Pros and Cons of Buying Pre-Made Scrapbooking Pages
A pre-made scrapbooking page is often purchased by scrappers when they first started as they are a great starting point when you don't yet know what you're doing or have many scrapbooking supplies.
But ... what exactly is a pre-made scrapbooking page?
Well, a pre-made scrapbooking page is exactly what they sound like. It's a pre-designed and ready to use scrapbooking page that only requires you to place your own photographs and possibly a journal entry. No prior experience is required and no actual creative scrapping is required.
You can of course, also add your own extra embellishments and use a pre-made scrapbooking page as a great starting point.
Pre-made scrapbooking layouts nearly always come in a theme such as wedding, birthday, holidays, or graduation. Less often is a pre-made scrapbooking page that features a general design that can be used for any occasion.
The image below is a pre-made wedding layout from Made For You Scrapbooks on Etsy. Beautiful isn't it?
Pros of using a pre-made scrapbook page
They help beginners get a feel for scrapbooking
Using pre-made layouts is best for beginners as it offers a great starting point. If you have never done scrapbooking before, it is really hard to know where to start. Like everything else in life, scrapbooking is a learning process and once you have seen and worked with a pre-made page, you will have a feel for how and where to place photographs and how the whole thing works in general.
There are many different types of paper including but not limited to bond, book, text, copy, index, bristol and cardstock. As mentioned above, 100lb of text paper is not the same thing as 100lb of cardstock. Basically, two different papers are labelled with the same weight ... but they are clearly not the same paper weight.
The problem is that each type of paper has its own standard sheet size and the way the lbs system works is based on 500 sheets of that specific sheet size. So, if 500 sheets of a standard sheet of paper weighs 100lb then that particular paper is referred to as 100lb. This means that an 80lb of text paper can actually be lighter and thinner than 65lb of cardstock or cover.
This makes it really tricky at first for working out the best card stock for greeting cards! I've created a paper weight table below to help:
You can buy an entire themed album
You can buy scrapbook page kits of an entire themed album making it very easy for your photographs and scrapbook page kits to complement each other. School years, graduation, weddings, baby, and holiday themes are popular so if you are new to scrapbooking, it's best to start with one of these categories.
Below is a gorgeous pre-made mini scrapbooking album by Cut and Paste Memories on Etsy.
You can focus on just the photographs
Using pre-made scrapbooking designs best allows you to just focus on the photographs and the stories behind them. Some scrappers love scrapbooking for the actual creation of the pages, and others love scrapbooking because they can showcase their memories in a beautiful way. If you are the latter and don't care much about the creative process, then a pre-made scrapbooking kit allows you to just focus on the photographs.
Wait! Now That You Know About Pre-made Scrapbooking Pages, Then You'll Need To Start Working On Your Layout....Let Me Show You...
You don't need to outlay for supplies
Purchasing pre-made scrapbook page kits can often be cheaper than purchasing all of the supplies yourself, particularly if you are fairly new to scrapbooking and don't have cupboards full of bits and pieces yet.
You can see an image below of my craft punches. You will also need paper, cardstock, adhesives, washi tape, scissors, embellishments, and more.
You can use the pre-made scrapbooking layout as your base
A pre-made scrapbooking layout is not only popular with new scrappers but with seasoned scrappers who are either short on time or stuck for ideas. For scrappers who have been around the block a few times, a pre-made scrapbooking layout can be used as a base on which you can further embellish.
Using a pre-made scrapbooking layout saves a lot of time
This one is a no-brainer. A pre-made scrapbooking page saves a lot of time and it's easy to use! All you need to do is glue or slide your photographs in and write a few notes here and there. This is particularly useful when you want to create a whole-themed album.
The beautiful travel-themed scrapbooking album below is from Made For You Scrapbooks on Etsy. Imagine how long it would take to make this whole album yourself!
They can lead to more creative scrapbooking
Seeing other scrapbooking kits and themes and categories will inspire you to be more creative with your own work. You will take note of the things you loved about the pre-made scrapbook page kits and use them in your own creations.
Pre-made scrapbooking albums make great gifts for non-scrappers
Pre-made scrapbooking albums can be great gifts for non-scrappers or new scrappers, particularly when it comes to major events in a person's life. A pre-made wedding-themed scrapbooking album would be a great gift for a bride or a generic school-themed album may be ideal for a teenager.
This pre-made beach wedding album from Made For You Scrapbooks on Etsy would be a great gift for the bride to document her special day!
Cons of using pre-made scrapbook pages
Your layouts may not be unique
If the pre-made scrapbooking layout or album is from a craft store or brand name online scrapbooking store, there is a good chance it won't be very unique as many other scrappers will have purchased the same layout. This bothers some people more than others!
The page you make is not personalized with your own memorabilia
One of the great things about creating your own scrapbooking designs is the ability to personalize the layouts with your own preferred look and color and some memorabilia such as ticket stubs, buttons, feathers, etc. Even if a pre-made scrapbooking page is unique, it won't be personalized with your own items.
The layout below uses personal memorabilia (ticket stubs) as the main embellishment. This would not be possible with a pre-made scrapbooking layout.
You'll miss out on the crafting
For me personally, I find this the worst con that we need to address, because I love the crafting process more than I do the finished product. When you buy pre-made scrapbook page kits you miss out on all the fun of the actual creative process of scrapbooking.
The photographs may not fit
The space left in the pre-made scrapbooking album for your photographs may not actually fit or suit the photograph you wish to use. This is frustrating and the only way around it is to re-print the photographs (this doesn't always fix the problem) or cut the photograph to suit which may compromise the part of the image you wish to display on your page.
In the below-scrapbooking page, I had to really trim the photographs back to make them fit which isn't easy to do on most photos. Although it looks good still, I would have loved to have kept more of the photographs.
Pre-made scrapbooking designs are also available in digital format which you download to use. They are created, edited, and stored online or saved to a computer instead of a physical scrapbook, with the option of printing them onto high-quality paper when you're finished.
Just like you can add words, photos, images, backgrounds, etc. to a traditional scrapbooking page, the same can be done to a digital page. It's up to you whether you display them by printing them out, or by viewing them on a device.
Going digital is often a much more cost-effective way than to use a pre-made scrapbooking page as they are usually cheaper to shop for and you won't pay for shipping should you want to buy them online.
The digital scrapbooking page you can see below is from Digital Memory Maker on Etsy.
Where can I find a pre-made scrapbooking layout?
You can find and go shopping for pre-made scrapbook page kits at craft stores that specialize in scrapbooking products and by individual sellers online through various websites such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy, or a creator's own personal website.
Some pre-made scrapbooking page designers offers limited edition pages or even claim to never create the same page twice.
As someone who loves getting crafty, I know not to use pre-made scrapbook page kits but I would absolutely buy one as a gift for someone who is just starting out, or to document a major event such as if a friend was getting married or having a child.
For me, scrapbooking is about the fun of actually making the layout and not so much the finished look of the page or the album. However, for many scrapbookers, the focus is on the beautiful album that preserves their story. If this is you, and you are short on time or ''just over it'', there is no reason why you shouldn't go ahead and buy a pre-made scrapbooking page ... or even a whole album!