By Brandie Valenzuela
Recently, a good friend of mine decided to give scrapbooking a try. It wasn't easy to get her started. I had told her how much I would love for her to take up this hobby and I would nag at her about how her photos were being destroyed as they sat in her magetic albums. Well, she admitted that it did look like fun, but she saw two problems with it: One, that she would never have the time to do it, and two, it looked expensive. I knew the solution to the time issue was to just get her hooked on scrapbooking...but I had to do something more to prove to her that scrapbooking didn't have to be an expensive hobby. So with some thought, I came up ideas of how she could scrapbook, without selling off her prized possessions!
1) Realize that you don't need every new tool (yes, sad, but true). Scrapbooking is constantly growing, and if you try to keep up with every new item, you could go broke! Sit down and come up with a list of items you must have (for example paper, some type of adhesive, etc.) and a list of items that you want to have. Having something concrete to look at might help you to keep focused on whether or not you really need that new product. From time to time, as your budget allows, purchase a item from your "want" list.
2) Share with others. If you have even just one other friend who scraps, you can double your access to scrapbooking tools. For example, if you or your buddy go shopping, she can buy one punch and you can buy a different one. I also enjoy scrapping once a week with my friends and we all get the chance to share each others scissors, markers, templates, lighbox, etc.
3) Keep your layouts simple. I know that for some scrappers, keeping their pages simple is not possible, but for others, they prefer it that way. Consider using mostly solid colored papers and cardstock, instead of pattern papers. Avoid using stickers (which can get costly).
4) Create your own templates. Instead of buying templates, you can create your own on plastic lids. There is also a product on the market called "Grafix Stencil Film", which allows you to trace a shape onto the stencil film and then you can cut it out to use over and over again. You can visit their website at http://www.grafixarts.com
5) Put the internet to work for you. If you have internet access, you have a wealth of information available to you for free. For example, there a many websites which have ideas for titles for your pages or even poems, so there is no need for you to purchase books that offer these. There are also many sites online that have fonts you can download for free, and using different fonts is a fun way to add variety to your pages. You can also find a large selection of sites on the web that have layout ideas, so there is no need to buy idea books.
6) Swap your extras. If you have extra paper that you bought too much of or maybe a large selection of die cuts, consider swapping them with someone who might have something you could use.
7) Wait for special coupons. In my area, we have a Michaels ( http://www.michaels.com ) craft store which occasionally puts out 40% off coupons. I wait for these coupons and then I go and buy something that I have really wanted. By doing this several times, I have slowly added to my scrapbooking tools. Visit the Michaels website to find the store closest to you or check your local craft/scrapbook stores to see what specials they might offer.
Brandie Valenzuela is married mother of three children, who enjoys working at home as a freelance writer and editor. If you enjoyed this article, then you will want to be sure to subscribe to The Creative Scrappers Newsletter, a free weekly email ezine for scrappers, by visiting: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/creativescrappers