When it comes to recording memories, some of us in the world have an innate desire to do so creatively. For people like us, specials days and ordinary days alike must be chronicled. Of course we hold a special place in our hearts (and albums) for birthdays, weddings, first days of school, concert tickets, vacations, holidays and summer pool parties that must all be documented in detail. But with so many options out there today… so many stores and companies dedicated especially for our scraping needs, which way is the best way… traditional scrapbooking or digital?
Let’s start with the traditional scrapbooking option (which in itself has evolved immensely over the past decade). Traditional scrapbooking is the fancy paper, printed picture, stickers and die-cut way of recording your memories. Here are some pros and cons to consider before taking this hands-on creative route.
- · Me personally, I just plain enjoy this method more. I figure I spend enough time on the computer for work and other social activities. Sitting down with actual materials, instead of virtual ones, is a nice change from my everyday reality.
- · I feel much more creative and get stumped less often when traditional scrapbooking. Perhaps it is the freedom to arrange the page anyway I like, multiple times, in quick succession, without having to “file save” that gives me this feeling.
- · Sharing is one my favorite traditional scrapbooking positives. When you traditionally scrapbook, sharing materials is a great benefit that you can’t get from a computer. If I need just the perfect shade of blue to mat a picture, or a monkey sticker, or a circle punch, chances are good that someone else in the room has one and is willing to let me use it. Scrapbooking can be an expensive hobby, but sharing materials, makes the budget a little more manageable, and it creates a fun feeling of camaraderie amongst a group of people enjoying the same hobby.
- · Traditional scrapbooking finished products are more stable for viewing for lots of people and also for little ones. A lot of the scrapbooks people make are for their children and the printed pages of a digital album could be destroyed in minutes by kids. But the thick, plastic sheet protected traditional album pages will stand the test of time (and rips and finger prints) much better.
- · If you have a lot of extras you want to include in your scrapbook, it is easier to do so with traditional scrapbooking. For example, tickets, wristbands, playbills, postcards and brochures all make excellent additions to any traditional album, but are much harder to include in a digital album. If for example you just got back from a vacation and have tons of fun goodies and extras to glue in, I would recommend a traditional scrapbooking experience for you.
- · Traditional scrapbooking requires more space, in many aspects. First of all, you need somewhere to store your endless supply of paper, pictures, stickers, punches, scissors, etc. I use a variety of storage containers including milk crates with plastic dividers, plastic three drawer organizers and a special scrapbook rolling case. Traveling to retreats requires many trips to and from the car, but I usually consider it my workout for the day since I will spend the majority of the rest of it on my butt. Traditional albums once finished, also require more shelf or coffee table space than their newer digital comparisons.
Digital scrapbooking is the newer version of recording memories. This style of scrapbook allows the maker to create pages online with pictures from their saved computer files and then print them in a variety of books styles including hardcover, paperback, and leather bound. Several companies including Creative Memories, Shutterfly, and even Wal-Mart, have this modern version available. Here are some pros and cons to consider before choosing this computer based path.
- · It is cheaper. While you will pay for the finished product (the printed book) and probably shipping, the price compared to stocking your craft closet with patterned papers and tools is much cheaper. Some programs require you to purchase downloads, but others like Shutterfly and My Publisher, offer free programs. Another aspect of digital scrapbooking that lowers the cost is that you are not printing hundreds of pictures that you may or may not use. Upload all of your pictures and only use half, no worries, it hasn’t cost you anything. Print hundreds of pictures in several different sizes and only use half, well, you are left over with lots of unneeded, unused and expensive prints sitting in a box.
- · Digital scrapbooking allows the user to manipulate pictures more easily. Crop it, change it to black and white, fix those red eyes, whatever… and then use the best version of the picture, instead of what you happened to decide to print 2 months ago.
- · Digital scrapbooking is faster. Once you learn to navigate the program of your choice, digital scrapbooking as a process goes much faster. For example, you can work on a page or two for a half hour without having to drag out all of your scraping stuff, or dedicating an entire afternoon for scraping.
- · Some people prefer the look and feel of the finished product. The quality is great. Digital scrapbooks look like you bought it at a book store. For people who do not have lots of children around, this may seem the more durable and longer lasting scrapbook choice.
- · Sitting around a bunch of people all working on laptops is not near as fun as everyone facing each other, talking about their current projects or the memories that go with them. Not that socializing is impossible with digital scrapbooking it just seems to be less likely.
- · As I mentioned previously, sometimes, we are just tired of being on the computer. This option delves us deeper into that dependency and pattern.
- · Some people feel limited by the choices available on the online programs. They want more paper choices, more fonts and more embellishments. I believe that the options will continue to grow, but for now, Hobby Lobby and Michaels have digital data bases beat.
All that being said I would probably agree that digital scrapbooking is the more practical option… for the sake of speed, price and space. However, I still prefer the hands on method of traditional scrapbooking purely for the enjoyment factor. I have made both, and will continue to make both. The decision is yours to make, but either way, I am sure you will create something beautiful and worth keeping. Good luck and happy scrapping.