Archival Answers: Savvy Shopper

By Anne Wilbur Premium

Q. I’d love to start a heritage scrapbook, but all the supplies seem so expensive. How can I keep this project affordable?

A. With all the fun and fabulous scrapping products out there, this hobby easily can bust your budget According to Simply Scrapbooking <>, average scrappers spend more than $25 a month on their habit, and a typical album has $1,500 worth of supplies. But you don’t have to cash out your 401 (k) to preserve your family’s memories. Here’s how to reign in your scrapbook spending:

?Focus on what’s really important — safely preserving your photographs and memorabilia, as well as the stories that go with them. You need only a few basics: an archival-quality album, a black pigment-ink pen, photo-safe adhesive and photo corners. Embellishing your pages is fun, but ifs secondary.

?Cultivate a simple, elegant scrapbooking style. For inspiration, see the streamlined layouts in Budget Scrapbooking (Memory Makers Books), available from <> You’ll also get great ideas for decorating your pages on a shoestring.

?If your creative impulses compel you to embellish, keep careful track of your purchases. Then prioritize: If you love rubber stamps, put most of your money there and buy fewer papers and stickers.

?Download free fonts from Web sites such as <> and <>. Find clip art by typing free clip art plus a theme (fishing, baseball, vintage) into an Internet search engine such as Google <>.

?Instead of buying pre-made page titles or letter stickers, check out a book such as The Best of Memory Makers Scrapbook Lettering (Memory Makers Books) and make your own titles. If your printer has fade-resistant, waterproof ink, create titles using your word processing program. (In Microsoft Word, go to Insert>Picture>Word Art.)

?Add pizzazz with waterproof, fade-resistant colored pens — a good investment you can use over and over again. Use fine-tip pens for journaling and decorative pen work, and larger tips for titles.

From the May 2006 issue of Family Tree Magazine.