Everything You Want to Know about Hybrid Scrapbooking

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Hybrid Project by Julie Kelley using the FREE KIT for all Scrapbook Dimensions magazine subscribers - posted with permission.

Check out this hybrid layout by Cathy P. aka scrapcat

Debbi T asks, "My question is, how can you use all the cool stuff available if you don't have Photo Shop? I have Microsoft Digital Image Pro and haven't been able to figure out how those 2 Peas downloads can work with my program."

Great question Debbi! You do not need Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to do hybrid scrapbooking. You can find a great tutorial on how to make a basic digital page in DIP here. Remember after you download your kit, you have to scan it with Antivirus software, then extract all by right-clicking on it. Save it to a file of your choice on your computer. Then follow the above tutorial for using a digital kit. You can also find DIP tutorials on my Everyday Digital Scrapbooking blog here: 5 Tutorials for Digital Image Pro Scrapbookers

Hybrid card by Amy Duquette using the FREE KIT available to current Scrapbook Dimensions subscribers. Posted with Permission.

Elena asked: "I definitely want to start incorporating digital elements into my scrapbooking. My question is do you print things yourself or send them out? What type of printer or services do you use?" (Yvette asked a similar question too so I hope I answer it below! - JA)

Hi Elena! Most often I print at home on my Epson Stylus Photo Printer R320. You can find my review of this printer here. In addition, there are 5 great articles on printing at home on the EDS Blog. I print most often on 8.5x11 paper or on 8.5x12 paper. If I am printing a digital layout, I most often print it at the size 8"x8".

If printing at home is not an option, you can upload documents online to Kinko's to have printed or I often use Walmart's photo services. There are also scrapbooking sites such as Polka Dot Potatoe that offer printing services.

Hybrid Layout by Sue Kristoff using the FREE KIT available to first 500 subscribers to Scrapbook Dimensions magazine. Layout posted with permission.

s.patel asks, "do you have a proportion that seems right to you (digital to real) when you are doin hybrid scrapbooking? like 30 % digital to 70% real?"

Very interesting question! There are many kinds of hybrid scrappers - including those that usually do digital layouts and those that usually do paper & glue layouts. You can imagine there is an infinite number of options as to your combination of using digital and real elements. In our magazine articles at Scrapbook Dimensions, you'll see various projects that have just a little bit digital, some that have half and half, some that have just a little bit traditional, etc.

My advice is to just create and do what feels good to you. Granted, combining the digital and traditional is going to take a bit of extra planning at first, however I'm confident that it will become as natural as breathing with the more practice you have.

Erin, Meghan, Misty want to know what hybrid scrapping is?

Terry Meruca is a contributing editor to Scrapbook Dimensions magazine. Here are some of her thoughts, "hybrid - in crafting...The art of combining traditional craft techniques and supplies with digital (and vice versa), thus creating artwork with a certain new dimension, not otherwise achieveable on their own, by either traditional or digital techniques.Examples of dimension could be:
1. as simple as adding texture which you can touch and feel (i.e., add glue and glitter) to a digital product.
2. abstract such as applying Andy Worhol-type effects to photos; then printing the photos and attaching them to your craft.
3. the end result of taking advantage of the extra products now available by adding now both traditional or digi to your project."

Melissa asks, "Here's my question -- what is the best program to use when just starting in hybrid scrapping? I really want to give this a try but don't know what program to invest in. Thanks!!"

Excellent question Melissa! At the Scrapbook Dimensions magazine message board - you will find a forum called "Software Safari - What software will work for you"
Our managing editor Kristi McFadden has this advice in one of the threads from our message boards

    • As for programs. The price tag on Photoshop is a little
      steep but it is well worth the investment if you plan to really get into the
      digital aspect of layouts. If you have someone who is in school you can
      sometimes get good student discounts on the program. Another option is to look
      on ebay for an older version and then pay the upgrade fee for the new

    • Photoshop CS 3 will be out soon so if you aren't ready to jump on
      something you could wait for that since it will be the newest version.

    • Photoshop elements is also a good program. It is really good if you simply want to create layouts, journal and do photo editing. Photoshop Elements 5.0 is the newest
      version out.

