Digital Scrapbooking

(Recipe by Gail)

Digital scrapbooking is a fun way to do more with your photos.  After all, how many photos do we all have hanging around on our hard drive, never to be seen again? Here are a few options to help you get started.


Simple Photo Books

Stores like Walmart and Costco have online software to help you choose a photo book template and add your photos.  Then you can print a book for as little as $20.  You normally get to choose what type of cover you want, how many pages there will be, and what layout will be used for each page.

Here are the steps to take when using the Walmart photo website:

  1. Start at the Walmart Photo Center.  Create an account and/or log in.
  2. The main screen shows your albums.
    1. If you want to upload photos to a new album, click "New Album" to the top right of the album thumbnails.
    2. If you want to add photos to an existing album, click that album's "Click to Add Images" link or click the blue "add photos" on the top left.
  3. Choose "Photo book" from the Photo Books menu on the top right.
  4. Choose the style of book you want to make.
  5. Choose from any options that are presented to you (such as borders).
  6. If you want the program to add photos for you, choose yes for auto-fill.  To add the images yourself, just choose "No thanks" when asked.
  7. Now you can look through the individual pages of your book and add your photos.
    1. To add photos, drag them from the "YOUR PHOTOS" tab onto the spaces on the page layout.
    2. "EDIT TOOLS" allow you to change how your image looks in the space you added it to.
    3. To change the layout, click the "CHOOSE LAYOUT" tab.  Drag the layout you want onto the page of your choice.
    4. You can customize the cover with the "CHANGE COVER" tab.
  8. When you are finished, you can preview your book with the button at the top right, or save it.
  9. Click the "ADD TO CART" button to order your book.


Blurb Books

If you want more control over your layouts and way more options, check out Blurb books.  We recommend you download the BookSmart application, but you can also make simple books online with Bookify Online.

There is plenty of help available on the Blurb website, but you may want to start with the Tips and Tutorials.

Printed Blurb books can be more expensive than the Walmart and Costco options, but the quality is likely to be better as well.


Custom Layouts

If you want to create your own layouts using digital scrapbooking papers and embellishments (available online for free or for a fee), you can do so in Photoshop (or any other image editing program).  You can then have the pages printed at a photo lab (for example, Costco prints wonderful 12x12 pages, which can then be added to a traditional scrapbook album), or drop your layouts into a Blurb book full page photo layout.

To make the most of free digital scrapbooking offerings, collect what you can when you can.  That way you'll have a big variety of items to choose from when making your layouts.  Here are a few good sites for finding these items (you can also Google for "free digital scrapbook" for more):