Traditional Scrapbooks versus Digital Photo Books: which one should I choose for my project and why?

For decades I’ve made many traditional scrapbooks and many digital photo books for myself and others and I get this question a lot: which one should I do for MY project?  That’s a good question.  

First, let’s define the terms.  A traditional scrapbook is a book, typically 12×12 or 8×8 inches in size with pages that you adhere traditional, actual photos to and maybe decorative paper, stickers or embellishments like die cuts. You can also tape in maps, ticket stubs and other types of memorabilia. On scrapbook pages you can write your own captions or journal stories. Most scrapbooks have pages that can be added or removed, and plastic page protectors to cover the photos and items you adhere to the pages.  Scrapbooks tend to be bulkier because of the items in them.

By digital photo book, I mean a bound, “coffee table” like book, with your photos printed on the pages.  These pages are like the pages of a book, they cannot be removed and moved around and are not designed to be handwritten on or have anything taped to them. Typical sizes of these in inches are: 12×12, 8×8, 8.5×11 or 11×8.5.  Photo books tend to be slimmer and lighter weight.  

Here are some things you should think about when determining which way to go with your Memory Book project.

  1.  Do you have traditional photos, digital images or both?  

If you have mostly traditional photos, to do a photo book, you will need to scan them (or have them scanned) so they can be in a digital format to go into a photo book creating program or software.  If they are mostly digital images, they are already in the right format for a photo book. If you want to put your digital images in a scrapbook, you will need to get them printed somewhere like a drug store, Costco or an online company that prints photos.  You can also print them yourself if you have a photo quality printer.

  1. Will other people want a copy of this Memory Book?

If you are making a tribute book of a family member or a vacation book where others might want additional copies, photo books are easiest to reprint.  If only one copy is desired, then a scrapbook would be fine for your project.

  1.   Do you prefer working on a computer or working with your hands?  Or do you want it done for you?

If you like working on your computer with digital images and are comfortable learning a photo book program or software, then you would probably enjoy making your own photo book. (Go to my Forever link.) If you like paper crafting, taping, stickers and working with your hands, you might enjoy making a traditional scrapbook. (Go to my Creative Memories link.) If you don’t have interest or time for either one, you may want to hire me to create your traditional scrapbook or digital photo book for you. (Go to my Memory Books By Eileen page and sign up for a consult.)  I have experience to help you with any of these 3 options and look forward to helping you soon!


Memory Books by Eileen
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