Scrapbook on a budget!

Do you want to preserve your family’s memories in a fun way, but you’ve shied away from scrapbooking because you don’t want to spend a ton of money?

I know how you feel! At some point, the industry standard for scrapbooking became 12×12 inch pages. Which means that if you want to get into scrapbooking, you’re looking at buying;

So thats…. $98.98 for an album and 100 pages! YIKES! Is it worth it for a few extra inches around a page?

*Note: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. That means if you click on one and choose to make a purchase, I get a small percentage of the profit, at no extra cost to you. For more information about how affiliate links work, click Here*

My scrapbooks are easy to work with, you can find refill pages almost anywhere, and I’ll let the cost speak for itself. I use;

That’s #31.58. And you have three bonus binders (for your scrapbook volumes 2, 3, and 4!) Just by going from 12×12 pages to 8.5×11, you cut the price by more than two thirds!

This method is easier, too!

The black card stock makes a great background for photos. It’s classy and simple, and the colors really pop. You will probably want a set of metallic sharpies to write captions with (that one’s $4.39).

You can make a beautiful scrapbook with that alone!

Since all you’re doing is gluing pictures down and writing notes, it goes together extremely quickly and you can move on with your life knowing your memories are preserved!

A classy scrapbooking layout for people living a frugal lifestyle How classy and beautiful is that?

(FYI; in order to share my method with you and still respect my children’s internet privacy I created these sample pages with stock photos).

Now, if you want to spend a little more time (but not more money) and make your pages a little more exciting, there are a couple things you can do;

-Download the app called “Prisma” which lets you apply filters that make your photos look like paintings. It’s really fun! Some filters work better than others with little faces but playing around with them is the best part! It does have a paid version that gives you more filters and lets you save higher resolution images, but I’ve had no issue printing 4×6 pictures with the free version. Here’s the same page, but with two different prisma filters applied to the photos;

Prisma images make this exciting scrapbooking layout look more artistic!

With Prisma you can make the photos in your scrapbook look like Japanese inspired paintings.

Don’t they look cool? I like having some “paintings” mixed in with my photos! They  look so much classier.

-My next tip- skip the crazy overpriced scrapbooking stickers and print your own!

It doesn’t take long to go on the computer and type up some quotes or captions and then play with the fonts! Since you’ve got your scissors and glue stick out anyway, why pay a premium for adhesive stickers?

This scrapbooking layout uses free printable stickers from Firefly Magic!

Just for fun-

click the link to print or download my FREE Printable Scrapbooking “Stickers”!

You could also embellish your pages for free or super cheap with;

-words and pictures cut out of catalogs or magazines

-scraps from other recycled paper- I’m thinking of those junk mail credit card offers that come in glittery envelopes, tissue paper from gifts, or scraps of construction paper from kid’s art projects!

-cheapo star or dot stickers

-a mini stamp set (I have this one from Yoobi) that can be used over and over

-some colorful washi tape (I just got this set of 30 rolls in the mail today and I can’t wait to try it out!)

If you want to invest a little more, there are two tools I think are worth having, since I use them on almost every page;

1) A corner trimmer like This one.

Having rounded corners does make your pages look significantly nicer. See the difference;

The corner trimmer makes the pictures in this scrapbooking layout look much nicer and gives it the feel of a vintage photo album.

2) A way to cut photos into ovals and circles.

The expensive option is Creative Memories’ custom cutting system- there are a bunch of templates, but the basic ones are Ovals and/or Circles, and you need the special Blade to go with them. The whole system would be $47.94 (plus a cutting mat if you don’t have one). It allows you to quickly and easily cut pictures into circles and ovals. Full disclosure- I got this system as a hand-me-down! I wouldn’t have bought it on my own because of the price- but I love it and use it all the time. The cheaper option would be to get a stencil like this one for $7.31, trace your own circles and ovals, then carefully cut them out. Scrapbooking tools can help this DIY scrapbook on a budget look more polished. The custom cutting system from creative memories makes this scrapbook page look nicer. You can be creative with this versatile tool.

And there you have it! You should be on the road to cheap, easy scrapbooking in no time!

I actually started the boys’ scrapbooks when they were in the NICU because I had time to kill, it helped document what was going on and it was a great way to celebrate all of their milestones. Scrapbooking is such a fun, creative outlet! I’m also hoping it will make my boys feel special when they’re older to see their memories so lovingly recorded. What are your reasons for scrapbooking? Would you try this method or do you prefer spending more to have a traditional scrapbook? What other cheap and easy embellishments would you use? Leave a comment and let me know!

Scrapbooking’s not for you? Check out this awesome post from Hits N’ Mrs about other Ways to Document Baby’s First Year!

If you want another adorable idea for a keepsake you can make with photos, check out how to Go On a Story Adventure with your Child!

Want more magic in your life? Subscribe to our email list, follow Firefly Magic on Instagram or  Pinterest, like our Facebook Page or join my Facebook Group. an interactive forum where parents and teachers come together to discuss awesome activities for kids! Whichever platform you prefer, I look forward to sharing more exciting ideas with you!

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