Invest in Scrapbooking

This entry is part 36 of 66 in the series My Scrap Happy Project

Each Monday, I discuss my Scrap Happy project based on Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.

Last week, I kicked off my new monthly blog hop tied to The Happiness Project. If you would like participate in next month’s hop, email me and I’ll get you the details. The week before that I began talking about Buying Some Happiness. Buying Some Happiness isn’t just about splurging, but also about investing, donating, and saving.

Today, let’s consider buying needful things—or investing.

Investing gets to the heart of minimalist scrapbooking. When I think of minimalist scrapbooking, I focus on using the supplies I already have and buying supplies I actually need to complete a project (e.g., adhesive). I would also add spending money on quality over quantity when purchasing scrapbook supplies (and other things in your life).

My weakness has always been pattern paper. I do really well not buying pattern paper for a while, but then then start buying it again. The problem is that I don’t use a lot of pattern paper when I am actually scrapbooking, so to buy more is usually a waste. If you have seen any layouts that I’ve posted lately and have scrapbooked for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed some pretty old pattern paper in the mix. This makes me happy. I’m happy to use the stuff I already have. I do miss buying the pretty pattern paper and I know I would eventually use it, but I want to focus on using what I have for a while first. I am getting a great deal of satisfaction out of using what I have and thinking more about the scrapbooking purchases I am making. For instance, I do think that I would use a book binding machine often enough to justify the expense. Right now, I am in the research phase of deciding which machine is right for me. I want to make sure I am getting something easy to use, is affordable, and won’t break on me.

Overall, for me investing (or buying needful things) boils down to:

  • Buying less pattern paper (and supplies overall)
  • Using my supplies before buying more
  • Focusing on quality over quantity

I do have to say that limiting my scrapbooking purchases has made me happy. I am scrapbooking more. I am challenged to focus on coming up with a creative solution using what I have. I am not bogged down with figuring out where put the new bag of scrapbook supplies so that I can actually scrapbook. Now, I am buying some supplies. I spent a whopping $8 at my local scrapbook store last week. I have never left that store spending less than $30. Is this bad for my local scrapbook store? I don’t think so because I am using my supplies, which means, that I will need more supplies at some point. The alternative is buying and not using, which could drive some people from the hobby.

When you think of buying needful things as it relates to scrapbooking, what do you focus on? Comment below or join the conversation on facebook or twitter.
If you want to read more about The Happiness Project or my Scrap Happy Project, check out the other posts in the Scrap Happy series.
Are you doing a happiness project? Are you doing a scrap happy project? What’s stopping you? Join me today!

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  • My basic supplies are card stock and adhesive.  Some scrapbookers have blogged/discussed limiting themselves to just a couple of colors of card stock.  Since I use card stock as a base for both layouts and cards, I like to keep a rainbow of colors in 12 x 12 and 8 1/2 x 11.  

    After that, I agree that it is worth it to invest in tools that you will use.  My favorite tools are punches, a Big Shot, and the Crop-a-dile Corner Chomper.     

  • I have a rainbow of cardstock, too. I’ve decided that when I run out, I’m going to be moving to basics. My favorite tool is my paper trimmer (though, I think I need a new one). I only have a handful of punches. I probably use my corner rounder more than any other tool outside of my paper trimmer, scissors, and adhesive. Thanks for commenting.

  • I’m one that primarily uses white, black, cream and kraft cardstock. I still have a rainbow of colors, but I don’t really add to the rainbow anymore, just try to use it up. No worries of running out any time soon though…

    I am trying so hard right now not to buy new stuff. I’m moving (fingers crossed) back to FL as soon as my house sells so my scrapbook room is about 50% packed. I don’t want more stuff to move so I’m focused on using up what isn’t packed. I look at it as an adventure in being creative. So far so good, except for the little incident where I had to talk myself out of unpacking a box to look for something. I’m actually enjoying the process more now when I have limited options. It does force you to be flexible.

  • I got a new paper trimmer for Christmas and love it.  It is just the right size and safe enough to keep with a toddler around.  My only complaint was having to replace the blades often, but now Fiskars is making titanium blades for it.  I learned about it from Jennifer McGuire’s blog.  You know that you are a scrapbooker when you get excited about paper trimmers!

  • I might have to get that one. I’ve had a fiskars trimmer before and liked it. I ended up with one from Creative Memories when I worked for them as a consultant. I like it, but I don’t want to place an order just get new blades. I don’t have a local consultant so the shipping would just be too high for the item. Thanks for the tip!

  • I love focusing on using what I have. It really is a nice challenge. My favorite part is that I don’t have put a bag of new purchases away before I can start scrapbooking! Thanks for commenting!

  • My local Michael’s carries the trimmer.  I will probably order the new blades online to make sure that I get the right ones.  I like CM tools, but try to avoid paying shipping as much as possible.    

  • Melissa Winstead

    I (and the men in my life – two sons and a husband) got a serious reality check when we moved all of our belongings from a 4 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom apartment to be closer to my husbands job. The amount of boxes…and the sheer weight of those boxes (most of which I could not lift!) made me realize I had to do something about all my scrapbook stuff! No more buying…only what I absolutely need. It feels good to discover all the cool things I liked enough to purchase months (and years) ago! Do I miss scrapbook shopping? Heck yes! 

  • Using what you have also really gets you to realize what you do and don’t have in your stash. I went to a big box scrapbook store a couple of days ago and they had a sale on thickers. Old me would have bought several sheets of the prettiest thickers. I left with two sheets. I knew what color letter stickers I lack and that’s what I bought.      Thanks for commenting!