Thursday, April 08, 2010

Finding FREE Printables for Scrapbooking

Did you know you can get free printable scrapbooking pages, papers, embellishments and templates on the web? My Scottish father taught me the value of a dollar and I am always looking for a good deal, and you can’t much get better than FREE! As with all freebies though, you find good ones and bad ones. Some wesbites advertising free scrapbook printables give you a few samples and then want you to purchase more. Some sites offer very low resolution pages that would not print well. And some are just plain unattractive! I have found a few great websites where you can get good quality, attractive and useful free printable scrapbooking stuff. I reviewed a lot of sites and found these ones to be the most useful.


 
First up are the printer manufacturer websites. Why do these manufacturers offer free printable scrapbooking items? Of course they want you to actually use their printers to print things! Even if you don’t own their brand of printer, take advantage of their sites – they all feature beautiful, high quality, designer printables!

 
Epson Creative Zone I love this site for free scrapbook printables as well as free digital images. There are lots of ideas for scrapbooking as well as other creative crafts and projects such as cards, gifts, CD covers and calendars. Check out the free tutorials for digital scrapbookers as well as their free “Creative Croppers” e-newsletter.

 
HP Activity Center Loads of free printable scrapbooking pages and instructions for projects, cards, calendars, stationary and more. The HP site also has information on digital photography as well as great free online classes.

 
Canon Creative Park As with the other printer companies’ websites, there are lots of free scrapbooking printables as well as paper craft projects including items like photocubes and mini-albums, cards and gift packaging ideas, great 3D models and printable calendars.

 
Another good site to try is http://www.scrapbookscrapbook.com/ It is one of the largest sites that offers free scrapbook printables and has been around a long time. Some of the items are a little dated, but you can find images for almost every theme imaginable. Remember I mentioned my Scottish father? Well, I was able to find sets of printable Tartan papers on this site!
 
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In addition to knowing where to go to find free scrapbook printables, here are a few tips to help you get the most from them.
 
* Think you need a large format printer to take advantage of free printable scrapbooking items? Not so! Use regular 8.5 x 11 paper and you can use the images in many different ways:
  • Cut out embellishments to add to pages or cards.
  • Cut patterned paper into smaller pieces or shapes to decorate pages.
  • Cut patterned paper into mats to frame photos.
* Since you are using your home color inkjet or laser printer, you will tend to go through a lot of ink when printing backgrounds and images for scrapbooking. Investigate buying ink cartridges in bulk.
 
* As for paper, acid free copy paper (available at most office stores, just check the label to make sure it is acid free) is a good weight for printing patterned paper or embellishments that you are going to adhere onto your layout. If you want a heavier weight paper to use as a background, try using acid free white cardstock. You can purchase packages of 8.5 x 11 cardstock that will go through your printer at office supply or craft stores. If you have a large format printer, use papers recommended for your brand as they do give the best quality. In a pinch you could use a piece of 12 x 12 cardstock.
 
* Once you start looking you will probably find many free scrapbook printables that you want to download. Set up a folder on your desktop or in “My Documents” just for these downloads. They will be easier to find and organize when you are downloading your images all to one place.
 
* Most images you find will either be in PDF or JPG formats. PDF files must be opened or “read” with special programs. Adobe Reader is the most widely known and you can download it for free at www.adobe.com. JPG images can be opened with any picture viewer…I like Microsoft Office Picture Manager which is part of the Microsoft Office Suite.
 
* You can use JPG images with most digital scrapbooking software, but images in a PDF format do not allow you to make changes…what you see if what you print!
 
Enjoy using free printable scrapbooking items in your projects!

 

 

 

 

 

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