use computer programs like Photoshop Elements or Photoshop to create your scrapbook pages. This method has a steep learning curve, but has been more widely used over the last few years. The scrapbook pages created in the software programs can be done in any scrapbook page size. Your digital pages can be created in any scrapbook size you want and either follow the more traditional layouts or given a more structured look like in Project Life pocket pages.

Although the start-up costs of digital scrapbooking may be more expensive, eventually the cost per page could cost you less than paper scrapbooking. Depending on whether you print your photos or finished digital pages at home, you may have to invest in a good printer, photo paper (or good card stock) and, of course, printer ink. It is important to calculate your costs per page for printing at home and compare them to what it would cost to having your pages professionally printed. Computer software for digital scrapbooking can cost quite a bit (although Adobe Photoshop Elements is very affordable around $60), as well as perhaps an online course to learn to use the program.

The great advantage of digital scrapbooking is that you use your software all the time and that you can use your digital supplies (kits, journaling cards, embellishments etcfor) over and over and over without additional cost. If you use free editing software and choose not to print your pages (separately or in a photo album) at all, it may in fact be completely free!

Basic supplies needed for digital scrapbooking:

  • Computer (desktop or laptop) ($100-$500)
  • Photo editing and/or digital scrapbooking software ($10-$600)

Additional supplies:

  • Digital scrapbook kits ($0-$6 each)
  • Good printer (12×12 if that is your scrapbooking size) ($100-$800)
  • Photo printing paper ($10-$50 per pack)
  • Printer ink ($15-$75 per cartridge)
  • Scanner ($30-$100)

Digital Scrapbooking: Using An App – $105-$150

Scrapbooking with an app is the perfect solution for scrapbooking on the go. The app enables you to scrapbook, journal and print your photos in a single layout right from your smartphone or tablet. The only supply you need for his scrapbooking method is your smartphone or tablet. No paper, no scissors, no card kits, no organizing and printing your photos!

The estimated cost of $105 to complete an album includes the purchase of the Project Life App by Becky Higgins, the purchase of one in-app card kit, and the cost to print your finished layouts. Once your layouts are designed, you can export them for printing or you can print directly from the app with their partnered printing house. You store the printed layouts in an album with page protectors (not included in the above estimated price). Making your albums this way is an all-inclusive, convenient scrapbooking method. It allows you to scrapbook on the go and not have to worry about not having all of your supplies on hand.

Digital Scrapbooking: Make And Print A Photobook – $90-$150

The great alternative to printing out the separate digital layouts and putting them in an album with page protectors is to use your layouts in a photobook. Shutterfly and many other online printing centers will turn that digital album in a beautifully and professionally printed hardcover photobook.

You can choose to use your own pages to fill the book or use the online printer’s software where sample layouts and “pre-fill” pages are provided. You simply “drag-and-drop” your photos.

Supplies needed: digital scrapbooking supplies.

Hybrid Scrapbooking – $155-$300

Hybrid scrapbooking combines the best of both the digital and “physical” (i.e. paper!) worlds memory keeping. Digital scrapbooking has been revolutionary for many of us, but sometimes you just want to add some 3D to the printed pages, or include some unscannable memorabilia. Adding some extra elements and embellishments to those printed layouts can bring an extra element of creativity.

Supplies for the hybrid method include both digital and paper elements.  Digital layouts can be made on the computer or using an app and then printed professionally or at home. Once printed, paper embellishments such as flowers, die-cuts, chipboard titles, buttons, thickers etc can be used to finish the page. This need for a combination of supplies makes this method a little pricier than some of the others, but it does provide a great amount of creativity, ánd it allows you to scrapbook on the go.

Supplies needed for hybrid scrapbooking: both paper and digital supplies.

Alternative Scrapbooking Methods: “Just Stick Your Photos In” Photo Album – $10-$55

These traditional photo albums are definitely the way to go if you want your scrapbooking to be affordable and super fast. It really is the “bare bones” method of the scrapbooking world, but it certainly gets the job done! In such an album you basically display your photos without adding any embellishments. You simply slide your pictures into the photo album, put down some simple journaling in the margins and you’re done! Perfect for scrapping those many vacation photos or making an album for a special occasion.

Supplies needed: An album, photos and a pen.

Alternative Scrapbooking Methods: Social Media Sharing – $0

This method may not immediately come to mind when you think about “scrapbooking”, but sharing photos and stories on social media is a very convenient (and cheap!) way of memory keeping. And telling your story, after all, is what scrapbooking is all about.

Supplies needed for social media sharing: your digital photos, a smartphone, and a social sharing website.

There are many possibilities to choose your favorite social sharing website: Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks are great places to capture your memories, thoughts, and feelings. Shutterfly, Google Photos, and Flickr are also good options for social sharing. The most important aspect of these sites is that you have the option to write descriptions with your photos. This way you can share and write stories as they happen.

This scrapbooking method is not meant as a storage place for your digital photos, although some photo sharing sites do provide good services for that. It is a method, however, that allows you to capture (and share) your memories quickly and cheaply. If your current season in life doesn’t allow you much time or money to scrapbook in any of the other formats, then social sharing scrapbooking is a great option. You will be thankful that you wrote down those stories when you go to scrapbook them later on in life.

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