Scrap The Traditional Scrapbook

I will share a secret with you. I actually started making old-school baby scrapbooks for my kids. I started my son’s when he was born, nearly four years ago.  What was I thinking? Who has time for this? Honestly, scrap-booking is really unwieldy! And sticky! And totally exhausting. I need a nap.

So I’ve been thinking about using “Sweet Baby”, a pre-designed photo book in the scrapbooking style by Becky Higgins. I love the examples I’ve seen on Gallery, like DrewS27’s “Sweet Baby”, and if they’re anything like the “Celebrate Everyday Life” books you really can’t go wrong. My son’s scrapbook is basically chronological; but this book gives you pages for each month AND extra pages for family trees, favorite things, leading up to the birth, other cute little bits to remember…

And let me just say that traditional scrapping adds up. The album, the extra pages, the plastic protectors, the stickers, papers, embellishments, tape, glue, corners, etc… And you can’t buy scrap quantities for just one project. You end up with a scrap-load of leftovers. I guess what I’m doing is asking permission from Shutterfly to ditch old school and go digital. All in favor, say ay!


  1. Joanna T says

    Great article Susie. You make me laugh. I think digital scrapping the ‘old fashioned’ way is highly time consuming and messy. There are soooooo many cute templates in the Creating Keepsake section. You should for sure do your daughters this way. It’ll be so much easier. Maybe I’ll do one for each of my siblngs so they can have heir own baby book. Our mom kept up with mine as i’m the oldest, but slacked on the other 3. It could be a future project. Then I’d need to do my brother-in-law one and sister-in-law. I may think more about this. I’d really like to do a baby book of my parents – but who knows if I’ll ever find enough photos to do a book.
    Thanks for the great article.
    Joanna T
    Shutterfly Gallery Guru

  2. Rachael S says

    I just helped my sister put together a scrapbook album for her family, for the year 2007. She typically scrapbooks her memories as well, but she feels the same way you do…it’s so time consuming, such a mess, and she never has the time to do it. We made a digital scrapbook using templates by Jessica Sprague, and she had the finished photobook in-hand a week later. She is definitely sold on this “new” way of preserving memories! I agree wholeheartedly; why slave away when the experts at Shutterfly have done all the work for us? :)

    Shutterfly Gallery Guru

  3. says

    I never old schooled scrapped, but I understand the felling of doing for your first you must do for the others. All of that measuring to fit turned me off. I didn’t get my digital camera until my daughter was 4 and my son was 1 1/2. But I did have it went my 3rd baby was born. I felt guilty about making the baby a Shutterfly book with out doing the same for the other two. I got over that quick and decided to enjoy featuring all three together.

    Having the digi scrap templates right there and ready to fill seems awesome. I love Celebrate Everyday Life and I can see Sweet Baby is just as great. I want to do an all black and white photo of Everyday real soon. The best thing, no glue needing just pictures to fill up the pages!

    Ann Abbott
    Shutterfly Gallery Guru

  4. Cynthia Y says

    I’m with you with it comes to Scrapbooking. I have a cousin who is really big into it but it always looked so time consuming and expensive. Let alone the size of the book when you are finished. I had thought about doing one after our first Disney trip but then realized just how expensive all those pages, elements, and supplies would cost me. By doing it through Shutterfly it was so simply and easy and the great thing was I could order extras for family and friends! No recreating several pages the old fashion way. I’m definitely hooked on Shutterfly layouts and Shutterfly digital scrapbook templates. I say AY!

    Shutterfly Gallery Guru

  5. Kristin says

    AY!! I have so much scrapbooking materials that have gone unused. I always pictured myself a scrapbooker but never did it. However, I loved the materials so I would gather them in the hopes of “some day”. Well someday came and went and shutterfly’s photobooks made me the scrapbooker I envisioned myself to be without all the time consumption and work! My opinion is ditch it Susie!
    Shutterfly Gallery Guru

  6. Nikita Chiquita says

    I am all about saving money! I bought a bunch of scrapbook supplies way back when and they are expensive! And they are still sitting in my scrap bag! Now I have an entire hard drive dedicated to digiscrap supplies that is 4″x6″x1″!!!! Much more manageable and I can reuse everything over and over again! Plus if an album gets milk spilled all over it, I can order a new one! I am sure your daughter will understand being that she may not even know how scrapbooking began!”

