Digital vs. Traditional Scrapbooking

Updated on November 29, 2018
CarlySullens profile image

Carly is an artist who enjoys working directly with materials like papers and photos in traditional scrapbooking.

Digitial Scrapbooks

Designing a digital scrapbook is comparable to traditional scrapbooking, except your pages are created on your computer using a scrapbook software program.

Digital scrapbooking continues to grow in popularity because it is easy, more affordable, and more convenient than traditional scrapbooking.

Digital vs. Traditional Scrapbooking

Traditional Scrapbooking

The above video is a sped-up version of someone making a traditional scrapbooking page. It probably took the artist well over a half-hour to make one page. I wonder how much it cost for all those beautiful supplies.

Traditional scrapbook table and room.  Compliments of Heather.
Traditional scrapbook table and room. Compliments of Heather.

Digital vs. Paper Scrapbooking

I once had an 8-foot table in my basement for scrapbooking. It was full of papers, photos, stickers, trimmers, scissors, punches, pens, adhesives, cutters, die cuts, inspirational pamphlets, and half-empty scrapbooks. My scrapbook table seemed to be an altar for my creative process.

I am an artist who enjoys working directly with materials like papers and photos in traditional scrapbooking. When my children were small, I became a scrapbooking consultant for Creative Memories. I had everything to make tons of scrapbooks and understood the value of using the right paper and inks to preserve heirloom photos.

I even spent at least one weekend away from my family to attend a 'crop.' A crop is when people go away for a weekend and spend the whole day and night scrapbooking together.

What could be better than traditional scrapbooking?

Slowly, my scrapbooking group of women started to move towards digital scrapbooking. I believed digital scrapbooks could never look as good as traditional scrapbooks. The process seemed to be as cold and distant as a computer screen. How can you be more intimate with your memories than corner punching the edges of your photos with your own two hands? A computer screen would never allow me to touch, bend, or adhere my photos like I can with traditional scrapbooking.

Then one day my friend Heather, who originally opened my world to traditional scrapbooking, educated me about digital scrapbooking. Within an hour's time, I was converted to a new way of making beautiful memories with my photos. I have never regretted my decision nor missed scrapbooking the traditional way. I found a different way to be intimate with my photos because digital scrapbooking allows me to be more creative. I never have to worry that I will 'mess up' my photo because an image can always be reverted back to the original color and size. This gives me a huge amount of creative freedom to do all sorts of experiments with my photos.

Digitial Scrapbook Video

Digital Scarpbooking vs. Traditional Scrapbooking

Here are some reasons to switch from traditional scrapbooking to digital scrapbooking.


Can easily edit a photo within seconds.
Photos go through a long process before they can be used for scrapbooking. This includes- edit photos on the computer, print photos, purchase photos and then crop photos.
Reuse your photo over and over again.
To reuse a photo you will need to print duplicates and/or save the original on your computer or disk and reprint them to use again.
Photo steps for digital scrapbooking- take a digital picture, upload it to the computer, upload to digital scrapbooking software, edit, insert.
Photo steps for traditional scrapbooking- take a digital picture, upload photo to the computer, edit, upload to a photo processing center, pay for prints, pick up prints or wait for photo prints to be mailed, crop photos, insert on the page.


When you do not like the background page, embellishments, or photos you are working on, you can easily swap them out at anytime during the process.
When you do not like the background page, embellishements or photos, it is hard to change them after they are glued down. You usually end up ripping the page when trying to fix something.
You can reuse digital embellishments over and over again.
Once you use a sticker, cardstock or paper, it cannot be reused.
You can purchase and use new embelleshments within seconds at your computer.
To purchase new embellishments you will need to drive to and from a store during store hours and purchase what you need. Or you will need to order your embellishments and wait for them to arrive.


Never again will you design a beautiful page only to find a mispelled word ruining all your hard work.
Working with permanent ink and having a spelling error can be devestating when you worked hours on a page. If you spell the word wrong it can be a waste of time and resources if you choose to do it over again.
Word Art- with digital scrapbooking you can change words, fonts and whole sentances as much as you want until you are satisfied. You can also make words and senetances into shapes, spirals, growing etc.
Word Art- takes much more time in traditional scrapbooking. If you are using stickers, you can run out of an important letter like 'e' and have to buy another alaphebet to just get the one letter you need.
You can instantly change the color and fonts of your words. You can also make them opaque or bold with one click.
You are limited to the colors available in ink pens. Ink pens need to be relplaced when they run out.


