Scrapbooks are all about preserving memories, recording family history, and passing on information to the next generation. Family history work is important to Latter-day Saints, and digital scrapbooking (as well as blogging and other forms of telling your family’s story) only makes it easier.
What happened to that faithful generation of Mormon moms, intent on cutting, pasting, and displaying every picture-perfect memory of their family’s existence?
I can’t speak for all of them, but I do know what happened to some of them: they’re online.
The blogosphere has exploded with families preserving all their memories digitally, but for those who still want to have a physical scrapbook to show off, you can also put together complete scrapbooks from the comfort of your computer desk.
There are plenty of advantages to scrapbooking online. It’s ideal for beginners, because things are laid out and often pre-designed. The digital world makes it easy to download and preserve photos; some programs even let you add photos that are already on Facebook, Flickr, and other sites. It’s also easy to print multiple copies of your digital scrapbook to hand out to family and friends (which is pretty difficult with the homemade version). You’re probably not going to misplace your scrapbook, because it’s saved online. (Remember when you loaned your scrapbook to Aunt Betty and never got it back?) And it’s usually cheaper, with many free programs and the demolished necessity of buying all those papers, stickers, and bows.
Here are some ideas of sites you can visit to get started:
Create a family photo book or design an original book with Blurb’s easy-to-use interface. You can even easily turn your family blog into a printed book! You have the option of simply creating a keepsake or selling your book through an online bookstore.
This service isn’t only about scrapbook pages; it also lets you design photo greeting cards and digital art. You can share your creations for free, or you can purchase digital files for printing. It’s up to you where and how you print; most printing stores allow you to print on professionally-bound photo books.
This free memory-building site is unique in its ability to connect you to family and friends through a private social network, where you can share slide shows, videos, and memories with extended family. Famento allows you to digitally record the history of your family, as well as set up memorials for departed family members.
This site is useful its tutorials, since online scrapbooking can be overwhelming. If that's the case, check out this site’s tutorials (some free, some paid) on digital scrapbooking know-how, and download free software tools and materials.
Sick of all those pre-designed templates that just aren’t you? Digital scrapbooking experts can lay out and design their own pages with Mixbook. Create photo books, cards, and calendars with your own unique designs.
Picasa boasts a strong editing tool, with customizable templates, stickers, shapes, and sketches. It’s easy to organize, edit, and share photos with this site. (Cool fact: The name Picasa blends the name of painter Pablo Picasso with the Spanish phrase mi casa with the word pic—short for "pictures.")
You can turn your photos into scrapbooks, photobooks, mugs, and cards. Shutterfly offers free unlimited photo storage, so your photos won’t get lost—ever. Plus, you can share your photos with family and friends through emailed links.
Smilebox boasts more than 1000 customizable templates, and a new iPhone app to share memories anytime, anywhere. Slideshows, ecards, and photo albums are at your fingertips.
Any other sites you suggest? Leave a comment below.
© LDS Living, 2012.