Scrapbooking is one of the most popular hobbies today. It is a fun and relaxing pastime that allows you to be as creative as you would like to be. In addition, you create a one-of-a-kind family heirloom that lovingly preserves your family’s memories and history. Scrapbooking gives you a way to remember the stories of your life. A scrapbook is a wonderfully personal book about you. You literally get to write your own story.
One of the few negative points about scrapbooking can be the cost factor. Traditional scrapbook stores and craft stores are full of wonderfully enticing products that can quickly drain your scrapbooking budget. You do not need to buy all the latest tools and gadgets and products available today.
However, the good thing is that the more creative you become, the less that scrapbooking has to cost. You need to refocus yourself when you go to the craft stores or scrapbook websites; learn to use them as inspiration, rather than just mindlessly buying anything that catches your eye. You are able to be creative, if you allow yourself to be.
Scrapbooking supplies need not be expensive to be creative. In fact, creativity often increases as you focus on cost-saving ideas. Remember the basic principle, as it is in so many things, is that you pay for convenience. Pre-made embellishments cost much more than handmade; even though handmade embellishments are one-of-a-kind and unique.
They can be:
2. Color coordinated.
3. The size can be adjusted to fit your layout.
Go to your local craft stores to get ideas not products. Look to see how you can interpret their expensive embellishments at home. Once you get started, you will amaze yourself and be delighted with your accomplishments. Also go online and look for inspiration. Check out www.scrapbook.com for ideas. Also go to www.eBay.com and search for “scrapbook page layouts”. You will find endless ideas to add to your creations.
Once you develop your “artist’s eye”; you will be able to see the creative possibilities in many things. Things do not have to be used for their original intended purpose.
Here are some examples:
1. Paint Chips – Paint chips are free in home improvement stores and are even available at Wal-Mart. They can be die cut or altered in many ways. They also have samples with wood grain and textured samples. Some of the pain chips have color palettes on them; showing which colors go together for a designer look. This can help you in your layouts to choose complimentary colors to make a more pleasing layout.
2. Children’s coloring books often have wonderful basic line drawings that can be used as paper piecing patterns. Coloring books can be obtaining inexpensively from your own children, from dollar stores, and there are also numerous online sites with free printable coloring pages. Go to www.google.com and search for “free printable coloring pages”; you can narrow the search for any topic you may be looking for.
3. Chipboard is expensive at the craft stores; however it can be gotten for free from right around your house: cereal boxes, notepad backs, etc. This free chipboard can be used in the same ways as the expensive chipboard. It can be die cut, or inked, or painted to produce many unique embellishments.
4. Wallpaper sample books are a treasure trove. Ask at home improvement stores for discontinued ones they no longer want. Each book contains hundreds of patterns and textures and items that can be cut out like a fancy die cut. Wallpaper can be used in die cutting machines. Many beautiful images can be fussy cut out to be used as one would expensive decoupage cutouts. Stripes in wallpaper can easily be cut to make intricate borders, corners or mats.
5. Tea or coffee can be used to stain items to give them an aged or “antiquey” look. The longer the item stays in the tea or coffee the darker it will become. You can also apply the tea or coffee to the edges of paper with a brush or sponge. Or use an old toothbrush to splatter drops of coloring across your item. A watered down wash of tea or coffee across a layout pieced from various papers and textures with make them look more cohesive, by blending away the harshness of the various pieces.
6. Old or new inexpensive eye shadows can be used to color your die cuts or layouts similar to expensive scrapbooking chalk sets. Stores such as Dollar Tree have sets of eye shadows for a dollar.
7. Old or new shoe polishes can be used like inks for staining, antiquing, or distressing; they are especially good for highlighting around the edges of your paper or embellishment.
8. Bleach. Regular household bleach when applied to cardstock will change its color. The bleach can be applied many ways to produce a variety of results. A bleach pen is a handy way to apply bleach in a more precise way. Protect your work surfaces. Consider eye protection and wearing rubber gloves. You can also pour a small amount of bleach into a shallow container, you can dip rubber stamps into the bleach, then shake off the excess and stamp onto a piece of cardstock the bleach will bleach out the design you have stamped.
9. Many sewing supplies can be used in scrapbooking. Laces, threads, ribbons, buttons, etc.; are found in many crafter’s sewing areas already or are often sold for pennies at yard sales or thrift stores. Buttons can be removed from garments to be discarded. Check garments for any usable trims, laces, ties, ribbons, etc. You can paint or ink or stain through a piece of lace onto cardstock to make interesting patterns.
10. Kool-aid can be used to dye many trims and buttons. Mix kool-aid with water, but do not add any sugar. Dip or soak items in kool-aid dye. The longer they stay in the dye, the deeper or brighter the color will be. Allow to thoroughly dry before using. In this way, you can color coordinate items for your layouts.
11. Expensive distressing kits can be replaced inexpensively with emery boards, nail files and even a used piece of sandpaper from your hubby’s stash. Rub lightly with the various sanding items; to give items an older grungy or distressed look.
In scrapbooking as in many areas of life, convenience = expensive and usually less creative. So for unique one-of-a-kind embellishments that will be perfect matches for your layouts get creative instead of getting out the credit card.