In the economic climate we currently find ourselves in at the moment, many of us are doing what we can to save money.
We are saving around the home by ensuring we recycle our waste and use all products before buying more. We save money on days out with our families, opting to enjoy a free walk in the park over an expensive day at a theme park. In the kitchen we are more frugal with our food, we make things last more than one meal, we are trying new things and making menus from scratch. When it comes to our finances we are making sure we are getting the best deal on everything too and when was the last time you treated yourself to new clothes?
If you are trying to save money, sometimes your hobby suffers - it's usually the first thing that goes on hold until you can afford to start it up again. Scrapbooking is no different. It can be an expensive hobby, especially if you like having all of the new products on the market; however, it is a crucial record for the future and therapeutic for your personal well-being. It's for that reason that I haven't given scrapbooking up altogether during these difficult times we face; instead I am adapting.
There are many ways in which you can save money in your scrapbooking and here are my top tips.
- Use what you have before you buy more. Try to create 100 layouts from what you already have, before you allow yourself to buy more stash. You would be surprised at the amount of products you have been storing and it's a great way to use everything up before you set out to buy more. It seems like a simple thing to do but 100 pages can take a long time to complete. Even if you completed one layout a week that's only 52 pages in a year! Think about it: you can continue to scrap but save lots of money over the course of the year.
- Enter online competitions There are lots of scrapping sites out there that are offering the chance to win great prizes in scrapbooking products just by creating and entering one of your creations. What's better is that they are free to enter! The Scrapjazz message board provides three or four monthly challenges with the chance to win vouchers for Scrapbook.com, for example. Get to know where these sites are by chatting to other scrapbookers online.
- Share the cost with a friend Just like buying food in bulk, you can also buy scrapbook products in bulk. Why not buy products with a friend or group of friends and share them between you, splitting the cost in the process. Many paper collections you buy give you three or four sheets of each of the same designs that are really easy to split between you.
- Keep organised It's proven that if you have a tidy scrap space and can see all of your products you are more likely to use them. Keep everything in order so you know what you have and this in turn will stop you from buying duplicates if you do catch the shopping bug.
- Plan Pages If you really have nothing left to scrap with and absolutely have to go to the shops, plan what you want on your page and how should it look. Make a list to take with you and make sure you stick to buying just what's on your list. Only take enough money for what's on your list so you aren't tempted into buying more.
- Be a minimalist White space on layouts is really trendy. You can create some pages that really pop and spend very little money. This layout of my cat Rhylee cost just $1.25 to make. Everything was from my stash. I printed the photo at home on my computer for nothing, and the little cat sticker was a gift from a friend. The title was made from Thickers lettering but as I had run out of the letter "e" I used an upside-down "3" instead.
- Make space for journalingWe can often get carried away with lots of embellishments on a page and the story can get lost. Journaling is free and incredibly important for future generations. If your great-great-grandmother had kept a scrapbook what would you be most enthralled with - the pretty embellishments she used with a photo or the handwritten message next to the photo and the full story? Here is a page I created for the grand sum of $1.50 about a little pear tree in my garden. I focused largely on the journaling and created my own embellishment from a scrap of card, a stamp and a scalloped circle punch.
- Use one large photo Most of my layouts have just one photo on them. There is no reason for this particularly; I guess it's just my personal style. When I am trying to save money on a layout, however, I usually go big with the photo. This cuts down on the extra space for journaling. Here is an example of a page I created for just under $1 using this technique.
- Invest in good tools This is a crucial tip. Without the right tools for the job, life becomes more difficult and you find you may waste more. My biggest investment was my Cricut machine. I searched around a lot until I found the best price and saved up for a while before I purchased one. I can now create as many titles and embellishments as I want and all from the scraps I have in my stash. Here is a layout I created using my Cricut machine and the total cost was around $1.50.
- Use your computer more There is a world of free fonts out on the World Wide Web; use them for your title and journaling instead of purchasing lettering. Here is an example of a layout I created for under $0.50 simply by using my computer.
- Utilise what you have in the home Consider using everyday household items to embellish your pages. Look out for magpie moments. That disregarded bottle top could be transformed with a circle of paper and a die cut. The cardboard that came with your cereal box can be used on a layout and so can the buttons from new clothes or tags from products.