Is Scrapbooking an Expensive Hobby or a Cheap Thrill?

This entry is part 57 of 86 in the series Scrapworthy Lives Results

Each Wednesday, I write a post from my dissertation.

What Industry Workers Say…

Scrapbooking is perceived as an expensive hobby and can quickly become expensive, but industry workers are quick to point out that it does not have to be that way. There are less expensive and more expensive ways to scrapbook. Many scrapbook items are extras that do not have to be used at all.

On the other hand, as industry workers mention, shopping for scrapbook supplies can be a cheap thrill. A person can get their retail therapy without spending very much money at all and there are few other places a person could go to spend so little and get the same effect.

What Scrapbookers Say…

Scrapbookers also talk about the cost of scrapbooking. Some talk about it in terms of their husband’s and other’s opinions that the hobby was expensive or even a waste of money. Though many agreed that scrapbooking is expensive, some argue it actually is quite affordable, especially in comparison to other hobbies (e.g., quilting or stained-glass making).

Making it More Affordable

Respondents figure out ways to make the hobby more affordable for them. They use coupons, buy scrapbook kits , order off of QVC, volunteer for scrapbooking conventions (to get free admission, product, or both), and become industry workers to save money (i.e., employee discount) on their scrapbooking supplies. Others selectively purchase supplies that make scrapbooking more affordable. For example, one respondent explains how she uses alphabet stamps instead of alphabet stickers because a stamp can be used over and over again, whereas once the common letters are used from a sheet of stickers, the scrapbooker is left with x’s and z’s and has to go buy more stickers. Others mainly shopped at chain stores rather than local scrapbook stores because it is perceived to be more affordable.

Why is Scrapbooking Perceived as an Expensive Hobby?

Part of the reason scrapbooking gets the bad rap of being an expensive hobby comes from scrapbooking manufacturers producing items that can be had for much less money elsewhere. if a manufacturer labels an item as being for scrapbooking, then it can demand a premium price (this is probably less true today than at the height of the scrapbook boom). One respondent was quite adamant that she would never pay money for something she could do herself in her scrapbooking. For example, she will never buy a bottle cap from the scrapbooking because she can get a bottle cap off of something she is already drinking. The commercialization of everything by the scrapbooking industry turns off both scrapbookers and non-scrapbookers. Another scrapbooker’s partner was quite critical of the commercialization of nearly everything in the scrapbook industry.

Overall, scrapbooking is perceived as an expensive hobby and it can be expensive. Scrapbooking, however, can also be a very affordable hobby.

What do you think? Is scrapbooking an expensive hobby or a cheap thrill? Join the conversation below or on facebook.

Photo by Sara Grafton. Sara can be found at 1200 Some Miles@SaraGrafton on Twitter and on Pinterest.

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Series NavigationSelling the Shopping Experience“It Costs Me Money to Work in the Industry”: Spending Money on Scrapbooking
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  • I think that it is only an expensive hobby if you do not use what you buy. Some of the tools are expensive, but you can still do a lot without spending too much money. But I did realize that scrapbook & craft shopping is my retail therapy.

  • Thanks for visiting my blog! Yes, buying books is another form of retail therapy and a collection for both my husband and me! We managed to cut our book collection in half when we moved. I am finding it easy to purchase Kindle books since they do not take up physical space, and my husband and I share an account.

  • Oh my, the book collection. I purged at least half my books when we moved cross-country and now I’m slowly building back up my book collection. I do use an e-reading app, but that doesn’t work as well for me for nonfiction books. Notetaking just isn’t what I need it to be in e-books, yet.

  • I thought I had replied to this…You are right, expensive definitely has to do with use.