Biggest Scrapbooking Myths #1: Scrapbooking Is Expensive!

by Lain Ehmann on April 25, 2011

People are talking a lot of smack about scrapbooking, and I figured it was time for me to step up and knock down some of the myths surrounding my favorite hobby. I’m intent on leading others to enjoy scrapbooking as much as I do, so here we go:

Myth #1: Scrapbooking Is Expensive.

Yeah, sure, you can go into your favorite scrapbook store and drop $100, easy, on scrapbook supplies every month. But you don’t HAVE to. In fact, scrapbooking can be downright cheap.

If you’re new to scrapbooking, here’s what I think you HAVE to have to get started. Note: Any one item here could be swapped out, but if someone said, “Put together a kit of what a beginner scrapbooker needs,” this is what I’d say:

-Cardstock (start with white — it goes with everything!)

Cost: 25 sheets of 8.5×11″ cardstock, $2.85

-Patterned paper (I’d get one kit in a pattern that makes you smile, such as this one from Echo Park!)

Cost: 12 sheets of patterned paper, plus one sheet of alphas, plus some cute embellies, $13.99

-Adhesive (yeah, you could use a glue stick but for ease and permanence, go with the roller adhesive. You’ll save a ton of time and it will more than make up for the extra couple of dollars you’ll spend)

Cost: To make 25 layouts, you’ll need one of these dispensers plus tw0 refills. $6.64 + $8 = $14.64

-Journaling pen

Cost: American Crafts Precision Pen $2 and it will last you a LONG time! :)

-Paper Trimmer

Cost: This Fiskars trimmer will last you a lifetime for $21

Now, let’s talk about getting your photos developed. When I was a young lass, film and developing was EX-PEN-SIVE! Nowadays, you can pay only a few cents a print. And in fact, you can head over here and get 40 free prints and up to 100 prints for $.04 each! YES! That means you can get enough photos to create almost 50 pages for $4! WOW!

Cost: $2

So, that brings the grand total to about $55, or about $2 a page… which would go even lower over time as you get more use out of your trimmer, leftover patterned paper, adhesive and pen. Now THAT is cheap. :)

P.S. You might be wondering about cute embellishments and the like… well, you can make your own from your patterned paper, you can invest in long-life items like punches, stamps, or deco-edge scissors. Maybe I’ll share some of my faves in a future post!

P.P.S. I didn’t add in an album or page protectors. I would recommend you stick with 8.5×11″ pages, use a binder you can steal from your kids, and some page protectors you can get at the office supply store for a few cents each.

P.P.P.S. Here’s that link again for the photo special: 40 Free Photo Prints – Plus up to 100 Prints For Just 4¢ Each! Use Code: YGP44 at check out. New customers only, S&H not included. One time use.

  • Heather D

    Great list. The only thing I would add is a set of non-stick detail scissors like these:
    Or a craft knife and cutting mat.
    I used to swear by my knife and cutting mat, then I had to replace the blade and it never worked as well again.

  • Abbie Miller

    Great ideas Lain. Don’t forget your 40% off coupons! At JoAnn’s you can use as many as you have so all those items could be 40% off! Now that’s a deal!

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t know you could use more than one at once! Thanks!

  • Abbie Miller

    Not only can you use multiple paper coupons, they have an iPhone app! I’ve gone in with both. SCORE.

  • Anonymous

    Signing up now!!!

  • Lynne Moore

    Thanks Lain, good points. I always sigh when people “tell” me it is too expensive to scrapbook. :- ) It’s not the expense, it’s the value. I never think of my scrapbooking lifestyle as expensive since I see the value in it daily. But the breakdown makes it so nice to “see” the real expense.

  • Anonymous

    Such a good point! And my husband always reminds me that our albums become more valuable over time… unlike cars, shoes, and handbags. :)

  • Gypsy Chaos

    From experience, I can say that Michael’s, AC Moore and JoAnn will accept coupons from their competition and match sale prices. Sometimes it’s one coupon from each store per transaction; sometimes it’s one coupon per transaction. For 40% off several regular price items, I’ll walk out and back in if I have to!

  • Anonymous

    I have done that walk-out-walk-in thing more times than I care to admit. ;)

  • Meesh

    That’s a good tip. I didn’t know that either.

  • Anonymous

    Great suggestion! I rarely use my cutting mat — I would slice my finger — but I do have one. :)

  • falwyn

    I would say it is definitely all about the JoAnn’s and Michaels coupons! It doesn’t take long at all to squirrel away plenty of supplies … :) 

    Also, if you have a friend who scrapbooks, see if she (or he!) wants to show you, or scrap together. Mostly likely she’ll have lots of non-consumable supplies you can use together (punches, stamps, whatever), and if she’s anything like me, she might have a bunch of extra patterned paper, at the very least, that you could have, or buy at a bargain. (For me, I have so much extra paper it is RIDICULOUS. Especially considering how much digiscrapping I do lately. Ha!) 

    Finally, the two of you might be able to go in together to buy big stack packages of patterned paper or the like. Because really, how many sheets of one pattern can you use? Anyway, just a couple more ideas.

  • Anonymous

    GREAT suggestions! Thank you! :)

  • C.Robin

    Use Coupons, watch for sales, scrapbook with friends, everyone brings things to share. You can share your tools to, also it is more fun that way. :)

  • DIANA L.

    This is so sweet. I
    love it.

    Thank you for joining my DL.ART Thankful Thursday Anything
    Goes March Linky Party. Have a great day

    DIANA L.

  • DIANA L.

    Thanks for the info Lain great ideas and tips

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