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Frugality in Scrapbooking

The subject seems to be taboo.  No one likes to talk about it.  I am here to shine a light on this dark subject. 


Scrapbooking is expensive!

There, I said it.

 How do you pursue your new hobby without breaking the bank?  There are ways.

I happen to be extremely fortunate in that I live in a city where there are a number of stores for me to shop for supplies.  I have a JoAnn’s, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and a local scrapbook store called K & Krafts (I have no affiliation with any of these retailers).  When I began to pursue my passion, I was diligent about watching the sales.  I signed up online to receive extra coupons from each store.  Most importantly, I think, I shopped with specific projects in mind.  I still shop this way. 

I knew the first thing I wanted to scrapbook was a trip to Disney we took several years ago.  We are huge Disney fans and have gone a number of times.  So, when things went on sale, I began to accumulate supplies.  When brads were on sale, I would pick up a pack containing a variety of colors.  I did the same with ribbon, flowers and stickers.  I was patient.  There were very few items I bought at full price.  I realize that a lot of you will not have the local shopping options I did.  I am happy to say there are a lot of websites out there with very reasonable prices and a great selection.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Again, I have no affiliation with any of these companies.  I just like them.  Of course you will have to pay shipping, which can get costly.  My suggestion is to do a google search for discounted or free shipping codes, combine shopping/shipping with a friend, sign up for the company’s newsletter so you will be alerted to sales and discounted shipping.

What are some other ways to cut costs?  My best advice here is be thoughtful.  Think about what you are buying and what you are doing.  Can I use this particular tool/supply in more than one way or is it a “one-hit wonder?”  For example, you may fall hopelessly in love with a paper punch in the shape of a skeleton.  Look at him dancing there!  How cute is that?  You think, “I could use him on my Halloween layout from last year.”  Yup, you can.  Now you see that the punch is $12.00 (punches are expensive).  Here’s where the thoughtfulness comes in.  Ask yourself, “How many layouts will I use him on?  In order to get my money’s worth, I would need to use him on EVERY Halloween layout.  Do I really want all my layouts to look the same?  Yes, he is adorable, but would my money be better spent purchasing a $3.00 pack of skeleton stickers at 40% off?”  Conversely, think about a balloon punch.  You could use this punch for birthday layouts.  Cool!  However, you can use it for New Years, Fourth of July, anniversaries, circus layouts, carnival and fair layouts, pretty much any celebration.  You can punch solid color paper or printed paper for a different look.  Now the $12.00 investment seems more reasonable.

Learn to think outside the box.  Look for scrapbook embellishments in the hardware store, the drug store, the dollar store, the thrift store.  It doesn’t have to be labeled “scrapbook supply” to use it. 

Be thoughtful in the way you cut your paper.  I mentioned this in yesterday’s post.  I always try to figure out how to leave myself with the largest piece I can.  If I can come out with any width x 12 inches, I can use that piece as a border on another page.  My general rule of thumb is if my smallest punch or rubber stamp will fit the scrap, I keep it.  I will trim it down so I don’t have all kinds of swiss-cheese-looking scrap paper and save it.  I’ll show you how I organize my scraps later. 

I’m going to talk about a huge investment I made almost immediately after igniting my passion.  I invested in a Cricut machine.  You can check them out at  I purchased the Expression.  No affiliation here whatsoever.  WHY would I make such a huge investment right off the bat?  Because it made sense to me.  At the time I made my purchase, there was a software program which would allow you to cut any font out with your Cricut.  I have a thing about fonts – I NEED the proper font for the page.  I thought about having to purchase a zillion different alphabet stickers and shuddered.  I thought about printing titles using my computer, having to cut them out by hand, and shuddered.  I knew that just for the letters alone, I would more than get my money back.  I also had a daughter in high school at the time making presentation boards, book reports and cheerleading signs who could get a lot of use out of the machine.  Not only could it cut the alphabets, but the Cricut also has several Disney cartridges.  My head danced and swam with all of the stickers and embellishments I wouldn’t have to purchase by using the Cricut.  A machine like this is definitely a large investment and one that should be weighed and considered.  For me, it just made sense.

Probably the best money-saving tip I can give you is to talk to people.  Attend crops.  Scrap with a friend.  If you are considering a new tool, talk to other scrappers to see how they like it.  Very, very often at crops people will bring tools and supplies you may not have.  I have never met a scrapper who was not willing to let me test drive one of their tools or borrow a stamp set.  It’s a great way to “try before you buy.”  The best thing, though, is meeting people who share your passion and in some cases, forming life-long, lasting friendships.

I hope I have given you some insight, hope and inspiration here.  Yes, this hobby can get quite expensive, but if you plan ahead, remember to be thoughtful and make purchases with a purpose, you don’t have to melt your credit card or deflate your bank account.

Until we meet again.

Mama Donna


About mamadonna58102

I am a 40 -year-old Domestic Engineer. I live in Fargo, ND with my husband of 26 years. I have two grown children, one son and one daughter. I also have two fur boys - an 11-year-old cocker spaniel dog and an 8-year-old British shorthair cat. I've often been called "Woman of a Thousand Hobbies" by friends and family and have a love for all things crafty. My favorite passion; however, is scrapbooking which I have been doing for just over three years. I also sew, embroider, crochet, knit, bead and I LOVE to cook and bake. I am always eager to learn something new. Thanks for joining me here!

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