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One way to make cheap scrapbooks is to focus on ways to add thrifty embellishments to your pages. Instead of rushing out to the nearest craft store to buy supplies, consider creating your own embellishments using one or more of the following:
- Paint chips (paint color cards from paint and hardware stores)
- Old greeting cards
- Buttons from stained, torn, or outgrown clothes
- Beads and charms from broken costume jewelry
- Ribbon from gift baskets or packages you have received
- Clothing tags with interesting graphics or other pretty designs
- Memorabilia relating to the theme, such as postcards, brochures
- Graphics and clippings from magazine & newspaper ads & articles
- Your children's' artwork
Thrifty design and background ideas include:
- Instead of purchasing patterned paper, use watercolor paint to make an abstract design on plain cardstock.
- Piece together several scraps of different patterned papers in coordinating colors to make a completely new background for your scrapbook layout.
- Add texture to paper by crumpling it a few times, smoothing it back out, and highlighting the creased areas with a bit of brown chalk.
- Experiment with sanding white core cardstock to give an otherwise simple layout an unexpected textured twist.
- Handwrite a favorite quote or word several times across the bottom of the page for an interesting border.
- Turn your journaling into an interesting design element by highlighting key words with chalk or colored pencils.
- Trim old photos (copies not originals) into large squares or different shapes, and then arrange the photos into a grid formation to make a cheap title page for your scrapbook album (like you see on the backs of calendars).
Thrifty Homemade Scrapbooks
Assembling cheap (cheap as in price, not quality!), homemade scrapbooks requires some advance planning. If you have a particular style of album you want to purchase, look for sales or coupons to get the best deal from your favorite scrapbook supply store. If you want to make your own scrapbook album, here are a few fun ideas to consider:
- Decorate a standard three-ring binder or a plain hardcover journal with stickers, rub-ons, or patterned paper to use as your scrapbook album.
- Punch holes in cardstock, and then tie the sheets together with ribbon or twine to make a simple handmade book. You can also use binder rings.
- Use a die cutting machine to cut shapes from your favorite papers. If you do not have a die cutting machine, it is fun to create your own by tracing around objects that fit your need. Make a chipboard cover, then assemble everything into a cute mini-book for scrapbooking your favorite memories.
- Bind together paper bags or envelopes to make a scrapbook that has space for storing memorabilia.
When you create homemade scrapbooks, remember that albums without page protectors tend to be less durable over the long term. If you are making a scrapbook that doesn't have page protectors, you will need to use plenty of strong adhesive and also limit the number of bulky embellishments you include on each page.