Scrapbooking is an art form of creating a paper-based collage centered around a memorable photo or set of photos. Traditionally, collages are created using an assortment of papers, markers, frames, rub-on letters, stickers, and other embellishment materials. But now in the age of digital software, scrapbooking can be more accessible for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money on paper resources.
If you’re looking to boost your skills as a photographer or graphic designer, digital scrapbooking is useful hobby for achieving these goals. The following is a sampling of free scrapbooking sites that provide tutorials and free downloads for those wanting to get started with digital scrapbooking.
Free Digital Scrapbooking.com provides a free monthly Scraplifter’s challenge based on a free Photoshop-based template. Of course, there are links to purchase additional file downloads, such as fonts, brushes, custom shapes, etc.
But before you spend money on extra resources, download and open the template (link is on the tutorial page) in any version of Photoshop and see what you can come with on your own.ï»¿ The neat thing about these kind of templates is that you’re not just adding photos to the layout, but you are customizing them based on your own creative ideas. The template is a just a basis to get started.
This site provides an awesome list of resources and tutorials on using digital scrapbooking, particularly for Photoshop Elements and or any version of Photoshop CS.
Tutorials include an introduction to Photoshop layers, using fonts and font styles, layer masking, the color picker tool, creating a torn edge effect, and much, much more. There are also similar tutorials for using Corel Paint Shop Pro. Other digital freebies on the free scrapbooking site can be downloaded here.
When you’re ready to get deeper into digital scrapbooking, Computer Scrapbook.com offers several dozen absolutely free starter kits. You sign up on the site, and the kits will be delivered from its supply page. The kits include assorted backgrounds, shapes, and other elements.
Oftentimes scapbooking revolves around a series of related layouts based on a theme, e.g. a vacation, the birth of a child, a wedding or wedding anniversary. Sometimes you might work with existing paper and digital photos you already have in your collection, while other times you shoot photos with a scrapbooking theme in mind. Kodak.com has full section for free scrapbooking layouts to get you started.
If you totally can’t be bothered with creating scrapbook layouts and theme packages, Smilebox.com offers web-based application with hundreds of themes (e.g. holidays, sympathy cards, birthdays, and the like) in which you can customize, and email or blog it for free.
If you’re a scrapbooker, let us know what free scrapbooking sites you use.