Using your computer

"Cut and paste" doesn't have to mean scissors and a glue stick, even if that's how you've previously defined scrapbooking. Your computer probably even came pre-loaded with a basic image-editing package. Or you could choose to invest in a software program designed specifically for scrapbooking, and create your entire page.

Make it better
Fixing a gross error is like unfrying an egg. But any good picture can be made better using image-editing software. Here are a few simple suggestions for handling for the most common image imperfections:

  • Tired of red eye ruining your people pictures? Many programs now include "Remove Red Eye" up front in an easy-to-find location.
  • Your cardinal has lost his red? Boost or alter color by experimenting with the hue, saturation, brightness, and contrast settings.
  • Not quite as sharp as you like? Try the "Unsharp Mask," which, unlike its name implies, actually does provide a nice crisp edge to your subject.

Have fun with image manipulation
Here are just a few ideas:

  • Use some of the special effects filters to crystallize, emboss, crackle, or blur to create a background paper that matches your picture.
  • Lower the contrast and increase the brightness to achieve varying degrees of lightness.
  • Stretch, pinch, and pull selected areas of your photo to distort perspective, size, or facial features.
  • Convert your image to black-and-white or sepia tone, then hand color it for an old-time look.
  • Crop your images to eliminate unnecessary clutter.
  • Adjust your color balance to compensate for unflattering fluorescent light or to add blue to your sky.

Add borders, clip art, text, and other embellishments
Software packages designed for scrapbooking help you achieve the same goals others use scissors and glues for, all without the mess. You can add frames around your photos, add titles and other text, add some clip art that goes along with your page theme, and find a creative border to frame the entire page.

If your handwriting isn't the neatest, you can type your journaling and glue it to your page in the more conventional way.