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A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Scrapbooking

By Monday, August 3, 2020 (MDT) 3 Comments

A comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to Digital Scrapbooking.

A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Scrapbooking

What is Digital Scrapbooking?

The creative combination of images and words with digital graphics to yield memory keeping pages using photo-editing software programs.

  • Images may include Photos, Scanned Images, Art Pieces and Documents, and Vintage Ephemera.
  • Words are provided in WordART, Quotes, Poems, song Lyrics, your Memories, and personal Stories.
  • Digital Graphics are also known as Digital Designs, Digital Elements/Supplies, or DigitalART.
  • Photo-Editing Software is the computer program or platform you use to creatively bring these components together.

A Beginner's Guide to Digital Scrapbooking Layouts

Digital Scrapbooking Layouts via Viv Halliwell and Adryane

Why Start Digital Scrapbooking?

1. Space Efficient

  • Keep your home or craft room ‘Neat and Tidy‘ without bulky and shelf-consuming craft supply storage solutions.
  • Neatly organize and save your Digital Designs on your computer, compact Hard-Drive or upload to iCloud for easy-access anywhere.
  • Digital Scrapbooking eradicates the need to clean up and put your supplies away after creating your memory-keeping pages.
  • Your pages when printed will show beautiful Texture and Dimension but lack chunky embellishment enabling you to store MORE pages in an album or binder.
  • Printing services also allow you to transform your pages into stunning hard-bound photo books in various shapes and sizes.

2. Reuse and Recycle

  • Photo-Editing software enables you to Change or Modify digital designs to personalize your photos.
  • You can adjust the Color or Size of a digital paper or button embellishment, to coordinate with a specific photo in a few easy steps.
  • This means your DigitalART supplies have Unlimited usage possibilities with endless options for Experimentation.
  • Simply ‘Undo‘ any mistakes at the click of a button without wasting any of your valuable tangible supplies.

3. Simple Reproductions

A Beginner's Guide to Digital Scrapbooking Layouts

Digital Scrapbooking Layouts via Laura Tringali Holmes, Joan Robillard, and Linda Davis

What is Hybrid Scrapbooking?

Offers the fusion of digitally created elements with traditional paper crafting approaches to scrapbooking.

  • Perfect if you like a more ‘hands-on’ approach to memory keeping and enables you to Enjoy the best of both worlds.
  • Your scrapbooking pages will be part Tactile paper crafting with the addition of elements created and manipulated with Photo-Editing Software.
  • Many digital design elements can be printed and trimmed or cut-out for Inclusion in your traditionally crafted pages.

A Beginner's Guide to Digital Scrapbooking Hybrid Project

CD Hybrid Project by Anna Aspnes

How to Begin Digital Scrapbooking

1. Choose Hardware

  • You will need a Computer/Laptop with a keyboard, monitor, and a mouse or trackball.
  • No need for the world’s fanciest or most powerful computer but the more Memory your computer has the faster it will run.
  • Use an Apple Mac or a Microsoft PC per your Preference and budget.
  • Macs tend to be more expensive, are notoriously known for graphics, and are said to be more Intuitive.
  • PCs conversely are more Affordable and may have more software options available.

Note. You can also create digital scrapbooking pages on an iPad Pro with Procreate or using Apps on your iPhone.

A Beginner's Guide to Digital Scrapbooking Procreate Layouts

Digital Scrapbooking Layouts in Procreate via Anna Aspnes and Dale Botha

2. Select Software

  • There are a Variety of photo editing software programs available for use.
  • Your choice will depend on your budget, preference, and the Type of digital scrapbooking you want to pursue.
  • Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe Photoshop Elements are the most popular and recommended.

Adobe Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud)

  • This professional version is intended for graphic designers and photographers using the application Daily for work purposes.
  • Adobe offers various plans for individual users ranging from USD 9.99 upwards.
  • You can sign up for a Free Trial of the software.

Photoshop Elements (PSE)

  • Photoshop Elements is a paired-down version and is perfect for Hobbyists and crafters.
  • It offers everything the artsy scrapbooker needs, at a fraction of the price, making it the most widely used and supported digital scrapbooking software package available.
  • New versions are typically released every two years and can be purchased from Adobe, Amazon, and your local Costco store, if you are located in the United States.

A Beginner's Guide to Digital Scrapbooking Layouts

Digital Scrapbooking Layouts via Barbara Houston, Nancy Adams and Ulla-May Berntsson

Alternative Options:

NOTE. Your chosen device will need to support the software program at optimum capacity.

