The world of digital scrapbooking can be overwhelming to navigate, especially if you are not tech savvy. When I first experimented with digital scrapbooking I figured I would select my photos, place them in pretty pre-fabricated frames, add them to my layouts, and go about my merry way. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy. I can’t tell you how much time, energy and money I’ve spent learning from my mistakes, namely ones that involved printing free digital frames.
For starters, there are an endless number of websites that offer printable scrapbook frames at no charge. The catch is finding one that complements your image, and more importantly, determining if the frame will print out without looking as though it was drawn by your 5-year-old. Finding high-quality printable frames and borders can be very challenging if you are clueless about resolution.
Ideally, you don’t want to print out a frame unless it features a resolution of at least 200 dots per inch (dpi). Most downloadable images come in at about 300 dpi. You will get a cleaner, crisper final product the closer you get to 200 dpi. Also, remember the word “vector.” Vector images are superior to standard versions in that they allow you the option to enlarge and reduce the frame’s original size, and in the world of digital scrapbooking, size matters. Traditional downloadable frames can be reduced, but not enlarged. Pay close attention to image size and resolution. If you don’t you will likely be fuming after you’ve wasted expensive ink and acid-free paper on free frames that print out as a blurry mess.
For beginners, Quick Pages are a great first foray into digital scrapbooking. They feature frames that are completely embellished for you. All you need to do is print them out, cut around the edges of the frames, and place them over your photos. If you want to flex your creative muscle a bit more, then stick with borders. Simply print out a pattern you like. From there you can cut out what you need to create a frame or reduce the entire image and use it on a particular picture.