Whilst Digital Scrapbooking tends to have a number of perceived advantages over paper scrapping, there are still some necessary items that may require an initial outlay of cash including for equipment, software and supplies. However, it is most likely that you already have some of these things in your home … maybe even all of them if you are deep into paper scrapbooking. In this post we examine the variety of must have supplies as well as a few of the more advanced items that digiscrappers consider to be highly desirable luxury items.
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The first and absolutely essential ingredient in pretty much every layout of course is photographs, whether they be in digital or in print form.
If they are paper prints, then you may need to pay to have them scanned if you only have a few. However, if you have many and plan on digiscrapping them all, then investing in a flatbed scanner might be the wiser option over outsourcing. Plus, if you are one of the few who still love and look forward to printing ALL your photos from a film camera, a scanner might just be needed if your print lab doesn’t already give you a disc with a digital copy of your prints.
Firstly, and the largest item to invest in, you need a computer: either a desktop or a laptop, pc or Apple Mac®, preferably with a wide screen monitor to make designing pages easier on the eyes. Some Digital Scrapbookers (digiscrappers) have a dual monitor setup … * luxury item list * … but that is not necessary to get started.
Everyone has their own opinion about operating systems, and I gotta say that I was a PC girl for many years, and am still using the PC platform at the moment …
However, after far too many PC and Windows related problems over the years as at today, I have prepared my photographs, layouts, design files and documents ready to transition to Apple Mac® ASAP.
The next item you need to get started digiscrapping is the photo and imaging manipulation software that you will use. Many new digiscrappers start off by investing in Adobe® Photoshop® Elements (PSE) or Corel® PaintShop Pro® 2021 (PSP) to get started creating their pages.
When I first started digiscrapping I was lucky enough to already have imaging software that supported layers in the form of Microsoft® PhotoDraw® and I scrapped exclusively as well as designed using that program for nearly a year before I almost fully transitioned to PSE and then later Photoshop® Creative Cloud … I have some VERY fond memories of that old program but I am also happy with my decision to move into using Photoshop® Creative Cloud instead.
The quality of your photographs is another matter that will eventually capture your attention.
Today many smart phones have halfway decent lenses and can take some pretty darn good photographs. However, the versatility afforded from shooting with a dSLR camera (digital Single Lens Reflex camera) is something else entirely to shooting with your phone.
A dSLR camera is not strictly necessary though and many digiscrappers are more than happy to stick with smaller point and shoot cameras cameras that are easy to keep in their shoulder bag, pocket or purse but offer a wider range of lens options than the camera on many smart phones.
But … Shooting with a dSLR camera opens another dimension to your image captures not to mention helping you to stretch into another facet of family memory keeping … just remember to take some really good selfies and hand your precious over to someone else to take pictures of you too sometimes.
The day that I picked up my new Pentax® from the camera store was a momentous occasion indeed. I had been paying off the lay-by on it for months and was so happy to finally have it in my hot little hands.
So, in the tradition of all scrapbookers when getting their new cameras, I took the mandatory bunch of selfies of me holding my new toy.
Fast forward 14 years (yes really, 14 years), today 2 January 2020 I decided to re-scrap this photo.
Unfortunately, this photo was one of the ones that has been lost over the years … easy fixed. I cropped it out of the original layout .JPG. When I first scrapped this page I ran the Virtual Photographer® filter over the photo so to complement the bright-darkness of the contrasts in the pic I decided to fill the page with a feeling of softness, with loads of moody shadows.
Overall I love the feel of this page, almost retro-heritage.
#4 Digital Scrapbooking Kits
Once those things are all sorted you can start scrapping … but wait! You need to grab some kits first.
You can purchase kits from a variety of places, of course, but lucky for you I have a selection of kits for you to download right here in the Shop!
Then, you need to decide if you will be printing and if so are you going to print at home or at a lab. If you will be printing at home then printing on the standard office paper size is great but as you progress in your scrapping you may find this limiting in which case you may like to consider investing in a wide format printer … * luxury item list *.
Are you only going to print your photos at home? If so then a photo printerphoto printer might be the best option.
#6 Drawing Tablet
Another item on the *luxury item list* is a graphics drawing tabletgraphics drawing tablet. Drawing tablets may be used in any software for digital art, photo-editing and even animation, which is a highly advanced form of digital scrapbook layout that scrappers sometimes create. They can even be used as a replacement to the computer mouse or laptop touch pad.
Many digital scrapbookers love using a drawing tablet because it enables them to hand write journaling and add original art in the form of doodles and other types of drawings and illustrations to their layouts. I used to have a Wacom® a number of years ago (until my children pulled it apart and it just never worked properly again) and I ended up using it for everything not just for scrapping and designing … I need to go shopping! 8D
#7 Cutting Machines
Later on, once you have more experience under your belt, you may decide to branch out into what is known as hybrid scrapbooking and paper crafting. This is when traditional paper scrapbooking papers and embellishments are augmented with home printed digital kit papers and embellishments to create pages and craft projects.
This can sometimes involve significant numbers of items that need to be printed and then hand cut eg calendars for Christmas presents. However, there are cutting machines, like the Cricut® and the Sizzix® systems, specially designed to cut multiple copies of the same item … perfect for when hand making special items like baby shower invitations!
So there we have it: the bare essentials and a few of the items that are considered luxury items for digiscrapping.
To help you along the way I have packaged up the alphabet used in the #mYpentAx layout for you to download, with my compliments.
Anita Richards Designs | Alphabet | Friendship :: Alphabet Ensemble
Send download link to:
Have fun shopping for the things you must have or want and then …
Ready! Set! Go!
Get busy dipping your feet into Digital Scrapbooking and enjoy the journey.
What items do you think you will need or would like to get to start your journey into the world of digital scrapbooking? Is there something else that you would add to the list: if so, what? I would really love to know so please post in the comments or private message me via the Contact page.
This post is part of our Digital Scrapbooking FAQ Series, the complete index for which can be found on the Start Here: Frequently Asked Questions page.