Scrapbook on a budget – 10 tips

Scrapbooking is a lot of fun and there are gorgeous inspiratons on the Internet. But you can easily find yourself spending way more money than you expected. Here are some ideas how to reduce the costs but still have a pretty album.

1. Use a lot of memorabilia

Memorabilia are unique, often colourful or have special design, certainly connect to the event and you don’t have to spend extra on them. You can collect them in a box or envelope until including them in the album. Don’t be afraid to cut or partly cover them.

  • tickets (movie, museum, entrance, etc.)
  • leaflets
  • maps
  • wristbands
  • anything with the logo of the place
  • postcards
  • newspaper clippings

Page about running the half marathon – title: medal ribbon, background: map

2. Pick a simple album

I always look for an album with thick white pages. Not only because it is way cheaper but also I don’t like overcrowding my pages with a lot of colour and pattern. I normally use an A4 size album (21*30 cm, 8*11,5 in) because it fits in our book case. It comes assembled, but a binder would also do.

3. Use your stash

Before you buy something think about the things you already have at home. I went through my drawers and found papers, stickers, clippings, postcards, labels, graph paper, ribbons etc. mostly from my student years. Great way to use them now.


a simple torn out paper from a notebook can add visual interest

4. Use capturing titles

One thing that can improve your pages a lot and it costs nothing is a good title that captures the attention. When you start they are usually plain working titles but consider upgrading them, like:

  • running – Ready, stady, go!
  • caving – Careful, slippery!
  • travelling – Around the world
  • … trip – Heading south, aka. … trip
  • … hill – Autumn stroll on … hill
  • theatre – The World’s a stage

5. Spare matting paper

When you mat a bigger item, or want to spare a special paper use the following trick: cut a smaller rectangle before, no one sees what is under your photo.


6. Organize your papers

Papers and scraps can be a huge mess. From time to time organize them to see what you have. This way you will spend less on new pieces. I put them in punched pockets/sheet protectors in different colour groups.

 7. Use scraps

The main idea of scrapbooking is to use the left over paper pieces, scraps. Can be page borders, photo corners, title or journaling background.


8. Photo selection and size

Use great photos so they are the highlight of the page and you won’t need much decoration.

I find that standard size photos are often too big for a page, especially if you want to display more. When I print photos, I often put 2 or 4 pictures together. This way the photos take less space (fewer pages, lower cost) and if you zoom and cut the unnecessary parts you don’t loose content.


how to devide standard photo size

9. Make your own ornaments

For some pages consider to make your own ornaments. It takes a few minutes to convert a piece of paper, fabric or thread into a great decoration.


Paper cut statue silhouette on the left, graduation tassel from thread on the right

10. Control your purchases

When you see beautiful, new supplies always consider the followings:

  • seasonal patterned paper can be the highlight of the page but monochrome or neutral patterned ones fit with more topics
  • when you see a nice ornament always check if it is necessary to buy. Will you use it? All of it? Can you make it yourself? Will it add a lot to your page?
  • if you know what you are looking for check if it is worth to order everything together online

+1: Invest in equipment

As much as I kept it at reasonable cost there were a few things I invested in:

  • craft knife and a small cutting mat – way faster and more precise, can be used for my other crafts too, but a simple scissor will do as well,
  • a snowflake puncher – for all winter themed topics and will be good for xmas greeting cards, wanted to have one for years,
  • several scrapbook tape rolls – they are super easy to work with and give a perfectly flat page with no moisture, buckling and bumps.

Hope you liked my list and got a few ideas you can use. If you have more tricks, I would be happy to read it in a comment!:)

Magyar/Hungarian: Scrapbook – 10 költségkímélő ötlet


3 thoughts on “Scrapbook on a budget – 10 tips

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