I am a sucker for beautiful patterned scrapbook paper. Though, given how much a single sheet of fancy paper sells for these days, I often stick with basic, plain paper and try to jazz up my layouts with stickers and die cuts. Still, I willingly admit to drooling over the latest and greatest scrapbook paper designs, and I have a hard time resisting the temptation to buy, buy, buy.
Fortunately, there are ways to save on scrapbook paper and still create amazing layouts. Start by doing an inventory of your scrapbook supplies. Assess what you have in your stash and see if you can jazz up any of your existing pieces of paper. For example, you could easily create a distressed look by rubbing leftover patterned paper with sandpaper. Another option is to paint the paper with funky designs or spray it with walnut oil to give it a shabby chick look. I often stamp plain paper to get it to pop. You don’t have to stamp the entire page; rather, create a whimsical border with colorful stamps.
Another way to save on paper and give your layouts a unique look is to use alternatives to traditional scrapbook paper. For example, you could create a Christmas-themed layout using gift wrapping paper or put together a vacation layout using a map for paper. Other cheap alternatives are newspaper, calendar pages and large brochures or programs from plays or concerts you have attended.
If you plan to use any of the aforementioned ideas for alternative scrapbook paper, you need to be mindful of their chemical make-up. Some paper sources are not acid-free, so if you are using delicate photos, you might not want to risk placing them on paper that would compromise their archival safety.
Bottom line: Be a smart shopper when it comes to purchasing scrapbook paper. Don’t go overboard buying paper that you may or may not use. Rather, be frugal and get into the habit of looking for paper sales. Another way to save is to use coupons offered by scrapbooking supply stores, such as Hobby Lobby and Michaels.