Scrapbooking: how I shop

I know what you’re thinking, “A post on how to shop? Well, duh! I don’t need any help with that.”

But last night, as I sat salivating over the goodies in my favourite online scrap shop and feeling a little bit rubbish about how much of the stuff was out of my budget, it occurred to me that maybe some of you guys scrapbook on budgets too.

So I thought I’d share a few tips on what to look out for when shopping within a tight budget.

My budget is £30 every two months. And in scrapland, that’s pretty tight.

Here’s what I plan to buy next month when it’s time to shop again (yep, that’s as much as you get, and yep, they’re already in my basket!)

Tip 1:  choose wisely
We’re looking for excellent value; things that go a long way… sheets of papers that can be cut into little die-cut shapes, packs of stickers where you get a whole load, washi that’s reasonably priced; that sort of thing.

This beautiful design by Crate Paper is one of my total favourites: 95p a sheet and you get… well, I’ve not counted, but a *lot* of lovely little pink slogans; you just need to take the time to sit and fussy-cut them out.

Bella Blvd’s puffy hearts and stars deserve a shout-out too: they pack more punch than enamel dots and you get plenty for £3.99. And you can be very specific about which colours you want… always good for me.

Other genuine scrapbooking items that can be quite thrift-friendly…
* Pads of sticky notes (Crate Paper, Heidi Swapp, Reset Girl)
* Rolls or pads of tickets (Dear Lizzy, Crate Paper)
* Pages of ‘word’ sticker sheets (Reset Girl for Simple Stories)

And some items that are very rarely budget-friendly… *cue violin music*
* Thickers (invest in a cute alphabet stamp set)
* Sheets of chipboard shapes
* Puffy stickers, acrylic shapes, flair & charms (ask for these for your birthday)

Tip 2: find ‘your’ colours and stick to them

Do you remember when Friends‘ Phoebe accidentally put all her clothes in the washer with a red sock and they all turned pink? “Hey, now all my clothes match!” was her sweet silver-lining response.

If you’re buying within a limited colour palette, everything matches. And when you don’t have much to play with, that’s useful.

Your choice of paints, inks, papers… everything can be limited. And obviously, buying one or two mists is cheaper than investing in the whole rainbow.

Tip 3:  create as much yourself as you can

Having limits can be really good for inspiring creativity, I’m convinced. If you don’t have a black and white striped paper and desperately fancy using one, grab some paper or packaging and a tester pot of wall paint and create your own.

Or how about trimming down some basic card to Project Life dimensions and designing your own filler cards?

Tip 4: buy basics cheaply & in bulk

Look in non-art shops to research where things like tags and tape are the cheapest. Keep an eye out in the supermarket too – Sainsbury’s do some lovely washi tapes, for example.

General stationery items like sticky notes and paperclips can be found anywhere… don’t limit yourself to the brand names.

So now it’s over to you: what are your tips for scrapbooking on a budget? I’d love to hear your suggestions!

5 thoughts on “Scrapbooking: how I shop

  1. All good points! I have had loads of arguments with myself over this matter.. my mother has a great ppint of about it.. which I have always tried to convince myself other wise of… she has always been a crafter and states that as women, mothers of a family, working women some of us… we simply deserve pampering ourselves with pretty things every once in a while.. some women spend on beauty salons and hairdressers… there is nothing wrong with spending on crafting supplies…
    of course, these words for me have always meant… take the tub of ice cream and eat the whole lot…and coming from your own mothers….. you can imagine. but anyways…
    I tried to have a budget but the more I try to restrain the worse it is. At this point I am conscious of all the things I have in my stash and really only try to buy what I know I will use for sure. One thing which helps me feel better about it is to be prolific in my hobby and actually produce… not let things collect dust. It give me satisfaction to finish a pack of stickers of sheets of patterned paper…
    Of course, I drool over pretty things and in this world there are so many.. I stopped buying clothes altogether (which is not going so great as I desperately need to renew my wardrobe regularly due to my job…)
    But I don’t want to have negative feelings about my purchases..
    then, to be thrifty .. there is loads around you you can use to make this hobby more interesting and the fun is to discover new ways of doing so!
    It’s our hobby.. it’s also a way of life.. and it’s what keeps me sane sometimes … 😉 People invest in medicine.. i invest in paper and pretty things..


  2. Suse Fish

    Oh yes, it’s something well worth investing in, I couldn’t agree more… if it makes us happy, it’s just like investing in any other joy-giving activity. Go for it, I say!

    For me, it’s a budget issue and only that. For various reasons, I don’t work right now so it’s a case of being a little careful with the money we do have. But it works! There are ways to be thrifty that don’t steal all the joy… I’d actually argue that they add to it, as when you do get a lovely product, it is *so* lovely!

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, friend – I really appreciate it xxx


  3. Tissue Boxes. I never buy one now that I can’t use for fussy cutting or punching out hearts or stars or words. It’s quite thick and has a lovely gloss on one side… yeah. Tissue boxes ROCK. Having to have a cold to USE them before I can nick them for scrapping….well, that’s the downside, LOL!!! PS: My fave trick is to make hearts, and my own glitter gold paper & create hearts with gold on one side and tissue box on the other side… & glitter paper is easy made. Runny PVA glue, card and glitter sprinkled on thickly. Way cheaper than buying it!!


  4. I’d add to #2 – know *your* products as well. I’d be lost without my spray inks, but rarely use letter stickers or any kind (including *gasp!* Thickers…).


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