Digital Scrapbooks

A digital scrapbook is created using digital tools like scrapbook software and digital photos, images and design elements. The results can be printed on you local printer, sent to a print service, published as a book or presented online. Online scrapbooks can include additional media like music, narration and audio clips and video.

Scrapbooking Software

  • Memory Mixer [Win - $30] is a delightful platform for scrapbooking. Kits are well-organized and easy to browse, the work area is quite intuitive and the sharing options are impressive. You can use design elements from outside kits, but it will take a bit of effort. Make sure you subscribe to their blog or newsletter to keep up with both some great tips and sales on kits or services.
  • Craft Artist 2 [Win - $40] intrigues me. It looks to be in that sweet spot between the simplicity of a scrapbook program and the flexibility of something like Photoshop. Unfortunately for me, it’s Windows only.
  • iScrapbook [Mac - $50] is a very nice app, but they hide the contents of their kits so you can only find them from inside the app and make it difficult to use design elements from outside sources.

Scrapbook Elements

There are a number of online stores for purchasing digital scrapbook kits and design elements. The terms of use for these sites often limit use online or embedded in PDF documents. The sources listed below have terms of use that support digital family history projects. Note that individual artists may have their own terms of service for their work. Make sure you read and understand the terms associated with any product before you purchase it.

  • pixelbooking.com offers lots of kits and elements packages. They appear to be expensive until you realize that many kits have two or three times the elements found in most kits. (See license page for details.)
  • Memory Mixer kits and packages are designed to work with the Memory Mixer software but can be used in projects created using other applications. They automatically install inside the app system, but it’s quite easy to find the graphic files for use in other projects. (See TOU.)
  • Scrapper’s Guide provides tutorials, templates and design kits for building scrapbook pages using Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. (See TOU in FAQ page.)
  • There are a number of scrapbook design shops at Etsy offering interesting design elements and kits – often with quite favorable terms of use.
  • Font Squirrel offers free fonts that are licensed for commercial use. Many font designers do not allow embedding their fonts in PDF documents which limits there usability in most family history projects. Each font has a text page included in the download stating the terms of use for that font.

Media Resources

When working on multimedia projects, background music and sound effects are always a plus. However, to stay out of legal trouble, you’ll need to stay away from a lot of popular music. Don’t worry, you’ve got options:

  • There’s a growing market for affordable royalty-free music.
  • As more and more artists decide to bypass the big recording companies and do it themselves, you’ll find they are offering more flexible licensing of their music. Check out Creative Commons. You might be pleasantly surprised.