Friday, May 11, 2007

5 ways to find Free or Discount Scrapbooking supplies

There is a wealth of scrapbooking layout supplies out there and more being invented every day. But the cost of these things can mount up pretty quickly and so here is a list of tips for making your scrapbooking budget go a lot further.

One. Firstly, although embellishments such as brads are supplied in all sorts of shapes and sizes by the scrapbooking industry, you can buy ordinary brass brads (paper fasteners as they are known) from stationers and discount stores for a fraction of the price. Always take a look at clearance bins for things like ribbons and fabric ends.

A good resource is the stockists/showrooms of blind manufacturers, they often want to give away their out-of-date books of swatches and these samples are really good as backgrounds for scrapbooking layouts. The picture shows a card made with pieces of blind material and the gold flower was pendant found at a charity shop.

Then there are the bouquets of silk flowers available at discount stores and garden centres. Just take the heads apart and you have instant blooms as embellishments. And an extra tip is to buy white ones because you can always colour them with your ink pads to the exact colour you want.

Two. I have found various items at charity shops, for instance, costume jewellery which I have used on cards and scrapbooking layouts. I have bought packs of used stamps for next to nothing and found loads of buttons too.

Then there are the car boot and garage sales. You can discover little items for embellishing scrapbooking layouts, for instance sewing box contents like measuring tapes can be useful. Small metal washers and other little items from the tool boxes are great for “manly” pages.

Three. It does pay to organise your supplies. In that way you can see what you have already got and only need to spend money on specific things. A standard concertina folder (or expandable folder) is very useful. I keep all my 12x12 layout papers and card stock in colour groups with smaller size paper and scraps in clear plastic folders within the same colour range. It means that I have all my available paper all together at my fingertips.

Of course with all our stash we still want and need more, but keeping them in an orderly fashion reminds us of what we already have so that we don't duplicate. I have also made a “swatch book” of all my ribbons using a page per colour and beside each ribbon a note of which shop I bought it from… because they all stock slightly different ribbons! In this way I know exactly which shop to go back to in order to refresh my supply.

My buttons are stored in clear plastic bags with a colour tag attached to the top. They are all kept in a box. When I need a particular colour I just reach for the tag and pull out the bag. I can then see all the buttons clearly and so can choose with ease the ones for my scrapbooking layout.

My embellishments are kept in various clear boxes with lids. Some chocolates come in clear boxes which are great for storage (any excuse eh!?). Some sewing shops stock boxes with compartments inside for pins etc… these are very useful and can be less expensive than ones specifically made for scrapbooking.

I have found keeping lots of small boxes more convenient as they are more versatile for packing into my “rolling toolbox” to take on crops. Mine is a standard toolbox and therefore a LOT cheaper than a specific scrapbooking one and serves me well.

Four. Use your scanner/colour photocopier to copy fabrics such as clothing, for backgrounds. Things that give good textures are items such as towels, and the range of colours is brilliant nowadays too!

Five. Search Google and other engines for “free fonts” and “free scrapbooking” Find free fonts to download, free templates and even if you are not a digital scrapbooker, you can make use of thousands of free digital scrapbooking supplies, such as background paper, and embellishments, simply print and cut out.

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