A Short Course Book
Displaying & Sharing
Your Digital Photos


Most printers print 8.5 x 11 sheets but the traditional scrapbook page size is 12"x12". To print these pages, you need a printer that prints pages up to 13" wide.
Epson makes 12 x 12 inch scrapbook photo paper for their inkjet printers.
A three-ring 12 x 12 inch sheet protector into which you can slide two pages of your album back to back

Scrapbooking is a popular way to combine images with text and other art in an artistic way. It's a way to preserve and present memories and takes many forms including journals and diaries. You can go for the simple and elegant look using mainly text and photos, or embellish your pages with fancy borders and colorful graphics. Traditionally, people have created scrapbooks by cutting and pasting items onto album pages and it's become a very popular hobby. A digital camera, a scanner, and a scrapbook program let you move from cutting and pasting to desktop publishing scrapbooks. These programs let you place your photos, size and rotate them, add borders and text, and even do some minor photo editing. Once created you can then print the scrapbook pages and bind them or send the album electronically to friends and family. Unlike traditional methods, you can print and share multiple copies.

Scrapbook programs typically include hundreds of pre-designed page layouts from which to choose. Many of them are designed around themes such as weddings, birthdays, holidays, sports, nature, and so on. Starting with one of these layouts is a faster and easier way to begin than creating your own, but there is no reason why you can't revise a layout to better meet your needs or even start from scratch to create your own design. Templates have openings or frames for photos. When you arrange the page so the template is on top of a photo, the part of the photo that shows through the hole appears framed. It's as if you cut a hole in the page and placed the photo behind it. You can just drag and drop your images into place and drag the corners to make them the size you want. You can even add drop shadows to add depth to the page.

Templates also have background colors, borders, and graphical elements-often organized around a theme. Scrapbook programs also include additional clip art for almost every occasion-weddings, vacations, anniversaries, pregnancy, births, religious holidays, and so on. Most also include fancy fonts so your scrapbook doesn't look like a business report. Whatever program you use to assemble your scrapbook, you can always add more elements to it. There are scores of Web sites with fonts and clip art free or for sale.

When your scrapbook is finished all that's left is to print out the pages and insert them into a binder. In both cases, you have to deal with the fact that scrapbookers have standardized on a 12" x 12" format. This means both the printer and the binding system have to accommodate these page sizes. Everything that would normally be pasted to traditional scrapbook pages is printed on the digital ones. However, if you want to paste on additional items, there is no reason why you can't. It would be an ideal way to preserve a swizzle stick you saved from that memorable evening.

There are many ways to bind scrapbook pages. One way is to use a threering binder and top loading sheet protectors. In each protector, you slip two sheets back-to-back so opposite pages actually form 2-page spreads. Because the sheet protectors have a strip with holes for the binder, they are about a half inch wider than a normal page. You will need a wider binder to hold them or the pages will stick out the side. Wider scrapbook binders designed for use with sheet protectors are available at outlets such as Light Impressions.

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