Hardware Requirements:

A Beginner's Guide to Digital Scrapbooking Layouts

Digital Scrapbooking Layouts via Heather Prins, Miki Krueger and Trish Hoskins

Find Your Style

There are lots of styles in digital scrapbooking.

  • Traditional
  • Graphic Modern
  • Minimalist
  • Art Journaling
  • Grunge
  • Freestyle
  • Doodling/Illustrative
  • Artsy

Note. You will find a LOT of Artsy Digital Scrapbooking, or Photo Artistry, style DigitalART products, Tutorials, Videos, and Resources at Anna Aspnes Designs.

Read also:

A Beginner's Guide to Digital Scrapbooking Layouts

Digital Scrapbooking Layouts via Heather Prins, Laura Tringali Holmes, Margo Juhasz

Types of Digital Graphics

Digital designs are delivered in a variety of formats.

Digital Product Categories

A Beginner's Guide to Digital Scrapbooking ArtPlay Palette Paper Packs

1. Papers

  • Typically 12 × 12 inch patterned or solid color digital papers.
  • Included in Paper Packs or ArtPlay Palette page sets/kits.
  • Designed for use as your page foundation or background.
  • May be cropped to desired Shape and Size.
  • You will find a variety of paper designs in ArtPlay Palettes.

A Beginner's Guide to Digital Scrapbooking Frames, Elements and Embellishment Packs

2. Elements

  • Often referred to as Dimensional Embellishments.
  • Includes items such as Ribbons, Strings, Fasteners, Frames, Stitching and Flowers.
  • May be offered individually and in clusters/element groups.
  • You will find embellishments in ArtPlay Palettes, Elements, Stitching, and MultiMedia.

A Beginner's Guide to Digital Scrapbooking Photoshop Brushes, Brush Sets and Digital Stamps

3. Stamps

A Beginner's Guide to Digital Scrapbooking Transparencies, Rub-ons, Transfers and Overlays

4. Transparencies/Rub-Ons

Note.  Transfers and Overlays are delivered in single layer .png format, while the multi-layered ArtsyTransfers are .psd files.

A Beginner's Guide to Digital Scrapbooking Pocket Scrapbooking ArtsyKardz

5. Pocket Scrapbooking Cards

  • Popular for use in Project Life style scrapbooking pages.
  • May be printed for use in crafts or used in their digital format.
  • Use as Journaling Cards, frame ‘fillers’, or Blend with your Photos.
  • ArtsyKardz are delivered in BOTH .psd and .jpg format in a variety of sizes.

A Beginner's Guide to Digital Scrapbooking Templates and Albums

6. Templates

  • ‘Blueprints’ for your digital scrapbooking page designs.
  • Templates are comprised of Multiple Layers in .psd format.
  • Each layer is intended to guide the placement of your digital supplies.
  • Layers may also be Recolored or used with the Clipping Mask function.
  • Watch this Blending Your Photos Using Templates video.

Additional Resources

A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Scrapbooking Additional Resources

Learn more in the Resources section.


Digital Scrapbooking is a great way to celebrate your photos and document your memories.

  • Read through this post one more time.
  • Decide what Device you’ll use for your digital scrapbooking.
  • Upgrade as needed to support your chosen Photo Editing Software platform.
  • Purchase and load software according to the instructions.
  • Register here to download a FREE $160 Value DigitalART MegaPack.
  • Watch the included 90-minute class providing your beginner guide to digital scrapbooking.
  • Email me with questions – I am ALWAYS happy to help!

See also:

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Anna Aspnes

Author Anna Aspnes

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Dear Anna,

    Thank you for your continual inspiration and expertise. I began studying your videos and blog tutorials, along with so many of your excellent products. I have begun a heritage book in memory of my mother, based on her journal writing for my three grown daughters.

    At 68, I had to give up my beloved high school English teaching position because there was no virtual position offered. Also because I have downsized, there is no longer any room for creative work centers as there had been throughout the family home. Alone and mostly quarantined, I find digital scrapbooking provides me with my favorites: writing, research, photography, and memory making with all my family and worldwide travel memorabilia. I began with a pretty good knowledge of an old Photoshop version and moved to the latest Elements version with no problem – thanks to your wonderful tutorials.

    I look forward to developing a personal clean and soulful style of my own. I especially look forward to your emails and knew creations!

    With much gratitude and best wishes,

    Jenifer Steller

  • Jenifer Steller says:

    Oops “new” for “knew” – autocorrect

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