Sahlin Studio | Digital Scrapbooking Designs

Digital Scrapbooking Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

So we’ve talked about, “How to Start Digitally Scrapbooking” in a previous post, but I know that some still have more questions. I’ve tried to cover the many questions that I get asked throughout the year, so I hope this information helps!

What do you look for when buying digital products?
The biggest thing to look for when purchasing or downloading digital products is quality. Good quality elements should be created at 300 dpi. Elements and papers created at less than 300 dpi can look pixilated when printed. Most designers advertise the quality when selling their products, but if you ever question the quality of something you see, feel free to ask! Better to ask first then to regret your purchase later!

Do you SELL digital scrapbooking kits anywhere?
Yes.You can find more Sahlin Studio products at the Lily Pad shop!

Downloading.How do I download digital products?
Kits and Digital Products are all ‘zipped’ up, in order to save space.In order to download and ‘open’ these files you will need software that will allow you to ‘unzip’ these files. There are many versions of ‘zipping’ software.If you don’t already have it, you can download it here: WinZip or 7Zip .In order to unzip your file that has been saved onto your desktop, simply right click and chose the appropriate software to “extract here”.After it is opened, you can save it somewhere in your folders. Name the folder & remember where you have saved it, so you can access it easily when you want to create a layout.

Can I share my digital supplies with my friends and family?
No. You may not share any digital products that you have purchased. Each designer has a Terms of Use file attached to the product you download. The terms of use generally say that you are not allowed to share or re-distribute the product.Feel free to direct your family and friends to the store where they can purchase or download it for themselves.

What is the proper size to save my layouts for printing?
A full size image is at 3600×3600 at 300DPI if you are creating a 12×12 layout.For my own personal layouts I usually “Save As” and save as a jpg file to the highest quality (12).

I would LOVE to start sharing my layouts online…
What is the proper size to save my layouts for sharing them online?
When uploading your layouts online you will need to reduce the size of your image. A full size image is at 3600×3600 at 300DPI if you are creating a 12×12 layout. You will want to reduce your page to 72DPI and 600×600 and use the “save for web” option in your software program. Most galleries have a file limit of around 150k, so I usually save my page just under that. Be sure that you “save as” and even label it with ‘web-version’ so you don’t destroy your original full size version!

Giving credit. What does that mean? Do I have to?
Giving credit is something that you would do if you chose to share your layouts online.It gives the proper credit as a courtesy to the designers and as a courtesy to those looking at your page. I have often gone hunting for a gorgeous kit because I’d seen a page created with it in the gallery. Crediting the designer helps us know exactly where to look to find it!I usually list Designer Name & Product Name, like this: Sahlin Studio – Enjoy Every Moment kit.Sometimes you may use more than one product from a multitude of designers and products.You would credit each one that you’ve used.See here for an example for multiple credits.

Single page layouts or double page layouts?
That is entirely up to you and your tastes. I find that we forget exactly how big a 12×12 page is and how much we can actually fit on it. Don’t be afraid to reduce the size of your photos to fit more on a page. They will be quite big once you print them. On the other hand, sometimes double page layouts are great for recording events with a lot of pictures such as a birthday party or Christmas day! I create both single and double page spreads and I think both of them have their place in an album.

Do your albums have 2 pages with different themes?
Again this depends on your tastes. I don’t mind putting two pages together that don’t coordinate. I’d rather keep my album in chronological order, but some people prefer to coordinate the colors and the themes.

What do you with your layouts once you’ve created them?
The main answer to answering this question is PRINT THEM!!!Yes, get them off of your hard drive and physically into your hands.What a joy it was to look at your layouts and enjoy your memories.There are so many ways that you are able to do this… Most digital scrappers choose to print their layouts to display in traditional scrapbooks. The advantage of digitally scrapbooking with a 12×12” size is that the sky’s the limit when it comes to options for printing.Ask these questions:1) how do you plan on storing them?Do you have a 12 x 12” post bound scrapbook album that you’ve started where you slide your layouts into? Are you planning on getting a stack of pages printed into a bound book?2) What size do you want to print it at? If you’ve created them at a 12×12” 300dpi size these can easily be resize to anything with the same proportions (i.e. 10×10” or 8×8”).What else can you do with your layouts?Try e-mailing your pages or save them on a DVD to watch as a slide show.

How & where can you get your layouts printed?
Once you’ve decided on a size, and whether you will be printing them individually or in a photo book it’s time to get them printed.With digital scrapbooking you have the convenience of having your layouts printed professionally. There are many companies online that can provide this service. Some of the more popular ones are: Shutterfly, My Pic Tales, Persnickety Prints, Scrapping Simply, Scrapbook Pictures, Scrapbooks To Share, or even your local Sam’s Club and Costco!I personally have my scrapbooks bound, by year, into a professional looking coffee table books.You can see more images of my printed scrapbooks here.

I received many of questions after I printed my bound book, so I thought I’d answer a few of those as well…
Tips for printing a bound book:

Do you have to create pages in order?No, I personally create pages whenever I feel inspired to do them, sometimes based on mood, season, or available kits that come out.As my pictures dwindle down on one particular year, I work hard only on that year to finish it up.The one thing I do after creating a page is put the date in front of the name.So I label my finished print resolution layouts like this:1-24AtTheWaterpark-print.jpg  This makes it easy to drop layouts in chronologically when I go to print.

What type/size of margin do you use?Margins are something to consider with any type of digital scrapbooking.If you like your pages to be printed with ‘full bleed’, which means printed to the edge of the paper… printers need an amount of space to allow for trimming the paper.I use about a 1/4” margin when designing my page, (meaning: I keep all of the journaling or photos at least ¼” away from the edge)Secondly, you need to account for the binding in the middle.I usually leave about 1-1 ½ inch for the binding. I usually try to visualize when it is going on the right or left side, then I physically move all of the elements/photos/etc over to one side.One good thing about MyPicTales is that you can view what the printed version is going to look at.So sometimes I re-open the file in Photoshop and move over my items even further.It is a bit more work, but you get great results.

What do you with your digital layout files once you’ve printed them?
After you have your beautiful pages printed… what exactly do you do with the digital files?I’m sure you have many versions of digital files stored on your computer or EHD (external hard drive), between jpgs and PSD files.Some people keep the PSD file in case they want to reprint or change something down the road, others keep only the jpeg file, then some delete everything once they have printed.I would recommend keeping at least a digital copy somewhere. That way if your printed pages get damaged, you can reprint again if you have saved the digital copy.What do I do?I personally save everything.Yes, everything.PSD, print jpeg, photos…they all are nicely stored on my 2T EHD.

How do I organize my digital products?
I think everyone has a different system; you just have to find out what works best for you.

There are some organizing products out there where you are able to ‘tag’ your products with different keywords that are searchable. Look ACDSee and The Font Thing.

I use my own devised folder system.I have one main folder that holds all of my scrapbook supplies, titled, “scrapbook kits.” Inside that folder I find that it is easier to keep product organized by stores, then inside each store folder I have an individual folder for each of the designers from that store.Secondly, I also organize a duplicate copy by theme: Christmas kits, school kits, baby kits, etc…
I recommend finding a system that works for you.

How do you get your realistic shadows?
Having realistic shadows on your page are really important to me.It’s what makes your layout look very flat or more real.There is so much information to share… so I plan on having a separate shadow tutorial, coming soon… so stay tuned.

Have any scrapbooking questions?

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I will be updates this Scrapbooking FAQ’s list, so feel free to check back!