Miserly tips

Still can't get to my desk to do some crafting...... back pain really sux!  So instead of crafting I thought I'd share a few ideas on ways to save money on your scrapbooking. For those of you who have either been with me since the beginning of this blog or those who have read the back issues this won't be news to you but I thought it would be a good idea to revisit some of those hints and tips for new readers.

I like to save on my scrapbooking by firstly setting a firm budget. If that's $10 a week or $10 a month you stick to it.  If you are forced to only spend a fixed amount you will consider your scrapbooking purchases alot more carefully! I also like to have a "just in case of extra special sale" amount tucked away. I set $60 and have that put aside in case I come across a very special sale price I just can't walk past.

Cost out your pages and projects. I have to cost out my pages and beyond the page projects for my classes and have found that when you are costing every single item on the page and are more aware of the cost of that page you will often pull back on the embellishments using only one or two special pieces and using techniques to decorate the rest of your page. If you look at the page and it costs you $20 to produce that page then you may find it difficult to do many projects on your weekly $10 budget. Keeping an eye on your spending is the best way to stop waste.

I prefer to buy paper in bulk buy paper stacks as this always works out cheaper. For instance I can buy a stack of 48 papers for $19.99 (15.99 on special) that works out to 41cents for a piece of patterned cardstock or plain coloured cardstock.  When you buy at the shops here a single sheet of bazzil is $1 and patterned paper at my local scrapbook store is between $1.40 and $1.60 each, but can be up to $2.40 in some stores.  This is difficult for me now that I'm teaching as we need to buy supplies to reproduce that page in class so I tend to use these stacks for my gift giving projects and projects I submit for Australian Scrapbook Ideas Magazine.

Buying tools is a much better use of your money than spending on all the pretty embellishments. You get to use the tool over and over and over again for the one money spend.

Make your own embellishments whenever possible. (there are videos on my blog and on you tube on how to make your own flowers).

When you finish a layout and all those perfectly co-ordinating supplies are lying on your table.... make a card or other beyond the page project. When you're finished with the card or other project store all of your scraps and offcuts so you can easily go through them at a later date when you're looking for a small piece of cardstock or paper to complete another project.  Once a month challenge yourself to make a layout and or card from this stash of off cuts. Every now and then I challenge myself to make some gift tags and decorate paper bags to match for quick easy wrapping of gifts.  This uses up more of those supplies so you have gotten the most out of your dollar spent.

I invested in a cutting machine (mine is a cricuit) so I could cut my own shapes and titles to save on my layout costs. If you have a good friend who is also a scrapbooker then you could share the costs of the die cutting machine and/or dies or cartridges to ensure you have a large range dies or cartridges to work with without having to spend a fortune.

I go scrapbook shopping with my best scrap buddy and we share our purchases. I don't need 8 of the same pretty pin but four of that one and four of the one she bought is perfect. This also works well with the paper stacks as you usually get 2 or 3 of each paper and by swapping our doubles we get 96 different patterned papers for the same $19.99 spend.

Look for found objects you can use in your scrapbooking. I found an earing on the road once that became a beautiful embellishment to a page. An old broach, necklace, bracelet, ribbon, trim or button off an old outfit.... the options are endless once you start to look.   Check out all the packaging your supplies come in too. Alot of the packaging is really pretty and can be used in your layouts. I love the bags a clothing store puts my purchases in and have used it on the background of my layouts to great effect.  Plastic bags, tissue paper and crepe paper can make great flowers for your layouts too.

Scraps of present ribbons and wrapping and scraps of old fabric can also be put to good use.

Ebay, Gumtree and garage sales are a great place to find some specials. A friend of mine picked up a box of stamps (20 in total) for $5 at a garage sale. Another time she came home with a box full of Jo Sonja paints (37) that she only paid $8 for.  I also like to buy unique embellishments on Ebay. Online shopping can save you alot!  I am very careful though to only buy online that which my local scrapbook store doesn't supply. (Can't complain about all the shops closing down if you don't support them). I also frequent the $2 shops as they have some great supplies at very reasonable prices.  I buy crepe paper streamers to make flowers out of and bags of feathers the most!

Before you throw anything away look at it carefully and decide if it has another use. I have a great box my new computer mouse came in that I'm going to turn into a beyond the page project. I've used donut containers as great ribbon storage. I find lots of the clear plastic packaging from the supermarket useful for holding my supplies. I don't like spending my scrapbooking budget on storage for my supplies so I try to find alternative methods of storage for free wherever possible. I have found boxes from Bunnings are especially useful. They're already tapered down towards the front. I just cover them in wrapping paper, paint or stamps to match my scraproom decore.

Well that's a few ideas to get your inner miser excited. Can't wait to hear any ideas you come up with too... Leave me a comment if you've got another great idea.


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