Tag Archive | Traditional scrapbooking

Traditional or Digital?

I think most of you know the difference but just in case…..

Traditional is when you have hands on printed photos, special acid/lignin free paper, embellishments, etc. You manually arrange the photos on paper, adhere them then add any journaling and/or embellishments. This has been around since cameras became popular.

It is now the age of digital photography for most of us (professionals excluded here). Personally, I don’t know HOW I ever dealt with film for capturing everyday moments. You had to wait so long to see if you had a usable picture or you used tons of film making sure one of the photos came out right. In any case, digital scrapbooking is a way to computerize all these photos, using various scrapbooking programs to create a hardcover book or separate pages that can be inserted into a traditional book.

Let’s move on to the pros and cons of each.

Traditional Scrapbooking


• You get to FEEL the ribbons and buttons and bows. To me, that’s part of the excitement. It gets my creative juices flowing.

• These elements also add depth and interest to your pages.

• I like to use actual ticket stubs, brochures, report cards, artistic creations from your children and little souvenirs. You know those machines that imprint pennies? I have a few of those imprinted pennies. As long as it’s not something too big or bulky, I can put it on a page to enhance my photos.

• You can attend crops (place where a bunch of people gather to scrapbook), I know a lot of women (and some men) that do this. It’s not only a great way to meet people of similar interests, but you can share  more expensive supplies. Some of the hobby stores have crop nights and let you use their Cricut machine for example. Also, people are good about sharing and if you only need one of some small item, someone might have just the thing and it saves you from buying a whole package.  Aside from supplies, you may be having a creativity block and what better venue to swap ideas or get your minds working?


• Well, if you’ve read any of my other articles, you know that traditional scrapbooking requires space and containers to hold all the STUFF. Granted most or you will not be out of control as I am. LOL. Beyond holding your stuff, you still need a place to work and that dining room table is usually where it all happens. However, what happens when you have guests or little ones roaming around?

• Printing photos can be expensive although Snapfish has sales all the time and the photos come out really nice. I’ve used them for YEARS and store a lot of my photos there. I upload then choose the prints I want them to print.  So, it is a con but not a bad one.

Digital Scrapbooking


• There is no mess to contend with or storage space required.

• Just hit Save, come back whenever you can and nothing has been moved or rearranged by a little one.

• Can do it anywhere without hauling all your supplies.

• Can print a number of copies (of pages or book) for each member of the family or group.

• You can easily manipulate photos (resize, take out red eyes, etc.) once you plan a page. (Note: I do use Photoshop  and manipulate my photos BEFORE I upload and print with Snapfish.) Of course, being a human, you can change your mind about the size and have to reprint with traditional or even change the number of prints you want to use. Now you’ve paid for excess photos. I printed 1000 photos of a mission trip to China. Will I use them all???? Granted, they were a penny apiece but …….

• Can be faster. All you have to do is turn your computer on and pick up where you left off instead of gathering all your supplies.


• Scrapbooking programs in which you buy templates can be expensive and they’re not something you can easily share. Picture going to a crop with just your computer. Less cumbersome, but not very exciting. There is limited exchange of ideas, stories or inspiration.

• There is a limit to the number of templates and embellishments that are available on any given program and you are bound by those limitations.

• After you’ve completed your online album, you then have to print it. Again, often (and I say Snapfish because I use them so often) you will find sales but sometimes you’ll have to wait for them. I’ve seen books done in Shutterfly as well. They are nice but they don’t have the same FEEL as a traditional. I know, I have this thing about feel.

SO, now having done this comparison, for many of you in the younger generation who grew up with computers, you may opt for digital scrapbooking. It IS less cumbersome. I’ve done both and I must say I do prefer the traditional. For my daughter’s wedding I purchased a digital album of her wedding day but made a traditional one for all the festivities surrounding her day. The traditional one was more fun to look at. A hybrid of the two is also an option. I haven’t tried that yet.

Bottom line, you need to decide what works for you and fulfills your creative spirit. Either way, make it personal and leave memories for future generations. This website will focus predominately on the traditional style. Let’s Create!


By Debra Armstrong
email:  debbi@scrapbookingforanyone.com
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