    • Microsoft Digital Image Suite Anniversary Addition is the newest
      packaging for Microsofts photo editing software. (Also known as Microsoft
      Digital Image Pro / DIP/ DIS / Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 Editor and
      Picture It!) You can create layouts in it as well as edit photographs, etc. It
      doesn't have the same depth as Photoshop but I think it is very easy to learn
      and is actually the first program I have my students purchase for digital
      scrapbooking classes. (They almost always get Photoshop later but it is a
      good platform for a beginner.)

    • There are other software programs out there that are really good too. In the next issue of the magazine you will be pleasantly rewarded with a fantastic article that covers many of them and will help you learn about them. Keep in mind a lot of software programs have downloadable trials so you can take 'em for a spin before sinking in with the cash!

Sandie asks, "When using one small part of a free kit... ie brush on a picture.. do you credit the site when submitting? Can you even use a small piece of a kit on a regular layout? That's hybrid right? "

Good question! Proper etiquette requires that you read the digital kit designer's Terms of Use (TOU) that is included as a file in their kit download. Often, they will spell out exactly how they want the credit written if you are published using their products. For instance, when I open up a kit created by Jen Wilson Designs, there is a word document titled "JWD Terms". I open up the word document to find her terms include the following:

•use all graphics and images within the kits and all other downloaded elements for personal use but please give proper credit and a link back to the site.
•contact me if you are interested in commercial use policy. Note not all requests will be granted permission and in most cases will be granted only to those doing fundraiser or non-profit charity work.
use the kits and/or elements for scrapbooking submissions and publications, providing that proper credit to Jen Wilson (and/or other designer mentioned) @ Jen Wilson Designs.
• alter the graphics in respect to size and coloration only. Credit is still required for any and all altered graphics or portions thereof.

Corri asks, "I must confess...I am still very much a paper scrapper trying to figure my way into the digi world. I am so new at my PSP that it can take me 10 hrs. to get a lo completed. After locking up or some other computer crisis, I print it out at 8x8. I relieve my computer stress by scrapping it on my 12x12 paper and I take out my frustrations by embellishing it with paper scrapping items and printed out digi items. Does it get easier? My computer is so old it can't use PSE or PS. Any good sugguestions to make it faster and easier--in addition to your magazine?"

Corri - I really know where you are coming from. I too was amazed at my first feeble attempt to use Photoshop Elements and how long it took. I was so frustrated that I didn't try again for several months!

Yes, it does get faster as you learn your program!!! I swear it really does!

You need to have a certain amount of RAM for your software program to run at an efficient speed. I would find out how much RAM you currently have and whether you might want to invest in increasing your RAM.

When you are ready to update your computer there is a lot of great information here.

Shells asks, "JA, I have no idea why digi intimidates me. I should be embracing of this - I am a child of the technology era - it shouldn't be a problem. Is it because I am still mastering the traditional form? Is it because I am time poor and don't have the time or patience to learn PS?I actually tried to start a hybrid today from an instruction and couldn't even do the first thing!... Forum buddies have even offered to help me start! But I keep baulking ....What am I waiting for?????"

Digi is indeed intimidating Shell because it is unknown and we are often afraid of the unknown. The best reason I have for you for trying digital and hybrid is that digital MAKES YOU MORE CREATIVE!!!!

Plus with free trial versions of software and free digital kits abundant online - it really gives you reason to conquer your fear!

Scrapbook Dimensions is the ONLY magazine that focuses on hybrid scrapping. We are not asking you to give up what you know. We just want to help you scrap faster and better!


Carolyn asks, "do you have to have Photoshop in order to do digital? I have a couple of programs on my computer that i can do photo editing, would those work?I've done journaling/titles in Word but love some of the things you can do digitally."

Carolyn, you can definitely use a program like Word or Powerpoint to hybrid scrap. All you do is insert your jpeg or .png image from the digital kit as you would insert a photo. You will not be able to have layers which is what is needed for digital scrapping but you can certainly use these programs to print out papers, embellishments, alphas, etc to use in hybrid.