Photos from your digital camera are free.
Printed photos need to be purchased.
Embellishments can be used over and over again.
Once an embellishment is fastened to a page it cannot be reused.
You need to purchase one digitial scrapbooking software.
You need to purchase; scissors, trimmers, adhesive, embellishments, stickers, punches, boarders, papers, and pens.

All together, how much have you spent on traditional scrapbooking supplies?

See results

What Now?

You may be wondering what to do with all your scrapbooking supplies if you switch to digital scrapbooking. Here are some suggestions.

  • eBay (How To Sell on eBay) (You do not have to sell each supply individually. You can create a 'lot,' selling a collection at a time or all your supplies in one big auction.)
  • Return Some stores will allow you to return unopened supplies even if you do not have the receipt. You may get store credit, but surely as a craft artist you can find something to spend it on.)
  • Donate Schools, church groups, a young girl would all be blessed with your donated supplies.)
  • Keep (Keep some of your supplies, you can always finish some of your traditional books, or make other crafts with your supplies.)


Everything is stored right on your computer in organized folders.
Papers, stickers, punchers, boarders, cardstock, accessories all need to be stored as well as be accessible when your scrapbook.
The only thing you have to transport is your laptop.
Transporting your supplies to a weekend crop or to work on your books at your kitchen table means you have to move everything you need.
You can work in bed or lounging in a chair.
Requires a table, sitting up, and being able to have access to all your supplies.


You can print each page seperately and put them into a scrapbook of your choice.
You can have loose scrapbook pages.
You can upload your finished digitial pages and make a professional finished bound photo book.
You can scrapbook directly in a plain bound scrapbook, or add individual pages into a bound scrapbook.
You can easily move pages around to achieve any order you want without compromising your work.
It takes time to move pages around, usually you will need to come up with an order before you begin working.
You can duplicate books within minutes.
To duplicate a book you will have to do all the work all over again.

What You Need To Digital Scrapbook

  • A Digital Camera

  • A Computer

  • A Digital Scrapbooking Software Program

Begin Digitial Scrapbooking Easily

If you are intimidated to start digital scrapbooking than I have the answer for you. Begin with a website that aids you in completing a whole scrapbook without having to download any software or buy any digital embellishments.

Below are three excellent websites that will have you creating a stunning original family heirloom in digital scrapbooking style. Plus, once you design and make a book, you can reproduce the same book if you want to give it to other family members as gifts.



Smilebox has a free software you can download to your computer. It is compatible with windows and Macs. You can personalize hundreds of scrapbook layouts in many styles.

You can also add to each page embellishments, journaling and customized photos.

When you are finished you can have your book printed and mailed, share to your Facebook page or Email.

Themes include: anytime, holidays, seasonal, birthday, baby, kids, wedding, graduation, love, pets, reunion, school, sports, travel and quick prints.

Books can be made in different sizes and in soft and hard bound covers.



Shutterfly allows you create more than just scrapbooks on their website. You can also order prints, make cards, design one of a kind calendars, purchase photo gifts and home décor.

And of course you can make digital scrapbooks.

Shutterfly offers many types of bound photo books including soft-cover, hard-cover, and leather. There are many pre-made themes to get you started including- new styles, mother's day, springtime, winter holidays, year in review, everyday, seasonal, wedding, kids, school, baby, birthday, travel, family and life stories. You do not need to download any software. All you have to do is create an account and upload the pictures you would like to use. Shutterfly can even retrieve your photos from your Facebook page.



Mixbook allows you to customize photo books. You can personalize albums by choosing a theme from a wide range of templates that include- everyday, wedding, travel, baby, family, kids, romance, holiday, education, year in review and seasonal. With creative design elements you can personalize the already stunning layouts. Each and every page in your photo album can be adjusted to complement your photos and personal style.

Books can be printed with hard and soft covers as well as printed in different sizes. You can always go back to save work and order additional books.

Digitial Scrapbooking Software

Once you are ready to purchase a digital scrapbook software it is best to read the reviews so you know you are getting a software to meet your needs.

Here are a few I recommend:

For Windows

  • Creative Memories (Great program for the novice to the expert. It has kits available to purchase through the software.)

For Macs

  • My Memories Suite (Easy to use, no fuse, limited in doing more detail scrapbooking like a magic wand.)

For Both:

  • Photoshop (There is a greater learning curve to use photoshop than the above software, but you can do everything you want with this one program. There are many tutorial videos to help you along.)

What keeps you from switching to digital scrapbooking?

See results

© 2013 Carly Sullens


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)