    shutterfly gallery guru

  7. TammyM5 says

    Susie, I still do old school scrapbooking and Shutterfly. I will say I have been doing much more Shutterfly in the last couple of years. I still love to do things with my hands from time to time the old school way but I have saved that for much smaller projects and take all of my bigger projects to Shutterfly. I say do it on Shutterfly, things are always changing, she will be glad you done anything when she gets older. As moms we are way to hard on ourselves. I think it is great you are just doing a book, old school or Shutterfly. Thanks for the great article.
    Shutterfly Gallery Guru

  8. CrissyW4 says

    Susie, I say “ay” to digital! For eleven years now, I have been scrapbooking the old school way, in which I am almost 3 years behind! For three years, I have been scrapbooking digitally, in which I am caught up to date! (I started to make digital photo books for family gifts because it was taking way too long to do it traditionally anymore) It only takes a few weeks to create a full year album with the Shutterfly digital books and sooooo much longer with traditional scrapbooking. My husband says I should make the switch entirely to digital, but, I also have my 3rd child’s baby book to create and I did not know about the “Sweet Baby” digi-scrap templates by Becky Higgins. I just finished our 2008 family album with the “Celebrate Everyday Life” album and I can’t wait to receive it in the mail! I am looking forward to the future designs Shutterfly will continue to come up with!

  9. Karyn says

    Susie, I completely understand! I started an old-style scrapbook for my daughter about a year ago and it took me FOREVER to get anything done on it so it’s basically collecting dust. I’m currently researching how to shift into digital scrapbooks. I can’t wait to work on it! So, anyways, I totally understand where you’re comign from. Personally I’d rather use the time I save with digital by spending it with my daughter or husband creating the real memories then sitting down in my basement with sticky fingers and scraps of paper all over the floor. Good luck with your decision!

  10. Liz says

    I am a new mom of a beautiful 4 month old daughter and am totally in love with all these beautiful digital scrapbooks I am seeing… so amazing. I am wondering though how all of you have preserved those ‘tangible sentimental items’ that would have gone in an old-style scrapbook but obviously can’t go on a digital one (like the hospital bracelet of my newborn, the little sign from the hospital, the page with her first footprint, etc. etc.). Do you just choose not to have these 3-d items in your scrapbooks?

    Thanks for any input – I am new to this digital scrapbooking but definitely want to learn more! :)

  11. Kim Houde says

    I think you can still have your 3-d items in your digtial scrapbooks if you really want. I have noticed books that have space left for their “3-D” items such as ticket stubs etc. I guess you wouldn’t want anything really bulky but otherwise I think it would work.

  12. Anne-Marie says

    This may be a totally “duh!” question, but how do I switch to digital if I have YEARS of print photos? Would I have to scan them all (digitize them)?

  13. Susie-L says

    There are no “duh” questions. yes, you’d have to scan them. There are services that do this. One that we like is called Scan Cafe. You can get there directly at or you can go through Shutterfly at They charge you per image but the nice thing is that you can literally send them a drawer or album full of images and they will scan them all and only charge you initially for half. Then they send you to a website where you pick out the ones that you want (they’re all uploaded for you) and only pay for those (then you pay for the additional images above the halfway mark). I did this for my wedding pictures and was very happy with the result. It’s a leap of faith to send away your images or negatives, but I haven’t heard any “lost images” horror stories. Good luck!

  14. says

    I don’t think I would have ever been a “traditional scrap booker” with all of the measuring and cutting and gluing and fitting things here and there… Yuck! But the photo book and digital scrap booking is perfect for me. Just point and click and drag and move…easy with no mess. LOVE IT!

  15. BarbaraJ says

    I have always love art and taught for several years. Now scrapbooking the old fashioned way would be fine it I had only one page to do. I want to get finished and I have all these supplies laying around and my kids get into everything. I must go digi-scrapbooking and I have to admit I love it. I am still learning. Shutterfly offers us some great pre-designed books for that purpose. Thank you to shutterfly.

  16. Tiffany M says

    I love the pre-scrap layouts! So, I agree! Once baby comes, there is no time. Fast ‘n cute is the way to go!

  17. stacylynn says

    I have been a paper scrapper for almost 12 years, but working full time, going to school at night and 4 children, leave very little time for that. I do miss it, but I am soooo in love with the whole digital thing, using shutterfly and photoshop…. I love that there is no mess to clean up, and I can stop in the middle of a page and just save it and go back later, and I can reuse templates, papers & embellishments and pics as much as I want!!

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