Whew. Day 3 of hosting and I think I'm starting to finally relax and enjoy it :) Don't you like my super clever title today LOL.
Today's post is all about being cheap. Scrapbooking doesn't have to be an expensive hobby! When I started, I remember being pretty shocked at the prices of paper and embellishments. Prices still shock me, actually, the only difference is that I sometimes buy expensive items if I know that I will use them a lot. Being cheap has influenced both my product purchase strategy and my usage strategy (jeez, can you tell I come from a corporate background? Sorry, I've lost my ability to speak like normal people LOL).
Purchasing: my usual strategy is to fill up an online shopping cart with things that I like. I regularly come back to it to add/remove items over a period of a few months. If an item actually stays in my shopping cart for that period, it gets bought. Yes, even though I shop for supplies all the time, I only buy them every few months, it saves on shipping and prevents impulsive purchases that might then sit in my stash unsused. Putting things in my cart takes care of my lust for new and pretty product. Once I've looked at it for a while, it sometimes starts to lose it's appeal, at which point it gets removed from the cart. Obviously, this requires a fair amount of restraint and I don't expect it to work for everyone but it sure works for me :) Thanks to this strategy, I manage to keep my personal stash under control (personal as in non-DT related). Behold my embellishments below. Those are spice containers that are 2" in diameter and about 2" high. Yes, those are ALL my personal embellies, sorted by colour. Aren't they pretty?
Using: Once I bring product home, I always try to make the most of it. I figured if I paid for it, I should be used as much as possible on my pages! Here are a few things that I do or have done to stretch my purchases further:
Most of my layouts feature a border or two (or three). Instead of using a full sheet of paper for the border, I cut out the middle portion to use later (see picture below). I originally used a craft knife to do this but eventually found that it can be done quite easily with my rotary trimmer. You just need to figure out where to start cutting and where to stop!
The border was used in the "Catapult" layout from yesteray's post, and a small strip of the middle piece was used to create the scalloped border for that same layout. The remainder of the centre piece got used for the layout below as a picture mat:
Of course, I also cut out the middle of this layout's background paper, to use on another page :) One side benefit of cutting out the middle of the background paper is that it removes bulk from your page. If you do this for all your pages, it makes a big difference on the weight of your scrapbook and makes the album a bit easier to handle, especially for little kids!
I'm not sure if you noticed that the chipboard letters used on this layout are the same ones used on the "Catapult" layout. I tend to use the same alphas from a given set until all that's left are the z's and the x's ! I buy alphas in generic colours such as black, white, brown, and red so that I'm not limited by my paper colour choices. Also, can you tell the heart is pop-dotted? I never buy foam dots for this purpose. Instead, I use the inside of chipboard letters (the inside of the P's, B's, etc) or cut up some unused letters to put under my embellishments when I need to pop-dot something. And hey - those gems weren't red when I bought them, I coloured them with a Sharpie :)
One thing that I've realized after scrapping all these years is that while I am really frugal with consummables such as paper and embellishments, I don't mind spending money on tools. I actually think that tools can save you money in the long run because they can help you make the most of the supplies you already own. Some perfect examples are punches and die-cutters. I own three border punches that get used all the time and I just recently bought a Silhouette. These tools help me use up my scrap pile and I expect that I won't need to buy as many alphas and embellishments once I start using my Silhouette more often. I consider my money well spent when it comes to those tools!
Anyway, I hope I 've given you some ideas on how to stretch your supplies further. I can't take credit for any of those tips because I picked them up in forums and magazines over the years but they have really helped me keep my spending under control! If you have some tips to share, please add them in the comment section for all of our readers to see!
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you here tomorrow! I'll be sharing some of my favourite products (I bet you can already guess what some of them are!).