WILD: Digital Scrapbooking Defined

We skipped WILD Wednesday last week because of the Monkey-ing Around Blog Train. There is still time to download my free mini kit from this post.

Several people have recently asked me what digital scrapbooking is so that is today’s WILD Wednesday topic.

Most people are familiar with paper scrapbooking where paper, stickers, ribbons, flowers and bling (among other things) are used to create a scrapbook page. Items come in kits or can be bought a la carte. Here is school themed paper and stickers from Creative Imaginations that I bought separately last year.

There is probably ribbon and other embellishments available but I did not purchase them. The paper and stickers fully coordinate so together they effectively make a “kit” that I can use to create a paper layout.

Digital scrapbook kit are also made out of papers, stickers, ribbons, flowers and bling (among other things). The difference is that digital scrapbook supplies come in digital file form versus physical form. Pictured below are the contents of my Monkey-ing Around mini kit folder on my laptop.

In the folder is a preview that shows the papers and elements in the kit. Included in this kit are 1 frame, 4 labels, 1 quote, 4 papers, 2 felt monkeys and 3 ric rac ribbons. The elements and papers are in .jpeg and .png format. Digital products can be found as coordinating kits or a la carte depending on the store or designer.

Creating A Layout
With paper scrapbooking cutting tools are used to shape paper and adhesive is used to adhere the paper and embellishments together. For digital scrapbooking, a software program is required to manipulate the digital elements. I used Adobe Photoshop CS5. Here’s a screenshot of my workspace for a layout using my Monkey-ing Around mini kit.

Digital scrapbooking software can re-size, shape, move, recolor and manipulate digital photos or elements. For this layout I

  • re-sized and edited the brightness of the photo
  • added journaling and the date directly on the photo
  • cropped the photo into a circle shape
  • added ric rac ribbon at the top and bottom of the circular photo and cropped them to the circle
  • used my Swirls Template to “shape” the papers by using clipping the stripe and monkey words papers to the different layers
  • erased the bodies of the monkeys and re-sized the heads so they become progressively smaller as they approach the photo (notice that I only have two monkeys in the kit but can use the monkeys multiple times on the layout!)
  • created a title that coordinates perfectly because the colors were sampled directly from the paper (no need to buy coordinating alphabets because you can use any font on your computer in any color!)

Scrapbooking and Photo Editing Software
Popular digital scrapbooking software programs are:

I used the full version of Adobe Photoshop because I design but I would use Adobe Photoshop Elements if I wasn’t designing. Elements is the program I recommend to my family and friends who want to start with digital scrapbooking. You can download a 30 day free trial of Elements here.

Finished Products
A completed paper scrapbook layout is ready to go in a scrapbook but what can you do with a completed digital layout? I print my layouts and put them in page protectors in a scrapbook just as I do with paper scrapbook layouts. For printing layouts, I LOVE and only use PersnicketyPrints. Their prices are low and their quality and customer service receive the highest marks from me!

Other digital artists create photo books with their finished layouts. I have created a few photo books on Shutterfly. Shutterfly allows the insertion of a completed digital scrapbook page in jpeg form as an entire page. There are photos of a photo book I made recently in this post.

I hope you now understand the basics of what digital scrapbooking is and how it differs from paper scrapbooking.


  1. Nancie M says

    Great simplified description Kelly! I had been wondering how the templates worked… Will have to start trying this out!

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