I always chuckle when my friend comments about my “clean” scrapping style. In my world of budget scrapbooking, “clean” is code for “cheap.” The more embellishments I add to a page, the more the layout costs, so when money is extra tight I simply create streamline designs that are not completely nude, but don’t feature a plethora of stickers, stamps and die cuts either.
Another way to keep your layouts as simple and clean as possible is to limit the number of photos you feature on a single page. I know this technique somewhat negates the concept behind scrapbooking. After all, memory books are supposed to be a vehicle in which you can show off your best photos, but you don’t have to squeeze three-dozen pictures of your son’s fifth birthday on the same page to get your message across. If you have a ton of memorable shots, then burn the extra pictures onto a CD and slip the disc into a pocket in the back of your album. Envelopes and hidden page pockets are some other effective ways to create a clean scrapbook. Pockets are especially wonderful for holding multiple prints from a wedding or vacation.
If you are an avid digital scrapbooker, you can still create clean pages, though it might be a bit harder for you than a traditional scrapper. The Internet is crammed with sites that offer digital scrapbooking freebies. In fact, it is not hard to craft an entire memory book at almost no cost. Since embellishments can be downloaded for free it’s hard not to be tempted to feature as many decorations as possible on a single layout.
The same can be said for online photo processing sites. Since the field is quite competitive, many companies, such as Shutterfly, Snapfish and See Here, offer promotions whereby customers can get up to 100 prints for free. If you plan to take advantage of the offer, just be sure to be selective when choosing the type and number of prints you want to feature in your layout, especially if your goal is to create simple designs.