What is hybrid scrapbooking? It is a fusion between “traditional” and digital scrapbooking. It is combining physical supplies that you might pick up at your local scrapbooking store, and the digital supplies that you purchase at your favorite online shop. It is mixing two art mediums to create one unique project. And, it is a BLAST!
One of the most common questions hybrid wannabes ask is: What supplies do I need to get started with hybrid? I’m sure the responses to this question are incredibly varied, so I’ll just stick to what I know!
A Photo-Editing Program:
First of all, you need a good photo-editing program. There are a lot of wonderful, reputable programs out there, but it is always a good idea to ask around and find out what others use. I would bet that about 80% (or more!) of digital scrapbookers use one of Adobe’s Photoshop programs. Photoshop Elements is very popular, probably due to its ease of use and its lower price. If you find that you really enjoy digital scrapbooking and want a little more control, it might be time to invest in the full version of Photoshop. And, you know that other 20% of digital scrapbookers? Well, they are completely devoted to Paint Shop Pro. Before you invest in a photo-editing program that is compatible with hybrid scrapbooking, ask around to see what kind of support you will be able to get from your peers in your forum of choice. One of the best things about the wonderful digital scrapbooking community is our willingness to help others learn more about our hobby!
Your hybrid project is only as good as the paper it is printed on! Well, it might be good, but imagine how much better it would be if you printed on paper that was meant for your project! As a general rule, cardstock soaks up your ink and leaves your colors looking muted, which may be just the look you are going for. Textured cardstock looks awesome when used, and both cardstock options are nice and sturdy. If you choose to print on cardstock, you might want to increase the saturation of your project before you print, just to get better color. If you are simply printing digital paper, cardstock is a fine option, however, I would not recommend it for photos. Vellum is a fun idea, especially for digital brushes, although you should make sure you let your printed page dry for a good while before touching it. The same may be true for glossy photo paper, depending on your printer. I have a HUGE stack of 4×6 glossy photo paper that I love to use for brag books and small mini albums. My favorite printing medium, however, is matte photo paper. (I use Epson Premium Presentation Matte Photo Paper.) The paper is nice and thick and the printed colors are vibrant and true to what I see on the screen. For more information about paper options, keep watching the blog!
Figure out the borderless printing option on your printer. It took me some time to figure out that even though I was choosing “borderless 8.5×11”, the printer was still expanding my project. Argh. This, of course, left me with mini album pages that were too big for my mini album and edges that were cut off of my perfectly sized cards. Avoid the frustration by figuring out what you printer requires to make your project print edge to edge. For some people, that means decreasing the size of the project by a small percentage. For me, it meant discovering the “Borderless Expansion” slider and always sliding it to “less”. One of the best tips I received when figuring out the borderless option on my printer was to open up an 8.5×11 document in Photoshop, then drop an overlay on my canvas and drag the corners to resize it to fit perfectly. I then printed (over and over) on plain, white copy paper until I had my settings all figured out. (My printer is a standard sized HP all-in-one.) If the idea of Borderless Printing has you stumped, keep watching the blog for information that might help you!!
I have several adhesives in my hybrid stash, however I find myself coming back to two of them over and over: Tombow Mono Adhesive
(tape runner) and Mini Glue Dots. The tape runner is my go-to adhesive, and even though it is permanent, it is still repositionable (thank goodness!). Mini Glue Dots are surprisingly strong and perfect for gluing down all sorts of little embellishments like flowers, chipboard, metal, buttons, etc. You may also find me reaching for my economical glue sticks (which I pick up by the armload at back-to-school sales) or even my liquid adhesives. One thing to keep in mind: liquid adhesives almost certainly will warp your papers if you don’t use a thin enough coat. Through trial and error, I have discovered that if you put a thin coat on your paper, and a thin coat on the item you are adhering it to (i.e., chipboard), then let them set for a couple of minutes, you can then squash the two items together, smooth out the bubbles and be left with a wonderful, permanent bond… with no warping. Keep watching the blog for articles about adhesive options, Mod Podge secrets, and more!
Something to cut with:
I love my Fiskars 12″ Paper Trimmer and my micro-tip scissors. They are definitely my go-to tools. If you are still cutting your paper with your grandma’s sewing scissors, it is time to go do some shopping for yourself. Invest in the nicest 12-inch trimmer you can afford. I couldn’t afford much (about $20US), but I love my economical Fiskars purple beauty. Ask your paper scrapping friends for some suggestions, or just head over to your local scrapbooking store. Chances are, the gals sitting around the tables all have my same paper trimmer. It’s cheap. It works.
Also, ask to see their scissors. Betcha they are micro-tips. Basically, micro-tip scissors are little snippers that are super sharp and allow you to be very precise in your cutting. You can pick up a pair like Cutterbees for about $6-$10US. Once you try them out, you will never be happy with Grandma’s sewing scissors again. These are just the basics, but there are other cutting options available. For more information, keep your eye on the blog!!
A scoring tool:
Depending on the hybrid project, you may need a scoring tool (which helps you make nice, clean folds and creases). Probably the most popular scoring tool is the Bone Folder. Those are cool, but my paper trimmer came with a scoring blade, so that is what I use the most often. If I have to score rounded edges, I pull out my embossing tool (picture a tiny spear with a metal ball welded to the end). Of course, you don’t NEED a scoring tool. Some of the gals at one of my favorite hybrid forums are known to use their pizza cutters and a straight edge!
Now, if you are planning to do mini chipboard albums, you might have to dig around in your hubby’s toolbox for some old sand paper. If you fall in love with hybrid, you’ll probably “need” some pretty pink sandpaper, files and sanding block (like mine, by Close To My Heart). So, what is the sandpaper for? For fixing the boo-boos. I don’t always cut perfectly or adhere perfectly, or even size my paper perfectly. Sanding the edges “trims” them slightly so that they blend into the chipboard and look perfect.
Another option is to paint the chipboard with acrylic paint, which can also act as a liquid adhesive (see above!). Then, you can paint the edges of your paper so that they blend into the chipboard. A very fun look!
Most of the time, I reach for my trusty ink pad to add a finishing touch. Typically, a soft brown does a great job, but sometimes I get crazy and add a fun color to the edges of my project. I recommend dye-based inks in a soft chocolate brown, black and navy as a starting point. Pigment-based white ink is a wonderful choice as well (it just takes longer to dry).
A black fine-tip marker (like a Zig pen) is wonderful for adding hand-drawn stitching, outlines and journaling. Some hybrid scrappers just can’t live without it!!
One of the reasons hybrid scrappers do what we do is because we just HAVE to get our hands sticky and messy every once in a while. Oh, and that HUGE paper stash keeps calling our names! Go nuts and make your hybrid project truly special by adding buttons, ribbons, rhinestones, flowers, chipboard shapes, etc. Junk it up!! Nothing is off limits. With hybrid scrapping, we get the best of both worlds!!