(A few years ago I was in a design team and, as a part of it, I had to write articles regularly. I saved all the articles I wrote then and never added them to my blog... until now! Here is the first one of those - enjoy)
Happy New Year scrappers! I hope your holidays were filled with great times, memorable moments and great gifts. Now that it is all over (at least for another year) many of us find that the finances are a bit tight. To help us all along, I’ve compiled this short list of tips that can help us all save a bit of money while still enabling us to create memorable pages.
1. Use what you have
I know that a lot of scrappers have huge stashes so what best way to save money but to actually USE what you have already? You may not remember exactly what you own, so spend some time organizing your stash and you may find that you have quite a few things you’d forgotten about. Try to create pages using only what you have – think of it as a design challenge and you may be surprised by how creative you become!
2. Keep pages simple
Simple doesn’t have to mean boring but the careful design of pages that consist of little more than paper, cardstock and pen makes them elegantly pleasing to the eye. Ali Edwards and Lisa Brown Caveney are high-profile examples of scrappers that create simple yet beautiful pages.
3. Use patterned paper as embellishment and use more cardstock
This follows on from the previous tip a little. Patterned paper is almost always more expensive than cardstock so if you use less of it you will spend less money and the patterned paper will go further. So save all your scraps and USE them!
4. Use your handwriting more
Besides the fact that it should be an important part of your scrapbooks, handwriting means that you don’t need to resort to pre-made letters, which can be expensive. Besides, using your handwriting on your layouts (even for titles!) means that no one will have the same “font” as you do, you can complete your pages faster and it fits in perfectly with the freestyle trend that is all the rage. If you must use pre-made letters, try using stamps instead as these can be used indefinitely. Or use your chipboard letters as templates so they go further.
5. Use everyday materials as embellishments
This one can be quite controversial if you are a 100% acid-free scrapper but it can save you money anyway. Try buying buttons from haberdashery shops rather than scrapping ones, which can be cheaper. Use ticket stubs and leaflets to embellish your vacation layouts (using an acid neutralizing spray if you’re concerned or keeping them away from photos). Or use plates and cups as circle templates. My favourite is using the ribbons that come on the inside of tops and dresses and are meant to be used for hanging the garment – I never use these ribbons so cut them off and use them for scrapbooking! If you start looking around, the possibilities are endless.
6. Buy quality tools
It may seem counter-intuitive but the more you spend in tools often means that you spend less money overall. My personal experience has been with trimmers: I started out with a very cheap one that didn’t last very long. I now have a more expensive trimmer but, as it’s the last trimmer I need to buy, it will eventually save me money. Another way to save money on tools is to buy only those that do more than one job, tools that you know you will actually use and to share tools with your fellow scrappers.
7. Buy only what you know you will use
How many of us have bought papers because they are gorgeous? Embellishments because they are so cute? Storage because it looks cool? And then we are afraid to use these things because we will run out or “spoil” it somehow? Buying pretty things to look at is nice every once in a while but will not help your finances. Buying only those things that you know you will use makes better financial sense.
8. Buy in bulk
Cardstock and adhesives are the bread and butter of our craft. Sometimes buying these things in bulk can save you money – but only do it if you know you will use them up. Or what about buying cardstock packs with friends and splitting them? Or spools of ribbons or bottles of flowers? We don’t always need the thousands of flowers or brads that come in one pack, so split them amongst your fellow scrappers and share the cost. That way everyone gets pretty things but splits the cost.
9. Take advantage of sales
If you absolutely must have that paper collection, then why not wait for the sale? This time of year everyone is discounting prices so you can grab a bargain if you are a savvy shopper. Shop around and use the power of the Internet to your advantage by comparing prices (don’t forget to include the P&P) and maximising the sales. Just don’t be tempted to buy too much that you don’t need!
10. Lay off the shopping
Simple but true – the easiest way to save money is to stop shopping. It isn’t always easy with all the lovely stash available to buy but think of all the money you’ll save!
I hope these tips help you in becoming a more frugal scrapper. Remember – you don’t have to spend a fortune to create meaningful pages and sometimes the simple pages with heartfelt (and handwritten!) journaling are the ones that mean the most to your family.