Renting Scrapbook Space

This entry is part 53 of 86 in the series Scrapworthy Lives Results

Each Wednesday, I write a post from my dissertation.

Scrapbook stores do not just sell scrapbook supplies, but also sell (or more accurately, rent) scrapbook space. Scrapbookers expect brick and mortar scrapbook stores to offer some sort of scrapbooking space for either free or for a small fee.

Direct sellers also offer crop space, but are limited by the size of their home or their ability to procure another space to offer cropping space to their customers. For example, direct sellers may organize a scrapbooking retreat at a hotel.

Some stores offer scrapbooking space that is available for customer use any time classes are not being offered. Others have to use the space to also display inventory and offer more limited crop time.

It is unknown how effective crop space is to increasing sales in relation to the cost of having the crop space in the first place. Regardless, if people do not have the space in their home to scrapbook or any other alternative, they are less likely to scrapbook. Offering a space for them to scrapbook gets them scrapbooking and gets them to buy more scrapbook supplies in the process.

Non-brick and mortar industry workers and scrapbookers who do not work in the industry underestimate the challenges of offering crop space for customers. Customers often resent having to pay for crop space. Free crops are sometimes perceived as a ploy by scrapbookers to get them to buy more merchandise. Scrapbook stores are a place for people to hang out, socialize, and create scrapbooks. At the same time, scrapbook stores are businesses. Industry workers have to walk a fine line between business/non-business. They are a third space, not home (first space) and not work (second space) (see Oldenburg 1999). Scrapbook stores are a place that can build community, yet at the same time, they are still a business.

Do you use scrapbook space offered by stores or others? Is it just a place to scrapbook or is it a chance for community? Join the conversation below or on facebook.

Photo/layout by Renee Joy. She blogs at Charms, Buttons, and Bows, tweets at craftymom123, instagrams at reneecrafts, and pins at reneelovescraft. 


Oldenburg, Ray. 1999. The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community. New York City:Marlowe & Company.

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  • Renee J.

    Stepanie, thank you for posing a very interesting question. I can certainly see it from both sides. Thank you, too, for having me participate in this post.

  • Thanks for commenting and participating!

  • Renee J.

    It is always a pleasure….Thank you, too!!

  • Fun layout Renee! I love the colors that you used.

    Early on, I went to a few crops at stores. I often went with a couple of friends from work. We were new to scrapbooking, so we were amazed at the large totes that many of the croppers rolled in. I did like the convenience of shopping for a specific item while working on a layout. I did not have a dedicated space at home at that point.

    Over time, my space to scrapbook & stamp moved more into people’s homes. Some friends and I would rotate scrapping at someone’s house once a month. I also went to classes with direct sellers, who also used their homes. I set up a large desk to scrapbook in my family room.

    After moving, I mostly craft at home on a small desk or at my kitchen table. I like the social element of crafting at a “rented” space. Next, I am going to try a Meetup group for card makers. They meet at local restaurants or at someone’s home. I do not go to crops at stores right now since they tend to be on a Friday or Saturday night. With a little one at home, I can’t stay up as late as I used to.

  • Yeah, I can’t stay up past 10 p.m. anymore. I probably could once in awhile for a store crop, though. Thanks for commenting!

  • I have always been a stay at home scrapbooker but I recently have become more involved in my local scrapbook store and I’m planning to attend some of their crops; I am more interested in a real life scrapbooking community than their space – although it is fun to switch up where I scrap as part of the creative process.

  • Yeah, I don’t need the space to scrapbook, but do enjoy the social side of it now and again.