Programs used commonly for digital scrapping with layers includes Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, Photoshop CS2, Digital Image Suite/Pro, FX Fotofusion, and a super-easy program is Memory Mixer. You can ask and research all the programs on the SD Forums and look for information in the next issue of Scrapbook Dimensions!


Christel asks, "Since I have never really messed with a Digital SB program, This is a real newbie question, How do they work???"

Everyone who learns digital scrapbooking has wondered this at the beginning~!!!

Digital scrapping is exactly the same as regular scrapping as you can cut papers and plan embellishments to be in whatever position you want.

You accomplish this by opening the files of each item you want to use in your layout. In your layout document, you are going to basically create a sandwich. Each item you add to your layout is going to have it's own layer. So just like at McDonald's, your sandwich has a bun layer, meat layer, cheese layer, pickle layer, onion layer, mustard layer, etc.... - so will your digital layout have a paper(s) layer(s), a photograph layer, an alphabet and/or text layer, metal embellishments layer, etc, etc.

The best thing in digital that you can't do in traditional scrapping with glue is that you save your layout with all these layers, as well as saving a flattened version. Anytime, whether in the next hour, the next month, or five years from now - you can go to your layered version of your project and make as many changes to the individual layers as you want. You can remove the layer if you no longer want it for instance. Or you can make your photo smaller, bigger, add actions or filters, change it to black and white. I think you get the idea. You can have an unlimited number of layers in each layout and you are only limited by your imagination.


Noell asked, "I figured I could do stuff with black ink on colored paper, but my husband reminded me that it probably wouldn't be acid free. What's the deal with printer ink? I know that good printers will make photos that last longer than if you get them developed somewhere. So how do you know if a printer's ink is safe?"
I know a lot of people worry about archival-quality products. I myself do not worry about arhival-quality items and I scrap with whatever suits my fancy. First of all, I have two backups of all my photos - I back them up digitally on DVD's and I back them up to online photo hosts like shutterfly.com - therefore if a photo gets damaged due to acid - I know I can easily and quickly replace it. Nevertheless, I found the following information for you on printer inks:

    • Today's new printer are fabulous--if your prints don't really look great--it's new printer time.

    • The manufacturers of inkjet inks tell us that the inks are acid-free ! If you use acid-free papers in your printer, you will be able to print out your own acid-free background papers, lettering, 'die cuts', frames, and accessories . Office supply stores sell acid free inkjet paper now. If you don't live near an office supply store,
      check the links here and order online. They are all very reputable
      companies and we have had great customer service from them.

    • Most dye based inkjet inks are not waterproof, so be sure to use protective covers for your finished pages & keep the 'in progress' projects away from soft drinks &
      wet hands. You can spray a protective coating on your inkjet print-outs if you
      wish, but under normal conditions that should not be necessary. I sometimes
      spray things like return address labels (I live in a very rainy climate) with
      quick-drying, Krylon Satin or Matte finish clear. It is non-yellowing (at least
      in my experience) and smells terrible till dry, works great. But, better is
      Preserve Your Memories aerosol spray. Their website has a little demo

    • There is quite a bit of discussion on message boards about whether or not
      inkjet ink is 'permanent'. Most of the testing done & reported on websites
      is concerned with inkjet printed photos hanging on a wall in daylight all day,
      every day. This is not the same situation as pages in scrapbooks. Some
      manufacturers ink tests out to be more light fast than others, just like some
      manufacturers give you twice the number of copies per cartridge than others.
      Epson and HP now have 'archival inks'. Check the Epson website for info because
      they are introducing new 'permanent' inks currently for certain printers, like
      the C82 and others.

    • I have read many emotional posts about the pros and cons
      of printing your own scrapbook graphics-but like a scrapbooker recently posted
      on one list--"Get a grip Girls, Nothing made of PAPER lasts FOREVER". I believe
      this to be a true statement, and helps me put things in perspective a bit. You
      will have to decide for yourself.

    • Source: http://www.scrapbookscrapbook.com/print-tips.html

Additional questions are welcome at thedigitalproject@gmail.com
Coming soon: Hybrid Glosary of Terms

2 Share your thouughts:

noell said...

Thanks for answering all our questions! You answered mine so thoroughly and it helped a lot.

mphoinix said...

wow that is great information on this post.