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Frugal Scrapbooking Ideas

by Lynda Jeffs

You start to look at others' scrapbook albums, and you want one of your own. You look at supplies you can purchase, but find yourself walking away because of the expense of it all. I have been able to scrapbook for over 7 years on what I have had available to me at home, I don't spend a lot of money...I haven't been able to! Yet I get compliments on the things that I create all of the time! I will teach you a few things that I have learned along the way, and a few tips that will help you with the expense of it all! Some you might have thought about, and some you might not have! So, let me start to show you ways you can save money on this fun craft!


Learn to look at your weekend newspaper for 40% off coupons for your local craft store. Each week they come out plan on spending money on a larger ticket item that you need. Paper trimmers can be a bit expensive, but if you use a coupon for it, you can oftentimes get it for $15 or less. This little item can help you in all aspects of crafting or just everyday use. This is just one example of what you can purchase; the list can go on and on here!


Also make sure to look at the ads each week to see what is on sale and what is not. If you can spend a bit of money, the best way to spend it is using coupons or watching sales for things. You might not need the cardstock or paper right now, but if you find things that will save you money, then get it. Look at the colors, textures and patterns you use a lot of, and make sure you stock up on those. Also make sure you look at the adhesive you use, and stock up on that too. You don't know the amount of time I have wasted on having to go get some type of adhesive while working on a project!

Rubber Stamps

If you have rubber stamped, you can scrapbook...and if you scrapbook, you can rubber stamp! Stickers can only be used once, with the color scheme of what the sticker gives you. With stamps, you can use that same stamp multiple ways, therefore helping in the cost. Yes, you have the upfront cost of the stamps and pads, but this cost can be spent over a few months if you look at places and ways you can purchase them. For every layout or card you make the cost of the stamp goes look for ways you can save money in this direction. Look for things you tend to use a lot; a present stamp can be used for multiple events, so this is a great way to save money.

Start Small

Refrain from purchasing each and every style of scissors that are out on the market today. Instead choose a few of your favorite styles, and find others who have a few styles as well. This way if you are working on a project that might require you to use a different style than you have, you have access to them. Same holds true with templates, do not buy all of them out there, purchase a few that you will need, and learn to network with others for the others!

Save Your Scraps

Make sure you keep your scraps, so that when you are working on small things you don't need to use an entire sheet of paper for it. I use my scraps every time I scrapbook or make cards instead of using an entire sheet of cardstock for a few punched out pieces. This way, each album or project I do is truly one of a kind. Scraps are good for paper piecing, cards, punches, stamping, or for small pieces of color on a layout to coordinate your layout or card.


Look at templates you can use in a variety of different ways, such as the kind that have fun edges on them with other shapes on the inside of the template. This way you can use it in different ways, such as the shapes on a layout or on a card, and the edge can also be used on a layout, framed page, or use it instead of patterned edge scissors for a card.


You do not need each and every color of marker that is out there, trust me! If you spend $100.00 on a pack of 48 markers, I will promise you, you will be wasting your money, unless you plan on using each color and style in that pack that is. I normally only use black for the journaling, and maybe a color or two on my pages, but that $100.00 purchase I made was mostly wasted. I could have spent $20.00 on the colors I needed versus the $100.00 I spent and still don't use.


Look at different packs of paper you can purchase, the kind that have at least 40 sheets of paper in them or more. This way, you are saving money by purchasing the packs of paper you like and will use. Also keep in mind just because something is in a specific pack doesn't mean you can't use that paper in another area. I purchased a kitchen pack to make a recipe album for my daughter, and instead found green checkered paper that looks great for another project I am working on. I only paid $9.99 for the pack of paper, so this was a great purchase for me.

Buy Used Supplies

Instead of purchasing brand new items, make sure you look at web sites to purchase used supplies from people. Some people have just outgrown their supplies, and others are just not creating like they used to. Pick up things when you are on a budget, instead of spending full price for things.


Find a group of women who also create, to share supplies with. This way someone can purchase a high ticket item such as a die cut machine, and maybe another can purchase other expensive supplies. Learn to scrap together, or get together once a month or so in order to allow everyone time on the different items. Learn to find stores that have crops in order for you to be able to use their supplies before you purchase them. I used to spend a lot of time at my local store just to die cut different papers. I then would take the paper home with me, instead of throwing away the scraps.


My last item, is learn to recycle everyday items such as bottles, 6 pack containers, or cans into organizing items. Bottles cleaned out make great ribbon holders so you can see what scraps of ribbon you have left. 6 pack containers or cans also make great organizers, being able to keep your basic supplies at arm's reach. Make sure you alter them with neat paper to match your area or in your favorite colors so you will always make your area neat. That same 6 pack container, filled with someone's favorite candy or bath items created in their favorite colors instantly becomes a great birthday or just because gift. Coffee cans decorated are cheap versions of paint cans filled with a present as well!

Not only can you save money, you can also make darling one of a kind items for you and your family. Scrapbooking isn't that expensive, it just depends on how you spend your money. I hope you learn new and exciting ways to save money on your crafting. It is cheaper than therapy and more fun too!



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