With all the expensive scrapbook products on the market, it's easy to think that you can't scrap on a budget. However, with just a few basic tools, it is easy to create plenty of pages for under $2 each. Here are some examples of layouts that use less than $2 in supplies. While they do use some generic tools, none of these layouts use a computer die-cut system or other expensive tools.
Pals - $1.45
A beautiful sheet of patterned paper can go a long way towards creating a beautiful layout on a budget. In the layout "Pals," the beautiful Jenni Bowlin paper makes the layout and not too many embellishments are needed. Brads are an inexpensive embellishment; the plain black ones in this layout are about $.02 per brad.
Jenni Bowlin paper ($0.69)
1 sheet Bazzill cardstock ($0.54)
Making Memories journaling paper ($0.16, assuming that I will use up the whole pack)
3 brads ($0.06)
Total = $1.45
Disney - $1.37
Use borrowed punches to make your own embellishments. Several years ago, I was cropping at a scrapbook store and decided to use some of the punches on little scraps of cardstock to make embellishments for future use. I chose shapes such as Mickey Mouse, hearts, and leaves that I knew would be useful in the future. Another way to stay within a budget is to use up small scraps of patterned paper. In this layout, the pieces of patterned paper had been used before and were already cut to these small sizes. Since I was using up scraps, I would have counted the price of the paper the first time I cut it. In this layout, I used ribbon from a fabric store; a $1 spool of ribbon goes a long way. Of course, this is only true if you buy it in a few basic colors that you know will get used.
1 sheet Bazzill Black cardstock ($0.50)
1 sheet Bazzill White cardstock ($0.44)
patterned paper scraps (free)
4 brads ($0.08)
title ($0.25, from an old sticker sheet that was mostly used up)
Mickey embellishments (free)
Total -- $1.37
Soccer - $1.90
Patterned papers that can be cut into journaling boxes and other shapes are often much less expensive than the matching stickers from the same line. By stamping half the title and journaling in the title area, this layout uses only two sheets of patterned paper.
2 sheets patterned paper ($0.95 each)
Total -- $1.90
Moving - $1.19
Creative cutting is another way to add interest to a simple layout. This layout uses only a sheet of patterned paper and cardstock.
patterned paper ($0.75)
Bazzill white ($0.44)
Total -- $1.19
First Grade - $1.59
Some patterned papers actually look like they have been pieced together from a variety of papers. While they do save time, they also save material costs. This layout uses Scenic Route patterned paper for the striped background. The letter stickers for the title are from a large set that has been used many times. The pencil stickers are so old that they can be considered free.
1 sheet of patterned paper ($0.85)
1 sheet cardstock ($0.54)
letter stickers ($0.20)
other stickers (free)
Total -- $1.59
There are several helpful tools for scrapbooking on a budget. Some of the most helpful tools are stamps and inks. Most importantly a nice flexible set of alphabet stamps can be used over and over again for titles. I find that a couple of flourish stamps can go a long way as well. Another helpful tool is a simple craft knife. It may be more tedious to hand-cut shapes and titles, but it is certainly cheaper. Finally, I suggest a nice border bunch that can be used over and over again. Over time, punched scallops will prove to be much cheaper than purchasing individual scalloped paper and trims.
Another secret to scrapping on a budget is to buy neutral items that can work with many different styles and themes. In the layouts above, I use many black brads which work out to $.02 per brad. A pack of black brads is likely to be used up and is therefore good value. A similarly priced package of chartreuse brads might sit in your stash for years and provide much less value.
All of the budget layouts shown here include the most important part of scrapbooking: they preserve memories. With photos, creativity, and journaling, you can create plenty of pages for under $2 each. Good luck and don't forget to post your layouts in your gallery here at Scrapjazz.