Digital Scrapbooking Is the New and Improved Way of Sharing and Preserving Memories

Rayna Skiver - Author

Sep. 25 2023, Published 6:22 p.m. ET

A group of people gathered around a table of printed photos.
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The Gist:

  • Traditional scrapbooking methods require a variety of supplies.

  • Digital scrapbooking is an eco-friendly alternative that allows everyone to ditch all those pesky paper craft tools.

  • Digital scrapbookers only need a phone or tablet and a few apps to get started.

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Scrapbooking is one of the most traditional ways to preserve memories. It’s an easy way to save and showcase your favorite photos and mementos, all while adding your own creative touch.

The only downside is that it tends to include a lot of stuff. A seasoned scrapbooker typically has many supplies — paper, scissors, glue, tape, and stickers are just the beginning of the list. When it comes to digital scrapbooking, you don’t need anything except your phone.

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What is digital scrapbooking?

Person taking photo outside with phone.
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Digital scrapbooking is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of buying a physical scrapbook and a ton of different crafting supplies, people are using editing apps on their phones and tablets to achieve the same goal.

In traditional scrapbooks, crafters usually incorporate a combination of photos and small souvenirs, like tickets or receipts. It’s also common to write short blurbs about the photo, event, or memory.

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Some people are replicating this concept using technology. Rather than printing photos and holding onto a bunch of event tickets, they’re simply taking advantage of the internet and editing tools.

While an old scrapbook at home might only be seen by a few people every now and then, digital versions are doubling as both a personal and public way to showcase memories. Instead of keeping their hard work all to themselves, some are sharing their scrapbook-style photos on social media too.

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Check out these digital scrapbooking apps and software to get started:

Person holding a phone with the Instagram app open.
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One of the best things about digital scrapbooking is that it’s basically free. As long as you have a smartphone and internet access, you can get started right away.

If you want to try out digital scrapbooking for yourself, apps like Canva, Paper by WeTransfer, and SCRL: Photo Collage Maker are the most recommended. These are free to download, which makes them great options for anyone wanting to give the hobby a test run.

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With these apps, you can upload pictures from your camera roll and add fun graphics, effects, and text. For those interested in sharing your work on social media — specifically Instagram — SCRL: Photo Collage Maker helps create a nice photo layout.

While apps like Canva, Paper, and SCRL are free, users have the option to purchase upgraded features as well. If you’ve had a ton of practice and really want to up your digital scrapbooking game, some people recommend using Procreate, which costs $5.99 on iPhones and $9.99 on iPads.

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Digital scrapbooking is the perfect way to express creativity while prioritizing sustainability.

People scrapbooking at a large table covered in supplies like tape, colored pencils, paper, scissors, and glue.
Source: ISTOCK

When compared to the digital version, it’s clear that old-school scrapbooks can be pretty unsustainable. The hobby requires loads of supplies and generally creates a great deal of waste — most people aren’t using every scrap of paper or an entire bottle of glue.

However, when using technology, the activity is much more eco-friendly. It’s the perfect way to use what you already have (a phone or tablet) while also giving it an entirely new purpose. There’s no need to go to the store and buy a ton of paper, stickers, glitter, tape, and other accessories that you might only use once or twice.

While both methods are a fun and exciting way to creatively depict memories, digital scrapbooking is more practical, affordable, and sustainable.

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