Cheap and Frugal Scrapbooking

I have always been a proponent of cheap scrapbooking. I mean, I totally love using new products and I’ll admit to spending into the double digits for some scrapbooking pages. But I love being frugal too and I like the creativity that can come from not having a ton to spend on scrapbooking supplies. So what are some of the ways that you can keep your money in the bank and still make great layouts? Here are some of my suggestions to be “cheap” without looking like it:

1.) Look around the house. You would be surprised what “scrapbooking” supplies you can find. I have used many household supplies or products including: paperclips, craft paint (not only can you use it to accent a page, but you can use it the same way you use stamp ink), old envelopes and used stamps (great for destination/travel pages), old/broken jewelry (use as embellishments), shopping/clothing/market tags (you can paint over, dye, or cover them), wrapping paper, gift ribbon, hair ribbons or rubber bands, game pieces, old maps, book pages (as backgrounds), cereal/shoe boxes (for chipboard) and much more. Just be careful that these items are acid free or at least if they are not, won’t be touching any of your photos.

2.) Go digital – or at least a little bit. There are many sites out there that offer freebies every week or so. I have stated loading up on these free downloads. Not only can you use them to do digital scrapbooking layouts, but I take parts of them and print them off to use on my regular scrapbooking layouts. And the great things about these is that you can print them again and again for different pages. Check out and for some freebies.

3.) Have a scrapbooking supply swap. The next time you want to get together to scrapbook, just tell everyone that you will be having a “swap” table where people can bring supplies they don’t use any more or don’t want. You could also make it a sale too if someone wants to sell something they have. The last time I did this kind of “swap” I ended up going home with a ton of papers and stickers that others didn’t want.

Scrapbooking may not be the cheapest hobby out there, but it needn’t be expensive. I am sure there are lots of other ways that each individual can make it even more affordable. If you have any more ideas for making scrapbooking cheaper, let me know your great discoveries.

Bernice E. Middleton

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