We refer to digi scrapbooking and Photoshop (or PSE) often here on Crafting Chicks, but it turns out our most asked questions are about digi scrapbooking. So if you are a veteran digi scrapper or PS user, then sorry, but this post isn’t for you (check back tomorrow for a great valentine project!). If you are baffled by the idea of scrapbooking digitally then hopefully this post will answer some of your questions!

There are so many great sources introducing newbies to the world of digi scrapping so I’m going to rely on them and go through the basics.

screenshot of a layout in Photoshop CS4

1 :: How does it work? Does digital mean it stays on your computer?

Nope, well it can, but usually scrappers choose to have them printed. Either at a photo lab or home. It is digital because it is done on the computer. Just like walking into scrapbook stores, there are many online digital shops. They sell digital paper, ribbons, tags, etc. that you purchase and then download to your computer. Then using software you can scrap with those papers and elements. You can find a more detailed description here.

2 :: What program do you use?

We recommend Photoshop Elements (or PSE), but know there are a lot of different options to choose from. If you are just getting started there are tons of tutorials that can help walk you through just about anything you can think of. Scrapbook-Bytes is a great place to start learning.

3 :: Is there a difference between Photoshop and Photoshop Elements?

Yes! Photoshop Elements is Skipper to big sister Barbie, or Photoshop. Photoshop Elements (PSE) doesn’t have all the bells and whistles Photoshop does, but it is quite a bit less expensive and makes for a nice stepping stone when the time comes to move up to Photoshop. You can download a free 30 day trial for Photoshop Elements 9 and Photoshop CS5 from Adobe.  Both programs take some time to figure out, but once you’ve got them mastered you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them! Here’s a great introduction to the toolbar to get you going.

4 :: What’s the benefit of digi scrapping over traditional scrapbooking?

:: You can reuse your favorites over and over. They never run out!
:: There’s no mess. When company drops by, simply minimize the window and all your scrapbooking mess will disappear!
:: Its easy to print multiple pages or to simply change a few photos and the wording to personalize for multiple kids. Jamie loves this for scrapping her twins.
:: There’s a lot of free stuff available. Try the Shabby Princess for free kits and Jessica Sprague has a free “Get Started” class.
:: Once you’ve learned how to use the software, anything is possible! Almost all of our projects are hybrid, meaning we combine digital and the traditional to create things like the “Love” Tree, Personalized Photo Jewelry, Juice Top Ornaments, and even the Lacing Cards.

There’s so much more to it than this, but we had to start somewhere! Hopefully we answered a question or two you might have had and gave you the nudge you’ve been needing to jump in. You won’t regret it!


  1. I love that you are doing this. I have had PSE for sometime now but really have no clue how to put it to work!

    Thanks ladies, as always you rock!


  2. Shannon Allen Says: February 9, 2011 at 7:48 am

    My question for you is where/how to print? I’ve been doing digi-scrap for some time but print it on my own printer. I don’t like the look of it at all.

    Where do you print yours? What sizes can you print? Do I take in a thumb drive? HELP!!!

    • Because we don’t have a Costco nearby, I upload my layouts to Sam’s Club (through their website) to be printed. I move my 8×8″ layout onto a 8×10″ document and have them printed as 8x10s and then crop the top and bottom off to make an 8×8″. I know Costco prints 12×12’s, as well as a lot of online printers if you’d rather have that size.

  3. Digi is the only way to go!! I love to print with http://www.scrappingsimply.com/ They offer great sizes and different paper types too.

  4. Thank you for this! I’ve been wondering about this myself, and this was really helpful. Way to go chicks!

  5. Thank you! I’m sold!
    I’ve always wanted to do something better with my pictures-setting them in an album is so blah. I’ve thought about scrapbooking but it seems like a big investment in paper and cutters and glitter and stuff…like I don’t have enough stuff to trash my craftroom already!
    I’m so excited to get started with this-thanks for hooking us up with some links 🙂

  6. I’ve been digi scrapping since 2006 and most recently I have used viovio.com for printing my layouts into a book (although I didn’t start printing into a book until I was more confident with my skills). Printing individual pages at somewhere like Costco and then putting them into sheet protectors allows you to go back and fix pages or mistakes. Printing a bound book pretty much commits you, but is nice if you are confident with your designs.

    Also, one of my favorite digi sites is Peppermintcreative.com. She also offers a free kit and kits that were once free are only $3.00. These are some good “supplies” to get started with.

  7. Nice post. I’m actually a designer in the digital scrapbooking industry. I sell my product at https://ninthandbloom.com/shop/manufacturers.php?manufacturerid=13.

    I’d like to let your readers know about an amazing site with tons of fab articles and tutorials. Even as a seasoned designer I learn new things there all the time both about digital scrapbooking and other fun stuff… Your readers should check out a site called The Daily Digi http://thedailydigi.com/ I’d call it a great first stop to learn more about digital scrapbooking.

  8. I’ve been digiscrapping since 2006 and LOVE it…I think some of my favorite aspects are the lack of mess and the fact that you can’t ruin anything that you spent good money on 😉 The delete key is a wonderful thing.

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